Last Friday, I completed the first draft of a book on the Didache for Paraclete Press. It’ll come out sometime this fall, but in the meantime, here’s a top ten list of my favorite lines from that wonderful little manual on the Christian faith (these come from our new, contemporary translation, which I hope to make available online via a Creative Commons license):
10. Give to every one who asks you, and don’t ask for it back. The Father wants his blessings shared.
9. Welcome anyone coming in the name of the Lord. Receive everyone who comes in the name of the Lord, but then, test them and use your discretion.
If he who comes is a transient, assist him as far as you are able; but he should not remain with you more than two or three days, if need be.
If he wants to stay with you, and is a craftsman, let him work for his living.
But if he has no trade, use your judgment in providing for him; for a Christian should not live idle in your midst.
8. On the Lord’s day, gather yourselves together and break bread, give thanks, but first confess your sins so that your sacrifice may be pure.
7. Come together often, seeking the things that are good for your souls. A life of faith will not profit you if you are not made perfect at the end of time.
6. The way of life is this:
First, you shall love God who made you.
And second, love your neighbor as yourself, and do not do to another what you would not want done to you.
5. My child, flee evil of all kinds, and everything like it.
4. Bless those who curse you, and pray for your enemies, and fast for those who persecute you. For what reward is there for loving those who love you? Do not the heathens do the same? But you should love those who hate you, and then you shall have no enemies.
3. Hate no one;
correct some, pray for others, and some you should love more than your own life.
2. There are two ways, one of life and one of death!
and there is a great difference between the two ways.
1. For if you are able to bear the entire yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect; but if you are not able, then at least do what you can.