The Teaching of the Apostles
Translated by Dr. Ken Johnson

1 There are two ways, one of life and one of death, and there is a great difference between the two ways. The way of life is this.
First, love God that made you; second your neighbor as yourself. And whatever you don't want done to you don’t do to another. Now the meaning of these words is this: Bless them that curse you, and pray for your enemies and fast for those who persecute you; for what is the difference, if you love those who love you? Don't even the Gentiles do the same? But if you love them that hate you, you will not have an enemy. Abstain from fleshly and bodily desires. If a man strikes you on your right cheek, turn to him the other also, and you will be perfect. If a man forces you to go one mile with him, go with him two. If a man takes away your coat, give him your shirt also. If a man takes away something of yours, don't demand it back, for you can't. Give to everyone in need without asking them to repay; for the Father desires that gifts be given to all from His own gifts. Blessed is he that gives according to this command; for he is innocent. Woe to him who receives; if a man receives because he is in need, he is innocent, but he who has no need shall stand trial as to why he took. He shall be put in jail and he shall be examined concerning the deeds that he has done, and he shall not be released until he has given back the last penny. Remember it is said; "Let your alms burn holes in your pockets, until you have found some one to give it to."

2 And the second part of the teaching is:
Don't murder, commit adultery, corrupt boys, commit fornication, steal, practice magic, practice sorcery1, murder a child by abortion nor kill them when born, covet your neighbor’s goods, perjure yourself, bear false witness, speak evil, nor hold a grudge. You shall not be double-minded nor double-tongued; for the double tongue is a deadly snare. Your word shall not be false or vain, but fulfilled by action. Don't be avaricious nor a plunderer nor a hypocrite nor ill tempered nor proud. Don't entertain an evil design against your neighbor. You shall not hate any man, but some you shall reprove, and for others you shall pray, and others you shall love more than your life.

3 My child, flee from every evil and everything that resembles it. Don’t be irascible, for anger leads to murder, or jealous or contentious nor wrathful; for of all these things lead to murders. My child, don’t be lustful, for lust leads to fornication, or foul-speaking or one who lifts up his eyes; for of all these things lead to adulteries. My child, don't be a dealer in omens, since it leads to idolatry, or an enchanter or an astrologer or a magician, neither be willing to look at them; for all these things lead to idolatry. My child, don’t be a liar, since lying leads to theft, or avaricious or vainglorious; for all these things lead to thefts. My child, don’t be a murmurer, since it leads to blasphemy, or self-willed or a thinker of evil thoughts; for these things lead to blasphemies. But be meek, since the meek shall inherit the earth. Be long-suffering and merciful and guileless and quiet and good and always revere the words that you have heard. Do not exalt yourself, or admit arrogance into your soul. Don't associate with the lofty, but with the righteous and humble. Consider the accidents that befall you as good, knowing that nothing happens without God knowing.

4 My child, remember the one who teaches the word of God to you night and day, and honor him as the Lord; for wherever the Lords nature is talked of, there the Lord is. Seek out daily the faces of the saints, so you can find rest in their words. Don't make schisms, but reconcile those that contend; judge righteously, and don't show partiality when you reprove a person for transgressions. Don't worry2 whether a thing shall be or not be. Don’t be found holding out your hands to receive, but drawing them in when it comes to giving. What you have give as a ransom for your sins. Don't hesitate to give, or murmur when giving; because you know who is your rewarder. Don't turn the needy away, but shall make your brother a partaker in all things, and do not say that anything is your own. For if you are fellow-partakers in what is imperishable, how much more in the things which are perishable? Don't withhold your hand from your son or from your daughter, but from their youth teach them the fear of God. Don't command your bondservant or your handmaid in bitterness, who trust in the same God as your do, least they should cease to fear the God who is over you both. For He came, not to call men with partiality, but those the Spirit prepared. But servants, be subject unto your masters, as to a type of God, in modesty and fear. Hate all hypocrisy, and everything that is not pleasing to the Lord. Never forsake the commandments of the Lord; but keep the things that you received. Don't add to or take away from them. Confess your transgressions in church, and don't come to prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of life.

5 The way of death is this. First of all, it is evil and full of curses, murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, magical arts, enchantments, robberies, false witnessing, hypocrisies, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice, stubbornness, covetousness, foul-speaking, jealousy, arrogance, exaltation, and boastfulness. Persecutors of good men, hating truth, loving a lie, not perceiving the reward of righteousness, not adhering to the good nor to righteous judgment, lying awake not for good but for what is evil; from whom gentleness and patience are far away; loving vanity, seeking reward, without pity for the poor, not toiling for the oppressed, ignoring their maker, murderers of children, corrupters of Gods creatures, turning away the needy, oppressing the afflicted, advocates of the wealthy, unjust judges of the poor, altogether sinful. May you be delivered, my children, from all these things.

6 Don't let any man lead you astray from this way of righteousness, for he teaches you apart from God. For if you are able to bear the whole yoke of the Lord, you shall be perfect; but if you are not able, do what you can. But concerning food, bear what you can; but abstain by all means from meat sacrificed to idols; for it is the worship of dead gods.

7 Concerning baptism, baptize this way. After first reciting all these things, baptize in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, in living3 water. But if you have not living water, then baptize in other water; and if you are not able in cold, then in warm. But if you have neither, then pour water on the head three times in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer and the one who is to be baptized, and any others also who are able, fast; and you must order the one that is baptized to fast a day or two beforehand.

8 Your fasts must not be on the same days as the hypocrites, for they fast on Monday and the Thursday; but keep your fast on Wednesday and on the preparation (the sixth) day. Don't pray as the hypocrites, but as the Lord commanded in His Gospel: "Our Father, who is in heaven, may your name be revered; Your kingdom come; Your will be done on earth as it as it is in heaven; give us this day our daily bread; and forgive us our debt, as we also forgive our debtors; and lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one; for Yours is the power and the glory for ever and ever." Pray this three times a day.

9 But as touching the eucharistic thanksgiving you give thanks this way. First, the cup: "We thank You, our Father, for the holy vine of Your servant David, which You have made known unto us through Your Son Jesus; Yours is the glory for ever and ever." Then the broken bread: "We thank You, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You have make known unto us through Your Son Jesus; Yours is the glory for ever and ever. As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains and being gathered together became one, so may Your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Your kingdom; for Yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever and ever." But let no one eat or drink of this eucharistic thanksgiving, but those that have been baptized into the name of the Lord; for concerning this the Lord has said: "Give not that which is holy to the dogs."

10 After you are satisfied give thanks this way: "We give You thanks, Holy Father, for Your holy name, which You have made to tabernacle4 in our hearts, and for the knowledge, faith and immortality, which You have made known unto us through Your Son Jesus; Yours is the glory for ever and ever." You, Almighty Master, have created all things for Your name's sake, and given food and drink to men to enjoy, that they might give You thanks; but granted us spiritual food and drink and eternal life through Your Son. Before all things we give You thanks that You are mighty; Yours is the glory for ever and ever. Remember, Lord, Your Church to deliver it from all evil and to perfect it in Your love; and gather it together from the four winds--even the Church which has been sanctified--into Your kingdom which You have prepared for it; for Yours is the power and the glory for ever and ever. May grace come and may this world pass away. Hosanna to the God of David. If any man is holy, let him come; if any man is not, let him repent. Maranatha.5 Amen. But permit the prophets to offer thanksgiving as much as they desire.

11 Whoever comes and teaches you all these things that have been said before, receive him; but if the teacher turns away and teaches a different doctrine, to their destruction, hear him not. But if the teaching promotes righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive him as the Lord. But concerning the apostles and prophets, follow the ordinance of the Gospel. Let every apostle, when he comes to you, be received as the Lord; but he shall not stay more than a day, or if necessary, the next day also. But if he stays three days, he is a false prophet. And when he leaves let the apostle take nothing except enough food until he finds shelter; but if he asks for money, he is a false prophet. Don’t try or examine any prophet speaking in the Spirit. For every sin shall be forgiven, but this sin will not be forgiven. But not every one that speaks in the Spirit is a prophet, but only if he has the ways of the Lord. The false prophet and the true prophet shall be known by his ways. And no prophet when he orders a meal in the Spirit shall eat of it; otherwise he is a false prophet. And every prophet teaching the truth, if he does not do what he teaches, is a false prophet. And every prophet approved and found true, if he does anything as an outward mystery typical of the Church, but does not teach you to do what he himself does, shall not be judged by you; he will have his judgment in the presence of God; for the old prophets also did this. And whoever says in the Spirit, "Give me money" or anything else, you shall not listen to him; but if he tells you to give on behalf of others that are in want, let no man judge him.

12 Let every one that comes in the name of the Lord be received; and then when you have tested him you will know him, for you shall have understanding on the right hand and on the left. If the one who comes is a traveler, help him all you can; but he must not stay with you more than two days or if necessary three. But if he wishes to settle among you, and has a trade, let him work for a living. But if he has no skill, according to your wisdom provide how he shall live among you, but not in idleness just because he is a Christian. If he will not do this, he is bumming off of Christ. Beware of such men.

13 But every true prophet desiring to settle among you is worthy of his food. In like manner a true teacher is also, like the workman, worthy of his food. The firstfruits of the produce of the wine-vat and of the threshing-floor, of your oxen and of your sheep, you shall take and give as the firstfruits to the prophets; for they are your chief-priests. But if you don’t a prophet, give them to the poor. If you make bread, take the firstfruits and give according to the commandment. In like manner, when you open a jar of wine or of oil, take the firstfruits and give to the prophets; And of money and clothes and every possession take the firstfruits, as shall seem good to you, and give according to the commandment.

14 And on the Lord's own day gather yourselves together and break bread and give thanks, first confessing your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. And let no man, having his dispute with another, join your assembly until they have been reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be defiled. For this is the sacrifice that was spoken of by the Lord; "In every place and at every time offer Me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great king, says the Lord and My name is wonderful among the nations."

15 Therefore appoint for yourselves bishops and deacons worthy of the Lord, men who are meek and not greedy, tried and true; for unto you they also perform the service of the prophets and teachers. Therefore don’t despise them; for they are your honorable men along with the prophets and teachers. Don’t reprove one another in anger, but in peace as you find in the Gospel. And let no one speak to any that has wronged his neighbor, neither let him hear a word from you, until he repents. Do your prayers and almsgiving and all your deeds as you find it in the Gospel of our Lord.

16 Be watchful for your life; don’t let your lamps go out or be caught unprepared, but be ready; for you know not the hour when our Lord will come. Gather together often to seek what benefits your souls; for the whole time of your faith will not profit you, if you aren’t found perfect at the last time. For in the last days the false prophets and corrupters shall be multiplied, and the sheep will be turned into wolves, and love will be turned into hate. For as lawlessness increases, they shall hate and persecute and betray one another. And then the world-deceiver will appear as a son of God; and shall work signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands; and he will do unholy things, which have never been since the world began. Then all created mankind will pass into the fiery trial, and many will fall away and perish; but those that endure in their faith will be saved by the Curse itself. Then the signs of the truth will appear. First a sign of a rift in the heaven, then a sign of a voice of a trumpet, and third a resurrection of the dead; but not of all, but as it was said: "The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him." Then the world will see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.

 

 

1 or use enchantments 2 doubt 3 running 4 dwell 5 come quickly! 6 is perverted