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Marked divergences in style and content as well as the presence of doublets and obvious interpolations make plain the fact that the Didache was not cut from whole cloth.
The dominant view today is that the document was composed on the basis of several independent, preredactional units which were assembled by either one or two redactors (Neiderwimmer 19-70, ET 19-52).
A Coptic papyrus containing Didache 10:3b-12:2a, dated to the end of the fourth or start of the fifth century, was bought in 1923 for what was then the British Museum and catalogued as British Library Oriental Manuscript 9271. They conclude that "this sheet was originally cut from a roll of papyrus in order to serve as a double-leaf in a codex," but instead it was used "as a space for scribal exercises" (87).
It was, in other words, a rather casual copying of that section of the Didache for purposes of writing practice.
These tiny scraps, about two inches by two inches apiece, contain verses 1:3c-4a and 2:7-3:2.
It "speaks principally to rural milieus converted early on in Syria and Palestine and no doubt furnishing the first Christian communities outside of cities" (128).
Kurt Niederwimmer, however, writing in a major German series, considered it still possible that "the Didache could derive from an urban milieu," but he agreed that it was not from the great metropolis of Antioch (80).
It is not enough, in any case, simply to note the mention of "firstfruits" in Didache 13:3-7, since that could indicate urban-based landowners.
My own preference for a rural over an urban setting comes not from those few verses but from the Didache's rhetorical serenity, ungendered equality, and striking difference from so many other early Christian texts. Kraft says about the provenance of the Didache (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, v. 197): "That most commentators now seem to opt for Syria (Audet 1958; Hazelden Walker 1966; Rordorf and Tullier 1978) or Syro-Palestine (Niederwimmer 1977) as the place of origin is not in itself an indication that the supporting evidence is compelling; Egypt (Kraft 1965) and Asia Minor (Vokes 1970) also have their supporters." On source criticism of the Didache, Kraft observes (op. 197): There seems to be a general consensus that the 'two ways' material in chaps.