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Social Ambiguity and the Production of Text: Prophets, Teachers, Bishops, and Deaconsand the Development of the Jesus Tradition in the Community of the Didache

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Chapter Summary

It is seen that the community of the Didache is conscious of the agents of supernatural evil emerging from within. The other variable in a "witch-believing" community, according to Douglas, is the weak grid, a situation in which "roles are ambiguous and undefined. Leadership is precarious". The text mentions teachers, apostles, prophets, bishops, and deacons, and it indicates that there is tension among them, affirming them all without any resolution to the question of their relative functions and status. It is observed that the community of the Didache has the profile of a "witch-believing" society. The Didache seems to presuppose a large population center with significant numbers of Christians, since it envisages numbers of prophets and teachers who wish to settle in it and are able to subsist on its firstfruits.

Keywords: Bishops; community; deacons; Didache; witch-believing society



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