THE TEACHING OF THE LORD TO THE GENTILES BY THE TWELVE APOSTLES (also known as DIDACHE)

Translated by J.B. Lightfoot.

Didache 1:1 There are two ways, one of life and one of death, and there is agreat difference between the two ways.

Didache 1:2The way of life is this. First of all, thou shalt love the Godthat made thee; secondly, Thy neighbor as thyself. And all thingswhatsoever thou wouldst not have befall thyself, neither do thouunto another.

Didache 1:3Now of these words the doctrine is this. Bless them that curse you,and pray for your enemies and fast for them that persecute you;for what thank is it, if ye love them that love you? Do not even theGentiles the same? But do ye love them that hate you that hate you,and ye shall not have an enemy.

Didache 1:4Abstain thou from fleshly and bodily lusts. If any man give thee ablow on thy right cheek, turn to him the other also, and thoushalt be perfect; If a man impress thee to go with him one mile, gowith him twain; if a man take away thy cloak, give him thy coatalso; if a man take away from thee that which is thy own, ask itnot back, for neither art thou able.

Didache 1:5To every man that asketh of thee give, and ask not back for theFather desireth that gifts be given to all from His own bounties.Blessed is he that giveth according to the commandment; for he is guiltless. Woe to him that receiveth; for, if a man receiveth having need, he is guiltless; but he that hath no need shall givesatisfaction why and wherefore he received and being put inconfinement he shall be examined concerning the deeds that he hathdone, and he shall not come out thence until he hath given back thelast farthing.

Didache 1:6Yea, as touching this also it is said; Let thine alms sweat intothine hands, until thou have learnt to whom to give.

Didache 2:1 And this is the second commandment of the teaching.

Didache 2:2Thou shalt do no murder, thou shalt not commit adultery, thoushalt not corrupt boys, thou shalt not commit fornication, thoushalt not steal, thou shalt not deal in magic, thou shalt do nosorcery, thou shalt not murder a child by abortion nor kill them whenborn, thou shalt not covet thy neighbors goods,

Didache 2:3thou shalt not perjure thyself, thou shalt not bear false witness,thou shalt not speak evil, thou shalt not cherish a grudge,

Didache 2:4thou shalt not be double-minded nor double-tongued; for the doubletongue is a snare of death.

Didache 2:5Thy word shall not be false or empty, but fulfilled by action.

Didache 2:6Thou shalt not be avaricious nor a plunderer nor a hypocrite norill-tempered nor proud. Thou shalt not entertain an evil designagainst thy neighbor.

Didache 2:7Thou shalt not hate any man but some thou shalt reprove, andfor others thou shalt pray, and others thou shalt love more thanthy life.

Didache 3:1 My child, flee from every evil and everything that resembleth it.

Didache 3:2Be not angry, for anger leadeth to murder, nor jealous norcontentious nor wrathful; for of all these things murders areengendered.

Didache 3:3My child, be not lustful, for lust leadeth to fornication, neitherfoul-speaking neither with uplifted eyes; for of all these thingsadulteries are engendered.

Didache 3:4My child, be no dealer in omens, since it leads to idolatry, noran enchanter nor an astrologer nor a magician, neither be willing tolook at them; for from all these things idolatry is engendered.

Didache 3:5My child, be not a liar, since lying leads to theft, neitheravaricious neither vainglorious; for from all these things thefts areengendered.

Didache 3:6My child, be not a murmurer, since it leadeth to blasphemy, neitherself-willed neither a thinker of evil thoughts; for from all thesethings blasphemies are engendered.

Didache 3:7But be meek, since the meek shall inherit the earth.

Didache 3:8Be long-suffering and pitiful and guileless and quiet and kindlyand always fearing the words which thou hast heard.

Didache 3:9Thou shalt not exalt thyself, neither shalt thou admit boldness intothy soul. Thy soul shall not cleave together with the lofty, butwith the righteous and humble shalt thou walk.

Didache 3:10The accidents that befall thee thou shalt receive as good, knowingthat nothing is done without God.

Didache 4:1 My child, thou shalt remember him that speaketh unto thee the wordof God night and day, and shalt honor him as the Lord; forwhencesoever the Lordship speaketh, there is the Lord.

Didache 4:2Moreover thou shalt seek out day by day the persons of the saints,that thou mayest find rest in their words.

Didache 4:3Thou shalt not make a schism, but thou shalt pacify them thatcontend; thou shalt judge righteously, thou shalt not make adifference in a person to reprove him for transgressions.

Didache 4:4Thou shalt not doubt whether a thing shall be or not be.

Didache 4:5 Be not thou found holding out thy hands to receive, but drawingthem in as to giving.

Didache 4:6If thou hast ought passing through thy hands, thou shalt give aransom for thy sins.

Didache 4:7Thou shalt not hesitate to give, neither shalt thou murmur whengiving; for thou shalt know who is the good paymaster of thy reward.

Didache 4:8Thou shalt not turn away from him that is in want, but shalt make thybrother partaker in all things, and shalt not say that anything isthy own. For if ye are fellow-partakers in that which isimperishable, how much rather in the things which are perishable?

Didache 4:9 Thou shalt not withhold thy hand from thy son or from thy daughter,but from their youth thou shalt teach them the fear of God.

Didache 4:10Thou shalt not command thy bondservant or thine handmaid in thybitterness who trust in the same God as thyself, lest haply theyshould cease to fear the God who is over both of you; for He cometh,not to call men with respect of persons, but He cometh to those whomthe Spirit hath prepared.

Didache 4:11But ye, servants, shall be subject unto your masters, as to a type ofGod, in shame and fear.

Didache 4:12 Thou shalt hate all hypocrisy, and everything that is not pleasing tothe Lord.

Didache 4:13Thou shalt never forsake the commandments of the Lord but shalt keepthose things which thou hast received, neither adding to them nortaking away from them.

Didache 4:14In church thou shalt confess thy transgressions, and shalt not betakethyself to prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of life.

Didache 5:1 But the way of death is this. First of all, it is evil and full ofa curse; murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts,idolatries, magical arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, falsewitnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride,malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul--speaking, jealousy,boldness, exaltation, boastfulness;

Didache 5:2persecutors of good men, hating truth, loving a lie, not perceivingthe reward of righteousness, not cleaving to the good nor torighteous judgment, wakeful not for that which is good but for thatwhich is evil-from whom gentleness and forbearance stand aloof;loving vain things, pursuing a recompense, not pitying the poor man,not toiling for him that is oppressed with toil, not recognizing Himthat made them, murderers of children, corrupters of the creatures ofGod, turning away from him that is in want, oppressing him that isafflicted, advocates of the wealthy, unjust judges of the poor,altogether sinful. May ye be delivered, my children, from all thesethings.

Didache 6:1 See lest any man lead you astray from this way of righteousness, forhe teacheth thee apart from God.

Didache 6:2For if thou art able to bear the whole yoke of the Lord, thou shaltbe perfect; but if thou art not able, do that which thou art able.

Didache 6:3 But concerning eating, bear that which thou art able; yet abstain byall means from meat sacrificed to idols; for it is the worship ofdead gods.

Didache 7:1 But concerning baptism, thus shall ye baptize. Having first recitedall these things, baptize in the name of the Father and of the Sonand of the Holy Spirit in living (running) water.

Didache 7:2But if thou hast not living water, then baptize in other water; andif thou art not able in cold, then in warm.

Didache 7:3But if thou hast neither, then pour water on the head thrice in thename of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit.

Didache 7:4But before the baptism let him that baptizeth and him that isbaptized fast, and any others also who are able; and thou shalt orderhim that is baptized to fast a day or two before.

Didache 8:1 And let not your fastings be with the hypocrites, for they fast onthe second and the fifth day of the week; but do ye keep your fast onthe fourth and on the preparation (the sixth) day.

Didache 8:2Neither pray ye as the hypocrites, but as the Lord commanded inHis Gospel, thus pray ye: Our Father, which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name; Thy kingdom come; Thy will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth; give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debt, as we forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one; for Thine is the power and the glory for ever and ever.

Didache 8:3Three times in the day pray ye so.

Didache 9:1 But as touching the eucharistic thanksgiving give ye thanks thus.

Didache 9:2First, as regards the cup: We give Thee thanks, O our Father, for the holy vine of Thy son David, which Thou madest known unto us through Thy Son Jesus; Thine is the glory for ever and ever.

Didache 9:3Then as regarding the broken bread: We give Thee thanks, O our Father, for the life and knowledge which Thou didst make known unto us through Thy Son Jesus; Thine is the glory for ever and ever.

Didache 9:4 As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains and being gathered together became one, so may 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 and ever.

Didache 9:5But let no one eat or drink of this eucharistic thanksgiving, butthey that have been baptized into the name of the Lord; forconcerning this also the Lord hath said: Give not that which isholy to the dogs.

Didache 10:1 And after ye are satisfied thus give ye thanks:

Didache 10:2 We give Thee thanks, Holy Father, for Thy holy name, which Thou hast made to tabernacle in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality, which Thou hast made known unto us through Thy Son Jesus; Thine is the glory for ever and ever.

Didache 10:3 Thou, Almighty Master, didst create all things for Thy name's sake, and didst give food and drink unto men for enjoyment, that they might render thanks to Thee; but didst bestow upon us spiritual food and drink and eternal life through Thy Son.

Didache 10:4 Before all things we give Thee thanks that Thou art powerful; Thine is the glory for ever and ever.

Didache 10:5 Remember, Lord, Thy Church to deliver it from all evil and to perfect it in Thy love; and gather it together from the four winds-- even the Church which has been sanctified-- into Thy kingdom which Thou hast prepared for it; for Thine is the power and the glory for ever and ever.

Didache 10:6 May grace come and may this world pass away. Hosanna to the God of David. If any man is holy, let him come; if any man is not, let him repent. Maran Atha. Amen.

Didache 10:7 But permit the prophets to offer thanksgiving as much as theydesire.

Didache 11:1 Whosoever therefore shall come and teach you all these things thathave been said before, receive him;

Didache 11:2but if the teacher himself be perverted and teach a differentdoctrine to the destruction thereof, hear him not; but if to theincrease of righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive himas the Lord.

Didache 11:3 But concerning the apostles and prophets, so do ye according to theordinance of the Gospel.

Didache 11:4Let every apostle, when he cometh to you, be received as the Lord;

Didache 11:5but he shall not abide more than a single day, or if there be need, asecond likewise; but if he abide three days, he is a false prophet.

Didache 11:6And when he departeth let the apostle receive nothing save bread,until he findeth shelter; but if he ask money, he is a false prophet.

Didache 11:7And any prophet speaking in the Spirit ye shall not try neitherdiscern; for every sin shall be forgiven, but this sin shall not beforgiven.

Didache 11:8Yet not every one that speaketh in the Spirit is a prophet, but onlyif he have the ways of the Lord. From his ways therefore the falseprophet and the prophet shall be recognized.

Didache 11:9And no prophet when he ordereth a table in the Spirit shall eat ofit; otherwise he is a false prophet.

Didache 11:10And every prophet teaching the truth, if he doeth not what heteacheth, is a false prophet.

Didache 11:11And every prophet approved and found true, if he doeth ought as anoutward mystery typical of the Church, and yet teacheth you not to doall that he himself doeth, shall not be judged before you; he hathhis judgment in the presence of God; for in like manner also did theprophets of old time.

Didache 11:12And whosoever shall say in the Spirit, Give me silver or anythingelse, ye shall not listen to him; but if he tell you to give onbehalf of others that are in want, let no man judge him.

Didache 12:1 But let every one that cometh in the name of the Lord bereceived; and then when ye have tested him ye shall know him, for yeshall have understanding on the right hand and on the left.

Didache 12:2If the comer is a traveler, assist him, so far as ye are able; buthe shall not stay with you more than two or three days, if it benecessary.

Didache 12:3But if he wishes to settle with you, being a craftsman, let him workfor and eat his bread.

Didache 12:4But if he has no craft, according to your wisdom provide how he shalllive as a Christian among you, but not in idleness.

Didache 12:5If he will not do this, he is trafficking upon Christ. Beware ofsuch men.

Didache 13:1 But every time prophet desiring to settle among you is worthy ofhis food.

Didache 13:2In like manner a true teacher is also worthy, like theworkman, of his food.

Didache 13:3Every firstfruit then of the produce of the wine-vat and of thethreshing-floor, of thy oxen and of thy sheep, thou shalt take andgive as the firstfruit to the prophets; for they are yourchief-priests.

Didache 13:4But if ye have not a prophet, give them to the poor.

Didache 13:5If thou makest bread, take the firstfruit and give according to thecommandment.

Didache 13:6In like manner, when thou openest a jar of wine or of oil, take thefirstfruit and give to the prophets;

Didache 13:7yea and of money and raiment and every possession take thefirstfruit, as shall seem good to thee, and give according to thecommandment.

Didache 14:1 And on the Lord's own day gather yourselves together and break breadand give thanks, first confessing your transgressions, that yoursacrifice may be pure.

Didache 14:2And let no man, having his dispute with his fellow, join yourassembly until they have been reconciled, that your sacrifice may notbe defiled;

Didache 14:3for this sacrifice it is that was spoken of by the Lord; In everyplace and at every time offer me a pure sacrifice; for I ama agreat king, saith the Lord, and My name is wonderful among thenations.

Didache 15:1 Appoint for yourselves therefore bishops and deacons worthy of theLord, men who are meek and not lovers of money, and true andapproved; for unto you they also perform the service of the prophetsand teachers.

Didache 15:2Therefore despise them not; for they are your honorable men alongwith the prophets and teachers.

Didache 15:3 And reprove one another, not in anger but in peace, as ye find inthe Gospel; and let no one speak to any that has gone wrong towardshis neighbor, neither let him hear a word from you, until he repent.

Didache 15:4But your prayers and your almsgiving and all your deeds so do ye asye find it in the Gospel of our Lord.

Didache 16:1 Be watchful for your life; let your lamps not be quenched andyour loins not ungirdled, but be ye ready; for ye know not the hourthe hour in which our Lord cometh.

Didache 16:2And ye shall gather yourselves together frequently, seeking what isfitting for your souls; for the whole time of your faith shall notprofit you, if ye be not perfected at the last season.

Didache 16:3For in the last days the false prophets and corrupters shall bemultiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shallbe turned into hate.

Didache 16:4For as lawlessness increaseth, they shall hate one another andshall persecute and betray. And then the world-deceiver shallappear as a son of God; and shall work signs and wonders, and theearth shall be delivered into his hands; and he shall do unholythings, which have never been since the world began.

Didache 16:5Then all created mankind shall come to the fire of testing, and manyshall be offended and perish; but they that endure in their faithshall be saved
by the Curse Himself.

Didache 16:6And then shall the signs of the truth appear; first a sign of arift in the heaven, then a sign of a voice of a trumpet, and thirdlya resurrection of the dead;

Didache 16:7yet not of all, but as it was said The Lord shall come and all Hissaints with Him.

Didache 16:8Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds ofheaven.