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The Hebrew Epic and the Didache

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Chapter Summary

The Didache represents a community that has long since determined its place within its epic imagination. The community of the Didache found an important source for its epic imagination within the stories, themes, and passages of the Hebrew Scriptures, and in fact has transferred important items within the tradition to its own epic: past temple sacrifices are now communal meals; officiating priests are now prophets, teachers, and apostles; and the temple is now the church. The community also has a complete set of ethical guidelines or laws. In contrast to other early Christian texts, the Didache is remarkably calm in its rhetoric. In fact, its selection of themes or stories from the Hebrew Scriptures neglects violent or destructive episodes which were important to other early Jewish and Christian texts, such as the flood, the conquest, or the destruction of Jerusalem.

Keywords: Christian texts; Didache; epic imagination; Hebrew Scriptures



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