The inimitable Carol Showalter, marketing guru at Paraclete Press, put this blog tour together, and she had the good sense to ask Jonathan Brink to ponder a special question: Is this text – The Didache – really so important? Why? Do we know that it was important to the earliest communities of Christians?
Jonathan answers that question in the affirmative, and in two parts. First,
The Didache focuses on what it means to be a follower through action, as opposed to a stricter western focus of simply belief. The emphasis is on love, which reveals life.
We can’t ignore a book that focuses on love, which also existed before any Christian theology is developed. In other words, the absence of a Christian theology means its raw. It’s the first exposure we have to what the early followers of Jesus were wrestling with. And it just happened to be on the practice of love. They didn’t seem to get bogged down into doctrinal issues…They focused on love. This has to inform the conversation.
Of course, I agree with Jonathan. I think the Didache is going to catch on, in a big way, and especially with those of us who are scouting out new and primitive and “authentic” (overused, I know) ways to follow Jesus. And, if you read the book you’ll see, the best way for us to do that is to really get inside the heads of the earliest Christians who put the Didache together.
- Buy the book at Amazon for $10.11
- Buy 3 or more from Paraclete for 40% off (till December 11)
- Read our full translation of the Didache
- Listen to me read the Didache (17 minutes, mp3 file)