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THE DIDACHE

OR THE TEACHING OF THE APOSTLES

APOSTOLIC FATHERS 15 for the Father desireth that gifts


(trans. and ed., J. B. Lightfoot) be given to all from His own boun -
ties.
CHAPTER 1 16 Blessed is he that giveth accord -
1 There are two ways, one of life ing to the commandment;
and one of death, and there is a 17 for he is guiltless.
great difference between the two 18 Woe to him that receiveth;
ways. 19 for, if a man receiveth having
2 The way of life is this. need, he is guiltless;
3 First of all, thou shalt love the 20 but he that hath no need shall
God that made thee; give satisfaction why and wherefore
4 secondly, thy neighbour as thy - he received;
self. 21 and being put in confinement he
5 And all things whatsoever thou shall be examined concerning the
wouldest not have befal thyself deeds that he hath done, and he
neither do thou unto another. shall not come out thence until he
6 Now of these words the doctrine hath given back the last farthing.
is this. 22 Yea, as touching this also it is
7 Bless them that curse you, and said;
pray for your enemies and fast for 23 Let thine alms sweat into thine
them that persecute you; hands, until thou shalt have learnt
8 for what thank is it, if ye love to whom to give.
them that love you? Do not even the
Gentiles the same? But do ye love CHAPTER 2
them that hate you, and ye shall not 1 And this is the second command -
have an enemy. ment of the teaching.
9 Abstain thou from fleshly and 2 Thou shalt do no murder, thou
bodily lusts. shalt not commit adultery, thou shalt
10 If any man give thee a blow on not corrupt boys, thou shalt not
thy right cheek, turn to him the oth - commit fornication, thou shalt not
er also, and thou shalt be perfect; steal, thou shalt not deal in magic,
11 if a man impress thee to go with thou shalt do no sorcery, thou shalt
him, one mile, go with him twain; not murder a child by abortion nor
12 if a man take away thy cloak, kill them when born, thou shalt not
give him thy coat also; covet thy neighbour's goods, thou
13 if a man take away from thee shalt not perjure thyself, thou shalt
that which is thine own, ask it not not bear false witness, thou shalt
back, for neither art thou able. not speak evil, thou shalt not cher -
14 To every man that asketh of thee ish a grudge, thou shalt not be
give, and ask not back; double-minded nor double-tongued;

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THE DIDACHE

3 for the double tongue is a snare shall inherit the earth.


of death. 13 Be long-suffering and pitiful and
4 Thy word shall not be false or guileless and quiet and kindly and
empty, but fulfilled by action. always fearing the words which thou
5 Thou shalt not be avaricious nor a hast heard.
plunderer nor a hypocrite nor ill- 14 Thou shalt not exalt thyself,
tempered nor proud. neither shalt thou admit boldness
6 Thou shalt not entertain an evil into thy soul.
design against thy neighbour. 15 Thy soul shall not cleave togeth -
7 Thou shalt not hate any man, but er with the lofty, but with the right -
some thou shalt reprove, and for eous and humble shalt thou walk.
others thou shalt pray, and others 16 The accidents that befal thee
thou shalt love more than thy life. thou shalt receive as good, knowing
that nothing is done without God.
CHAPTER 3
1 My child, flee from every evil CHAPTER 4
and everything that resembleth it. 1 My child, thou shalt remember
2 Be not angry, for anger leadeth to him that speaketh unto thee the
murder, nor jealous nor contentious word of God night and day, and shalt
nor wrathful; honour him as the Lord;
3 for of all these things murders are 2 for whencesoever the Lordship
engendered. speaketh, there is the Lord.
4 My child, be not lustful, for lust 3 Moreover thou shalt seek out day
leadeth to fornication, neither foul- by day the persons of the saints, that
speaking neither with uplifted eyes; thou mayest find rest in their words.
5 for of all these things adulteries 4 Thou shalt not make a schism, but
are engendered. thou shalt pacify them that contend;
6 My child, be no dealer in omens, 5 thou shalt judge righteously, thou
since it leads to idolatry, nor an en - shalt not make a difference in a per -
chanter nor an astrologer nor a ma - son to reprove him for transgres -
gician, neither be willing to look at sions.
them; 6 Thou shalt not doubt whether a
7 for from all these things idolatry thing shall be or not be.
is engendered. 7 Be not thou found holding out thy
8 My child, be not a liar, since ly - hands to receive, but drawing them
ing leads to theft, neither avaricious in as to giving.
neither vainglorious; 8 If thou hast ought passing
9 for from all these things thefts through thy hands, thou shalt give a
are engendered. ransom for thy sins.
10 My child, be not a murmurer, 9 Thou shalt not hesitate to give,
since it leadeth to blasphemy, neither shalt thou murmur when giv -
neither self-willed neither a thinker ing;
of evil thoughts; 10 for thou shalt know who is the
11 for from all these things blas - good paymaster of thy reward.
phemies are engendered. 11 Thou shalt not turn away from
12 But be meek, since the meek him that is in want, but shalt make

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THE DIDACHE

thy brother partaker in all things, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-


and shalt not say that anything is speaking, jealousy, boldness, exalta -
thine own. tion, boastfulness;
12 For if ye are fellow-partakers in 3 persecutors of good men, hating
that which is imperishable, how truth, loving a lie, not perceiving
much rather in the things which are the reward of righteousness, not
perishable? Thou shalt not withhold cleaving to the good nor to right-
thy hand from thy son or from thy eous judgment, wakeful not for that
daughter, but from their youth thou which is good but for that which is
shalt teach them the fear of God. evil;
13 Thou shalt not command thy 4 from whom gentleness and for -
bondservant or thine handmaid in bearance stand aloof;
thy bitterness, who trust in the same 5 loving vain things, pursuing a re -
God as thyself, lest haply they compense, not pitying the poor man,
should cease to fear the God who is not toiling for him that is oppressed
over both of you; with toil, not recognizing Him that
14 for He cometh, not to call men made them, murderers of children,
with respect of persons, but He corrupters of the creatures of God,
cometh to those whom the Spirit turning away from him that is in
hath prepared. want, oppressing him that is afflic -
15 But ye, servants, shall be sub - ted, advocates of the wealthy, unjust
ject unto your masters, as to a type judges of the poor, altogether sinful.
of God, in shame and fear. 6 May ye be delivered, my chil-
16 Thou shalt hate all hypocrisy, dren, from all these things.
and everything that is not pleasing
to the Lord. CHAPTER 6
17 Thou shalt never forsake the 1 See lest any man lead you astray
commandments of the Lord; from this way of righteousness, for
18 but shalt keep those things he teacheth thee apart from God.
which thou hast received, neither 2 For if thou art able to bear the
adding to them nor taking away whole yoke of the Lord, thou shalt
from them. be perfect;
19 In church thou shalt confess thy 3 but if thou art not able, do that
transgressions, and shalt not betake which thou art able.
thyself to prayer with an evil con - 4 But concerning eating, bear that
science. which thou art able;
20 This is the way of life. 5 yet abstain by all means from
meat sacrificed to idols;
CHAPTER 5 6 for it is the worship of dead gods.
1 But the way of death is this.
2 First of all, it is evil and full of a CHPATER 7
curse murders, adulteries, lusts, for - 1 But concerning baptism, thus
nications, thefts, idolatries, magical shall ye baptize.
arts, witchcrafts, plunderings, false 2 Having first recited all these
witnessings, hypocrisies, doubleness things, baptize in the name of the
of heart, treachery, pride, malice, Father and of the Son and of the

3
THE DIDACHE

Holy Spirit in living (running) wa- 2 First, as regards the cup:


ter. 3 We give Thee thanks, O our Fath -
3 But if thou hast not living water, er, for the holy vine of Thy son Dav -
then baptize in other water; id, which Thou madest known unto
4 and if thou art not able in cold, us through Thy Son Jesus;
then in warm. 4 Thine is the glory for ever and
5 But if thou hast neither, then pour ever.
water on the head thrice in the name 5 Then as regards the broken bread:
of the Father and of the Son and of 6 We give Thee thanks, O our Fath -
the Holy Spirit. er, for the life and knowledge which
6 But before the baptism let him Thou didst make known unto us
that baptizeth and him that is bap - through Thy Son Jesus;
tized fast, and any others also who 7 Thine is the glory for ever and
are able; ever.
7 and thou shalt order him that is 8 As this broken bread was
baptized to fast a day or two before. scattered upon the mountains and
being gathered together became one,
CHAPTER 8 so may Thy Church be gathered to -
1 And let not your fastings be with gether from the ends of the earth
the hypocrites, for they fast on the into Thy kingdom;
second and the fifth day of the 9 for Thine is the glory and the
week; power through Jesus Christ for ever
2 but do ye keep your fast on the and ever.
fourth and on the preparation (the 10 But let no one eat or drink of
sixth) day. this eucharistic thanksgiving, but
3 Neither pray ye as the hypocrites, they that have been baptized into the
but as the Lord commanded in His name of the Lord;
Gospel, thus pray ye. 11 for concerning this also the Lord
4 Our Father, which art in heaven, hath said:
hallowed be Thy name; 12 Give not that which is holy to
5 Thy kingdom come; the dogs.
6 Thy will be done, as in heaven, so
also on earth; CHAPTER 10
7 give us this day our daily bread; 1 And after ye are satisfied thus
8 and forgive us our debt, as we give ye thanks:
also forgive our debtors; 2 We give Thee thanks, Holy Fath -
9 and lead us not into temptation, er, for Thy holy name, which Thou
but deliver us from the evil one; hast made to tabernacle in our
10 for Thine is the power and the hearts, and for the knowledge and
glory for ever and ever. faith and immortality, which Thou
11 Three times in the day pray ye hast made known unto us through
so. Thy Son Jesus;
3 Thine is the glory for ever and
CHAPTER 9 ever.
1 But as touching the eucharistic 4 Thou, Almighty Master, didst cre -
thanksgiving give ye thanks thus. ate all things for Thy name's sake,

4
THE DIDACHE

and didst give food and drink unto Lord;


men for enjoyment, that they might 6 but he shall not abide more than a
render thanks to Thee; single day, or if there be need, a
5 but didst bestow upon us spiritual 7 but if he abide three days, he is a
food and drink and eternal life false prophet.
through Thy Son. 8 And when he departeth let the
6 Before all things we give Thee apostle receive nothing save bread,
thanks that Thou art powerful; until he findeth shelter;
7 Thine is the glory for ever and 9 but if he ask money, he is a false
ever. prophet.
8 Remember, Lord, Thy Church to 10 And any prophet speaking in the
deliver it from all evil and to perfect Spirit ye shall not try neither dis -
it in Thy love; cern;
9 and gather it together from the 11 for every sin shall be forgiven,
four winds—even the Church which but this sin shall not be forgiven.
has been sanctified—into Thy king - 12 Yet not every one that speaketh
dom which Thou hast prepared for in the Spirit is a prophet, but only if
it; he have the ways of the Lord.
10 for Thine is the power and the 13 From his ways therefore the
glory for ever and ever. false prophet and the prophet shall
11 May grace come and may this be recognized.
world pass away. 14 And no prophet when he or -
12 Hosanna to the God of David. dereth a table in the Spirit shall eat
13 If any man is holy, let him of it;
come; 15 otherwise he is a false prophet.
14 if any man is not, let him repent. 16 And every prophet teaching the
Maran Atha. Amen. truth, if he doeth not what he
15 But permit the prophets to offer teacheth, is a false prophet.
thanksgiving as much as they desire. 17 And every prophet approved and
found true, if he doeth ought as an
CHAPTER 11 outward mystery typical of the
1 Whosoever therefore shall come Church, and yet teacheth you not to
and teach you all these things that do all that he himself doeth, shall
have been said before, receive him; not be judged before you;
2 but if the teacher himself be per - 18 he hath his judgment in the pres -
verted and teach a different doctrine ence of God;
to the destruction thereof, hear him 19 for in like manner also did the
not; prophets of old time.
3 but if to the increase of right - 20 And whosoever shall say in the
eousness and the knowledge of the Spirit, Give me silver or anything
Lord, receive him as the Lord. else, ye shall not listen to him;
4 But concerning the apostles and 21 but if he tell you to give on be -
prophets, so do ye according to the half of others that are in want, let no
ordinance of the Gospel. man judge him.
5 Let every apostle, when he
cometh to you, be received as the CHAPTER 12

5
THE DIDACHE

1 But let every one that cometh in and give according to the command -
the name of the Lord be received; ment.
2 and then when ye have tested him
ye shall know him, for ye shall have CHAPTER 14
understanding on the right hand and 1 And on the Lord's own day gather
on the left. yourselves together and break bread
3 If the comer is a traveller, assist and give thanks, first confessing
him, so far as ye are able; your transgressions, that your sacri -
4 but he shall not stay with you fice may be pure.
more than two or three days, if it be 2 And let no man, having his dis -
necessary. pute with his fellow, join your as -
5 But if he wishes to settle with sembly until they have been recon -
you, being a craftsman, let him work ciled, that your sacrifice may not be
for and eat his bread. defiled;
6 But if he has no craft, according 3 for this sacrifice it is that was
to your wisdom provide how he spoken of by the Lord;
shall live as a Christian among you, 4 In every place and at every time
but not in idleness. offer Me a pure sacrifice;
7 If he will not do this, he is traf - 5 for I am a great king, saith the
ficking upon Christ. Lord and My name is wonderful
8 Beware of such men. among the nations.

CHAPTER 13 CHAPTER 15
1 But every true prophet desiring to 1 Appoint for yourselves therefore
settle among you is worthy of his bishops and deacons worthy of the
food. Lord, men who are meek and not
2 In like manner a true teacher is lovers of money, and true and ap -
also worthy, like the workman, of proved;
his food. 2 for unto you they also perform
3 Every firstfruit then of the pro - the service of the prophets and
duce of the wine-vat and of the teachers.
threshing-floor, of thy oxen and of 3 Therefore despise them not;
thy sheep, thou shalt take and give 4 for they are your honourable men
as the firstfruit to the prophets; along with the prophets and teach -
4 for they are your chief-priests. ers.
5 But if ye have not a prophet, give 5 And reprove one another, not in
them to the poor. anger but in peace, as ye find in the
6 If thou makest bread, take the Gospel;
firstfruit and give according to the 6 and let no one speak to any that
commandment. has gone wrong towards his neigh -
7 In like manner, when thou open - bour, neither let him hear a word
est a jar of wine or of oil, take the from you, until he repent.
firstfruit and give to the prophets; 7 But your prayers and your alms -
8 yea and of money and raiment givings and all your deeds so do ye
and every possession take the first - as ye find it in the Gospel of our
fruit, as shall seem good to thee, Lord.

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THE DIDACHE

Lord coming upon the clouds of


CHAPTER 16 heaven.
1 Be watchful for your life;
2 let your lamps not be quenched
and your loins not ungirded, but be
ye ready;
3 for ye know not the hour in which
our Lord cometh.
4 And ye shall gather yourselves to -
gether frequently, seeking what is
fitting for your souls;
5 for the whole time of your faith
shall not profit you, if ye be not per -
fected 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 increaseth,
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 won-
ders, and the earth shall be de -
livered 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 heav -
en, then a sign of a voice of a trum -
pet, 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