This is the Didache. It is the teachings of the Apostles that follow after the New Testament. We Christians, as a whole, have allowed the winds of political and subversive thoughts turn into doctrine. The Didache is the oldest known written teachings of the Apostles outside of the Epistles.
We have forgotten the teachings of those that followed immediately after the Apostles, known as the Apostolic fathers. This written instruction to Christians falls between the Epistles and the works of the Apostolic Fathers. The Apostolic Fathers were the first and second generation Christian teachers immediately following the original Apostles of Christ.
Today, I share chapter one of the Didache. Whether reading or listening, find the faith of Christ.
Christians, it is time we lay aside personal interpretations and follow the words of the first Christians. In today’s cancel culture, woke, and Satan guided world (especially here in the US and Western civilization) it is vital to get back to the basics of the beginning. To quit allowing sin to be lifted up and the righteous lowered.
“Woe to you that call evil good, and good evil: that put darkness for light, and light for darkness: that put bitter for sweet, and sweet for bitter. Woe to you that are wise in your own eyes, and prudent in your own conceits. Woe to you that are mighty to drink wine, and stout men at drunkenness. That justify the wicked for gifts, and take away the justice of the just from him. Therefore as the tongue of the fire devoureth the stubble, and the heat of the flame consumeth it: so shall their root be as ashes, and their bud shall go up as dust: for they have cast away the law of the Lord of hosts, and have blasphemed the word of the Holy One of Israel. Therefore is the wrath of the Lord kindled against his people, and he hath stretched out his hand upon them, and struck them: and the mountains were troubled, and their carcasses became as dung in the midst of the streets. For all this his anger is not turned away, but his hand is stretched out still.” (Isaiah 5:20-25) Douay-Rheims
This is only the first chapter. For the next couple of weeks, I will be doing a chapter a week until the completion of the Didache.
So let us now read the words of the Apostles and pray for guidance.
THE TEACHING OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES TO THE NATIONS, KNOWN AS THE DIDACHE
INTRODUCTION T he Didache (did-a-key), Διδαχή, or Te Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, is an early Christian text that most scholars date to the frst or early second century. The Didache was highly regarded by many early Christian authors and theologians. Athanasius of Alexandria (†373) recommended it to converts, and it had a great infuence on the Apostolic Constitutions (375). Before the New Testament canon was formally settled in 692, a number of Biblical canons included the Didache; John of Damascus (†749) was also a noted supporter. The text disappeared and was lost for centuries, until it was rediscovered in 1873 by Philotheos Bryennios, Metropolitan of Nicomedia. Today it is usually included among the second-generation Christian writings known as the Apostolic Fathers. The Didache’s frst section, “The Two Ways,” is a treatise on basic Christian theology, morality, and conduct. Catechumens (converts in training) were instructed in its teachings before they were baptized. The second section deals with the administration of several sacraments: baptism, the Eucharist (holy communion), and anointing with oil. The third section discusses relations among Christians, ofering practical instruction in different types of hospitality. It also gives insight into the clerical hierarchy of the early Church, which included familiar institutions like the episcopacy (bishops) and the deaconate (deacons), and also institutions that fell out of use early on, such as prophets (those who spoke in tongues). It should be noted that, at this time in Christian history, there was no distinct class of clergy who were presbyters (priests). The Christian community was small, and there was not yet a need to delegate a bishop’s priestly duties to lower clergy; bishops personally lead the church in worship in each Christian community. The final section is a brief apocalypse, or revelation of the end times. This is notable, as the Didache was likely written even before the book of Revelation, which was not universally accepted into the New Testament until the 7th century. Even though the Didache itself did not fnd its way into the fnal canon of the New Testament, it is nevertheless a useful manual for Christian living, even today. The basic teachings of the Gospel are condensed into easily-understood pieces of wisdom and instruction, and insight is gained into frst-century Christian liturgy and worship. The Didache is a book that all Christians can fnd proft in. Scripture weaves through the text’s clear teachings, demonstrating why the book was so well-loved and appreciated by the early Church.
THE TWO WAYS T he re are two ways, one of life and one of death, and there is a great diference between the two ways.a The way of life is this. First of all, you shall love the God who made you. Second, love your neighbor as yourself.b And all things you would not want done to you, do not do to another person.c Now the teaching of these words is this. Bless those who curse you,d and pray for your enemies, and fast for those who persecute you.e For what credit is it to you, if you love those who love you?f Do the people of the nations not do the same?g But you should love those who hate you,h and you will not have an enemy.i Abstain from the desires of the fesh and of the body. j If anyone strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other cheek to him also,k and you will be perfect.l If anyone compels you to go one mile, go with him for two miles.m If anyone takes away your coat, give him your shirt also.n If anyone takes away what is yours,o do not demand its return,p for you cannot.q To anyone who asks something of you, give it to him, and do not ask for it back,r for the Father desires that gifts be given to all from His own riches. Blessed is he who gives charitably according to the commandment, for he is blameless. Woe to him who receives. If a needy man receives charity, he is blameless, but anyone is not in need will be called to account for why he accepted it. And being imprisoned, he will be interrogated concerning his actions, and he will not be released until he has repaid every last penny.s Indeed, it has also been said: Let your alms sweat in your hands, until you have discerned to whom you will give.
THE SECOND COMMANDMENT
This is the second commandment of the teaching. You shall not murder.t You shall not commit adultery.u You shall not be sexually perverse.v You shall not be sexually promiscuous.w You shall not steal.x You shall not practice magic.
You shall not practice sorcery.z You shall not murder a child by abortion, nor kill a child at birth. You shall not covet your neighbor’s things.a You shall not commit perjury.b You shall not bear false witness.c You shall not speak evil.d You shall not bear a grudge.e You shall not be double-minded nor double-tongued, for the double tongue is a snare of death.f Your words shall not be false or empty, but fulflled in your actions. You shall not be greedy,g nor a swindler, nor a hypocrite, nor bad-tempered, nor proud. You shall not plot against your neighbor. You shall not hate any man, but you shall reprove some, and you shall pray for others, and others you shall love more than your own life.
My child, fee from every evil thing, and everything that is like it. Do not be angry, for anger leads to murder. Do not be jealous, nor argumentative, nor hot tempered; for all of these things give birth to murder. My child, do not be lustful, for lust leads to sexual promiscuity. Do not speak obscenely, and do not have wandering eyes; for all of these things give birth to promiscuity. My child, do not deal in omens, since it leads to idolatry. Do not be an enchanter, nor an astrologer, nor a magician—do not even be around such things; for all of these things give birth to idolatry. My child, do not be a liar, since it leads to theft. Do not be greedy or vain; for all of these things give birth to theft. My child, be not a complainer, since it leads to blasphemy. Do not be stubborn nor evil-minded; for all of these things give birth to blasphemy. Be meek, since the meek shall inherit the earth.i Be patient, and merciful, and sincere, and quiet, and kind, and always fearing the words which you have heard.j Do not praise yourself, and do not let arrogance enter your soul. Do not join your soul with a pompous person,k but walk only with the righteous and the humble. Whatever happens to you, accept it as good, knowing that nothing is done without God. My child, remember him who proclaims to you the word of God. Remember him night and day,l and honor him as the Lord; for wherever he speaks, the Lord himself is there. Every day, seek out the company of the saints, that you may find rest in their words. Do not cause division, but bring peace between those who dispute. Judge righteously.m Do not favor one side when you reprove others. Do not be double-minded when you consider whether or not a thing should be. Do not hold out your hand to receive, only to pull your hand back when you should give. If you have gained something through your work, give it away as a ransom for your sins. Do not hesitate to give, nor complain when you give, for you know the good paymaster of your reward. Do not turn away from anyone who is in need, but share everything with your your brother, and do not say that anything is your own.n For if you all share in the heavenly things, how much more in earthly things? Do not relax your control over your son or your daughter, but from their youth teach them the fear of God. Do not give a command in your anger to your servant, who trusts in the same God, lest he ceases to fear the God who is over both of you. For he does not call men according to worldly status, but he comes to those whom the Spirit has prepared. And you who are servants, be obedient to your masters as to God, in respect and fear.o Hate all hypocrisy, and everything that is not pleasing to the Lord. Never forsake the Lord’s commandments. But you shall guard the things which you have received, neither adding to them nor taking away from them.p Confess your sins in church, and do not go to prayer with a guilty conscience. This is the Way of Life.
THE WAY OF DEATH
BuT the way of death is this. First of all, it is evil and full of curses: murder, adultery, lust, promiscuity, theft, idolatry, magical arts, witchcraft, robbery, false testimony, hypocrisy, duplicity, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, greed, foul language, jealousy, arrogance, pride, and boasting.q Persecutors of good men, hating truth, loving a lie, not knowing the reward of righteousness, not adhering to the good nor to good judgment, alert to evil rather than to good; neither gentle nor patient; loving worthless things,s pursuing a reward, not having mercy on the poor, not working for the downtrodden, not recognizing the God who made them, murderers of children, corrupters of God’s creation, turning away from the needy, oppressing the aficted, advocates of the rich, unjust judges of the poor—sinful in every way! May you be delivered, my children, from all these things.
Beware, lest anyone lead you astray from this way of righteousness, for he teaches apart from God. For if you can bear the whole yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect; but if you cannot, do as much as you can.
Corresponding Scriptures to the first chapter:
a Jer. 21:8; Mat. 7:13. b Lev. 19:18; Mat. 22:37-39. c Mat. 7:12. d Luke 6:28; Mat. 5:44. e Luke 6:27-28; Mat. 5:44. f Luke 6:32. g Luke 6:33; Mat. 5:46-47. h Luke 6:27; Mat. 5:44. i 1 Pet. 3:13. j 1 Pet. 2:11. k Mat. 5:39; Luke 6:29. l Mat. 5:48, 19:21. m Mat. 5:41. n Mat. 5:40. o Mat. 5:42; Luke 6:30. p Luke 6:30. q Mat. 5:39. r Luke 6:30; Mat. 5:42. s Mat. 5:25, 18:34; Luke 12:58. t Exod. 20:15(13). u Exod. 20:13(14). v Lit. “You shall not corrupt boys.” w Deut. 23:17. x Exod. 20:14(15). y Deut. 18:10.
z Deut. 18:10. n Mat. 5:40. o Mat. 5:42; Luke 6:30. p Luke 6:30. q Mat. 5:39. r Luke 6:30; Mat. 5:42. s Mat. 5:25, 18:34; Luke 12:58. t Exod. 20:15(13). u Exod. 20:13(14). v Lit. “You shall not corrupt boys.” w Deut. 23:17. x Exod. 20:14(15). y Deut. 18:10. i Ps. 37:11; Mat. 5:5. j Isa. 66:2. k Rom. 12:16; Jas. 2:2-3. l Heb. 13:7. m Deut. 1:16-17; Prov. 31:9.
n Acts 4:32. o Eph. 6:1-9; Col. 3:18–4:1. p Deut. 4:2, 12:32. q Mat. 15:19; Rom. 1:29; Gal. 5:20. r Rom. 12:9. s Ps. 4:2; Isa. 1:23. t Epistle of Barnabas 19:8.