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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.
The Pastoral and Petrine epistles stem from a slightly later time, when authority in the Christian movement was based on the prerogatives of office rather than on prophetic powers." Crossan observes the following on the text of the Didache (The Birth of Christianity, p. The Didache, then, was a small text, fifth among others mostly larger than itself, lost in a small library in the Fener section of Istanbul, halfway up the west side of the Golden Horn.
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Especially important are two Greek fragments, Papyrus Oxyrhynchus 1782, dated to the "late fourth century" and published by Greenfell and Hunt in 1922 (12-15).
These tiny scraps, about two inches by two inches apiece, contain verses 1:3c-4a and 2:7-3:2.
Earlier Coptic and Ethiopic versions also exist for a few chapters of this text.
Stephen Patterson, on the contrary, considers it the end of an earlier edition of the Didache, which concluded precisely at 12:2 (199-324).
The assumption that the scribe's copy of the Didache actually ended with Did 12.2a, though such cannot be absolutely dismissed, is thus an unnecessary and excessive extrapolation. the Didache may derive from a rural rather than an urban situation.
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.