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The Didache's Ritual: Jewish and Early Christian Tradition (Did 7-1 0)

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Chapter Summary

This chapter looks for antecedent and contemporary elements in Jewish worship. It highlights that the traditions concerning baptism (Did 7), the Lord's Prayer (Did 8) and the eucharistic meal (Did 9-10) present close parallels to Jewish liturgy in the Second Temple Period. This, of course, is not surprising since the pattern of Christian worship in general was undoubtedly very strongly influenced by Jewish worship, from which it issued. It has become quite evident in the last few decades that Jewish liturgical traditions of Temple times were not as fixed and uniform as was once supposed. It has come to be widely accepted that the ultimate roots of Christian baptism lay in Jewish immersion practices. The origin of Christian baptism still is a matter of dispute. The meal prayers of Did 9-10 derive from a pre-Didachic Greek-speaking community and, ultimately, from a current Hebrew form of Grace at meals.

Keywords: baptism; Christian tradition; Did 7-1 0; Didache's ritual; eucharistic meal; Jewish tradition; Lord's Prayer



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