Satanology of the Apostolic Fathers: The Didache

Scholarly consensus dates the Didache at the end of the first century.¹ Although the Didache shares a Jewish ‘Two Ways’ textual source with the Epistle of Barnabas² (represented in Qumran texts such as the ‘Community Rule’ or ‘Manual of Discipline’ 1QS, 4QSa-j, 5Q11, 5Q13), it has treated this source very differently to Barnabas. Whereas Barnabas adopted and amplified the supernatural evil found in the Two Ways text, the Didache has eliminated it. This is immediately apparent from a comparison of the opening of the Didache to its parallels in 1QS and Barnabas.

17 the laws of all things and he supports them in all their affairs. He created man to rule 18 the world and placed within him two spirits so that he would walk with them until the moment of his visitation: they are the spirits 19 of truth and of deceit. From the spring of light stem the generations of truth, and from the source of darkness the generations of deceit. 20 And in the hand of the Prince of Lights is dominion over all the sons of justice; they walk on paths of light. And in the hand of the Angel of 21 of Darkness is total dominion over the sons of deceit; they walk on paths of darkness. From the Angel of Darkness stems the corruption of...³

1 But let us pass on to another lesson and teaching. There are two ways of teaching and of power, the one of light and the other of darkness; and there is a great difference between the two ways. For on the one are stationed the light-giving angels of God, on the other the angels of Satan.⁴

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Bible reference(s): Matthew 4:24, Matthew 7:22, Matthew 8:16, Matthew 8:28, Matthew 8:31, Matthew 8:33, Matthew 9:32, Matthew 9:33, Matthew 9:34, Matthew 10:8, Matthew 11:18, Matthew 12:22, Matthew 12:24, Matthew 12:27, Matthew 12:28, Matthew 15:22, Matthew 17:18, Mark 1:32, Mark 1:34, Mark 1:39, Mark 3:15, Mark 3:22, Mark 5:15, Mark 5:16, Mark 5:18, Mark 6:13, Mark 7:26, Mark 7:29, Mark 7:30, Mark 9:38, Mark 16:9, Mark 16:17, Luke 4:33, Luke 4:35, Luke 4:41, Luke 7:33, Luke 8:2, Luke 8:27, Luke 8:29, Luke 8:30, Luke 8:33, Luke 8:35, Luke 8:36, Luke 8:38, Luke 9:1, Luke 9:42, Luke 9:49, Luke 10:17, Luke 11:14, Luke 11:15, Luke 11:18, Luke 11:19, Luke 11:20, Luke 13:32, John 7:20, John 8:48, John 8:49, John 8:52, John 10:20, John 10:21, 1 Corinthians 2:4, 1 Corinthians 10:20, 1 Corinthians 10:21, 1 Timothy 4:1, James 2:19, Revelation 9:20, Revelation 16:14, Revelation 18:2, 1 Chronicles 21:1, Job 1:6-9, Job 1:12, Job 2:1-7, Isaiah 14:12, Zechariah 3:1-2, Matthew 4:1-11, Matthew 12:26, Matthew 13:19, Matthew 13:38-39, Matthew 16:23, Matthew 25:41, Mark 1:13, Mark 3:23, Mark 3:26, Mark 4:15, Mark 8:33, Luke 4:2-5, Luke 4:13, Luke 8:12, Luke 10:18, Luke 11:18, Luke 13:16, Luke 22:3, Luke 22:31, John 8:44, John 13:2, John 13:27, John 17:15, Acts 5:3, Acts 10:38, Acts 13:10, Acts 26:18, Romans 16:20, 1 Corinthians 5:5, 1 Corinthians 7:5, 2 Corinthians 2:11, 2 Corinthians 11:14, 2 Corinthians 12:7, Ephesians 4:27, Ephesians 6:11, Ephesians 6:16, 1 Thessalonians 2:18, 1 Thessalonians 3:5, 2 Thessalonians 2:9, 1 Timothy 1:20, 1 Timothy 3:6, 1 Timothy 3:7, 1 Timothy 5:15, 2 Timothy 2:26, Hebrews 2:14, James 4:7, 1 Peter 5:8, 1 John 2:13, 1 John 2:14, 1 John 3:8, 1 John 3:10, 1 John 3:12, 1 John 5:18, 1 John 5:19, Revelation 2:9, Revelation 2:10, Revelation 2:13, Revelation 2:24, Revelation 3:9, Revelation 12:9, Revelation 12:12, Revelation 20:2, Revelation 20:7, Revelation 20:10

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