Church History, Lesson 4: The Didache, Pt. 1

The Didache 2a

Recap In 49 AD, the Church met in her first council to resolve issues of incorporating Gentiles into, then, an ethnically Jewish Church.  The Gentiles did not need to be circumcised for, as the Apostle Paul would later write, baptism supersedes circumcision in the New Covenant (Colossians 2:11-13). However, Gentiles did need to give up […]

Lessons on the Didache

The Didache (610x370)

The Didache is the earliest, non-Biblical document in the New Testament Church.  It was complied by the Church to teach adult, Gentile converts aspects of the Christian Faith. The date of the Didache is as early as the mid-50s AD, after the Gospel of Matthew was written and had circulated, but the other three Gospels […]

Didache, Lesson 15: Apostles and Prophets, Pt. 2

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Prophets In the last lesson, we saw the Didache link the Apostles to Jesus (11:4.)  But today, we will see the Didache link prophets to the Holy Spirit.   Although, at first, this seems a hair-splitting distinction, it simply shows the worldview of those who put together the Didache.  It shows that the Apostles were directly […]

The Didache, Lesson 12: Prayer and Fasting

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After the Didache goes over what brings someone into the New Covenant of Christ, it immediately moves into the spiritual disciplines for someone who is in the covenant: Prayer and fasting.   The spiritual disciplines that Jesus’ disciples are to bring into their lives help keep the sinful nature from taking over and causing them to […]

The Didache, Lesson 10: Staying Faithful

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After describing the way of death, the Didache tells those being instructed not to be led astray, which leads one into the way of death.  6.1   Take care that no one leads you astray from the Way of the teaching [didache], since he is teaching you apart from God. Jeremiah 23:32: “‘Indeed, I am against […]

The Didache, Lesson 9: The Way of Death

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After describing the way of Life, the Didache moves on to chapter 5, which describes the way of death.  5:1  In contrast, this is the way of death.  It is evil and fully cursed: Murders, adulteries, lusts, sexual immoralities, thefts, idolatries, magic arts, sorceries, robberies, false accusations, hypocrisies, double-dealing, deceit, arrogance, malice, self-will, greediness, abusive […]

The Didache, Lesson 7: The Poor, Children, and Slaves

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Life with the poor (Continued) 4:7  Do not hesitate when you give, and do not grumble when giving, for you will know who is the good Paymaster of the reward. Matthew 5:12: “Jesus said, ‘Be full of joy and be glad, because great is your reward in heaven.’” Luke 14:14: “[Jesus said,] ‘And you will […]

The Didache, Lesson 6: The Pastor, the Parish, and the Poor

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The Didache, chapter 4, instructs us in living together as the Body of Christ, the Church, at a given place.  If the Didache were written today, some of the categories of this chapter would be different.  Nonetheless, the principles of this chapter remain the same. This chapter is separated into different areas. 4:1: Life with […]

The Didache, Lesson 4: The “No” of the Faith

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The Didache, chapter 3, instructs us in the “no” and the “yes” of the faith.  For the “no,” the Didache teaches us to look deeper into the root causes of our many sins.  Then, it beckons us to see “discretion as the better part of valor.”   The “No” 3:1 My child, flee from every […]

The Didache: Lesson 3, The 2nd Great Commandment

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As we continue studying the Didache, we find that it does not directly use the Ten Commandments as a guide for Christian behavior (3rd use of the Law).  Instead, the Didache continues with Jesus’ summation of the Law: love God and love neighbor. If you were to compare the Didache’s “dos and don’ts,” you would […]