The Teaching of the Lord to the Nations, by the Twelve Apostles

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Introduction

This short little Teaching text, attributed to Yeshua’s twelve Emissaries, is more commonly known as “the Didache,” which is a Greek term meaning “teaching.” It is easily divided into two distinct sections: the first being a retelling of the “Teaching of Two Ways;” and the second being an authoritative teaching for how the Assemblies should function in regards to charitable giving, baptism, fasting, and thanksgiving. This second portion also gives reasonably thorough descriptions for prophets, apostles, teachers, overseers, and servants within the Assembly. Additionally, it gives liturgical prayers and blessings for ritual immersions.

 

Textual Support for the Teaching

No full text for the Teaching was known to have still existed in modern times until it was rediscovered in 1873 within the Codex Hierosolymitanus, (11th century CE) the Jerusalem Codex, a Greek manuscript of the Scriptures which also contained the Letter of Barnabas, both letters by Clement of Rome, and long versions of seven of the Greek letters attributed to Ignatius of Antioch.

 

Authorship of the Teaching

The text itself does not claim to have been written by the apostles directly, yet it has been ascribed to them by several ancient sources; Athanasius, Didymus, Eusebius, and Serapion of Thmuis in the 4th century CE refer to it as “The Teaching of the Apostles”. Interestingly enough, Rufinus, also 4th century CE, refers to it as the “Judgment of Peter”.

It was widely received in ancient times, and became later incorporated into several types of “church manuals,” such as the Apostolic Constitutions. While it cannot be certain that it was genuinely written by the Emissaries themselves, it was known to have been written at a very early date, likely prior to the close of the first century CE.

The Teaching serves us today as an example of Nazarene discipleship; it builds itself up as a logical continuation of the letter written by Ya’akov haTzadik to new believers in Acts 15. It is an excellent text to guide us in proper moral conduct within the Assembly of the righteous. It presents many of the Torah commandments relating to our personal lives in an often streamlined fashion, alongside the wisdom of the fathers of the Nazarene faith.

 

Note to This Edition of the Text

Like many ancient Nazarene texts, The Teaching was preserved only in Greek, and shows visible signs of having fallen through several layers of unworthy hands. It been restored by myself, Aish Tamid, a Nazarene Scribe, for the benefit of the Assembly in these last days. In the spirit of academic responsibility, and so as not to shirk my responsibility as a scribe, significant changes to the text, such as the removal of the trinitarian immersion formula, and the admonition to Sunday worship, have been noted as footnotes.

 

Copyright Notice

This text is freely distributed as part of a collection of sacred texts from the post-Apostolic age. Tentatively speaking, it is intended to be the first of many such texts that will be released in the near future.

While this text is copyright © 2014 by Simplicity Best Publications, it may be freely distributed and quoted from, providing it is not used for commercial purposes, or for the purpose of causing harm to the Nazarene faith, in whole or in part.

 

Preface

This is the Teaching of the Adon to the Nations, by the Twelve Emissaries.

 

Chapter One

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: first of all, “you shall love the Eloah that made you;” [1] and second, “you shall love your neighbor as yourself.” [2] “Do not do to others what you would not want done to you.” [3]

3 Now this is the doctrine of these words: “Bless them that curse you; pray for your enemies; and fast for them that persecute you. What credit is it for you if you love them that love you? Do not even the Goyim do the same? Rather, you shall love them that hate you,” [4] and you shall not have an enemy.

4 “Abstain from fleshly and bodily lusts.” [5]

“If any man strikes you on your right cheek, turn the other to him also, and you shall be perfect. If a man presses you to go a mile with him, then go two miles with him. If a man takes away your cloak, then give him your coat also. If a man takes something own away from you that is yours, then do not ask for it back, for you are not even able to. 5 Give to every man that asks of you, and do not ask for it back; for the Father desires that gifts be given to all from His own bounties.” [6] Blessed is he that gives according to the commandment, for he is guiltless; but woe to him that receives! If a man who is in need has received, then he is guiltless; but he that is not in need shall give an account of what he received, and why he received it. Being put in prison, what he has done shall be examined, and he shall not come out from there until he has given back the last penny. 6 It is said concerning this, “Let your alms sweat in your hands, until you have learned who to give to.” [7]

 

Chapter Two

1 This is the second commandment of the teaching.

2 “You shall not murder.” [8]
“You shall not commit adultery.” [9]
You shall not corrupt children. [10]
You shall not commit fornication.
“You shall not steal.” [11]
“You shall not deal in magic.” [12]
“You shall not do sorcery.” [13]
You shall not shalt not murder a child by abortion,
nor shall you kill them after they are born. [14]
“You shall not covet your neighbor’s goods.” [15]
3 “You shall not swear falsely.” [16]
“You shall not bear false witness.” [17]
You shall not speak with an evil tongue. [18]
You shall not cherish a grudge. [19]
You shall not be double-minded, [20] nor double-tongued; for “the double tongue is a snare of death.” [21]

4 Your word shall not be false or empty, but fulfilled by action. [22] 5 You shall not be covetous, nor a plunderer, nor a hypocrite, nor ill-tempered, nor proud. 6 You shall not entertain an evil plan against your neighbor. 7 You shall not hate anyone; [23] but some you shall reprove, others you shall pray for, and others you shall love more than your own life.

 

Chapter Three

1 My child, flee from every evil, and everything that resembles evil. 2 Do not be angry, for anger leads to murder. Do not be jealous, contentious, or wrathful, for murder originates from these things.

3 My child, do not be lustful, for lust leads to fornication. Do not be foul-speaking neither with uplifted eyes; for adulteries originate from all these things.

4 My child, do not deal in omens, since it leads to idolatry. Do not be an enchanter, an astrologer, or a magician– do not be even willing to look at them, for idolatry originates from all these things. [24]

5 My child, do not be a liar, for lying leads to theft. Do not be covetous or vainglorious, for theft originates from all these things.

6 My child, do not be a murmurer, for it leads to blasphemy. Do not be self-willed, or one who thinks evil thoughts, for blasphemies are engendered from all these things.

7 Be meek, rather, for “the meek shall inherit the earth.” [25] 8 Be long-suffering, merciful, harmless, peaceable, and kind, and always revere the words which you have heard. 9 Do not exalt yourself, nor admit brazenness into your soul. Do not join your soul together with those who are lofty, but walk with those who are righteous and humble. 10 Accept the things that happen to you as good, knowing that nothing is done without Eloah.

 

Chapter Four

1 My child, you shall remember, both night and day, him that speaks the Word of Eloah to you, and honor him as you honor the Adon; for wherever the teaching of the Adon is given, the Adon is there also. [26]

2 Seek out the presence of the tzadikim every day, so that you may find rest in their words.

3 Do not make a schism; rather, pacify them that contend.

Judge righteously, and do not show favoritism when reproving others for transgressions.

4 Do not be undecided whether a thing shall be or not.

5 Do not be found holding out your hands to receive, but drawing them in when it comes time to give. 6 Give from whatever you have gained by your hands as a ransom for your sins. 7 Do not hesitate to give, and do not complain when giving; for you shall know who is the good paymaster of your reward. 8 Do not turn away from him that is in need, but share with your brother in all things, and do not say that they are your own; for if you are partners in that which is imperishable, then how much more in the things which are perishable?

9 Do not withhold your hand from your son or your daughter, but teach them the fear of Eloah from their youth.

10 Do not command your bondservant or your handmaid in bitterness, who trust in the same Eloah as yourself, or else they might cease to fear the same Eloah who is over both of you; for He does not show favoritism to the men who He calls, but He comes to those whom the Ruach has prepared.

11 As for you, servants, submit to your masters, as to a type of Eloah, in reverence and in fear.

12 Hate all hypocrisy, and everything that is not pleasing to .

13 Never forsake the commandments of YHWH, but keep the things which you have received, neither adding to them nor taking away from them.

14 Confess your transgressions in the assembly, and do not go into prayer with an evil conscience.

This is the way of life.

 

Chapter Five

1 This, however, is the way of death.

First of all, it is evil, and full of curses. It is full of murder, adultery, lust, fornication, thefts, idolatry, magic, witchcraft, plundering, false witness, hypocrisy, double-mindedness, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, boldness, self-exaltation, and boastfulness.

2 It is full of those who persecute good men; those who hate the truth, those who love lies; those who do not perceive the reward of righteousness; those who do not cleave to the is good; those who do not cleave to righteous judgment; those who are not vigilant for that which is good, but for that which is evil. [27]

3 Gentleness and forbearance stand far off from them. 4 They love vain things, they pursue a reward, they do not pity the poor, they do not toil for he who is oppressed with toil, and they do not recognizing He who made them. 5 They murder children, they corrupt the creatures of Eloah, they turn away from he who is in want, they oppress he who is afflicted, they advocate for the wealthy, and they unjustly judge the poor.

6 They are altogether sinful! My children, may you be delivered from all these things.

 

Chapter Six

1 Beware, lest any man leads you astray from this way of righteousness; for he teaches you apart from Eloah.

2 If you are to able to bear the whole yoke of the Adon, then you shall be perfect; 3 but if you are not able, then do that which you are able to do.

4 Concerning eating, bear that which you are able to bear, 5 yet abstain from meat sacrificed to idols at all cost, 6 for it is the worship of dead gods.

 

Chapter Seven

1 Concerning immersion, immerse in this manner. 2 Having first recited all these things, baptize in the name of Yeshua [28] in living, running water. 3 If you do not have running water, then immerse in other water; 4 and if you are not able to do it with cold, then do it with warm. 5 If you do not have either, then pour water on the head in the name of Yeshua. [29] 6 Before the immersion, let him performing the immersion and him that is being immersed fast, as well as any others also who are able; 7 and order him that is being immersed to fast a day or two before.

 

Chapter Eight

1 Do not let your fasting be done with the hypocrites, for they fast on the second day and the fifth day of the week; but keep your fast on the fourth day and the preparation day. 2 Do not pray as the hypocrites, but pray as the Adon commanded in His B’sorah:

3 “Our Father, who is in heaven: may Your name be set apart. May Your kingdom come, and May Your will be done; as in heaven, so also on earth. Give us today our daily bread, and forgive us our debt, as we also forgive our debtors. Do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one; for Yours is the power and the glory, forever and ever.” [30]

4 Pray like this three times a day.

 

Chapter Nine

1 Concerning the thanksgiving, give thanks in this manner.

2 First, concerning the cup:

3 “We give You thanks, O our Father, for the set apart vine of Your son David, which You made known to us through Your Son Yeshua; 4 for Yours is the glory, forever and ever.”

5 Then, concerning the broken bread:

6 “We give You thanks, O our Father, for the life and knowledge which You have made known to us through Your Son Yeshua; 7 for Yours is the glory, forever and ever.

8 “As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains, and became gathered together into one, so may Your Assembly be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Your kingdom; 9 for Yours is the glory and the power through Yeshua the Moshiach, forever and ever.”

10 Do not let anyone eat or drink of this thanksgiving unless they have been baptized into the name of the Adon; 11 for concerning this, the Adon said, 12 “Do not give that which is set apart to the dogs.” [31]

 

Chapter Ten

1 After you are satisfied, give thanks in this manner:

2 “We give You thanks, Set Apart Father, for Your set apart name, which You have made to dwell in our hearts, and for the knowledge, the faith, and the immortality which You have made known to us through Your Son Yeshua; 3 for Yours is the glory, forever and ever.

4 “You, Almighty Master, created all things for Your name’s sake, and gave food and drink to men for enjoyment, that they might give thanks to You; 5 but You bestowed spiritual food and drink upon us, and eternal life through Your Son. 6 We give You thanks, above all else, that You are powerful; 7 for Yours is the glory, forever and ever.

8 “Remember, O YHWH, Your Assembly, to deliver it from all evil, and to perfect it in Your love. 9 Gather it together from the four winds– the Assembly 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 Eloah of David! 13 If any man is set apart, then let him come; 14 if any man is not, then let him repent. Our Adon comes! Amein.”

15 Permit the prophets to offer thanksgiving as often as they desire.

 

Chapter Eleven

1 Receive whoever comes and teaches you all these things that have already been said. 2 If the teacher himself turns, and teaches another doctrine to the destruction of this, then do not hear him; but if he teaches so as to increase righteousness and the knowledge of YHWH, then receive him as the Adon.

3 Concerning the emissaries and the prophets, act according to the ordinance of the B’sorah. 4 Let every emissary, when he comes to you, be received as the Adon. 5 He shall not stay with you for more than a single day, or two if there is a need; but if he stays for three days, then he is a false prophet. 6 When he departs, let the emissary receive nothing but bread, until he finds shelter; but if he asks for money, then he is a false prophet.

7 Do not tempt or dispute with any prophet who speaks in the Ruach; for every sin shall be forgiven, but this sin shall not be forgiven. 8 Now not everyone that speaks in the Ruach is a prophet, but only he that holds the ways of YHWH. The false prophet and the prophet shall be recognized from their ways.

9 No prophet will command others with the authority of the Ruach for food to be brought to him; if he does this, then he is a false prophet.

10 Every prophet who teaches the truth, but does not do what he teaches, is a false prophet.

11 Do not judge a prophet who, after having been verified and found true, ministers in the visible mystery of the Assembly, yet does not teach you to do as he does; for his judgment lies with Eloah. In this way, he follows the example laid out by the ancient prophets.

12 Do not listen to whoever says in the Ruach, “Give me silver, or anything else;” but if he tells you to give on behalf of others that are in want, then let no man judge him.

 

Chapter Twelve

1 Let every one that comes in the name of YHWH be received. Afterward, when you have tested him, you shall know his character; for you shall have understanding on the right hand and on the left. 2 If the person who comes is a traveler, then assist him as much as you are able; but he shall not stay with you for more than two or three days, if it is necessary. 3 If he wishes to settle with you, and has a craft, then let him work for his bread to eat; 4 but if he does not have a craft, then provide how he shall live as a believer among you, according to your wisdom– but not in idleness. 5 If he will not do this, then he is trafficking upon the Moshiach. Beware of such men.

 

Chapter Thirteen

1 Every true prophet who desires 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 You shall take every firstfruit of the produce of the wine-vat, the threshing-floor, your oxen, and your sheep, and give them to the prophets, for they are your chief priests; 4 but if you do not have a prophet, then give them to the poor.

5 If you make bread, then take the firstfruit, and give it according to the commandment. [32] 6 In like manner, when you open a jar of wine or oil, take the firstfruit, and give it to the prophets. 7 Take the firstfuit of money, clothing, and every possession, as seems good to you, and give them according to the commandment. [33]

 

Chapter Fourteen

1 Gather yourselves together according to the Adon’s way. [34] Break bread, and give thanks; but confess your transgressions first, so that your sacrifice may be pure. 2 Do not let any man who has a dispute with his fellow join your assembly until the two of them have been reconciled, so that your sacrifice is not defiled; 3 for this is the sacrifice that was spoken of by YHWH, “‘In every place, and at every time, offer Me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great king,’ says YHWH;” [35] and, “My name is made great among the nations.” [36]

 

Chapter Fifteen

1 Appoint overseers and servants for yourselves who are worthy of the Adon: they shall be men who are meek, and not lovers of money, but honest, and trustworthy; for they perform the service of the prophets and teachers to you. 2 Do not despise them, for they are your honorable men, along with the prophets and teachers.

3 Do not reprove one another in anger, but in peace, as you find in the B’sorah. Let no one speak to him that has wronged his neighbor, and do not let him hear anything from you until he repents.

4 Perform all your prayers, your almsgivings, and your deeds as you find find in the B’sorah of our Adon.

 

Chapter Sixteen

1 Be watchful for your life. Do not let your lamps be quenched, nor your loins ungirded; but be ready, for you do not know the hour in which our Adon comes. [37]

2 Gather yourselves together frequently, seeking what is profitable for your souls; for the whole time of your faith shall not profit you if you are not perfected at the last season. [38]

3 There shall be many false prophets and corrupters in the last days. The sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall be turned into hate; for as Torah-less-ness increases, they shall hate one another, and shall persecute and betray. [39] 4 The deceiver of the world shall then appear as a son of Eloah; he shall perform signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands. He shall do many unlawful things, which have never yet come to pass since the world began.

5 Then all created mankind shall come to the fire of testing, and many shall be offended and perish; but those who endure in their faith shall be saved from under the curse itself.

6 Then the signs of the truth shall appear: first, the sign of a rift in the heaven; second, by the sign of a sound of a trumpet; and third, by the resurrection of the dead– 7 yet not all of the dead, but as it was said, YHWH shall come, and all His set-apart ones with Him.” [40]

8 Then the world shall see the Adon coming upon the clouds of heaven. [41]

 

Footnotes

1 Deuteronomy 6:5. See Matthew 22:34-40.

2 Leviticus 19:18. See Matthew 22:34-40.

3 Known as the “Silver Rule,” from Tobit 4:15. See Matthew 7:12 and Luke 6:31.

4 Paraphrasing Matthew 5:39-47 and Luke 6:27-33.

5 1 Peter 2:11.

6 Continued paraphrase from Matthew 5:39-47 and Luke 6:27-33.

7 A similar thought is found in Sirach 12:1, “When you do a good deed, make sure you know who is benefiting from it; then what you do will not be wasted.” (Good News Translation)

8 Exodus 20:13, Deuteronomy 5:17. (The Sixth Commandment)

9 Exodus 20:14, Deuteronomy 5:18. (The Seventh Commandment)

10 See Matthew 18:6, Mark 9:42, and Luke 17:2.

11 Exodus 20:15, Deuteronomy 5:19. (The Eighth Commandment)

12 Exodus 22:18, Deuteronomy 18:10.

13 Exodus 22:18, Deuteronomy 18:10.

14 Leviticus 20:1, Deuteronomy 18:10.

15 Exodus 20:17, Deuteronomy 5:21. (The Tenth Commandment)

16 The Greek text has generally been translated, “You shall not perjure yourself.” Understanding the Hebraic thought process from which this teaching came, this passage was likely intended to reflect Leviticus 19:12. This is in agreement with the Shem Tov Hebrew Matthew 5:34.

17 Exodus 20:16, Deuteronomy 5:20. (The Ninth Commandment)

18 See Psalm 34:13.

19 See Matthew 6:14-15.

20 See James 1:8.

21 Proverbs 21:6.

22 See James 2:14-18, Matthew 7:22-23, and 2 Clement 4:1-3.

23 Leviticus 19:17.

24 See Wisdom 14:12.

25 Psalm 37:11, Enoch 5:7. See Matthew 5:5

26 See Matthew 18:20.

27 See Matthew 24:12.

28 The Greek text reads, “in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit,” presumably mirroring Matthew 28:19; yet on four separate occasions in Acts, (2:38, 8:16, 10:48, 19:5) we are told that new believers were baptized in the name of Yeshua. Among the “church fathers,” it is known that Eusebius of Caesarea (Proof of the Gospel III, 7.132) quoted this passage from Matthew numerous times, and did not include the trinitarian baptism formula; likewise, Cyril of Jerusalem (Discourse on Mary Theotokos 12a) records that the Good News according to the Hebrews lacked this formula as well.

29 The Greek text reads, “then pour water over the head three times, in the name of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit.” See previous footnote.

30 See Matthew 6:13 and Luke 11:4.

31 Matthew 7:6.

32 Numbers 15:17-21.

33 See Numbers 18:21, Nehemiah 10:37, and Ezekiel 44:30.

34 The Greek is frequently translated “On the Lord’s day…” However, the word for “on” (kata) is more accurately translated “according to,” and the word for day (emera) is completely absent.

35 Malachi 1:11.

36 Malachi 1:14.

37 See Matthew 24:36 and Mark 13:32.

38 See Ezekiel 18:21.

39 See Matthew 24:12.

40 See Deuteronomy 33:1-5, Zechariah 14:5, Enoch 1:9, and Jude 1:14-16.

41 See Matthew 24:30 and 1 Thessalonians 3:13.

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