Didache


CHAPTER 1
1 There are two ways, one of life and one of death, and there is a great difference between the two ways.
2 {The way of life} is this.
3 First of all, {you shall love the God} that made you;
4 secondly, {your neighbor as yourself.}
5 {And all things whatsoever you would not have befal yourself neither do you unto another.}
6 Now of these words the doctrine is this.
7 {Bless them that curse you, and pray for} your enemies and fast for {them that persecute you;
8 for what thank is it, if you love them that love you? Do not even the Gentiles the same? But do you love them that hate you,} and you shall not have an enemy.
9 Abstain you from fleshly and bodily lusts.
10 {If any man give you a blow on your right cheek, turn to him the other also,} and you shall be perfect;
11 {if a man impress you to go with him, one mile, go with him two;
12 if a man take away your cloak, give him your coat also;
13 if a man take away from you that which is your own, ask it not back,} for neither are you able.
14 {To every man that asks of you give, and ask not back;}
15 for the Father desires that gifts be given to all from His own bounties.
16 Blessed is he that gives according to the commandment;
17 for he is guiltless.
18 Woe to him that receives;
19 for, if a man receives having need, he is guiltless;
20 but he that has no need shall give satisfaction why and wherefore he received;
21 and being put in confinement he shall be examined concerning the deeds that he has done, and {he shall not come out there until he has given back the last farthing.}
22 Yes, as touching this also it is said;
23 {Let your alms sweat into your hands, until you shall have learned to whom to give.}

CHAPTER 2
1 And this is the second commandment of the teaching.
2 {you shall do no murder, you shall not commit adultery,} you shall not corrupt boys, you shall not commit fornication, {you shall not steal,} you shall not deal in magic, you shall do no sorcery, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill them when born, {you shall not covet your neighbor's goods, you shall not perjure yourself, you shall not bear false witness,} you shall not speak evil, you shall not cherish a grudge, you shall not be double-minded nor double-tongued;
3 for the double tongue is a snare of death.
4 your word shall not be false or empty, but fulfilled by action.
5 you shall not be avaricious nor a plunderer nor a hypocrite nor ill-tempered nor proud.
6 you shall not entertain an evil design against your neighbor.
7 {you shall not hate} any man, {but some you shall reprove,} and for others you shall pray, {and others you shall love} more than your life.

CHAPTER 3
1 My child, flee from every evil and everything that resembles it.
2 Be not angry, for anger leads to murder, nor jealous nor contentious nor wrathful;
3 for of all these things murders are engendered.
4 My child, be not lustful, for lust leads to fornication, neither foul-speaking neither with uplifted eyes;
5 for of all these things adulteries are engendered.
6 My child, {be no dealer in omens,} since it leads to idolatry, nor an enchanter nor an astrologer nor a magician, neither be willing to look at them;
7 for from all these things idolatry is engendered.
8 My child, be not a liar, since lying leads to theft, neither avaricious neither vainglorious;
9 for from all these things thefts are engendered.
10 My child, be not a murmurer, since it leads to blasphemy, neither self-willed neither a thinker of evil thoughts;
11 for from all these things blasphemies are engendered.
12 But be meek, since {the meek shall inherit the earth.}
13 Be long-suffering and pitiful and guileless and {quiet} and kindly {and} always {fearing the words} which you have heard.
14 you shall not exalt yourself, neither shall you admit boldness into your soul.
15 your soul shall not cleave together with the lofty, but with the righteous and humble shall you walk.
16 The accidents that befal you you shall receive as good, knowing that nothing is done without God.

CHAPTER 4
1 My child, {you shall remember him that speaks unto you the word of God} night and day, and shall honor him as the Lord;
2 for whencesoever the Lordship speaks, there is the Lord.
3 Moreover you shall seek out day by day the persons of the saints, that you may find rest in their words.
4 you shall not make a schism, but you shall pacify them that contend;
5 you shall judge righteously, you shall not make a difference in a person to reprove him for transgressions.
6 you shall not doubt whether a thing shall be or not be.
7 {Be not you found holding out your hands to receive, but drawing them in as to giving.}
8 If you have ought passing through your hands, you shall give a ransom for your sins.
9 you shall not hesitate to give, neither shall you murmur when giving;
10 for you shall know who is the good paymaster of your reward.
11 you shall not turn away from him that is in want, but shall make your brother partaker in all things, and shall not say {that anything is your own.}
12 For if you are fellow-partakers in that which is imperishable, how much rather in the things which are perishable? You shall not withhold your hand from your son or from your daughter, but from their youth you shall teach them the fear of God.
13 you shall not command your bondservant or your handmaid in your bitterness, who trust in the same God as yourself, lest haply they should cease to fear the God who is over both of you;
14 for He comes, not to call men with respect of persons, but He comes to those whom the Spirit has prepared.
15 But you, servants, shall be subject unto your masters, as to a type of God, in shame and fear.
16 you shall hate all hypocrisy, and everything that is not pleasing to the Lord.
17 you shall never forsake the commandments of the Lord;
18 but shall keep those things which you have received, neither adding to them nor taking away from them.
19 In church you shall confess your transgressions, and shall not betake yourself to prayer with an evil conscience.
20 This is the way of life.

CHAPTER 5
1 But the way of death is this.
2 First of all, it is evil and full of a curse murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;
3 persecutors of good men, hating truth, loving a lie, not perceiving the reward of righteousness, not {cleaving to the good} nor to righteous judgment, wakeful not for that which is good but for that which is evil;
4 from whom gentleness and forbearance stand aloof;
5 loving vain things, pursuing a recompense, not pitying the poor man, not toiling for him that is oppressed with toil, not recognizing Him that made them, murderers of children, corrupters of the creatures of God, turning away from him that is in want, oppressing him that is afflicted, advocates of the wealthy, unjust judges of the poor, altogether sinful.
6 May you be delivered, my children, from all these things.

CHAPTER 6
1 See lest any man lead you astray from this way of righteousness, for he teaches you apart from God.
2 For if you are able to bear the whole yoke of the Lord, you shall be perfect;
3 but if you are not able, do that which you are able.
4 But concerning eating, bear that which you are able;
5 yet abstain by all means from meat sacrificed to idols;
6 for it is the worship of dead gods.

CHAPTER 7
1 But concerning baptism, thus shall you baptize.
2 Having first recited all these things, baptize {in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit} in living (running) water.
3 But if you have not living water, then baptize in other water;
4 and if you are not able in cold, then in warm.
5 But if you have neither, then pour water on the head thrice in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.
6 But before the baptism let him that baptized and him that is baptized fast, and any others also who are able;
7 and you shall order him that is baptized to fast a day or two before.

CHAPTER 8
1 And let not your fastings be with the hypocrites, for they fast on the second and the fifth day of the week;
2 but do you keep your fast on the fourth and on the preparation (the sixth) day.
3 Neither pray you {as the hypocrites,} but as the Lord commanded in His Gospel, {thus pray you.
4 Our Father, which are in heaven, hallowed be your name;
5 your kingdom come;
6 your will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth;
7 give us this day our daily bread;
8 and forgive us our debt, as we also forgive our debtors;
9 and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one;}
10 for Yours is the power and the glory forever and ever.
11 Three times in the day pray you so.

CHAPTER 9
1 But as touching the eucharistic thanksgiving give you thanks thus.
2 First, as regards the cup:
3 We give you thanks, O our Father, for the holy vine of your son David, which you made known unto us through your Son Jesus;
4 Yours is the glory forever and ever.
5 Then as regards the broken bread:
6 We give you thanks, O our Father, for the life and knowledge which you did make known unto us through your Son Jesus;
7 Yours is the glory forever and ever.
8 As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains and being gathered together became one, so may your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom;
9 for Yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ forever and ever.
10 But let no one eat or drink of this eucharistic thanksgiving, but they that have been baptized into the name of the Lord;
11 for concerning this also the Lord has said:
12 {Give not that which is holy to the dogs.}

CHAPTER 10
1 And after you are satisfied thus give you thanks:
2 We give you thanks, Holy Father, for your holy name, which you have made to tabernacle in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality, which you have made known unto us through your Son Jesus;
3 Yours is the glory forever and ever.
4 you, Almighty Master, did create all things for your name's sake, and did give food and drink unto men for enjoyment, that they might render thanks to you;
5 but did bestow upon us spiritual food and drink and eternal life through your Son.
6 Before all things we give you thanks that you are powerful;
7 Yours is the glory forever and ever.
8 Remember, Lord, your Church to deliver it from all evil and to perfect it in your love;
9 and {gather it together from the four winds} -- even the Church which has been sanctified -- into your kingdom which you have prepared for it;
10 for Yours is the power and the glory forever and ever.
11 May grace come and may this world pass away.
12 Hosanna to the God of David.
13 If any man is holy, let him come;
14 if any man is not, let him repent. Maranatha. Amen.
15 But permit the prophets to offer thanksgiving as much as they desire.

CHAPTER 11
1 Whosoever therefore shall come and teach you all these things that have been said before, receive him;
2 but if the teacher himself be perverted and teach a different doctrine to the destruction thereof, hear him not;
3 but if to the increase of righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive him as the Lord.
4 But concerning the apostles and prophets, so do you according to the ordinance of the Gospel.
5 Let every apostle, when he comes to you, be received as the Lord;
6 but he shall not abide more than a single day, or if there be need, a second
7 but if he abide three days, he is a false prophet.
8 And when he departs let the apostle receive nothing save bread, until he finds shelter;
9 but if he ask money, he is a false prophet.
10 And any prophet speaking in the Spirit you shall not try neither discern;
11 for every sin shall be forgiven, but this sin shall not be forgiven.
12 Yet not every one that speaks in the Spirit is a prophet, but only if he have the ways of the Lord.
13 From his ways therefore the false prophet and the prophet shall be recognized.
14 And no prophet when he orders a table in the Spirit shall eat of it;
15 otherwise he is a false prophet.
16 And every prophet teaching the truth, if he does not what he teaches, is a false prophet.
17 And every prophet approved and found true, if he does ought as an outward mystery typical of the Church, and yet teaches you not to do all that he himself does, shall not be judged before you;
18 he has his judgment in the presence of God;
19 for in like manner also did the prophets of old time.
20 And whosoever shall say in the Spirit, Give me silver or anything else, you shall not listen to him;
21 but if he tell you to give on behalf of others that are in want, let no man judge him.

CHAPTER 12
1 But let every one {that comes in the name of the Lord} be received;
2 and then when you have tested him you shall know him, for you shall have understanding on the right hand and on the left.
3 If the comer is a traveller, assist him, so far as you are able;
4 but he shall not stay with you more than two or three days, if it be necessary.
5 But if he wishes to settle with you, being a craftsman, let him work for and eat his bread.
6 But if he has no craft, according to your wisdom provide how he shall live as a Christian among you, but not in idleness.
7 If he will not do this, he is trafficking upon Christ.
8 Beware of such men.

CHAPTER 13
1 But every true prophet desiring to settle among you {is worthy of his food.}
2 In like manner a true teacher {is} also {worthy,} like {the workman, of his food.}
3 Every firstfruit then of the produce of the wine-vat and of the threshing-floor, of your oxen and of your sheep, you shall take and give as the firstfruit to the prophets;
4 for they are your chief-priests.
5 But if you have not a prophet, give them to the poor.
6 If you make bread, take the firstfruit and give according to the commandment.
7 In like manner, when you open a jar of wine or of oil, take the firstfruit and give to the prophets;
8 yes and of money and raiment and every possession take the firstfruit, as shall seem good to you, and give according to the commandment.

CHAPTER 14
1 And on the Lord's own day gather yourselves together and break bread and give thanks, first confessing your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure.
2 And let no man, having his dispute with his fellow, join your assembly until they have been reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be defiled;
3 for this sacrifice it is that was spoken of by the Lord;
4 {In every place and at every time offer Me a pure sacrifice;
5 for I am a great king, says the Lord and My name is wonderful among the nations.}

CHAPTER 15
1 Appoint for yourselves therefore bishops and deacons worthy of the Lord, men who are meek and not lovers of money, and true and approved;
2 for unto you they also perform the service of the prophets and teachers.
3 Therefore despise them not;
4 for they are your honorable men along with the prophets and teachers.
5 And reprove one another, not in anger but in peace, as you find in the Gospel;
6 and let no one speak to any that has gone wrong towards his neighbor, neither let him hear a word from you, until he repent.
7 But your prayers and your almsgivings and all your deeds so do you as you find it in the Gospel of our Lord.

CHAPTER 16
1 {Be watchful} for your life;
2 {let your lamps not be quenched and your loins not ungirded, but be you ready;
3 for you know not the hour in which our Lord comes.}
4 And you shall gather yourselves together frequently, seeking what is fitting for your souls;
5 for the whole time of your faith shall not profit you, if you be not perfected at the last season.
6 For in the last days {the false prophets} and corrupters shall be multiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall be turned into hate.
7 For as lawlessness increases, {they shall hate one another and shall persecute and betray.
8 And then} the world-deceiver {shall appear} as a son of God;
9 {and shall work signs and wonders,} and the earth shall be delivered into his hands;
10 and he shall do unholy things, which have never been since the world began.
11 Then all created mankind shall come to the fire of testing, and many shall be offended and perish;
12 {but they that endure} in their faith {shall be saved} by the Curse Himself.
13 {And then shall the signs} of the truth {appear;}
14 first a sign of a rift in the heaven, then a sign of a voice of a trumpet, and thirdly a resurrection of the dead;
15 yet not of all, but as it was said:
16 {The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him.
17 Then shall} the world {see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.}