Text, Sources, And Contents Of “The Two Ways” Or First Section Of The Didache -- By: Benjamin B. Warfield

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 043:169 (Jan 1886)
Article: Text, Sources, And Contents Of “The Two Ways” Or First Section Of The Didache
Author: Benjamin B. Warfield

Text, Sources, And Contents Of “The Two Ways” Or First Section Of The Didache1

Benjamin B. Warfield

The first chapters of the Didache, including chapters 1-6, are distinctly set apart as a complete whole by the Didachographer himself (7:1). Internally they form an entire treatise, with introduction, and conclusion, and symmetrically arranged members. They thus lend themselves to separate treatment. At the same time, in subjecting them to a special and separate study, the question of the unity of the Teaching must not be prejudged. The whole Didache apparently was known to Barnabas and Hermas and is very strongly articulated internally. And although the author in composing his Book of Church Order may have, as well as not, incorporated into it the charge to the catechumens and the prayers that preceded the Eucharist which he found already in use, just as he has incorporated the Lord’s prayer in chapter vii.—yet it is not to be assumed, prior to investigation, that he did this. Just because, however, these first six chapters constitute the whole charge to the catechumens, and thus form a unity, recognized and intended by the Didachographer himself, they may be studied apart without prejudicing our judgment as to their authorship. When a chief object of our study concerns

itself with the textual transmission of the treatise, there arises a further obvious propriety and gain, not to say necessity, for studying the first six chapters apart. Why it is so does not seem to demand a pause here to explain,2 but it is true that while the latter portion of the treatise passed early out of use, the section on The Two Ways remained the property of, and in the constant use of, the church. Barnabas repeated it; the Ecclesiastical Canons, as well as the Apostolical Constitutions, incorporated it into itself; Lactantius used it; and there are traces of it in several other writings of early Christianity. The textual problems of this first section of the treatise, then, are necessarily different from, and are to be settled on different conditions and by separate methods from, those applicable to the remaining chapters. We thus not only may, but for all textual problems must, treat the opening chapters separately from the rest of the treatise. On these grounds our purpose to confine ourselves in this paper to the study of The Two Ways as given us in the first six sections of the Didache, is justified.

Let us begin by taking stock of the sources of our information concerning this charge to catechumens which we may call, for convenience sake, The Two Ways, (1) We have, first of all, the Constantinople MS., publ...

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