Rordorf, Wily & Andre Tuilier. La Doctrine Des Douze Apotres: Introduction, Texte, Traduction, Notes, Appendice et Index. Paris: Les Editions DuCerf, 1978.
Chapter 2, “Caracteres De L’Ouvrage” pp. 13-21.
The manuscript of the Didache bears two titles. One is “The Didache of the twelve apostles.” The other is longer and more developed, “The Didache of the Lord through the twelve apostles to the Gentiles” (Rordorf 1978, 13). Bryennios and Harnack considered the longer title to be authentic, with the short one simply as an abbreviation. Bryennios considered the “to the Gentiles” as a reference to just the first five chapters (Rordorf 1978, 14). Audet, on the other hand, considered the short title as the original, but the long one as a section header (Rordorf 1978, 14). Rordorf considers the matter uncertain (Rordorf 1978, 15). At issue is the question of the attribution to the twelve apostles, whether the text is ascribed to them personally or to the apostolic content (Rordorf 1978, 16). The idea of the apostolic witness to the Gentiles is presented plainly in the last portion of Matthew’s Gospel.
Rordorf next addresses the literary genre. The beginning is clearly a catechetical work (Rordorf 1978, 17). The liturgical material of chapters 7-10 are catechetical in nature but do not fit as clearly into a category. Chapters 11-15 are much more like a pastoral letter. The concluding chapter 16 is eschatological. Rordorf is uncertain whether the chapter was an actual part of the original work due to disparities in the manuscript (Rordorf 1978, 18). Research has attempted inconclusively to identify various authors (Rordorf 1978, 19). The use of language, particulary in 15.1 of “bishops and deacons,” seems to refer to a time when these were separate offices in an established church (Rordorf 1978, 20). The eschatological expectation is quite fervent, suggesting an early date (Rordorf 1978, 21).