I’m going to depart from my traditional series of Thursday posts on the New Testament to spend a little while on an early Christian document called The Didache. This little document, which I think comes from the period 51-57, but which some will date as late as 120, is a very early guide to churchly practices. We’ll walk through it a bit at a time before returning to actual New Testament texts.
The Didache. (translated by Kirsopp Lake) Loeb Classical Library #24. Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1912, reprint 1985, pp. 303-334.
Chapter 3, pp. 312-315.
Chapter 3 of the Didache warns against being with evil people. Pride, contention and passion lead to murder (Didache III.2) and desire can lead to sexual immorality (Didache III.3). Various occupations can lead to idolatry or encourage it in others (Didache III.4). Lying, seeking money or fame, and complaining lead to theft or blasphemy (Didache III.5-6). On the contrary, the Christian should be gentle, patient, merciful, honest, and peaceful (Didache III.7-9). This lifestyle of humility is accompanied by thanksgiving for all that happens in life, knowing God is not absent (Didache III.10).