Satanology of the Apostolic Fathers: The Didache

Scholarly consensus dates the Didache at the end of the first century.1 Although the Didache shares a Jewish ‘Two Ways’ textual source with the Epistle of Barnabas2 (represented in Qumran texts such as the ‘Community Rule’ or ‘Manual of Discipline’; 1QS, 4QSa-j, 5Q11, 5Q13), it has treated this source very differently to Barnabas. Whereas Barnabas adopted and amplified the supernatural evil found in the Two Ways text, the Didache has eliminated it. This is immediately apparent from a comparison of the opening of the Didache to its parallels in 1QS and Barnabas.

1QS 3:
17 the laws of all things and he supports them in all their affairs. He created man to rule
18 the world and placed within him two spirits so that he would walk with them until the moment of his visitation: they are the spirits
19 of truth and of deceit. From the spring of light stem the generations of truth, and from the source of darkness the generations of deceit.
20 And in the hand of the Prince of Lights is dominion over all the sons of justice; they walk on paths of light. And in the hand of the Angel of
21 Darkness is total dominion over the sons of deceit; they walk on paths of darkness. From the Angel of Darkness stems the corruption of3

Barnabas 18:
1 But let us pass on to another lesson and teaching. There are two ways of teaching and of power, the one of light and the other of darkness; and there is a great difference between the two ways. For on the one are stationed the light-giving angels of God, on the other the angels of Satan.4

Didache 1:
1 There are two ways, one of life and one of death, and there is a great difference between these two ways.5

Both 1QS and Barnabas see the two ways as presided over by the angels of God and the angels of satan. In contrast, the Didache has completely removed any reference to satan and his angels.6 This deliberate anti-mythological approach is followed consistently throughout the Didache.7 The Didache does not use any of the satananological terminology found in the Epistle of Barnabas or in proximate Jewish and Christian texts; terms such as satanas, diabolos, Beliar, ‘the Black One’, ‘the lawless one’, and ‘the Worker [of evil]’, never appear.8 Although the term tou ponērou is used (8:2), there is no evidence it refers to a supernatural evil being; such usage has no pre-Christian witness,9 and the Didache’s demythologizing agenda makes such an interpretation counter-intuitive.

Strong evidence for a generic rather than personal referent for the ‘evil’ of 8:2, is the fact that there are no references to ‘the evil one’ anywhere else in the Didache, only generic references to evil; ‘flee every kind of evil’ (3:1, not ‘flee the evil one’), and ‘Remember your church, Lord, to deliver it from all evil’ (10:6, not ‘deliver it from the evil one’).10 Consequently, modern translations of the Didache typically render its use of tou ponērou as generic; Kraft (1995),11 ‘rescue us from evil’, Van den Dungen (2001),12 ‘deliver us from evil’, Milavec (2003), ‘do not lead us into the trial [of the last days] but deliver us from [that] evil’, Johnson (2009), ‘deliver us from evil’.13

The Didache never refers to evil angels, demons, evil spirits, unclean spirits, demonic possession, or exorcism. Most significant is the fact that no reference is made even when discussing topics in which they are typically used as an explanatory recourse by proximate texts. In contrast with Justin Martyr, the Didache condemns idolatry without reference to demons,14 and says explicitly that the reason for rejection of idol food is ‘it is the worship of dead gods’ (6:3),15 in keeping with the Didache’s consistent warning that pagan practices lead to idolatry (not to involvement with demons);16 instead the Didache excludes any association of idols with demons.17

Likewise, unlike later Christian texts the Didache’s detailed pre-baptismal instruction lacks any renunciation of satan;18  in fact the Didache never speaks of demonic possession at all. Additionally, although the Didache differentiates between true and false prophets, there is no suggestion that the prophets are speaking with two different spirits (a divine spirit and a demonic spirit).19

Both the true and false prophet are using the same spirit, which is why the Didache advises that behavior (rather than differentiating between spirits), is the way to differentiate between true and false prophets;20 the false prophets’ action as an abuse of the Spirit of God, not as a reference to being possessed by an evil spirit or demon.21 Rather than speaking under the influence of satan or a demon, the false prophet is prophet either abusing the gift of speaking ‘in the [Holy] Spirit’, or else claiming to speak ‘in the [Holy] Spirit’ when in fact he is not.22 There is no reference in the Didache to the prophets using two different spirits at all. The false prophet is not said to have a false spirit, or a demonic spirit, or a spirit of satan, or a spirit of Belial, or an evil spirit, or any other satanological or demonological term; no such concept is indicated here. Nor is the false prophet said to be possessed, nor is there any suggestion of exorcism of the false prophet, nor is the false prophet said to be a messenger or satan or the devil. There is no suggestion that supernatural evil of any kind motivates the words and actions of the false prophet.

In its eschatological passage the Didache refers to ‘the world deceiver’ (16:4),23 using a Greek term unattested before the Didache itself.24 Peerbolte believes this is a reference to Satan,25 but the suggestion that the Didache (which to this point has avoided all satanological and demonological terminology), would at this point introduce Satan using a unique term not used in any earlier Jewish or Christian texts (instead of using one of the several standard satanological terms), is unlikely in the extreme. Jenks speaks of the ‘satanic connections’ of the world deceiver, whilst differentiating him from Satan.26 However, later in his own work when tabulating the early Christian eschatological traditions, he identifies the world deceiver in the Didache as having no satanic link.27

Observing Jenks’ categorization, Runions concludes that the Didache is one of a number of Christian texts identifying an evil eschatological figure as human rather than satanic.28 Similarly, Milavec and Balabanski both note that this figure is differentiated from Satan.29 Garrow observes that the world deceiver is ‘portrayed as a human persecutor’, and not of the devil.30 Draper understands the world deceiver to be ‘an embodiment of a division within the community itself’.31 Kobel likewise describes this section as speaking of ‘evil emerging from inside the community’.32

The Didache was elaborated on considerably by later Christians who modified its content in alignment with their own theology. The third century Teaching of the Apostles (Didascalia Apostolorum), and the late fourth century Apostolic Constitutions (Constitutiones Apostolorum), both used material from the Didache. Both added explicit cosmological dualism and satanalogical references typical of the theology of their era, which are entirely absent from the Didache. These expansions illustrate the fact that the Didache’s text was deemed an inadequate expression of the dualism of later Christians, emphasizing the difference between its demythologized content and their strongly mythological views.

In particular, Apostolic Constitutions (7.32), includes an eschatology which borrows the Didache’s apocalyptic material but modifies it to agree with fourth century beliefs in supernatural evil, adding the term diabolos to identify the ‘world deceiver’ (Didache 16:4), as the devil.  ((‘Const. 7.32 concludes: (4) (ἐπάνω τῶν νεφελῶν) μετʼ ἀγγέλων δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ ἐπὶ θρόνου βασιλείας, κατακρῖναι τὸν κοσμοπλάνον διάβολον καὶ ἀποδοῦναι ἑκάστῳ κατὰ τὴν πρᾶξιν αὐτοῦ. (5) Τότε ἀπελεύσονται οἱ μὲν πονηροὶ εἰς αἰώνιον κόλασιν, οἱ δὲ δίκαιοι πορεύσονται εἰς ζωὴν αἰώνιον, κληρονομοῦντες ἐκεῖνα, ἃ ὀφθαλμὸς οὐκ εἶδεν καὶ οὖς οὐκ ἤκουσεν καὶ ἐπὶ καρδίαν ἀνθρώπου οὐκ ἀνέβη, ἃ ἡτοίμασεν ὁ θεὸς τοῖς ἀγαπῶσιν αὐτόν, καὶ χαρήσονται ἐν τῇ βασιλείᾳ τοῦ θεοῦ τῇ ἐν Χριστῷ Ἰησοῦ (“above the clouds with his powerful angels on the royal throne, to judge the devil who leads the world astray and to requite to each according to their actions. Then the wicked will proceed to eternal punishment, but the just will proceed to eternal life, inheriting those things that eye has not seen nor has ear heard nor have they entered into the human heart, things that God has prepared for those who love him, and they will rejoice in the kingdom of God which is in Christ Jesus”).’, Kurt Niederwimmer and Harold W. Attridge, The Didache: a Commentary (Hermeneia—a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1998), 226.)) The fact that this term was added deliberately indicates the compilers of the Apostolic Constitutions felt the Didache had not identified the world deceiver as satan, evidence that the Didache’s demythologized character was recognized by later Christians. The expansion of the Didache’s apocalypse in the Apostolic Constitutions prompts Niederwimmer to suggest it is evidence for a lost ending of the Didache,  ((‘The Apostolic Constitutions and the Georgian version (each in its own way) provide confirmation for this supposition.’, Kurt Niederwimmer and Harold W. Attridge, The Didache: a Commentary (Hermeneia—a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1998), 226.)) whilst expressing caution saying the text ‘is (if at all) a very loose reproduction of the Didache’.33 Consequently, he foregoes any attempt to reconstruct any such ending.34

Verheyden advises it is not possible to substitute the end of the Constitutions for that of the Didache, and says it is wiser to characterize the apocalypse of the Constitutions as a paraphrase of the Didache’s.35  Jefford notes that the Epistle of Barnabas (which shared a Two Ways source with the Didache), did not contain an apocalypse at all, making any suggestion that the Didache had a lost apocalyptic conclusion ‘mere speculation’.36

Sorensen suggests tentatively that demons may be alluded to in Didache 3:1; 6:1, whilst acknowledging ‘it is just as conceivable that humans are intended here’.37 He further suggests 8:2; 10:5; and 16:4 are ‘ambiguous passages’ which may refer to a satan figure.38 However, he concludes that the Didache ‘offers little suggestion that demons play a direct role in contrary human actions.39 This is an understatement; the deliberate avoidance of any such language in the Didache and its elimination when using a source which included it, indicates otherwise. Draper claims the Didache is tacitly aware of demonic forces,40 but presents no evidence for this. Since there is no reference in the Didache to any demonic forces at all, and since the Didache has followed a systematic program of demythologizing its source which repudiates such beliefs, such speculation does not contribute to an understanding of the text.

The Didache presents non-mythological hamartiology (3:2;41 6:142), soteriology (1:2),43 martyrology, and eschatology (16:3-4a).44 Consequently, scholarly commentary typically describes the Didache as explicitly demythologized. Suggs observes ‘The Angels/Spirits have disappeared from the very brief introduction’, describing the Didache’s Two Ways passage as ‘Relatively demythologized and ethicized’.45 Kloppenborg contrasts the redactional source of Barnabas with that of the Didache, characterizing Barnabas as explicitly mythological, and the Didache as radically demythologized,46 observing the Didache has replaced the cosmological dualism of its source with ethical and psychological dualism.47 Sandt and Flusser suggest the Didache’s ‘significant reduction of the cosmic dualism in the earlier Two Ways’ may be a deliberate demythologization,48 while Milavec declares it was definitely deliberate.49

The intentional nature of the Didache’s demythologization is even more apparent when it is compared with three other texts using the Two Ways material. Milavec notes that the first century BCE Qumran Manual of Discipline, the second century Epistle of Barnabas, and the third century Teaching of the Apostles (Didascalia Apostolorum), all contain an explicit mythological dualism which the Didache has clearly avoided.50 The markedly different treatment of the Two Ways material in these texts indicates the presence of two different traditions in early Christianity; one dualistic (found in the Teaching of the Apostles, and Apostolic Constitutions), the other non-dualistic (found in the Didache). Concurring with this model, Rodorf traces the dualistic tradition from sources such as the Community Rule (Manual of Discipline, 1QS), and the non-dualistic tradition from the ‘sapiental and synagogal teaching of Judaism’.51

Brock likewise positions the Didache’s non-dualistic view within a tradition drawn directly from the Palestinian Targums, and the dualistic view of Barnabas and the Teaching of the Apostles as influenced by the ‘intrusion of the non-Biblical moral opposition’ found in the Community Rule.52 Tomson also characterizes the Didache as non-dualistic, and belonging to the tradition found in the New Testament and the Palestinian Tannaite sage Yohanan ben Zakkai;53 Tomson further describes the Didache as non-dualistic, Barnabas as semi-dualistic, and the Community Rule as completely dualistic.54

The Didache is therefore witness to a late first century Christian community which preserved traditional Jewish ethical teaching within a non-dualistic framework, deliberately avoiding all references to supernatural evil and replacing them with a psychological dualism locating temptation and sin within the heart. It is not merely non-mythological but explicitly demythological, repudiating the belief in supernatural evil found in proximate Jewish and Christian sources.

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  1. ‘As noted above, The Didache is dated in a variety of ways by the scholarly community, but a date in the last quarter of the first century seems to have gained a consensus. This makes the text contemporary with the canonical Gospels.’, Owen F. Cummings, Eucharist and Ecumenism: The Eucharist across the Ages and Traditions (Wipf and Stock Publishers, 2013), 2; ‘There is an emerging consensus to set the date of the Didache between 90 and 100 CE, because the author seems not to have known or cited from the canonical gospels.’, Mark Kiley, Prayer From Alexander To Constantine: A Critical Anthology (Routledge, 2013), 261; ‘At present there is a wide consensus that the Didache should be dated no later than the end of the first or beginning of the second century C.E. (see, among others, Audet 1958; Niederwimmer 1989; Draper 1996; Ayán Calvo 1992; and Del Verne 2004.)’, Marcello Del Verne, “Didache,” in The Oxford Encyclopedia of the Books of the Bible, ed. Michael D. Coogan (Oxford University Press, 2011), 210. []
  2. ‘Instead one can now assume that both the Didache and Barnabas are dependent upon a common collection of materials that currently is designated by the label of the “Two Ways source.” The parallels between these materials in the Didache and in Barnabas argue that this Two Ways source was a written document, the knowledge of which (in one form or another) was widespread among early Jewish and Christian circles.’, Clayton N. Jefford, The Sayings of Jesus in The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (Brill, 1989), 90. []
  3. Florentino Garcı́a Martı́nez and Eibert J. C. Tigchelaar, The Dead Sea Scrolls Study Edition (translations) (Leiden; New York: Brill, 1997–1998), 75. []
  4. Michael William Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations (Updated ed.; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999), 321. []
  5. Michael William Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations (Updated ed.; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999), 251. []
  6. ‘Where the Manual has harnessed the image of the apocalyptic struggle of the Two Angels in order to motivate ethics, the Didache has eliminated both angels and eschatology.’, Clayton N. Jefford, The Didache in Context: Essays on Its Text, History, and Transmission (Brill, 1995), 97. []
  7. ‘One can now note that the Greek Epistle of Barnabas, the Latin Teaching of the Apostles, and the Hebrew Manual of Discipline clearly embrace an angelic dualism when defining the Two Ways, while the framers of the Didache clearly avoid it.’, Aaron Milavec, The Didache: Faith, Hope, & Life of the Earliest Christian Communities, 50-70 C.E. (Paulist Press, 2003), 63. []
  8. ‘One interesting difference between the Didache and Barnabas concerns the material on the Two Ways. It was noted in §12.2 that Barnabas had several references to evil figures such as Satan, the Black One, etc. However, when the Didache used the same material it omitted all reference to such figures.’, Gregory Charles Jenks, The Origins and Early Development of the Antichrist Myth (Walter de Gruyter, 1991), 308. []
  9. ‘One reason given for rejecting the masculine, ‘the Evil One’, is that this term or designation for Satan is, outside the New Testament and dependent patristic writings, nowhere attested in classical, Hellenistic, or Jewish Greek sources. In the monumental and invaluable Concordance Grecque des Pseudépigraphes d’Ancien Testament of Père Albert-Marie Denis (Louvain, 1987), no single instance of ὁ πονηρός in this sense is cited; an apparent exception occurs in inferior manuscripts of the Testament of Job 7:1, but this is almost certainly a correction of Σατανᾶς, the usual term in the Testament, introduced by a Christian redactor. The situation is no different when we turn to Hebrew or Aramaic sources, which have their own distinctive terms for the devil, ‘Belial’, ‘Beelzebul’, ‘Mastema’, etc., not to mention ‘Satan’ itself (Greek ὁ διάβολος, ‘the slanderer’, a noun based on one of Satan’s classic roles). Dalman rendered ὁ πονηρός in the Pater Noster back into Heb. הרע, Aram. בישא, but stated that ‘The designation “the Evil One” (der Böse) for Satan never appears in Jewish literature (Heb. hā-rā‘)’. ’, Matthew Black, “The Doxology to the Pater Noster with a Note on Matthew 6:13b,” in A Tribute to Geza Vermes: Essays on Jewish and Christian Literature and History (ed. Richard T. Davies, Philip R. White; vol. 100; Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series; Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1990), 333. []
  10. ‘It is more likely, however, that “evil” is used here in a very general sense. Such seems to be the understanding of Didache 10:6: “Remember your church, Lord, to deliver it from all evil.”’ , Douglas R. A. Hare, Matthew (Interpretation: A Bible Commentary for Teaching & Preaching; Westminster John Knox Press, 2009), 70. []
  11. Robert A. Kraft, Exploring the Scripturesque: Jewish Texts and Their Christian Contexts (Brill, 2009). []
  12. Wim Van den Dungen, “JESUS-PEOPLE : The Didache” 2001, n.p. [cited 8 January 2015]. Online: http://www.sofiatopia.org/equiaeon/didache.htm. []
  13. Lawrence J. Johnson, Worship in the Early Church: An Anthology of Historical Sources (vol. 1; Liturgical Press, 2009), 37. []
  14. ‘It forbade idolatry without equating gods with demons’, Jeffrey Burton Russell, Satan: The Early Christian Tradition (Cornell University Press, 1987), 46. []
  15. Kurt Niederwimmer and Harold W. Attridge, The Didache: a Commentary (Hermeneia—a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1998), 120. []
  16. ‘While the author considers the relaxation of food laws (except for εἰδωλόθυτα) permissible in individual cases (the degree of relaxation apparently to be measured by the individual’s judgment), he remains strict with regard to εἰδωλόθυτα: the eating of meat offered to idols is absolutely forbidden,35 and this is because the eating of sacrificed meat is nothing less than worship of the dead gods, the idols.36 The phrase λίαν πρόσεχε37 paints a picture of anxious avoidance of idol worship.’, Kurt Niederwimmer and Harold W. Attridge, The Didache: A Commentary (Augsburg Fortress Pub, 1998), 123. []
  17. ‘The full story behind this choice cannot be known. Nonetheless, a possible hint toward telling that story can be glimpsed from the fact that the framers of the Didache referred to idols as “dead gods” (6:3), thereby refusing to allow any support for the notion that the gods left behind by the novices had any power whatsoever. Equating the power of the gods (or the idols) with demonic power would have meant that new recruits would have risked the wrath of abandoned demon-gods and may have been terrorized by their imagined wrath and have been tempted to appease them.’, Aaron Milavec, The Didache: Faith, Hope, & Life of the Earliest Christian Communities, 50-70 C.E. (Paulist Press, 2003), 63. []
  18. ‘Rordorf acknowledges that this renunciation is missing in the Didache, and remains otherwise unattested until the end of the second century’, Eric Sorensen, Possession and Exorcism in the New Testament and Early Christianity (Mohr Siebeck, 2002), 199; ‘However, in the Didache the connection between exorcism and baptism is not made, and we cannot argue from the later evidence that it was present earlier in the Didache.’, Graham H. Twelftree, In the Name of Jesus: Exorcism Among Early Christians (Baker Academic, 2007), 219. []
  19.  “Furthermore, the prepositional phrase en pneumati occurs in the Didache in the contexts of both true and false prophecy. A true prophet or a false prophet may speak en pneumati (see Did. 11:7,8,8,9,12). Nothing in the pertinent texts suggests that for the true prophet en pneumati should translate “in the Spirit” and for the false prophet en pneumati should translate “in a spirit,” indicating a spirit other than “the Spirit” or “the Holy Spirit”.”, Clint Tibbs, Religious Experience of the Pneuma: Communication with the Spirit World in 1 Corinthians 12 and 14 (Wissenschaftliche Unteersuchungen zum NeunTestament 2. Reihe 230; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2007), 317-18. []
  20. ‘Since speaking in the Spirit, as a kind of technique, can be mastered not only by true but also by false prophets, it cannot by itself be a mark of differentiation.’, Georg Schöllgen, “The Didache as a Church Order; An Examination of the Purpose for the Composition of the Didache and Its Consequences for Its Interpretation,” in The Didache in Modern Research: 1996, ed. Jonathan A. Draper (Brill, 1996), 54. []
  21. ‘Obviously false prophets misused speaking in the Spirit to make demands on the community for money; the Shepherd of Hermas attests similar abuses.’, Georg Schöllgen, “The Didache as a Church Order; An Examination of the Purpose for the Composition of the Didache and Its Consequences for Its Interpretation,” in The Didache in Modern Research: 1996, ed. Jonathan A. Draper (Brill, 1996), 55. []
  22. ‘This verse must mean that not everything spoken in an ecstatic state is from the Lord.’, ‘Prophets are seen as inspired but not infallible, and they are held responsible for what they say.’, Ben Witherington, Revelation (Cambridge University Press, 2003), 94; ‘Moreover, balancing the exhortation not to try utterances in the Spirit (Did. 1.7) is the exhortation to reject false teaching (Did. 11.2). The charismatic must be tested before he (or perhaps she) is to be received (Did. 12.1). How does one know whether the teaching is “in the Spirit” or is false? The teaching must line up with what the community already knows (Did. 11.1-2), and the teacher must live a godly life, having “the ways of the Lord” (Did. 11.8) and practicing what he/she preaches (Did. 11.10).’, Laurie Guy, Introducing Early Christianity: A Topical Survey of Its Life, Beliefs, and Practice (Downers Grove, Ill.: InterVarsity Press, 2004), 34; ‘Thus, while it is impermissible to judge the one who speaks through the Holy Spirit, the faithful are warned not to listen to the prophet who appears to be false. In other words: all prophets are to be tested – and those prophets who have been found to speak in the Spirit are not to be judged.’, Niels Christian Hvidt, Christian Prophecy : The Post-Biblical Tradition: The Post-Biblical Tradition (Oxford University Press, 2007), 87; ‘The situation envisaged in the Didache would appear to be later and involves abuse of the privileges that missionaries could claim in the name of Christ. The instruction goes on to condemn in particular those who were appealing to the Spirit in making their demands. Presumably, appeal to supernatural powers and visions were ways of manipulating the unwary among the settled community.’, Sean Freyne, The Jesus Movement and Its Expansion: Meaning and Mission (Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing, 2014), 253; ‘The problem of recognizing false prophets arose as itinerant visitors claimed to be apostles or prophets who spoke who spoke in the name of God.’, Delbert Burkett, An Introduction to the New Testament and the Origins of Christianity (Cambridge University Press, 2002), 402. []
  23. ‘And at that time the one who leads the world astray will appear as a “son of God” and will work signs and wonders, and the earth will be given into his hands, and he will do godless things which have never been done since the beginning of time.’, Kurt Niederwimmer and Harold W. Attridge, The Didache: a Commentary (Hermeneia—a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1998), 219. []
  24. ‘The word kosmoplanhV is a hapax legomenon. It is either an invention by the author of Didache 16 or is taken from current tradition. In view of the traditional character of the whole of Didache 16 the latter option is more likely.’, L. J. Lietaert Peerbolte, The Antecedents of Antichrist: A Traditio-Historical Study of the Earliest Christian Views on Eschatological Opponents (Leiden; New York: Brill, 1996), 181; ‘Closest to this Didache passage is Apoc. Pet. 2 (Ethiopic): “that this is the deceiver who must come into the world and do signs and wonders in order to deceive.”’, Kurt Niederwimmer and Harold W. Attridge, The Didache: a Commentary (Hermeneia—a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1998), 219. []
  25. ‘Hence, it is best to regard the title ‘deceiver of the world’ as a description of Satan.’, L. J. Lietaert Peerbolte, The Antecedents of Antichrist: A Traditio-Historical Study of the Earliest Christian Views on Eschatological Opponents (Leiden; New York: Brill, 1996), 181. []
  26. ‘His particular title, kosmoplanhV [“world-deceiver”], is not the same phrase as in Rev 12:9 but the description seems to be a clear allusion to the satanic connections of this figure.’, Gregory Charles Jenks, The Origins and Early Development of the Antichrist Myth (Walter de Gruyter, 1991), 310. []
  27. Gregory Charles Jenks, The Origins and Early Development of the Antichrist Myth (Walter de Gruyter, 1991), 360. []
  28.  ‘On one hand, as Gregory Jenks has pointed out, many early Christian texts, such as the epistles of John, or The Apocalypse of Peter, and Didache, speak, of deceivers, but not of their connection to Satan (1991, 360). Such texts seem to indicate that the lawless deceiver is expected to be a human false prophet, or deceptive teacher, simply a tool of evil forces.’, Erin Runions, “Queering the Beast: The Antichrists’ Gay Wedding,” in Queering the Non/Human, ed. Professor Myra J. Hird and Ms Noreen Giffney (Ashgate Publishing, Ltd., 2012), 83. []
  29. ‘Here again, [2 Thessalonians 2:9] the signs and wonders associated with “the lawless one” have Satan as their source – something that the Didache does not endorse (as noted).’, Aaron Milavec, The Didache: Faith, Hope, & Life of the Earliest Christian Communities, 50-70 C.E. (Paulist Press, 2003), 64; ‘This figure, who is distinct from Satan (cf. 2 Thess. 2:1-12), parodies a number of the features attributed to Christ.’, Vicky Balabanski, Eschatology in the Making: Mark, Matthew and the Didache (Cambridge University Press, 1997), 195. []
  30. ‘The flow of the narrative within Did. 16.3-8a suggests, as\assessed in section\2, above, that a reference to a conflict between the Lord and the world deceiver is very likely to have formed part of the original text of the Didache. However, given that this character is portrayed as a human persecutor in Did. 16.4-5, it may be supposed that the original ending described the judgment of the world-deceiver (cf. 16.4b) and not of the world-deceiving devil.’, Alan Garrow, The Gospel of Matthew’s Dependence on the Didache (Bloomsbury Academic, 2013), 56-7. []
  31. ‘The antichrist does not appear to be Caesar, but to be an embodiment of a division within the community itself,’, Jonathan A. Draper, “Social Ambiguity and the Production of Text: Prophets, Teachers, Bishops, and Deacons and the Development of the Jesus Tradition in the Community of the Didache,” in The Didache in Context: Essays on Its Text, History, and Transmission, ed. Clayton N. Jefford (Brill, 1995), 284. []
  32. ‘The sense of evil emerging from inside the community is conveyed by the description of the “world-deceiver,” manifested “as a son of God,” and performing “signs and wonders” to lead the world astray (16:4).’, Esther Kobel, Dining with John: Communal Meals and Identity Formation in the Fourth Gospel and Its Historical and Cultural Context (Brill, 2011), 167. []
  33. ‘This text is (if at all) a very loose reproduction of the Didache. The epilogue of the Apostolic Constitutions is extremely wordy in contrast to the brisk presentation in the apocalypse of the Didache. The Georgian concludes: “(coming with the clouds) with power and great glory, in order to repay every human being according to his [or her] works in his holy righteousness, before the whole human race and before the angels. Amen.” The Didache might have concluded in some similar fashion.’, Kurt Niederwimmer and Harold W. Attridge, The Didache: a Commentary (Hermeneia—a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1998), 227. []
  34. ‘The Didache might have concluded in some similar fashion. In any case it appears that there was a Greek source for the Georgian and that it was still complete. I shall not be bold enough to attempt to reconstitute the lost conclusion of the Didache by conjecture.’, Kurt Niederwimmer and Harold W. Attridge, The Didache: a Commentary (Hermeneia—a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible; Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1998), 227. []
  35. ‘Of course one cannot simply substitute CA’s text for the ending of Did. (contra. Wengst) and  it is methodologically a much wiser procedure to cite CA as a kind of paraphrase (so Rordorf-Tuilier in their edition).’, Joseph Verheyden, “Eschatology in the Didache and the Gospel of Matthew,” in Matthew and the Didache: Two Documents from the Same Jewish-Christian Milieu?, ed. Hubertus Waltherus Maria van de Sandt (Uitgeverij Van Gorcum, 2005), 207. []
  36. ‘Furthermore, since Barnabas does not include an apocalyptic chapter at the end of the Two Ways source, it is not possible (apart from mere speculation) to argue whether any of the materials in chap. 16 can be attributed to that early source.’, Clayton N. Jefford, The Sayings of Jesus in The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles (Brill, 1989), 89. []
  37. ‘Although the advice to flee from “every evil one and everyone like him” (pantoV pnyrou kai apo pantoV omoiou auto – Did. 3.1) may refer to demons, it is just as conceivable that humans are intended here (similarly for Did. 6.1).’, Eric Sorensen, Possession and Exorcism in the New Testament and Early Christianity (Mohr Siebeck, 2002), 199. []
  38. ‘Compare other ambiguous passages, such as the Didache’s “free us from (the) evil (one)” (pusai hmaV apo tou ponhrouDid. 8.2) in its version of the Lord’s Prayer, which suggests the satanic agent in Matthew’s version of the same (alla pusai hmaV apo tou ponhrou – Matt. 6:13); the Eucharistic prayer that asks God to “release [the church] from every evil” tou psusasthai authn apo pantoV ponhrou – Did. 10.5); and the “deceiver of the world (o kosmoplanhV), who will appear as a son of God but will lead people astray in the concluding apocalypse (Did. 16.4).’, Eric Sorensen, Possession and Exorcism in the New Testament and Early Christianity (Mohr Siebeck, 2002), 199. []
  39. ‘The Didache describes two ways, of life and death. Although a divine presence accompanies one along the way of life, the Didache offers little suggestion that demons play a direct role in contrary human actions. Instead, the way of death represents the absence of God rather than the presence of a demonic guide.’, Eric Sorensen, Possession and Exorcism in the New Testament and Early Christianity (Mohr Siebeck, 2002), 199. []
  40. ‘Beneath the ordinary human exterior of any community member in the Didache may lurk the demonic forces which seek to overthrow the community.’, Jonathan A. Draper, “Social Ambiguity and the Production of Text: Prophets, Teachers, Bishops, and Deacons and the Development of the Jesus Tradition in the Community of the Didache,” in The Didache in Context: Essays on Its Text, History, and Transmission, ed. Clayton N. Jefford (Brill, 1995), 285. []
  41. ‘Do not become angry, for anger leads to murder. Do not be jealous or quarrelsome or hot-tempered, for all these things breed murders.’, Michael William Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations (Updated ed.; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999), 253.; note the psychological dualism here in contrast with cosmological dualism, as evil thoughts (which can be disciplined by the individual), are identified as the cause of sin, not satan or demons. []
  42. ‘See that no one leads you astray from this way of the teaching, for such a person teaches you without regard for God.’, Michael William Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations (Updated ed.; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999), 257; note the ethical dualism here in contrast with cosmological dualism, as humans are identified as the cause of being led astray, not satan or demons. []
  43. ‘Now this is the way of life: first, “you shall love God, who made you”; second, “your neighbor as yourself”; and “whatever you do not wish to happen to you, do not do to another.”’, Michael William Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations (Updated ed.; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999), 251; the way to life is ethical behaviour, not defeat of supernatural evil. []
  44. ‘For in the last days the false prophets and corrupters will abound, and the sheep will be turned into wolves, and love will be turned into hate. (4) For as lawlessness increases, they will hate and persecute and betray one another’, Michael William Holmes, The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations (Updated ed.; Grand Rapids, MI: Baker Books, 1999), 269; martyrdom comes at the hands of persecution by human members of the Christian community who have fallen away, become wolves, persecutors, and betrayers of each other (it does not come as a result of persecution by supernatural evil figures), and the final conflict is of ethical dualism between the apostates and those who have kept the faith (not between cosmological figures such as warring angels). []
  45. ‘Relatively demythologized and ethicized, the Two Ways passage in the Didache appears better formed to serve the simple function of ethical instruction and less useful as an instrument of community identity.’, M. Jack Suggs, “The Christian Two Ways Tradition,” in Studies in New Testament and in Early Christian Literature: Essays in Honor of Allen P. Wikgren (ed. Allen Paul Wikgren and David Edward Aune; Brill Archive, 1972), 71. []
  46. Thus, a Two Ways Document, no longer extant, is discerned by Kloppenborg; this document, he goes on to argue, has a three-fold transmission into the extant sources. The first form (a) is a loosely organized presentation of two ways material and is what is evident in the Epistle of Barnabas. The second (b, with a derivation as form d underlying Doctrina Apostolorum) is more topical in organization and is what was used in Didache (from which is derived the two ways tradition in Apostolic Constitutions). The third form (g) is paralleled to B except for the Way of Death motif (this is the form found in the Canons. For Kloppenborg, form a is far more mythological in language, fitting a type that is illustrated in 1QS and the Testament of Asher (though without direct literary connections). The Epistle of Barnabas places the two ways or teachings within a cosmic contrast of fwtagwoi aggeloi tou qeo and aggeloi tou satana (18.1) along with an eschatological motivation. Forms B and g, however, radically demythologize the two ways, thereby more thoroughly ethicizing and de-eschatologizing the tradition.’, Philip L. Tite, Valentinian Ethics and Paraenetic Discourse: Determining the Social Function of Moral Exhortation in Valentinian Christianity (Brill, 2009), 177. []
  47. ‘Rather than two struggling “princes,” between whom all humanity is divided, there is an ethical and psychological dualism:’, Kloppenborg, “The Transformation of Moral Exhortation in Didache 1-5,” in The Didache in Context: Essays on Its Text, History, and Transmission, ed. Clayton N. Jefford (Brill, 1995), 95. []
  48. ‘See especially Sandt and Flusser on the Didache’s ‘significant reduction of the cosmic dualism in the earlier Two Ways, [which] might reflect a deliberate effort to ethicize and demythologize a type of traditional materials’ (Didache, p. 119).’, Jonathan Schwiebert, Knowledge and the Coming Kingdom: The Didache’s Meal Ritual and Its Place in Early Christianity (Bloomsbury Publishing, 2008), 124. []
  49. ‘Thus, with some circumspection, the Didache embraces the metaphors of life and death but deliberately avoids associating these with cosmic/angelic dualism.’, Aaron Milavec, The Didache: Faith, Hope, & Life of the Earliest Christian Communities, 50-70 C.E. (Paulist Press, 2003), 65. []
  50. ‘One can now note that the Greek Epistle of Barnabas, the Latin Teaching of the Apostles, and the Hebrew Manual of Discipline clearly embrace an angelic dualism when defining the Two Ways, while the framers of the Didache clearly avoid it.’, Aaron Milavec, The Didache: Faith, Hope, & Life of the Earliest Christian Communities, 50-70 C.E. (Paulist Press, 2003), 63. []
  51. ‘Is it not possible that the different forms of the Christian duae viae also reflect the two traditions? From this point of view, the Doctrina apostolorum and the Epistle of Barnabas take their place in the dualistic lineage of moral instruction that is found in the Manual of Discipline, while the Didache and the documents derived from it represent the nondualistic lineage of moral instruction which was formed in the history of Israel and which has passed into the sapiential and synagogal teaching of Judaism (and eventually into the catechism given to proselytes).’, Willy Rordorf, “An Aspect of the Judeo-Christian Ethic: The Two Ways,” in The Didache in Modern Research: 1996, ed. Jonathan A. Draper (Brill, 1996), 153. []
  52. ‘Thus, while the Didache harks back more or less directly to Deut. 30.15-19, fused with Jer. 21.8 (as also witnessed in the Palestinian Targum tradition), the Doctrina Apostolorum and Barnabas do so only indirectly, by way of the intrusion of the non-Biblical moral opposition of light and dark, also to be found in 1QS.’, Sebastian Brock, “The Two Ways and the Palestinian Targum,” in A Tribute to Geza Vermes: Essays on Jewish and Christian Literature and History, ed. Richard T. Davies, Philip R.;White, vol. 100, Journal for the Study of the Old Testament Supplement Series (Sheffield: JSOT Press, 1990), 143. []
  53. ‘In the midst of this gamut of variants, the tractate of the Two Ways in the Didache emerges as non-dualistic and non-apocalyptic, and is as such more or less kindred to the phrasing of Jesus and of Yohanan ben Zakkai.’, Peter Tomson, If This Be from Heaven: Jesus and the New Testament Authors in Their Relationship to Judaism (A&C Black, 2001), 383. []
  54. ‘If we imagine the three texts on a comparative scale, Didache presents us with a non-dualistic ‘Two Ways’, Pseudo-Barnabas with a semi-dualistic one, and the Rule Scroll with a completely dualistic one.’, Peter J. Tomson, “Christ, Belial, and Women: 2 Cor 6:14-7:1 Compared with Ancient Judaism and the Pauline Corpus,” in Second Corinthians in the Perspective of Late Second Temple Judaism, ed. Reimund Bieringer et al. (Brill, 2014), 94. []

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