Is it possible that some of the writings of the New Testament are cut-and-paste jobs, where several writings have been combined together, instead of one writing done by one author at one time?  I decided to get to this question by referring to another early Christian writing, outside the New Testament, for which this is almost certainly the case, the Didache (Did-ah-kay).

Yesterday I reminded (or minded) y’all what the Didache is all about.  Today I want to explain why scholars widely think that our surviving version is in fact several texts that were written by different authors that have been cut and pasted together.

Here is what I say about the matter in my (Greek-English) edition of the of Didache in the first volume of the Apostolic Fathers in the Loeb Classical Library (Harvard University Press, 2003).


The Didache obviously addresses several discrete topics: the two paths, the “church order” (which may comprise two distinct units, one on liturgical practices and the other on the treatment of itinerant “apostles and prophets”), and the apocalyptic discourse.  Moreover, there is no necessary connection between them, except that provided perhaps by an editor, for example, the indication in 7.1 that the teaching of the two paths was to be given prior to the performance of baptism.

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