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Catholic Dictionary


DIDACHE (Teaching of the twelve Apostles)


A first-century treatise, written before A.D. 100. It was rediscovered in 1833 by Bryennios, Greek Orthodox Metropolitan of Nicomedia, in the codex from which in 1875 he had published the full text of the Epistles of St. Clement I. The Didache is divided into three parts: 1. the Two Ways, the Way of Life, and the Way of Death; 2. a liturgical manual treating of baptism, fasting, confession, and Holy Communion; 3. a treatise on the ministry. Doctrinal teaching is presupposed. The Way of Life is the love of God and of neighbor; the Way of Death is a list of vices to be avoided. There is a brief instruction on baptism, references to apostles, bishops, and deacons, and an exhortation to watch and be prepared for the coming of Christ.