Athanasius describes it as 'appointed by the Fathers to be read by those who newly join us, and who wish for instruction in the word of goodness' [Festal Letter 39:7]. 355): "The Didache means by 'the gospel' (8.2; 11.3; 15.3, 4) the Gospel of Matthew; thus the Didache, which originated about 110 CE, documents the emerging authority of the one great Gospel." Stevan Davies comments on the Didache (Jesus the Healer, p.
It was written sometime in the late first or early second century and gives good evidence for a structured church's shift in orientation away from spirit-possession.
The Didache is written from the view point of a community leadership that distrusts, and yet respects, Christian prophets, one that wishes the prophets to leave town as quickly as possible, yet would have them welcomed in town when they arrive.
My own preference for a rural over an urban setting comes not from those few verses but from the Didache's rhetorical serenity, ungendered equality, and striking difference from so many other early Christian texts. Kraft says about the provenance of the Didache (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, v. 197): "That most commentators now seem to opt for Syria (Audet 1958; Hazelden Walker 1966; Rordorf and Tullier 1978) or Syro-Palestine (Niederwimmer 1977) as the place of origin is not in itself an indication that the supporting evidence is compelling; Egypt (Kraft 1965) and Asia Minor (Vokes 1970) also have their supporters." On source criticism of the Didache, Kraft observes (op. 197): There seems to be a general consensus that the 'two ways' material in chaps.
1-6 has a prehistory that connects with Jewish ethical concerns (see Harnack 1896) which probably took shape in both Greek and Semitic formulations.
It was, in other words, a rather casual copying of that section of the Didache for purposes of writing practice.