The Didache (Koine Greek: teaching), short for " Teaching of the Lord to the Gentiles by the Twelve Apostles," is a short early Christian treatise containing instructions for Christian communities. The text, believed by many to have been written prior to A.D. 150,^[1]^ can be seen as a handbook for pagan converts, with three main sections dealing with Christian lessons, rituals such as baptism and eucharist, and Church organization.

References to a writing known as the "Teaching" or "Teachings of the Apostles" are found in Eusebius about 325, Athanasius of Alexandria in a letter of 367, and in lists of texts from the beginning of the fourth century. But inasmuch as nothing is specifically cited, it is not certain if the references are to the document we know today as the Didache, although this is assumed by many.

As such, it was considered by some of the early church fathers as part of the New Testament canon but rejected as spurious by others. It was finally excluded from the accepted canon by all except the Ethiopian Orthodox church. The Roman Catholic Church has accepted it as part of the collection of Apostolic Fathers.

Considered lost, the Didache was rediscovered in 1883 by Philotheos Bryennios, a Greek Orthodox metropolitan bishop of Nicomedia, in the Greek Codex Hierosolymitanus written in 1053, from which he had already published the full text of the Epistles of Clement in 1875.



  1. ? Possibly written between A.D. 80-100 according to Ralph P. Martin


  • Jonathan A. Draper, The Didache in Modern Research. Brill Academic Publishers, 1997. ISBN 9004103759
  • Aaron Milavec, The Didache: Text, Translation, Analysis, and Commentary. Michael Glazier Books, 2004. ISBN 0814658318

See also