Yet again, the Didascalia as read

Two reviews of my Didascalia  have appeared recently. Gerard Rouwhorst in Vigiliae Christianae 67 (2013), 456-459 gives an extensive review which is critical and appreciative. There is disagreement in some aspects of detail, but he is convinced by the overall approach and concludes, as I did, that it is no longer possible to read the Didascalia naively.

Lionel Wickham in JEH 64 (2013), 574-575 is rather less detailed, though he has picked out a further error which I had missed, and which will be subject to another e-rratum post soon. However, he also asks the question at the end: “…the Didascalia apostolorum is to be seen as ‘living literature’. I would add ‘lived in’ literature: widely diffused in the ancient Churches and transcribed in Syriac-speaking Christianity up to modern times. So it was read, but who actually read it?” In a way this is the same question asked by Maria Doerfler. Wickham goes on: “It would be good to have its most recent translator write a second book to tell us.” Another book? Hardly, though I should certainly consider this, as it goes to the heart of the whole question of the legitimacy of the classification of church orders.

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