My blog posts revolve around my interests and vocation as a historian: the intersection of history and contemporary church life, the intersection of history and contemporary politics, serendipitous discoveries in archives or on research trips, publications and research projects, upcoming conferences, and speaking engagements.
I also blog for two other organizations, the Canadian Baptist Historical Society and the Centre for Post-Christendom Studies.
The views expressed in these blogs represent the views of the authors, and not necessarily those of any organizations with which they are associated.
AnonymousUnknown author, Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons
My summer reading in the writings of the early church continues, and I just concluded the Didache and Epistle of Barnabus.
Both works share some things in common. They are both from the second century. The author(s) of both are unknown. The Epistle of Barnabus has a concluding section that mirrors the Didache’s “Two Ways” (the way of life and the way of death) motif. They were widely read in the early church. And much of the original texts were recovered in the nineteenth century.
A key difference is that the Epistle of Barnabus was written as a letter, and the Didache is basically an instruction manual for new converts (or perhaps a tool for evangelism for inquiring neighbors). A second difference is that the Epistle of Barnabus is filled will allegory – what appears to me as fascinating and fanciful applications of the biblical text.
What follows are some observations and takeaways from my reading.