The Didache is the last flowering of Judaeo-Christianity. In the second century, and especially after the suppression of the second revolt of the Jews by Hadrian in 135 CE, its decline began. The story is well documented in Edwin K. Broadhead's recent study, Jewish Ways of Following Jesus (Mohr Siebeck, Tübingen, 2010). In the mid-second century, Justin Martyr (executed in 165 CE) proudly noted in his First Apology that in his day non-Jews largely outnumbered the Jewish members of the church.
Thereafter, Judaeo-Christianity, the elder sister, sticking to the observance of the Mosaic precepts and combining it with a primitive type of faith in Jesus, progressively became a fringe phenomenon. For a while some Jewish Christians went on believing in a miraculously conceived Christ, but the remainder, while accepting the messianic status of Jesus, maintained that he was the normal son of Joseph and Mary, the charismatic teacher and prophet of biblical tradition. They had the unpleasant experience of falling between two stools, or as St Jerome's sharp pen puts it in a letter to St Augustine: "While they wish to be both Jews and Christians, they are neither Jews, nor Christians." They progressively vanished, either rejoining the Jewish fold or being absorbed in the Gentile church.
Gentile Christianity, on the other hand, having survived two centuries of persecution by the state, triumphed in the fourth century to become the official religion of the Roman Empire. In the Nicene Creed, drawn up at the Council of Nicaea in 325, it proclaimed Jesus "consubstantial with the Father"-a far cry from the "Servant of God" of the Judaeo-Christian Didache.
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