This little text is from very early in the life of the churches – it might well be from the middle years of the first christian century and contemporary with the Apostolic writings.

Like the New Testament, it is written in the common “man in the street” kind of language rather than proper Greek.  Unfortunately, most of the well known English translations go for “thees” and “thous” and a false exalted tone.  I stumbled across one version which feels more right and here is the link:

http://ivanlewis.com/Didache/didache.html

The instructions are fascinating – obviously based on the sermons on the mount and plain – and show that the early church took Jesus’ ethical teaching and a consistent holiness very seriously.  The re-write of the “ten commandments” for the Roman context is bold and interesting.
People say it is legalistic and lacking in grace.  That is a fair criticism but it seems to be designed to answer the question “How do disciples behave”.  Any answer to that will be culturally conditioned and directive.  This is how one group of very early believers discipled each other.

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