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A Coptic papyrus containing Didache 10:3b-12:2a, dated to the end of the fourth or start of the fifth century, was bought in 1923 for what was then the British Museum and catalogued as British Library Oriental Manuscript 9271. They conclude that "this sheet was originally cut from a roll of papyrus in order to serve as a double-leaf in a codex," but instead it was used "as a space for scribal exercises" (87).
It was, in other words, a rather casual copying of that section of the Didache for purposes of writing practice.
It bears no date itself, nor does it make reference to any datable external event, yet the picture of the Church which it presents could only be described as primitive, reaching back to the very earliest stages of the Church's order and practice in a way which largely agrees with the picture presented by the NT, while at the same time posing questions for many traditional interpretations of this first period of the Church's life. Traces of the use of this text, and the high regard it enjoyed, are widespread in the literature of the second and third centuries especially in Syria and Egypt.
Fragments of the Didache were found at Oxyrhyncus (P. It was used by the compilator of the Didascalia (C 2/3rd) and the Liber Graduun (C 3/4th), as well as being absorbed in toto by the Apostolic Constitutions (C c. Patterson comments on the dating of the Didache (The Gospel of Thomas and Jesus, p.
The Didache is written from the view point of a community leadership that distrusts, and yet respects, Christian prophets, one that wishes the prophets to leave town as quickly as possible, yet would have them welcomed in town when they arrive.
That is very important confirmation for the basic accuracy of Codex Hierosolymitanus 54, given the gulf of centuries between it and the earlier fragments. Mirecki offer a photographic reproduction along with an excellent transcription, translation, and commentary on this document.
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