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The Didache

Annotated Edition
Translation and Notes by Tim Sauder
Note: The comments and annotations are those of the translator, Tim Sauder, and do not necessarily reflect the views of Scroll Publishing Co.

Chapter One
There are two ways: one of life and one of death; and the difference between the two ways is great. The way of life is this: first, you should love God, who made you; secondly, love your neighbor as yourself; and whatever things you do not desire to be done to you, do not do them to someone else. Now the words of this teaching are this: Bless those who curse you and pray for your enemies, and fast for those who are persecuting you. For what credit is it if you love those who love you? Do not the Gentiles do the same thing? But love those hating you, and you will not have an enemy. Keep yourself from fleshly and bodily cravings. If anyone hits you on the right cheek, turn the other one to him also. And you will be acting maturely. If someone should force you to go one mile, go with him two. If someone takes your coat, give him your shirt also. If anyone should take from you what is yours, do not demand that he give it back, for you cannot. Give to everyone asking you and do not refuse, for the Father desires to give to everyone from His own gifts. Blessed is the one who gives according to the commandment, for he is innocent. But the one who receives without need shall account for his receiving. Furthermore, being held, he shall be examined concerning what he has done, and he shall not be released until he has given back the last cent. It has been said concerning this, "Let your money sweat in your hands until you know whom you should give it to."

Thoughts a.If Christians saw this as the focal point of beliefthe love of God and otherswould that
change the world for the better, or would it be impractical to achieve? b.Do you think the early church took the words of Jesus seriously and tried to apply them? Should we do the same? c.How can we apply this to present situations? Have you thought in your own life of a situation where you were wronged and you did not retaliate?

d.If Christians focused on being like Jesus, would this be practical in our modern society? Or is it more important just to focus on being forgiven and live normal like everyone else? e.When we give, do we really think in terms of giving to others? Or do we just put the money into the churches hands to distribute? What did the early church do in this regard?

The two ways Jer.21:8:

The way of life Matt. 22:37,39 Matt. 7:12 The Explanation of Non resistant Love Luke 6:27 Matt. 5:44 Matt 5:46 Self control Matt. 5:39

Chapter Two
And this is the second commandment of the teaching: you shall not kill; you shall not commit adultery; you shall not corrupt children, nor practice sexual deviation; you shall not steal; nor practice calling on spiritual guides; nor use sorcery; you shall not procure an abortion, nor practice infanticide; you shall not covet your neighbors goods. You shall not commit perjury, nor accuse someone falsely; you shall not speak evil nor hold a grudge. You shall not be double minded nor double tongued, for the double tongue is the snare of death. Your word shall not be false or empty, but do what you say. You shall not be covetous or extortionate, or hypocritical, or malicious or proud. You shall not plan evil against your neighbor. You should not hate anyone; but you should reprove some, and you should pray for some, and you should love some more then your own life.

a.Pelagius of the fourth century was accused by Augustine of being a heretic. Pelagius said he was

following the teachings of the early church. His saying was "if I ought to do something and am commanded to do it by the Lord, then it is in my power to do it." Now is there anything here that we can not do if we desire to obey and do it? b.If Christians were known to keep their word, would people want to do business with them? c. When we hate someone, do we see this as wrong and not the way of Jesus? Did the early church emphasize doctrine about atonement or living the Christian life? d. Do video games and murders on TV fit into the corrupting of children? Is it possible to apply this to modern culture? e. In our pluralistic society we are afraid to talk about sexual deviation. The early church was not. Is it important to deal with modern issues in order to promote the life of Christ in us and in the Body of Christ, the Church?

Matt. 5:33

Chapter Three
My child, flee from evil and from every appearance of evil. Do not be ruled by your passions, for this leads to murder. Neither be jealous, quarrelsome, or quick- tempered. For murders are born out of such things. Do not let yourself develop lust, for this leads to sexual immorality. Do not be foul-mouthed, nor raise your eyes, for this leads to adultery. My child, do not regard omens, for this leads to idolatry. Do not be a sorcerer, nor be involved in astrology or magic purifications. Do not desire to see these things, for that is how idolatry comes. My child, do not be a liar, for lying leads to thievery. Do not be fond of money and do not try to build your own image, for that also leads to thievery. My child, do not be a grumbler, for it leads to blasphemy. Do not be self-willed nor entertain evil thoughts, for that is how blasphemy starts. Be meek, for the meek shall inherit the earth. Be patient and long suffering, devoid of evil, gentle and good, and trembling continually at the words that you have heard. Do not exalt yourself nor act presumptuously. Do not join yourself with the proud, but walk with the righteous and humble men. Accept everything that happens to you as good, knowing that nothing happens apart from God.

The early church was surrounded by pagan religions and eastern religious thought patterns no different then today. One of the biggest temptations was to think that an object such as an idol or statue had power in itself to bring about a persons wishes. Pagans thought that If an object were blessed by a pagan priest, it had now received power. The Catholic church brought this pagan idea into the Roman and eastern churches. Today, millions of

people set up statues up in their homes and bow before them. This is idolatry, and with it comes a curse from God. Trusting objects blessed or holy water sprinkled is not the same as trusting in God. Until this is seen as pagan, there is no hope of Gods blessing on a city, nation or people. a.There is a secret that the early church knew and later was lost. The secret is that we are on earth to develop the character of who we are for all eternity. Jesus death gives us real power to change into who we should become. The question is: "Have I been led to believe that these life changes are not importantthat the only important thing is being forgiven? b.Does my church teach that we should change and have the power to live like Jesus? c. If the early church strived to follow this teaching, what would it have been like to have lived among them? d. Are pride and humility important elements that are taught in our churches? e. The writer says we should accept things that happen to us. Does this mean God plans it? Or does it mean various factors are involved, but with Gods permission? Can He make good come out of it?

Romans 8:28 Matt. 5:5

Chapter Four
My child, you should remember night and day the one who speaks to you the Word of God, and honor him as you would the Lord; for where the delegated authority speaks, there is the Lord. And you should seek every day the presence of the saints, in order that you may be supported by their words. You should not desire division, but make peace between those quarreling. Judge righteously; do not favor anyone in reproving transgressions. Do not be double-minded as to whether anything should or should no be. Do not be one who stretches out his hand to receive but withdraws it in giving. Give a ransom for your sins if you have it to give. Do not hesitate to give, nor give in a grumbling manner, for you know who is the good Paymaster who rewards? You should not turn away the needy, but share all things with your brother, not saying that anything is your own. For if we are sharers in the eternal things, much more should we be in the physical things. Do not withhold your hand from your son or your daughter, but from their youth teach them the fear of God. Do not give orders to your slave or your handmaidenthose who hope in the same Godwhen

you are bitter, lest they stop fearing God who is over you both. For He does not come to call men according to their social status, but He calls those whom the Spirit has prepared. And you slaves submit in fear and reverence to your masters as Gods delegated authority over you. You should hate all hypocrisy and all that is not pleasing to the Lord. Do not forsake the commandments of the Lord, and keep (the teachings) you have received, not adding and not taking away. In church, you should confess your faults; and do not go to prayer with an evil conscience. This is the Way of Life.

Unlike the money-oriented churches of today, the early church did not believe in tithingas is taught in many churches today. They did not believe that only ten percent belonged to the Lord. Rather, they believed that all belonged to the Lord. It was your personal responsibility to seek God as to what you should do in the area of giving. The church meetings were not a place to collect money and let the elite or select decide where it should go. People today have taken no responsibility in the area of giving. They have given it over to others. In this passage, we see an almost communal atmosphere in the early church, one of voluntary sharing of material things. Even Lenin saw this model in his communist ideas. However, without the change in the hearts of people, it is unworkable. What this means is that all giving must be from the heart, God directed, and God inspired. This passage adds to the understanding of what the church should believe and be. This has largely been lost in todays church. We have added and added and added so much to the simplicity of Scripture, that we do not have anything like the practice of the early church. Rather, we have rules and doctrine in our heads. Churches and denominations are known not for what type of people and Christians they produce in practice but for what they believe about doctrines and things that do not affect their way of life. a. Do we have the type of church that they had in the first centuries? b. Would you like to belong to a church that focused on the importance of seeking how and who to give to? Or one that spends more time in meetings listening to someone talk about doctrines that are not applied? c. In reading this chapter, what applications are there for modern times? d. In your church, do you know where your money goes? Do you feel your responsibility ends when you put it in the offering plate? e. We know that Jesus was not happy with what was happening with money in the Jewish system of the temple. Do you think He is happy with what is happening today in our churches? f. Since the early church had no buildings, do you think the money was better shared for the needs of people? g. Would it be practical to let people be led by God to give instead of being manipulated by church leaders?

Acts 4:32

Chapter Five
But the Way of Death is this: first of all, it is evil and full of curses, lusts, adulteries, murders, thefts, idolatries, witchcrafts, sorceries, robberies, false witnesses, hypocrisies, doublemindedness, fraud, arrogance, boastfulness, jealousies, foul speech, pride, persecutors of the good, haters of truth, lovers of a lie, not regarding the reward of the righteous, not holding to the good or to the righteous judgment, spending sleepless nights not for good, but for wickedness; far from whom is gentleness and patience; loving useless things, seeking rewards, unmerciful to the poor, not helping the hardworking person, not regarding the one who made them, child murderers, destroyers of Gods creation, turning away the needy, oppressing the distressed, wrongfully assisting the rich, unjust judges of the poor, altogether sinful. May you be delivered, my children, from all of these things?

Consequences comes to mind. The problem with modern society is that, as a Church, we have not presented the world view that all things have consequences both here and in the spiritual world to follow. Children would not go into high schools in America and kill fellow students if they knew what happened to themselves in the spiritual world. The idea that we place ourselves in the spiritual world with the same type of people that we become, is an important spiritual truth that has been lost. Our world is bewitched by Hollywood. The branch of the holly tree is what is the wand of witches is made from. It has been named Hollywood by the Lord because it is stretching its wand over the whole earth and we see the evil literally in our homes and minds all over the world. Murders and evil go into peoples minds on a daily basis, and we call it entertainment. The world is watching the church, and the church is watching TV. a.If we brought persons from this early church into our culture and church, what would be their reaction? b.Would the Christians of the first centuries just say " I am forgiven, so now I can do anything I please." Or, "You have little understanding of what the Lord wants, you who call yourselves followers of Christ?"

Rev. 22:15

Chapter Six
See that no one misleads you from the pathway of this teaching, since it would be contrary to God. For if you are able to bear the whole yoke of the Lord, you should be mature. If you are not able, do what you can.

Concerning meat, do what you can; but keep from that which is offered to idols, for it is the worship of dead gods.

a.Has the church been mislead from this type of teaching as the gospel? b.Since most churches have only gone back to the Reformation, with its minor alteration of the Catholic practices for church, do we have the right to experience new forms of church which would be like the early church?

Acts 15:29

Chapter Seven
And concerning baptism, in this manner baptize: when you have gone over these things, baptize in the name of the Father, and the Son, and the Holy Spirit, in running water. If you do not have running water, baptize in other water. If you are not able to use cold water, use warm. And if you have neither, pour water on the head three times, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And before baptism, the one baptizing and the one to be baptized should fast, as well as any others who are able. And you should instruct the one being baptized to fast one or two days before.

The early church was much more flexible on the method of baptism then most groups of today. The importance was the meaning of it, not the method. Only the Mennonite church seems to be that flexible because the first Anabaptists poured water on their heads to baptize. It was the middle of winter in Switzerland so they were practical. I keep wondering if the early church really understood what this formula was all about? The name of the Father, Son and Holy Spirit was the Old Testament name for God, YHWH or Yahweh, the sacred name of God. This name is the name for all three aspects of God. Why would we not use this in baptism? It is the name. Father is not a name. Son is not a name and neither is Holy Spirit. a.Does my church consider the method more important then the meaning of baptism? b.Could we use the real name of God when we baptize and not talk about it?

Matt 28:19

Chapter Eight

And let not your fasts be with those of the hypocrites, for they fast on Mondays and Thursdays, but you fast Wednesdays and Fridays. Do not pray as the hypocrites but as the Lord commanded in His gospel. Pray like this: Our Father in heaven, hallowed is Your name, Your kingdom come and Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us our daily bread for today and forgive our debts as we forgive those who owe us. Please do not lead us into a test, but deliver us from the evil one. For You have the power and the glory forever. Pray like this three times a day.

This is where we see some points we do not quite understand. Who are the hypocrites? And how are they praying differently? This seems to be a reference to the Jews. One of the points here is lets not be afraid to be different. a.If we practiced Christianity differently than others, would we be afraid of criticism? b.Have there been Christians who lived holy, but did things different in the past centuries? c.What if our home group focused on this teaching and nothing else for several months and pretended we were an early church? Would we refocus our lives to be better or worse for the experience?

Praying: Matt. 6:5 6:9-13; Luke 11:2-4

Chapter Nine
Concerning the Eucharist (communion) give thanks like this: First for the cup: We give thanks to You, our Father, for Your holy vine of David, Your servant, which You made known to us through Jesus, Your Servant. Glory to You forever. Concerning the broken bread: We give thanks to You, our Father, for the life and knowledge that You made known to us through Jesus, Your Servant. Glory to You forever. As this broken bread was scattered over the hills and was brought together becoming one, so gather Your Church from the ends of the earth into Your kingdom, for You have all power and glory forever through Jesus Christ. Do not let anyone eat or drink of your Eucharist meal except the ones who have been baptized

into the name of the Lord. For the Lord said concerning this: "do not give that which is holy to the dogs."

It is obvious that this writing reflects a time in the life of the church when they were still getting together for a group meal and that the Lords supper was part of that experience. This alone makes us believe that this writing is very early. The fact that Johns Gospel is not used, is very significant. He died around 96 AD, and therefore we see in this little teaching a powerful reflection of what the early church, or as we can call it primitive church, life was really like. a.Is the concept of a meal included in my church understanding of the Lords supper? b.Is the experience of sharing a meal valuable in a relationship setting to experience the presence of the Lord with us? c.Why do you think the church got away from this practice?

Chapter Ten
After you are filled, give thanks like this: We thank you, Holy Father, for Your Holy name which you made to dwell in our hearts, and for knowledge and faith and immortality as You made known to us through Jesus, Your Servant. Glory to You forever. You, Lord Almighty, created all things to show forth Your name. You give both food and drink to man to enjoy, and everlasting life through Your Servant. Above all, we thank You because You are mighty. Glory to You forever. Remember Lord, Your Church, to deliver her from all evil and mature her in Your love. And gather her from the four winds, separated into Your kingdom which You have made for her, because You have the power and glory forever. Let grace come and this world pass away. Hosanna to the Son of David! If anyone is holy, let him come. If anyone is not, let him repent. Maranatha (Lord come). Amen Allow the prophets now to give thanks as they desire.

The words like this lead us to believe that it is a suggested prayer, and not to be used verbatim. The most important part of this chapter is the spontaneous prophetic additions which are allowed. Today, almost all church meetings are controlled. So there is little opportunity for God to speak through others in the congregation. We are so afraid of losing control in our meetings. What if this or that happened? The synagogue style of worship was the first form of the church. Men sat separate from women, and there was freedom to talk during the meeting so that it was sometimes noisy. If you have any questions on this, attend a Jewish meeting today. They will be happy to let you. It has not changed since the early church

very much. Visitors are often allowed to share whatever they want. a.Does my church recognize prophetic people who hear from God? b.Would our church be happy to let people have freedom to speak or feel threatened by the whole experience? c.Does our church plan all the meeting, or do we allow God to speak through people who have not preplanned what they will say?

1 Cor. 16:22

Chapter Eleven
Whoever, therefore, who comes and teaches you all these things mentioned, receive him. But if the one teaching changes what has been taught to another teaching in order to destroy these things, do not listen to him. However, if his motive is to add righteousness and knowledge of the Lord, receive him as you would the Lord. Now concerning the apostles and prophets, act according to the requirements of the Gospel. Every apostle coming to you, welcome as you would the Lord. And he should not remain more than one day, and if he has a need also another. But if he remains three days, he is a false prophet. And when the apostle goes forth, he should take nothing except a loaf of bread, until he arrives at his nights lodging. If he asks for money he is a false prophet. Also, you should not test or judge and prophet speaking in the Spirit, for every sin will be forgiven, but this sin shall not be forgiven. But not everyone speaking in the Spirit is a prophet, but only if he should have a lifestyle of the Lords character. Therefore, by his lifestyle you will know a false prophet from a true prophet. And any prophet ordering a meal in the Spirit should not eat of it; otherwise he is a false prophet. And every prophet who teaches the truth but does not do what he teaches is a false prophet. But every prophet who stands the test and is genuine, even if he uses symbolic imagery in the church, so long as he does not teach others to do the same, should not be judged. His judgment comes from God, for so did the prophets of old. But whoever should say in the Spirit, "Give me money or something else," do not listen to them. But if, concerning others in need, he says, give, let no one judge him.

One of the biggest problems of the church is that we have lost the tests of spirituality. Motives are hard to

test, but fruits and results are not. Are people in ministry to make money? Many are. Do they like to have power over others and feel important? Many do. Do they drive nice cars on ministry money? Some do. Do they ask for money before giving a seminar or concert of music? Again, many do. Hudson Taylor was trying to raise money to go back to the mission field. It was not going well, and the Baptist churches were telling him what to do and how to do it, if they were going to donate the money. God spoke to him, and he raised money without strings attached. His motto became, "Gods work, done in Gods way, will not lack Gods support and Gods blessing." The organization that he started as the China Inland Mission is still alive today. The key is trusting God, not men. If He wants it done, He will both show us and provide the means to do it. a.What would happen if the church followed the principles laid down here? b.Does it really matter if we ask for money or not? Doesnt God use all means to do his work?

Chapter Twelve
Receive everyone coming in the name of the Lord. Later, by testing him, you will find out about him, where he deviates from the standard. If the one coming is just traveling through, help him as much as you can. He should not remain with you more than three days if that is necessary. But if he desires to settle among you and has a trade, let him work for his bread. But if he has no trade, you should provide for him according to your own discretion. In no way should anyone live among you unemployed as a Christian. And if he is not willing to do this, he is making a trade of Christ. Beware of this kind of person.

The early church was a moving organism, not an organization of the present day structural style. People were moving around the countryside, and the message was being heard that Christ was alive in people. The message was that He was the power behind the changed lives. As people moved around, they always had a bed to sleep in and food to eat. This was not organized as much as it was experienced out of love. The guide lines given here are practical. a.If someone wants to speak in our group and asks for money beforehand, does that mean they might have wrong motives? b.When radio and television preachers ask for money and make a living by profit- oriented organizations, is that good for the church? Do we have a right to question this? c.Should those ministering have a trade or job so that their motives are not questionable?

Ps. 118:26 Deut. 17:11

Chapter Thirteen
But every genuine prophet who desires to settle among you is worthy of his food. Likewise, every genuine teacher is worthy; like a workman, he is worthy of his food. Therefore, of all the first produce of the wine press and the threshing floor, and of the oxen and the sheep, take the first fruits and give it to the prophets. For they are your high priests. And if you do not have a prophet, give such first fruits to the poor. If you should make bread, take it and give according to the commandment. Likewise, if you have opened a jar of wine or oil, take the first fruits and give to the prophets. And also take the first fruits of your money and clothes and all your possessions. As it seems best, give according to the commandment.

Now this sounds like a popularity offering; however if giving were totally related to how much appreciation people had for the ministry of the servant of God, then we would be truly giving to the Lord. Those who hear from God and benefit others through their ministry would advance. And those who have a title of pastor etc. would have no value and would be eliminated from support financially if not ministry. This is very practical rather then seeing it as not practical. It goes back to people hearing from God to give rather then being legalized into it by others or the group. Again the Old Testament style of taking care of the priestly office is what is talked about here, showing that this writing was likely authored by a Jewish Christian person who understood the principle he was talking about. a.If we practiced giving free style to those who blessed us through their ministry, rather then legally, would anyone advance into full time ministry? b.Would anyone be eliminated from ministry? c.Who would object to this practice the most?

Deut. 18:4

Chapter Fourteen
And when coming together on the Lords own day, break bread and give thanks after confessing your transgressions. In that manner, your sacrifice will be pure. And do not let anyone coming with a quarrel against a brother join you until they get reconciled, in order that your sacrifice is not impure. For this has been spoken of by the Lord, in every place and time offer me a pure sacrifice, for I am a great King, says the Lord, and My name is wonderful among the nations."
Application: One important point in this chapter is right relationships in the church before we worship or do anything.

Having something or some secret anger in your heart towards a brother or sister in the Lord will make it so your prayers are not answered. This works in a church or in a family or with a husband and wife. Secrets make a family dysfunctional. Secret feelings make a church ineffective to grow. The sacrifice is not like the medieval Catholic church thinking of the mass, but the sacrifice of thanksgiving in worship. It is in the experience of worship in all its expressions that the presence of the Lord comes, and in that presence God speaks to us. Why do we meet as a church? Is God turned on by hymns, songs and preaching? We go to church to hear the voice of God collectively. Right relationships and clean hearts make that possible. We should leave the church meeting saying how awesome it was what God said to us today through the whole experience. a.Could we have a greater experience of Gods presence in our church? b.Are there people in the church we attend who dont get along or hold things against each other? c.Is this important to remedy or should we do business as usual or even ask some to leave the church?

Mal. 1:11

Chapter Fifteen
Appoint for yourselves, therefore bishops and deacons worthy of the Lord: gentle men, not lovers of money, true and approved. For they minister also to you the ministry of prophets and teachers. Therefore, do not despise them, for they are to be honored among you along with the prophets and teachers. Do not reprove one another in anger, but in peace, as we have been shown in the Gospel. And do not let anyone speak to a person who is unloving to his neighbor, nor let him hear a word from you, until he repents. Pray and give and live as you have found in the Gospel of our Lord.

There is nothing wrong with being trained or educated in the things of God. As has been said; "A heart strangely warmed is no excuse for a head strangely empty." The problem with the modern church is that we assume that education equals a place in the church structure, but it is not guarantee of spiritual maturity. The church has been destroyed by theological degrees. Most false ideas came into the church by those who studied them from men. Think it through, no false idea of doctrine has ever come from hearing Gods voice individually or collectively. In the next chapter, we will share one such false idea. The other thing we notice here is that the offices of the church were functional, not structural. The word bishop meant overseer or just plain leader. The word deacon was a servant leader to help with functional events, like cleaning up after the meal. The overseers gave oversight, the deacons served, the prophets

prophesied, and the teachers taught. Notice there is no other positions mentioned. There were as no cardinals, popes, arch deacons, or any other wild inventions that took hundreds of years in the making, and which were brought into the church to control people. It goes back to the principle I mentioned earlier. Honor those who minister from God. Give enough freedom of expression for people to develop their gifts of serving in the church. Give gifts of monetary means to those who are recognized as having God given talents and need, so they will have more time to study or to serve. Evaluate character and motive and remove those for a time who need to adjust this. It is so easy to lay hands on someone, but it is hard to lay hands off. People should not see that ministry today is a ticket to power, authority or position forever. a.Has my church invented positions that are not in the early church? b.Does my church have a structure that controls what we should think or do, from some headquarters or outside force or body? c.Do we have decision making times in our church to hear God and choose leaders for short term ministry? d.Are their leaders in our church who think they are placed there by God and yet they have not gotten the respect or approval of the people to whom they are ministering?

Chapter Sixteen
Watch over your life. Do not let your lamps be extinguished or your body unclothed, but be ready; for you do not know the hour in which our Lord comes. Assemble yourselves together frequently to seek the things that benefit your souls, for all the time of your faith will not profit you unless you are perfect at the last. For in the last days, false prophets and seducers will increase, turning the sheep into wolves; and love will be turned into hate. For lawlessness will increase and they will hate and persecute and betray one another. And then the deceiver of the world will appear as though he were the Son of God, and he shall do signs and wonders and the earth shall be delivered into his hands; and he will commit immoralities which have never been done since the age began. Then shall the race of men come into the fire of proving trial and many shall be made to stumble and perish. But those who remain established in their faith shall be saved under the very curse. And then the signs of truth shall be revealed. First, a sign spread out in heaven; then a sign of the sound of a trumpet; and third, the resurrection of the dead, but not all of the dead. But as it was said, "the Lord shall come and all His Holy Ones with Him." Then the world shall see the Lord coming in the clouds of heaven. -size: 10pt"> Tim Sauder

The lamps he is talking about here is the light of Christ in our lives. The deeds and fruit we produce are

the clothing we will wear in the spiritual world. God gave me a dream of this one time. I had just committed a sin, and I knew it. In my sleep, God showed me that I was clothed in rags. When I awoke, I understood the meaning and repented of my sin. Our lives are the building of our future spiritual life in the world to come. Missing this, we miss the whole meaning of becoming Christians. God does not want to save us from the consequences of sin but from the hold of sin in our lives. The reason the early church stressed the risen Lord as the message, is that He was alive in them to change their character and life. He was not there just to save them from the consequences of sin through His death, although He surely did that as well. Last Days: We have been in the last days for 2000 years, so dont forget this fact. What seems to be given here is the Matt. 24 version of events. The interpreting axiom applies here; If the plain sense makes common sense, seek no other sense. If you have to manipulate the Bible to get some strange plan of events then it is probably man made ideas. a.Do you think Jesus wanted to come sooner, and we didnt listen or obey? b.Does my church teach false views of the second coming which make men and their ability to interpret more important than what the church should be and do? c.What does the Bible tell me, (us) to do or be, to speed up the Lords return?

Matt. 24:14 24:29-31 Thess. 2: 3-8 1 Tim. 4:1 Jude 18-20

Note: You are free to copy and paste this translation of the Didache for non-commercial use. All we ask is that you print the copyright notice with it, together with the location of our web page: www.scrollpublishing.com. If you would like to contact Tim Sauder, the translator of the Didache, he can be contacted at: sauderdesign@yahoo.com.

A Historical Sketch of the Didache

The Didache was discovered by Philotheos Bryennios at Constantinople in the year 1873, but it was not published until 1883. It excited the interests of many scholars, because it was seen to be one of the roots or origins of a later work called the Apostolic Constitutions, an instructional guide for the church. The famous church historian, Philip Schaff, ranks the Didache as first among the works of the post-apostolic age.1 There are a number of reasons for this and to us outside of the New Testament. The following conclusions are drawn largely from internal evidence of language and subject matter: It is evident that at the time of composition, an itinerant group of prophets, apostles, and teachers were fluidly ministering to the churches. It appears that in some cases, localized ministries, such as bishops and deacons, had not yet been established. It is also important to note that these

itinerant ministries of apostles, prophets, and teachers were still functioning as we see them described in the pages of the New Testament. Apostles, obviously other than the original twelve, were still establishing churches. Prophets were still speaking prophetic utterances by the Holy Spirit. Teachers were moving freely among the body of believers. The second internal evidence for an early date of composition comes from the fact that only the two terms, "bishop" and "deacon", are used to designate those who ministered to the localized body. By the middle of the second century, most churches had three offices: bishop, elder, and deacon. However, during the time of Paul, the terms, "elder" and "bishop" were used interchangeably. For example, Paul used them interchangeably in Acts 20:17,28. The Didache, therefore, confirms this practice. Most scholars have now concluded that the terms, elder (presbyter), bishop (overseer), and shepherd (pastor), all originally referred to one and the same office. It is appropriate, however, to note, as does Ladd, that unity does not mean organizational uniformity, and the early Christians could have been more flexible than we are as regarding proper structure. Ladd rightly suggests that "the presbyters acted as a college," which is clear from 1 Timothy 4:14, where Timothy was ordained by "the laying on of hands of the presbytery." The Didache reveals, therefore, the initial structure of two functionariesbishops and deacons working together in the local setting. Assisting these were the numerous traveling ministries of apostles, prophets, and teachers operating in a manner such as is described in the fourth chapter of Ephesians. We find that the Didache adheres very much to the Pauline principles of church structure, with virtually no discrepancies. Another early custom alluded to by the Didache is that of the "love feast". In chapter ten, the phrase, "after you are filled," gives us reason to believe that the Eucharist (communion) was celebrated in conjunction with a common meal. This was representative of the fellowship meals of Jesus with His original twelve disciples. These early Christians meals are specifically mentioned as a Christian practice in Jude 12 and in 2 Peter 2:13. It is also alluded to by Paul in 1 Corinthians 11, where there appears to have developed some problems surrounding it. It may be because of such problems that, after Constantine, the church eventually discontinued the love feasts. But it is evident from the Didache and other early writings that they were carried on for some time after the Apostles. There is an early church simplicity which is found in the Didache that is not seen in most other ante-Nicene writings. The constant use of what appears to be the Gospel of Matthew gives attestation to the early composition and widespread use of that gospel at an early date. Tradition tells us that Thomas took only this Gospel on his missionary journey to India. It is interesting that the church of our time is being called back to the Gospel as the basis for its Christian message. Christs words and Lordship come to us in different ways. It is my desire that you will hear Him speak again through the words of this early Christian writing, the Didache (the teaching).

Tim Sauder, Translator

1. Philip Schaff, History of the Christian Church, vol.1 (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Company,1910), p.287. 2. G.E.Ladd, A Theology of the New Testament (Grand Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans Pub. Comp) p. 534.

About the Translator

Tim Sauder is a Mennonite by belief system who graduated with a degree in theology and a liberal arts degree in Biblical literature from Oral Roberts University in 1973. He did post graduate studies in Waterloo, Ontario, both in Greek and church government under the Associated Mennonite Biblical seminaries. With experience in both university evangelism and home groups, he has done church planting and has experienced failurewhich is the best teacher of all. Now focusing on what God is saying in the new millennium to the church, he offers this study to be used to open the church up to the restoration of the "tabernacle of David," which was promised at the end of the age. The new church is not to be a structure that is permanent, but like the tent of David. God wants to renew the church to be flexible. size=3>If you would like to contact the translator of the Didache, he can be contacted at: mailto: sauderdesign@yahoo.com.

The Didache
The Lord's Teaching Through the Twelve Apostles to the Nations. Chapter 1. The Two Ways and the First Commandment. There are two ways, one of life and one of death, but a great difference between the two ways. The way of life, then, is this: First, you shall love God who made you; second, love your neighbor as yourself, and do not do to another what you would not want done to you. And of these sayings the teaching is this: Bless those who curse you, and pray for your enemies, and fast for those who persecute you. For what reward is there for loving those who love you? Do not the Gentiles do the same? But love those who hate you, and you shall not have an enemy. Abstain from fleshly and worldly lusts. If someone strikes your right cheek, turn to him the other also, and you shall be perfect. If someone impresses you for one mile, go with him two. If someone takes your cloak, give him also your coat. If someone takes from you what is yours, ask it not back, for indeed you are not able. Give to every one who asks you, and ask it not back; for the Father wills that to all should be given of our own blessings (free gifts). Happy is he who gives according to the commandment, for he is guiltless. Woe to him who receives; for if one receives who has need, he is guiltless; but he who receives not having need shall pay the penalty, why he received and for what. And coming into confinement, he shall be examined concerning the things which he has done, and he shall not escape from there until he pays back the last penny. And also concerning this, it has been said, Let your alms sweat in your hands, until you know to whom you should give. Chapter 2. The Second Commandment: Grave Sin Forbidden. And the second commandment of the Teaching; You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not commit pederasty, you shall not commit fornication, you shall not steal, you shall not practice magic, you shall not practice witchcraft, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is born. You shall not covet the things of your neighbor, you shall not swear, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not speak evil, you shall bear no grudge. You shall not be double-minded nor double-tongued, for to be double-tongued is a snare of death. Your speech shall not be false, nor empty, but fulfilled by deed. You shall not be covetous, nor rapacious, nor a hypocrite, nor evil disposed, nor haughty. You shall not take evil counsel against your neighbor. You shall not hate any man; but some you shall reprove, and concerning some you shall pray, and some you shall love more than your own life. Chapter 3. Other Sins Forbidden. My child, flee from every evil thing, and from every likeness of it. Be not prone to anger, for anger leads to murder. Be neither jealous, nor quarrelsome, nor of hot temper, for out of all these murders are engendered. My child, be not a lustful one. for lust leads to fornication. Be neither a filthy talker, nor of lofty eye, for out of all these adulteries are engendered. My child, be not an observer of omens, since it leads to idolatry. Be neither an enchanter, nor an astrologer, nor a purifier, nor be willing to took at these things, for out of all these idolatry is engendered. My child, be not a liar, since a lie leads to theft. Be neither money-loving, nor vainglorious, for out of all these thefts are engendered. My child, be not a murmurer, since it leads the way to blasphemy. Be neither self-willed nor evil-minded, for out of all these blasphemies are engendered.

Rather, be meek, since the meek shall inherit the earth. Be long-suffering and pitiful and guileless and gentle and good and always trembling at the words which you have heard. You shall not exalt yourself, nor give over-confidence to your soul. Your soul shall not be joined with lofty ones, but with just and lowly ones shall it have its intercourse. Accept whatever happens to you as good, knowing that apart from God nothing comes to pass. Chapter 4. Various Precepts. My child, remember night and day him who speaks the word of God to you, and honor him as you do the Lord. For wherever the lordly rule is uttered, there is the Lord. And seek out day by day the faces of the saints, in order that you may rest upon their words. Do not long for division, but rather bring those who contend to peace. Judge righteously, and do not respect persons in reproving for transgressions. You shall not be undecided whether or not it shall be. Be not a stretcher forth of the hands to receive and a drawer of them back to give. If you have anything, through your hands you shall give ransom for your sins. Do not hesitate to give, nor complain when you give; for you shall know who is the good repayer of the hire. Do not turn away from him who is in want; rather, share all things with your brother, and do not say that they are your own. For if you are partakers in that which is immortal, how much more in things which are mortal? Do not remove your hand from your son or daughter; rather, teach them the fear of God from their youth. Do not enjoin anything in your bitterness upon your bondman or maidservant, who hope in the same God, lest ever they shall fear not God who is over both; for he comes not to call according to the outward appearance, but to them whom the Spirit has prepared. And you bondmen shall be subject to your masters as to a type of God, in modesty and fear. You shall hate all hypocrisy and everything which is not pleasing to the Lord. Do not in any way forsake the commandments of the Lord; but keep what you have received, neither adding thereto nor taking away therefrom. In the church you shall acknowledge your transgressions, and you shall not come near for your prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of life. Chapter 5. The Way of Death. And the way of death is this: First of all it is evil and accursed: murders, adultery, lust, fornication, thefts, idolatries, magic arts, witchcrafts, rape, false witness, hypocrisy, double-heartedness, deceit, haughtiness, depravity, self-will, greediness, filthy talking, jealousy, over-confidence, loftiness, boastfulness; persecutors of the good, hating truth, loving a lie, not knowing a reward for righteousness, not cleaving to good nor to righteous judgment, watching not for that which is good, but for that which is evil; from whom meekness and endurance are far, loving vanities, pursuing revenge, not pitying a poor man, not laboring for the afflicted, not knowing Him Who made them, murderers of children, destroyers of the handiwork of God, turning away from him who is in want, afflicting him who is distressed, advocates of the rich, lawless judges of the poor, utter sinners. Be delivered, children, from all these. Chapter 6. Against False Teachers, and Food Offered to Idols. See that no one causes you to err from this way of the Teaching, since apart from God it teaches you. For if you are able to bear the entire yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect; but if you are not able to do this, do what you are able. And concerning food, bear what you are able; but against that which is sacrificed to idols be exceedingly careful; for it is the service of dead gods.

Chapter 7. Concerning Baptism. And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before. Chapter 8. Fasting and Prayer (the Lord's Prayer). But let not your fasts be with the hypocrites, for they fast on the second and fifth day of the week. Rather, fast on the fourth day and the Preparation (Friday). Do not pray like the hypocrites, but rather as the Lord commanded in His Gospel, like this: Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily (needful) bread, and forgive us our debt as we also forgive our debtors. And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (or, evil); for Thine is the power and the glory for ever.. Pray this three times each day. Chapter 9. The Eucharist. Now concerning the Eucharist, give thanks this way. First, concerning the cup: We thank thee, our Father, for the holy vine of David Thy servant, which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever.. And concerning the broken bread: We thank Thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever. Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let Thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Thy kingdom; for Thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever.. But let no one eat or drink of your Eucharist, unless they have been baptized into the name of the Lord; for concerning this also the Lord has said, "Give not that which is holy to the dogs." Chapter 10. Prayer after Communion. But after you are filled, give thanks this way: We thank Thee, holy Father, for Thy holy name which You didst cause to tabernacle in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality, which You modest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever. Thou, Master almighty, didst create all things for Thy name's sake; You gavest food and drink to men for enjoyment, that they might give thanks to Thee; but to us You didst freely give spiritual food and drink and life eternal through Thy Servant. Before all things we thank Thee that You are mighty; to Thee be the glory for ever. Remember, Lord, Thy Church, to deliver it from all evil and to make it perfect in Thy love, and gather it from the four winds, sanctified for Thy kingdom which Thou have prepared for it; for

Thine is the power and the glory for ever. Let grace come, and let this world pass away. Hosanna to the God (Son) of David! If any one is holy, let him come; if any one is not so, let him repent. Maranatha. Amen. But permit the prophets to make Thanksgiving as much as they desire. Chapter 11. Concerning Teachers, Apostles, and Prophets. Whosoever, therefore, comes and teaches you all these things that have been said before, receive him. But if the teacher himself turns and teaches another doctrine to the destruction of this, hear him not. But if he teaches so as to increase righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive him as the Lord. But concerning the apostles and prophets, act according to the decree of the Gospel. Let every apostle who comes to you be received as the Lord. But he shall not remain more than one day; or two days, if there's a need. But if he remains three days, he is a false prophet. And when the apostle goes away, let him take nothing but bread until he lodges. If he asks for money, he is a false prophet. And every prophet who speaks in the Spirit you shall neither try nor judge; for every sin shall be forgiven, but this sin shall not be forgiven. But not every one who speaks in the Spirit is a prophet; but only if he holds the ways of the Lord. Therefore from their ways shall the false prophet and the prophet be known. And every prophet who orders a meal in the Spirit does not eat it, unless he is indeed a false prophet. And every prophet who teaches the truth, but does not do what he teaches, is a false prophet. And every prophet, proved true, working unto the mystery of the Church in the world, yet not teaching others to do what he himself does, shall not be judged among you, for with God he has his judgment; for so did also the ancient prophets. But whoever says in the Spirit, Give me money, or something else, you shall not listen to him. But if he tells you to give for others' sake who are in need, let no one judge him. Chapter 12. Reception of Christians. But receive everyone who comes in the name of the Lord, and prove and know him afterward; for you shall have understanding right and left. If he who comes is a wayfarer, assist him as far as you are able; but he shall not remain with you more than two or three days, if need be. But if he wants to stay with you, and is an artisan, let him work and eat. But if he has no trade, according to your understanding, see to it that, as a Christian, he shall not live with you idle. But if he wills not to do, he is a Christ-monger. Watch that you keep away from such. Chapter 13. Support of Prophets. But every true prophet who wants to live among you is worthy of his support. So also a true teacher is himself worthy, as the workman, of his support. Every first-fruit, therefore, of the products of wine-press and threshing-floor, of oxen and of sheep, you shall take and give to the prophets, for they are your high priests. But if you have no prophet, give it to the poor. If you make a batch of dough, take the first-fruit and give according to the commandment. So also when you open a jar of wine or of oil, take the first-fruit and give it to the prophets; and of money (silver) and clothing and every possession, take the first-fruit, as it may seem good to you, and give according to the commandment. Chapter 14. Christian Assembly on the Lord's Day. But every Lord's day gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. But let no one who is at odds with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned. For this is that which was

spoken by the Lord: "In every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great King, says the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations." Chapter 15. Bishops and Deacons; Christian Reproof. Appoint, therefore, for yourselves, bishops and deacons worthy of the Lord, men meek, and not lovers of money, and truthful and proved; for they also render to you the service of prophets and teachers. Therefore do not despise them, for they are your honored ones, together with the prophets and teachers. And reprove one another, not in anger, but in peace, as you have it in the Gospel. But to anyone that acts amiss against another, let no one speak, nor let him hear anything from you until he repents. But your prayers and alms and all your deeds so do, as you have it in the Gospel of our Lord. Chapter 16. Watchfulness; the Coming of the Lord. Watch for your life's sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ready, for you know not the hour in which our Lord will come. But come together often, seeking the things which are befitting to your souls: for the whole time of your faith will not profit you, if you are not made perfect in the last time. For in the last days false prophets and corrupters shall be multiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall be turned into hate; for when lawlessness increases, they shall hate and persecute and betray one another, and then shall appear the world-deceiver as Son of God, and shall do signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands, and he shall do iniquitous things which have never yet come to pass since the beginning. Then shall the creation of men come into the fire of trial, and many shall be made to stumble and shall perish; but those who endure in their faith shall be saved from under the curse itself. And then shall appear the signs of the truth: first, the sign of an outspreading in heaven, then the sign of the sound of the trumpet. And third, the resurrection of the dead -- yet not of all, but as it is said: "The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him." Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.