Here's a fun little snippet from Patrick Madrid's Envoy Forum between Catholic apologist Dr. Art Sippo, and a Reformed Protestant named Algo, armed with a Bible and history.
Sippo:As for teachings of St. Paul that were not inscripturated, it is very interesting that the oldest Christian text which is not pat of the NT is the book called the Didache. This book has lots of information on local Gentile churches founded by wandering Apostles and led by local bishops and deacons who were to be considered "prophets and teachers" in the local church. This directly parallels the usage in 1Cor 12:28. I submit that the contents of the Didache actually represent a look into the Church order and discipline of a community in the Pauline tradition. It includes confession of sin, the Eucharist as a sacrifice, a simple Church order, fixed prayers for public worship, and fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays. Sound familiar?
Algo: "It includes":"confession of sin"
Didache:"At the church meeting you must confess your sins, and not approach prayer with a bad conscience. That is the way of life." This is hardly a description of the sacrament of confession. It is in fact found in scripture. James 5:16 (ESV) Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
"It includes":"the Eucharist as a sacrifice"
Didache:"On every Lord's Day—his special day (Literally), "On every Lord's Day of the Lord."—come together and break bread and give thanks, first confessing your sins so that your sacrifice may be pure. Anyone at variance with his neighbor must not join you, until they are reconciled, lest your sacrifice be defiled. For it was of this sacrifice that the Lord said, "Always and everywhere offer me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great King, says the Lord, and my name is marveled at by the nations."
The sacrifice mentioned here is the sacrifice of the person as is described in Scripture: Romans 12:1 (ESV) I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship.
"It includes": "a simple Church order"
I'm not sure what you mean by this. If you mean a simple Liturgy that looks correct. If you mean order as in Authority notice that there is a mention of two offices "elected by the community "yourselves". No mention of the office of "Priest" or "Pope". This is very similar to Jerome's description.
Didache: "You must, then, elect for yourselves bishops and deacons who are a credit to the Lord, men who are gentle, generous, faithful, and well tried. For their ministry to you is identical with that of the prophets and teachers."
"It includes": "fixed prayers for public worship"
Didache: "8 Your fasts must not be identical with those of the hypocrites. They fast on Mondays and Thursdays; but you should fast on Wednesdays and Fridays. You must not pray like the hypocrites, but "pray as follows" as the Lord bid us in his gospel:
"Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name; your Kingdom come; your will be done on earth as it is in heaven; give us today our bread for the morrow; and forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but save us from the evil one, for yours is the power and the glory forever."
The author is referring to: Matthew 6:5-6 (ESV)Mt 6:5 (ESV) "And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. 6 But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.
The passage does not instruct the readers to pray "fixed prayers for public worship" but "pray as follows" then quoting Matt 6 which instructs to pray in private "go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret"
"it includes": "and fasting on Wednesdays and Fridays."
Notice that this is distinguishing the fasts of whatever sect produced this document from another sects fasts.Does your church continue to fast on Wed.? If this is an apostolic directive then why not?