I’m going to depart from my traditional series of Thursday posts on the New Testament to spend a little while on an early Christian document called The Didache. This little document, which I think comes from the period 51-57, but which some will date as late as 120, is a very early guide to churchly practices. We’ll walk through it a bit at a time before returning to actual New Testament texts.
The Didache. (translated by Kirsopp Lake) Loeb Classical Library #24. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1912, reprint 1985, pp. 303-334.
Chapter 5, pp. 316-319.
In chapter five the text turns from the way of life to the way of death. The author lists evil practices such as murder, adultery, theft, and the like (Didache V.1). In the second section it shifts from use of nouns describing the evil deeds to participles in the nominative case describing people, followed by objective recipients of evil, for instance, “persecutors of the good ones” (Didache V.2, personal translation).