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  • Derech Yeshua

  • Siddur Sar Shalom

Didache

The following is Daniel Nessim’s translation of the Didache, a first century manual for Gentile Christians, written by Jews.

THE TEACHING OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES
The Teaching of the Lord Through the Twelve Apostles to the Gentiles.
Chapter 1
1. There are two ways; one of life and one of death, and the difference is great between the two ways. 2. The way of life then is this: First, love the God who made you; second, your neighbour as yourself. And anything which you would not wish to happen to you, do not do to another. 3. And these the words of the teaching are this: Bless those who curse you and pray on behalf of your enemies, fast on behalf of those who persecute you. For what is great about it, if you love those who love you? Do not even the gentiles do this? But love those who hate you, and you will not have an enemy. 4. Abstain from fleshly desires. If someone gives you a slap on the right cheek, turn to him even the other, and you will be perfect. If someone should compel you for one mile, go two with him. If someone should take your garment, give him even your shirt. If someone takes what is yours for themselves, do not ask it back, for you are not able. 5. Give to all who ask of you, and do not ask for it back. For the Father wills to give to all out of his own free gifts. Happy is the giver according to the commandment, for he is innocent. Woe to the recipient, for if he has need, he receives rightly, in order that he receive something. But in prison he will be interrogated about what he has done and he will not be released from there until he has given back the last quadran. 6. And concerning this it has been said: Let your gift sweat in your hand until you know who to give it to.
Chapter 2
1. And the second commandment of the teaching: 2.Do not murder.
Do not commit adultery.
Do not corrupt boys.
Do not engage in sexual immorality.
Do not steal.
Do not practice magic.
Do not use potions.
Do not murder an unborn child in the womb or kill a newborn. 3. Do not desire that which is your neighbour’s.
Do not commit perjury.
Do not bear false witness.
Do not speak evil.
Do not hold grudges. 4. Do not be double minded neither double tongued,
For to be double tongued is a snare of death. 5. Do not let your words stand empty or false. 6. Do not be covetous,
     nor greedy,
     nor a hypocrite,
     nor bad mannered,
     nor haughty
Do not accept evil counsel against your neighbour. 7. Do not hate anyone, but reprove some, concerning whom you should pray, but some you should love over your own soul.
Chapter 3
1. My child, flee from all evil, and from anything like it. 2. Do not be prone to anger, for anger leads to murder, neither zealous, nor argumentative or hot-tempered. For out of these things acts of murder are born. 3. My child, do not be desirous, for the way of desire leads to fornication, nor foul-mouthed nor of lustful eyes. For out of these things come acts of adultery. 4. My child, do not be a diviner, since this way leads to idolatry, neither an incanter nor astrologer nor purifier, nor wish to see these things or hear of them. For out of these things acts of idolatry are born. 5. My child, do not be a liar, for the way of falsehood leads into thievery, neither love silver nor vanity. For out of these things acts of robbery are born. 6. My child, do not be a grumbler, for this way leads to blasphemy, neither stubborn nor evil minded. For out of these things acts of blasphemy are born, 7. but be humble, since the humble will inherit the earth. 8.Be patient, and merciful and guileless and quiet and good and trembling of the words which you have heard. 9. Do not exalt yourself nor give your soul to arrogance. Do not join your soul with the lofty, but with the righteous and lowly you should associate. 10. Welcome the things that happen to you as good, knowing that apart from God nothing happens.
Chapter 4
1. My child, remember night and day the one who speaks the word of God to you. Honour him like the Lord. For where his Lordship is spoken of, the Lord is there. 2. And seek out the presence of the saints every day, in order that you may find comfort in their words. 3. Do not cause division, but reconcile those who fight. Judge rightly, do not be partial, rebuke concerning a transgression. 4. Be not indecisive, whether or not this should be. 5. Do not be one to stretch out your hand to receive, but retract it to give. 6. If you have something in your hands, give it as a ransom of your sins. 7. Be not hesitant to give neither grumbling. For you should know who is the good giver of the reward. 8. Do not turn away from the impoverished, but share everthing with your brother and do not consider it to be your own. For if in immortality you are partners, how much more in the mortal? 9. Do not take up your hand from your son or your daughter, but from youth teach them the fear of God. 10. Do not command your servant or maid, who hope in the same God, in your bitterness, lest they should not fear God over both: For he does not come to call those of high esteem, but those whom the Spirit has prepared. 11. But you servants be submitted to your masters as an image of God in reverence and fear. 12. Hate all hypocrisy and all which is displeasing to the Lord. 13. Do not forsake the commands of the Lord, but guard what you have received, neither adding nor taking away. 14. In assembly, you should confess your transgressions, and not come to your prayer in consciousness of evil.
This is the way of life.
Chapter 5
1. But the way of death is this:
First, it is all evil and full of cursing,
murders,
adulteries,
desires,
fornications,
thefts,
idolatries,
magic arts,
potions,
robberies,
false witnessings,
hypocrisies,
double heartedness,
deceit,
haughtiness,
malignity,
arrogance,
greediness,
obscene speech,
jealousy,
brazenness,
pride,
pretension,
irreverence.
2. Persecutors of the good,
haters of the truth,
lovers of lies,
not knowing the wages of righteousness,
not attached to good,
   neither discerning what is right,
not into good,
   but into evil.
Which are far from gentleness and patience,
lovers of what is worthless,
pursuers of reward,
not merciful to the poor,
not toiling for the oppressed,
not knowers of their maker,
murderers of children,
destroyers of that which is formed of God,
turners away from the needy,
oppressors of the afflicted,
advocates of the wealthy,
lawless judges of the needy,                                  
completely sinful. Be freed, children, from all these.
Chapter 6
1. Watch, lest someone deceive you from the way of the Teaching, for he teaches you away from God. 2. If then you are able to bear the whole yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect. But if you are not able, do that which you are able. 3. But concerning food, bear what you are able. But particularly abstain from that which is offered to idols, for that is service to dead gods.
Chapter 7
1. Now about immersion, thus you shall immerse. All the preceding having been said, you shall immerse in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, in living water. 2. But if you do not have living water, immerse in other water. And if you are not able to do so in cold, then in warm water. 3. But if you do not have either, pour out on the head three times in the name of the Father and Son and Holy Spirit. 4. And before the immersion the immerser and whoever else is able should fast. And command the immersee to fast one or two days before.
Chapter 8
1. Your fasts shall not be kept with the hypocrites. For they fast on the second day [Monday] and the fifth [Thursday]: You must fast on the fourth [Wednesday] and preparation [Friday]. 2. Neither shall you pray like the hypocrites, but as the Lord called you to in his gospel,
pray thus:
Our Father in heaven,
May your name be sanctified, may your kingdom come,
May your will be done in heaven as on earth.
Give us today our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts just as we forgive our debtors,
And do not lead us into trials, but deliver us from the evil one.
For yours is the power and the glory forever. 3. Three times a day you shall pray.
Chapter 9
1. Concerning the thanksgiving,
thus you shall give thanks. 2.First concerning the cup of your thanksgiving, our Father, on account of the holy vine of David your servant, which you made known to us through Jesus your Servant. To you be the glory forever. 3. Concerning the fragment, we thank you, our Father, for the life and knowledge which has been made known to you through Jesus your Servant. To you be the glory forever. 4. Just as this fragment is scattered on the mountains and was gathered to be one, thus may your church be gathered from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. Because yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ forever. 5. Do not let anyone eat or drink from your thanks-giving, but those who have been baptised into the name of the Lord. For even about this the Lord has said: do not give what is holy to dogs.
Chapter 10
1. After you have had your fill, give thanks thus: 2. We give thanks to you, holy Father, for your holy name, which you have made to dwell in our hearts, and by the knowledge and faith and immortality which you have made known to us through Jesus your Servant. Yours is the glory forever. 3. You, All-Powerful Master, created all things for the sake of your name, food and drink you have given to men for their enjoyment, in that they will give thanks to you, and to us you have given spiritual food and drink and eternal life through your Servant.   4. For all things we give thanks to you, because you are powerful; To you be the glory for ever. 5. Remember, Lord, your church, deliver her from all evil and perfect her in your love, and gather her from the four winds, into your kingdom, which you have prepared for her. For yours is the power and the glory forever. 6. Let grace come and let this world be removed. Hosanna to the God of David. Whoever is holy, let him come. Whoever is not, let him repent. Maran atha. Amen. 7. But let the prophets give thanks just as they wish.
Chapter 11
1. Whoever then shall come teaching all these preceding things, receive him. 2. But if the one teaching turns to teach another teaching leading to destruction, do not hear him. But if it leads to righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive him as the Lord. 3. Concerning the apostles and prophets, after the teaching of the gospel you shall do to them. 4. All the apostles coming to you, you should receive as the Lord. 5. He should remain but one day; but if he needs, then another. But if he remains three, he is a false prophet. 6. And the apostle who comes should receive nothing but bread, until he lodges, but if he asks for silver, he is a false prophet. 7. And every prophet speaking in the Spirit do not test or judge: for every sin will be forgiven, but this sin will not be forgiven. 8. But the one speaking in the Spirit is not a prophet, unless he has the conduct of the Lord. Thus from their conduct the false prophet and the prophet will be known. 9. And the prophet who orders a table in the Spirit does not eat of it, unless he is a false prophet. 10. Every prophet teaching the truth, if he does not do what he teaches is a false prophet. 11. Every approved prophet, doing truth in the mystery worldly of the church, does not teach but does, that which he does, do not be judges over yourselves, for with God he has the judgement. For the ancient prophets did likewise. 12. Whoever should say in the spirit: ‘give me money’ or something else, do not hear him. But if he should say to give to others in need, do not judge him.
Chapter 12
1. But you should receive all who come in the name of the Lord. Then, putting him to the test you will know, for you have discernment of the worthy and false. 2. If the one coming is passing through, help him, as you are able. He shall not remain with you more than two or three days, if necessary. 3. But if he wishes to dwell among you, having a skill, he should work and eat. 4. But if he does not have a skill, take thought according to your understanding, so that he should not live lazy with you as a Christian. 5. If he does not wish to do this, he is a Christ dealer: beware of such persons.
Chapter 13
1. Every true prophet, wishing to reside with you, is worthy of your food. 2. likewise a true teacher is worthy, just as is the worker of your food. 3. All the first produce of the wine-press and threshing floor, cattle and sheep, take as a gift first to the prophets, for they are your high priests. 4. If you do not have a prophet, give to the poor. 5. If you make bread, give the first of it according to the commandment. 6. Likewise when you open a jar of wine or olive oil, give the first of it to the prophets. 7. But of silver and clothing and any possession take the first fruit which you deem worthy and give according to the commandment.
Chapter 14
1. When you gather together on the Lord’s Day you shall break breat and give thanks, confessing your failings, that your sacrifice might be pure. 2. Do not allow any who has a dispute with his neighbour to come together with you until they reconcile, in order that your sacrifice be not desecrated. 3. For this is the word of the Lord: In every place and time a pure sacrifice will be brought to me, for I am a great King, says the Lord, and my name is marveled at by the gentiles.
Chapter 15
1. You shall elect to yourselves overseers and deacons worthy of the Lord, men who are humble, not greedy, honest and approved.
For they minister to you the ministry of the prophets and the teachers. 2. Therefore do not disrespect them, for they are your honourable ones with the prophets and teachers. 3. Do not reprove one another in anger, but in peace as you have in the Gospel. And to all who falls short in regard to another, let no one speak neither let him hear from you until he repent. 4. But your prayers and your charity and all the deeds you do, do as you have in the Gospel of our Lord.
Chapter 16
1. Keep watch concerning your life, that your lamps be not extinguished, and your robes be not loosed, but be prepared, for you do not know the hour in which our Lord comes. 2. And be closely assembled seeking what is appropriate for your souls. For all the time of your faith will not be useful to you, if you are not found perfect in the last time. 3. For in the last days the false prophets and the corrupters will be multiplied, and the sheep will be changed into wolves, and love will be changed into hatred. 4. For in the increase of lawlessness they will hate and persecute and betray one another, and when the world-deceiver appears like the Son of God and makes signs and wonders, and the earth is betrayed into his hands, he will do perversities which have never ever been done. 5. Then judgment of mankind will come in the fire of trial, and many will be caused to stumble and perish, but those who remain in their faith will be saved on account of the perversities. 6. And then the sign of truth will appear. First the sign extended in heaven, then the sign of the sound of a trumpet, and the third the resurrection of the dead. 7. But not all, as it has been said: The Lord will come with all the saints with him. 8. Then the world will see the Lord coming on the clouds of heaven . . .
The following is the missing conclusion based on Robin Aldridge’s reconstruction:
. . . with the angels of His power, in the throne of His kingdom, 9. to condemn the devil, the deceiver of the world, and to render to every one according to his deeds. 10. Then shall the wicked go away into everlasting punishment, but the righteous shall enter eternal life, 11. to inherit those things which eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, nor have entered into the heart of man, such things as God hath prepared for them that love Him. 12. And they shall rejoice in the kingdom of God, which is in Christ Jesus.
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