Cover Image

Book
Paper, 128 pp., 6 x 9, $9.95 net
Rights: World, English
0-8146-5831-8


 

Press Release

 

Revolutionary, brief commentary unlocks the

faith, hope, and life of Christian communities before the written Gospels

 

Milavec makes knowledge of the earliest Christian communities assessable

by unlocking the hidden secrets of the Didache

COLLEGEVILLE, MINNESOTA— Most Christians believe that everything about Jesus and the early church can be found in their New Testament.  In recent years, however, the discovery of the Gospel of Thomas and the reconstruction of the Q-Gospel have led scholars to recognize that some very early materials were left out.  Now, due to the pioneering efforts of Dr. Aaron Milavec, the most decisive document of them all, namely, the Didache (“Did-ah-Kay”), has come to light.  Milavec has decoded the Didache and enabled it to reveal its hidden secrets regarding those years when Christianity was little more than a faction within the restless Judaisms of the mid-first-century.

 

The Didache reveals a tantalizingly detailed description of the prophetic faith and day-to-day routines that shaped the Jesus movement some twenty years after the death of Jesus.  The focus of the movement then was not upon proclaiming the exalted titles and deeds of Jesus‑-aspects that come to the fore in the letters of Paul and in the Gospel narratives.  In contrast to these familiar forms of Christianity, the focus of the Didache was upon "the life and the knowledge" of Jesus himself.  Thus, the Didache details the step-by-step process whereby non-Jews were empowered by assimilating the prophetic faith and the way of life associated with Jesus of Nazareth.

 

Milavec’s clear, concise, and inspiring commentary is not only of essential importance to scholars, pastors, and students but also very useful for ordinary people who wish to unlock the secrets of the Didache.  Milavec’s analytic, Greek-English side-by-side, gender-inclusive translation is included as well as a description of how this document, after being fashioned and used 50-70 C.E., was mysteriously lost for over eighteen hundred years before being found in an obscure library in Istanbul. The study questions, bibliography, and flowcharts enable even first-time users to grasp the functional and pastoral genius that characterized the earliest Christian communities.

 

Clayton N Jefford, Professor of Scripture at Saint Meinrad School of Theology, describes Milavec’s commentary as a “masterful presentation of the text and an intriguing perspective upon the ancient origins and unique purposes of the work.” Dr. Philip Culbertson, Auckland University, New Zealand, adds, “This insightful new edition should appeal as much to erudite scholars as to the plainest of faiths.”  The internationally known scholar, John Dominic Crossan, declares, "The works by Milavec have revolutionized my own understanding of the Didache and I recommend them as the best introduction to a new and more profitable way of studying the document."

 

Aaron Milavec, Ph.D., is founder and director of EasyGreek Software. He has served as a seminary and university professor for twenty-five years and currently chairs the new program unit of the Society of Biblical Literature “The Didache in Context: 50-59 C.E.”

 

Published in paper, 128 pages, 6 x 9 @ $9.95, The Didache is available in religious and trade bookstores or directly from Liturgical Press. Call: 1-800-858-5450; fax: 1-800-445-5899; or e-mail: sales@litpress.org. A complete catalog is also available online: www.litpress.org.

 

 "In this new and landmark study, Aaron Milavec comprehensively examines how the first-century pastoral manual known as the Didache enumerated the step-by-step training of converts for the full, active participation in the earliest Jewish-Christian communities. . . ."

-

John Dominic Crossan

"In recent times, the Didache, a significant first-century Christian manual, has come to be seen as a compilation of several older sources which are structured into clearly separated thematic sections belonging to different literary genres. Attention therefore often focuses on issues of source and redaction criticism. Professor Milavec, in dialogue with recent international scholarship, sets great store by allowing the internal evidence of the text to speak for itself. This volume, which looks at the unity of the manual against the cultural background of its time, is an indispensable addition to the literature on the Didache. It provides a gender-inclusive translation and a clear, concise, and inspiring commentary which is not only of essential importance to scholars, pastors, and students but also very useful for ordinary people."

-

Huub van de Sandt, Tilburg University, Netherlands

"Milavec’s newest book is the culmination of fifteen years of insightful scholarship into the mysterious text of the Didache. The parallel English ‘analytical’ translation from the Greek is done with simplicity, yet with a sensitivity to gender issues and the Jewish background of the original text. This insightful new edition should appeal as much to erudite scholars as to the plainest of faiths. The commentary, the website, and the flow charts are brilliant additions."

-

Dr. Philip Culbertson, The School of Theology, Auckland University, New Zealand