DIDACHE CHAPTER 3: LIFE IN THE COMMUNITY
APOSTLES AND PROPHETS c oNce rNiNg apostles and prophets,p act according to the Gospel’s teaching.q Receive every apostle as the Lord.r He should not stay for more than a single day, or two days if necessary. But if he remains for three days, he is a false prophet. When he leaves, let the apostle receive nothing except bread, until he fnds a place to stay. But if he asks for money, he is a false prophet.r Do not test or judge any prophet who speaks in the Spirit. Every other sin will be forgiven, but this sin will not be forgiven.s And not everyone who speaks in the Spirit is a prophet, but only he who follows the ways of the Lord. From his behavior, then, you will know a false prophet from a true prophet.t Any prophet who orders a meal in Spirit will not eat from it, but if he does eat of it, he is a false prophet. Any prophet who teaches the truth, but does not do the things he teaches, is a false prophet. Every true prophet, if he performs a worldly mystery of the Church, but does not teach others to do likewise, he must not be judged by you. He has his judgment in the presence of God, as with the prophets of old. If anyone says in the Spirit, “Give me money,” do not listen to him.u But if he tells you to give to others who are in need, let no one judge him.
HOSPITALITY TO TRAVELERS re ce ive everyone who comes in the name of the Lord.v Examine him and learn the nature of his situ- ation. If he is only passing through, help him as much as you can, but he must not stay with you more than two or three days. If he wishes to settle with you and knows a trade, let him work and earn his bread.w If he does not know a trade, use your judgment to decide how he should live as a Christian among you, but not in idleness. If he will not do this, he is trafcking upon Christ.x Beware of such men.
SUPPORTING GOD’S MINISTERS e ve ry true prophet who desires to settle among you is worthy of his food. Likewise, a true teacher, like the worker, deserves his food.y Take every frstfruit of the winepress and of the threshing foor, of your oxen and of your sheep, and give as the frstfruit to the prophets, for they are your high priests.z But if you do not have a prophet, give your frstfruits to the poor. If you make bread, take the frstfruit and give according to the commandment. Likewise, when you open a jug of wine or oil, take the frstfruit and give to the prophets. And so with money, and clothing, and every possession—take the frstfruit, as it seems appropriate to you, and give according to the commandment.
THE SACRIFICE gaTher together each Sunday,a break bread and give thanks, frst confessing your sins, that your sacrifce may be pure. And let no man, having a disagreement with his brother, join you until they have been reconciled, that your sacrifce may not be defled.b For it was this sacrifce that was spoken of by the Lord: “In every place and at every time ofer me a pure sacrifce;c for I am a great king, says the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations.”d
CHURCH LEADERS ap p oiNT for yourselves bishops and deacons who are worthy of the Lord: men who are meek and not lovers of money, and who are honeste and proven. For they also perform the service of the prophets and teachers.f Therefore, do not hold them in contempt, for they are honorable men along with the prophets and teachers.
COMMUNITY DISCIPLINE re p rove one another, not in anger but in peace, as you fnd in the Gospel. Shun anyone who has sinned against his neighbor; do not say a word to him until he repents.g But say your prayers, and give your alms, and do everything according to the Gospel of our Lord.h
p 1 Cor. 12:28; Eph. 3:5. q Mat. 7:15f, 10:40-41; Luke 10:4f. r Mat. 10:40; John 13:20. s Mat. 12:31. t 2 Pet. 2:1; John 4:1. u Mat. 10:8. v Ps. 118:26; Mat. 21:9. w 2 Tess. 3:10; Acts 18:3. x 1 Tim. 6:5. y Mat 10:10; 1 Tim. 5:18. z Deut. 18:1-5. Rev. 1:10. b Mat. 5:23. c Mal. 1:11. d Mal. 1:14. e 1 Tim. 3:2-13; Tit. 1:5-9. f Eph. 4:11-12. g Mat. 5:22-26, 18:15-35. h Mat. 6:1-15.