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The Didache: A Window on the Earliest Christians Paperback – 23 Sep 2010

4.2 out of 5 stars 13 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 208 pages
  • Publisher: SPCK Publishing (23 Sept. 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0281059535
  • ISBN-13: 978-0281059539
  • Product Dimensions: 13.8 x 1.2 x 21.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (13 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 157,978 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

'A valuable and thorough introduction to an important though little-studied work that provides a unique window on a corner of the early Christian world.' Sean Freyne, Emeritus Professor of Theology, Trinity College Dublin 'A truly accessible commentary on this ancient text and on the early Christian communities that lie behind it, and yet one that incorporates up-to-date academic scholarship.' Paul Bradshaw, Professor of Liturgy, University of Notre Dame, USA 'I highly recommend this informed, engaging and pastorally sensitive exploration of the Didache. Reading the text within its Jewish roots and in harmony with its New Testament parallels, Thomas O'Loughlin shows how the Didache admirably shaped the faith and practice of second-generation Christians in ways that have relevance for us today.' Aaron Milavec, author of The Didache: Faith, Hope, and Life of the Earliest Christian Communities, 50 - 70 C.E.

About the Author

Thomas O'Loughlin is Professor of Historical Theology at the University of Nottingham. He has published extensively on how ancient text can reveal the lives of Christians. His books include Discovering Saint Patrick (DLT/Paulist 2005), Celtic Theology: Humanity, World and God in Early Irish Writings (Continuum, 2000) and Saint Patrick: The Man and his Works (SPCK, 1999).


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4.2 out of 5 stars
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Format: Paperback
As an early Christian document, The Didache deserves to be better known and understood. Unearthed in a library in Constantinople in 1873, it turned out to be earlier than texts in the New Testament. Very short, scrappy even, (it takes about ten minutes to read) the Didache is a tardis of a text - revealing more about the life of the earliest Christians than some books which made it into the New Testament and are three times longer. It is a sort of training manual for new Christians, concerned with many practical aspects of Christian community living. Indeed, the Didache is still revealing its secrets and in this book Thomas O'Loughlin brings more of them to the surface.

This is a book for seasoned scholars, newcomers to the history of Christianity, and everyone in between. Professor O'Loughlin is deeply immersed in all the scholarly debates, and yet also committed to making the Didache accessible to everyone - he has been teaching the text to various audiences for many years. This makes the book very informative, and well considered, like a wine that has been improving with age. One doesn't just learn about the text itself - Thomas O'Loughlin's book is grounded in his thoughtful insights into why we should approach Christianity through its history. The author's own new translation from the Greek is included, so there is no need to look elsewhere for the text itself. The 160 pages of commentary and analysis are broken into sections which makes the work extremely reader-friendly and approachable. This is definitely one to add to the book shelves.
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Fascinating book that gives a true insight to the earliest christian creed. Opens up a whole new level of thought about the Bible and it's collection of accounts. The King James bible being some 1,500 years later. A quest to get nearer to the purest of accounts and teachings. How much has been constructed, how much has been lost in translation?
I believe the truth is in simple and pure forms, and to do that you need to go back to the beginning.
The Didache teaches us the way.
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Fasinating book, gives a valuable insight into the early Church, the author knows and loves his subject and teaches in an open unbiased way that leaves the student to think and understand in their own time and way. I am not academic by a long shot, but this book is one I don't want to put down, I have learnt a lot about myself too. Thank you
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Format: Paperback
This is an apparently simple introduction to a piece of early Christian writing about how to be a Christian. It is far more. By looking at the Didache in detail and placing it in its context of the time it came into existence the author illuminates how what we come to beleive is the 'right' and perhaps the 'only' way to behave is in fact a construct of our own times and the interpretation of all that has come before. The misheard instructiuons of 'Send reinforcements we're going to advance' becoming 'Send thre and fourpence we'er going to a dance' comes to mind ;that a message can be trasformed either accidentally (or intentionally) into something completely different to,or perhaps even opposite to the original meaning. This is a provocative book that should arouse the interest, scepticism and inquisitiveness of both the academic and the layman or woman.
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Format: Paperback
Until comparatively recently, the Didache was the prerogative of scholars, and little known outside academic circles. Tom O'Loughlin's study makes this, the earliest Christian text we have, accessible to everyone who is interested in knowing more about the earliest generation of Christians. He describes how the text was discovered in Istanbul by Philotheos Bryennios and goes on to analyse the various chapters, showing how it has its roots in Judaism with the setting out of the Two Ways; how baptism was prepared for with the help and teaching of a mentor, and how it was administered; the practice of fasting and liturgical prayer; how the Eucharist was celebrated; and how prophets and those travelling preachers who later became known as evangelists were received - and the very practical steps that were taken to assess their authenticity. This is a fascinating account of our 'ancestors in the faith' and compelling reading for anyone with an interest in early Christian history, liturgy, and ritual.
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This book has really opened my eyes! Each week in church we hear about the early Christians. This happens every time we listen to the gospels (the stories they valued about Jesus) or the letters (the inter-office memos of the early Christian network). But it is hard to imagine them as people, their concerns, their view of life, their community. That's what I found useful about this book: it helped me to understand the people, and gave me a context in which to understand what I hear written by / for them. A very good read!
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Most books on the early Christians make you feel that they must have been a group of theologians or bookworms, rather than a community of real people. Not this book! In O'Loughlin's book we meet people, their way of life, and hear about their gatherings. A really good read, even if you have never heard of the Didache.
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