An epochal manuscript discovery (1873) uncovered for posterity perhaps the most primitive example of catechesis of the whole patristic period. Possibly written as early as 70 A.D., the Didache presents the practice of Christian virtue structured by the two-fold commandment of love of God and of the neighbor. The second section outlines the practice of baptism and of prayer and fasting, while the third describes Church organization -- based upon ''apostles,'' ''prophets,'' and ''teachers.'' This volume also includes several other important second-century documents: The Epistle of Barnabas, Polycarp's Epistles to the Philippians and the Martyrdom of Polycarp, the Fragments of Papias and the Epistle to Diognetus. 235 pp.
An Eighth Day View:
The Didache or The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, probably written before the end of the first century, purports to be an instruction based on sayings of the Lord and given by the Twelve Apostles to pagans who wished to become Christians.
The Epistle of Barnabas is a homily on the mistaken Judaistic conception of the Old Testament.
The Epistles consist of a covering note and a letter, which is an exhortation to the Philippians on Christian life in general. The Martyrdom of St. Polycarp is the story of this bishop of Smyrna's death at the hand of the Roman authorities in Asia for the defense of the Christian faith.
The Fragments of Papias. Papias, bishop of Hierapolis in Asia Minor, was the author of five books, entitled Exegesis of the Lord's Gospel.
The Epistle to Diognetus is an apology for Christianity, presented by an unknown writer to a pagan of high social or political rank.