The Teaching also can guide us regarding false teachers, and it does so in a surprising way. While it commends strongly the ministry of hospitality, it uses equally strong language for those teachers who prey upon the kindness of believers. It sets the limit on traveling teachers' stays in believers' homes at one or two nights. Also, in accord with Jesus' teaching, such traveling itinerants were to be compensated by meeting their physical needs. With a refreshing straightforwardness, however, the Didachist admonishes concerning guest teachers: "But if he asks for money, he is a false prophet." One wonders what the Didachist would say today if he could witness the tearful requests for monetary gifts that come from some of our modern day "prophets." And what would early Christians think of preachers today who demand a certain fee for preaching at a church or conference?The author's locus standi reveals itself subtly, however:
Many writers have noticed a "primitive simplicity" in the way that the Teaching describes the pastoral ministry in local assemblies. One finds in it no elaborate hierarchy of "bishops, priests, and deacons" such as developed in the second century.Umm, that "elaborate hierarchy" is found in the New Testament itself. And even if one goes with those who would consign 1 Timothy and Titus to pseudonymity (claims that rest on very slender evidence, I'd say), the Letter to the Philippians mentions bishops. And, no matter, these are all canonical, authoritative scripture.
Quibbles aside, a neat piece!