Tuesday, June 28, 2011

BMCR: O'Loughlin, "The Didache"

Thomas O'Loughlin, The Didache: A Window on the Earliest Christians. Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Academic, 2010. Pp. xvii, 185. ISBN 9780801045394. $24.99 (pb).

Reviewed by Vincent Hunink, Radboud University Nijmegen (v.hunink@let.ru.nl)

Ever since its discovery in 1873, the Early Christian Greek text known as the Didache has stirred controversy on numerous points. Is this an authentic document from the earliest times of Christianity or a later forger? Does it confirm modern theological views, whether Catholic or Protestant, or threaten to undermine them? Does the text represent early Christians at large or merely a minority limited in time and place?

Some of these issues seem to have been settled by now: scholars generally agree that the text is authentic and must be considered very early. Doctrinal debates, however, remain very much alive.