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The Didache: The Epistle of Barnabus, the Epistles and the Martyrdom of St. Polycarp, the Fragments of Papias, the Epistle to Diogn (Ancient Christian Writers) Hardcover – December 1, 1948
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From the Back Cover
About the Author
Walter J. Burghardt, SJ, a world renowned theologian, writer, and thinker, was cited in a university study as one of the 12 best preachers in the United States. Among his 25 books are 15 collections of his homilies and sermons, and an auto-biography, "Long Have I Loved You."
Quasten, Professor of Ancient Church History and Christian Archaeology.
Top Customer Reviews
No scholar or student of the Early Church should be without many volumes of the Ancient Christian Writers series. Of this series, this is one of the most important titles.
"The Didache" (first to third century, AD) is a document discovered in the 19th century that solved many mysteries. A number of ancient Christian documents that appeared to have a common source appear to have that source in the Didache which probably has elements that were composed as early as the first century. This work purports to contain apostolic teachings for Christian living and worship procedures and includes specific instructions on baptism and the celebration of the Lord's Supper.
"Barnabas" (2nd century, AD) is an ancient Christian letter by an unknown yet probably authoritative author. It was held in very high regard by early Christianity and is an exhortation to persistence in the Christian way. It contains specific admonitions against "Judaizing," the major error of the writer's day and contrasts the Christian understanding of religious history with that of Judaism. This is polemical literature and must be read in that light.Read more ›
This specific volume, the Didache, is one of two volumes that come off my shelf most regularly. The Didache is essential reading for the Christian. For what little my opinion is worth, I believe that this little work is perhaps the most important early extra-biblical text there is.
This short work was written as a sort of pamphlet (or tract to use the modern jargon) designed to evangelize pagans. It begins with a bold statement. To paraphrase: "There are two ways, one of life and one of death." It then goes on to address the moral teachings of the Church.
After this opening section on Christian morality, there is a section on Christian worship, specifically regarding the Eucharistic celebration.
This text is VERY early, probably written around 90AD. As a believer, what is remarkable for me is the consistency with which the truth has been preached by the Church for 2000 years. Under the section "the way of life" we find the following instruction: "Do not kill a fetus by abortion." It would not be overstating the case to say that all John Paul II did with his pontificate is reiterate, in new and beautiful ways, the constant teaching of the Church, which has not changed drastically in 2000 years. Certainly the Didache, while a short easy read in pamphlet form, speaks volumes about Christian morality and the "culture of life" the successors of Peter would have us build.
This is a monumental (and short!) work that should be in the library of every serious Christian. It is impossible to see how one can advocate new and novel Christian "morality" in light of texts like the Didache, which so clearly point out the differences between Christian and Pagan thought, ethics, and morality.
Contemporary issues of culture and religion are firmly addressed in the ancient "Teachings" of the Apostles and early Disciples. By bridging the span to our fundamental faith, modern ministers are able to provide greater relevancy to their work, instruction, and Christian modeling.
Reviewed by: Dr. Jeffrey Wincel (D.Min), author of "Climbing The Mountain of God, The Path to Mystical Discipleship" and "Defying the Trend, Business Ethics and Corporate Morality from a Faith Perspective."
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I am half way through this book. It is a great addition to anyone looking for information about the early church.
I especially loved the story about Polycarp. Read more
I've been looking for a readable version of the Didache and am very pleased with this edition. I have a new appreciation for the early church fathers and the challenges they faced. Read morePublished on March 1, 2013 by John F.
These manuscripts put a little different light on accepted canon. What the founders of the faith faced and managed to thrive in spite of severe oppression is something of which... Read morePublished on February 5, 2013 by Bible packer
You can tell by Polycarp's writings that he was truly in tune with Scripture... he may be "worshiped" by some, but he wouldn't have had it so; he was a real Christian. Read morePublished on January 22, 2012 by Thistlesifter
I, personally find this book, to a magnificent find. It is amazing to read the books that back up the Bible and the Christian Faith. Read morePublished on January 18, 2012 by Stormrunner62
Great book that gives you insight into what the early Christians practiced and believed (didache).Published on June 23, 2009 by W. G. McCann
This is a good additional resource to study the early Christians. We would never use this as a reference if it opposes the Bible, but for research purposes it is very helpful.Published on January 8, 2009 by JMac
While this book has the basic information it is pretty simplistic in its presentation. I struggled with the Fragments of Papias. as an example. Read morePublished on December 23, 2008 by John H. Karmann