Not the most appropriate post title for the season. I got a lovely editing of the Apostolic Fathers (early church writings that overlap and just post-date the new testament) in greek yesterday. Reading through the Didache (an early work that seems to be written to prepare new converts for baptism, or at least provide a guide to conduct), I found this verse:
(Didache 8:1) Do not fast with the hypocrites. They fast on Monday and Thursday, so you fast on Wednesday and Friday*
— tr mine
I don’t have a good commentary on the Didache. I assume that those days were traditional fasting days. But for whom, for Jews, for other Christian groups, for pagans? Anyone got any information.
A bit of googling led me to an online commentary that claims it was a Jewish thing, but I’ve not come across this before, so I’d appreciate some back up. Anyone else ever heard of Monday and Thursday being traditional fasting days for Jews?
And, in addition to the geekiness of wanting to find out more about this. I confess I read the verse and had to laugh, then shouted out to my wife, who also found the specificity very amusing.
* The days of the week are given numerically (second and fifth, fourth and the day of ‘preparation’ [i.e. before the sabbath].)