ACCORDING TO MOST SCHOLARS, a brief, anonymous Christian treatise written between the years 65 and 80 and known as The Didaché, is considered the oldest Christian catechism in history. Didaché means “teaching” in Greek, and so the document, also known as “the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles,” or simply “The Teaching”, has been respected and preserved to this day as the first and oldest written catechism.
This brief treatise provides us with extra-biblical data regarding the institutions and life of the earliest Christian communities. The Didaché codifies the moral, liturgical, and legal dispositions of the early Church that were considered convenient and necessary then.
The Didaché contains the first known instructions for the celebration of both Baptism and the Eucharist, as well as one of the three earliest known forms of the Lord’s Prayer. Considering the various translations of the work, the geographical dispersion of the fragments found and the list of later works that depend on it, the Didaché should be better known among Christians today.
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