The Lord’s Original Teaching, Recovered

1 The Teaching of the Lord, by the Twelve Apostles, to the Gentiles.
1.1 There are two ways, one of life, the other of death, and there is a great
difference between the two ways. 1.2 Now the way of life is this: first, you shall
love the God who made you; second, your neighbour as yourself, and
everything that you would not have done to you, do not do to another.
1.3 The teaching that flows from these words is this: Bless those that curse
you and pray for your enemies, fast for those that persecute you. For what
merit is there if you love those that love you? Do not even the Gentiles do the
same? But love those who hate you and you will not have any enemy. 1.4 Avoid
the fleshly and bodily passions. If someone strikes you on your right cheek,
turn the other to him also, and you will be perfect. If someone forces you to go
one mile, go with him two. If someone takes your coat, give him your shirt
also. If someone takes away from you what is yours, do not ask for it back,
since you cannot. 1.5a To everyone asking of you give, and do not ask for it
back, for the Father wishes that gifts be given to all from his own bounty.
[1.5b Blessed is the one who gives according to the commandment, for he is
guiltless. Woe to the one who receives. For if he receives because he has need,
he is guiltless, but if he does not have need, he shall stand trial as to why he
received and for what, and being put in prison he will be examined about what
he has done, and he will not come out of it until he pays the last penny. 1.6 But
of this it was also said, ‘Let your charitable gift sweat in your hands until you
know to whom you give’.]
2.1 The second commandment of the teaching means: 2.2 You shall not
murder, You shall not commit adultery. You shall not corrupt children. You
shall not fornicate. You shall not steal. You shall not practice magic. You shall
not use sorcery. You shall not murder a child by abortion or by killing it once it
is born. You shall not covet what belongs to your neighbour. 2.3 You shall not
swear falsely. You shall not bear false witness. You shall not speak evil. You
shall not harbour a grudge. 2.4 You shall not be double-minded, nor doubletongued,
for the double tongue is a snare of death. 2.5 Your word shall not be
false or empty but fulfilled by action. 2.6 You shall not be covetous, nor a
swindler, nor a hypocrite, nor ill-tempered, nor proud. You shall not plot evil
against your neighbour. 2.7 You shall not hate anyone. But some you shall
reprove, and for some you shall pray. And some you shall love more than your
own life.
3.1 My child, flee from all evil and from everything like it. 3.2 Do not be
angry, for anger leads to murder; nor jealous nor contentious nor hottempered,
for all these things breed murder. 3.3 My child, do not be lustful, for
lust leads to fornication; nor should you use obscene speech or lustful gazes,
for all these breed acts of adultery. 3.4 My child, do not be a soothsayer, for
this leads to idolatry; nor an enchanter, nor an astrologer, nor a magician; do
not be willing to even look at such things, for all these breed idolatry. 3.5 My
child do not be a liar, for lying leads to theft; nor avaricious, nor vainglorious,
for all these breed theft. 3.6 My child, do not be a grumbler, for this leads to
blasphemy; nor self-willed, nor evil-minded, for all these breed blasphemy, 3.7
but be meek, since the meek shall inherit the earth. 3.8 Be patient and merciful,
and guileless, and quiet and good, and always revering the words you have
heard. 3.9 You shall not exalt yourself or admit arrogance into your soul. Your
soul shall not associate with the lofty but you shall walk with those who are
righteous and humble. 3.10 Accept the things that happen to you as good,
knowing that nothing is done without God.
4.1 My child, be mindful night and day of the one who speaks the word of
God to you. You shall honour him as the Lord, for wherever the Lord’s nature
is spoken of, there the Lord is. 4.2 You shall seek out daily the presence of the
saints to find support in their words. 4.3 You shall not cause division; instead
you shall reconcile those who quarrel. You shall judge righteously. You shall
not show partiality in reproving people for their faults. 4.4 You shall not doubt
whether a thing shall be or not. 4.5 Do not be someone holding out your hands
to receive, but closing them when it comes to giving. 4.6 If you have earned
something through the work of your hands, you shall give something as a
ransom for your sins. 4.7 You shall not hesitate to give, nor grumble when
giving, for you will know the good paymaster of your reward. 4.8 You shall not
turn the needy away; but you shall hold everything in common with your
brother, and not say that anything is your own, for if you share in what is
immortal, how much more in mortal things? 4.9 You shall not withhold your
hand from your son or your daughter, but from their youth you shall teach
them the fear of God. 4.10 You shall not command in bitterness your slave or
your maid who trusts in the same God, lest they stop revering the God who is
over you both. For he comes not to call people according to their status but he
comes to those whom the Spirit has prepared. 4.11 And you slaves shall be
subject to your masters, as symbols of God, with reverence and fear. 4.12 You
shall hate all hypocrisy and all that is not pleasing to the Lord. 4.13 You shall
not abandon the commandments of the Lord but shall keep what you have
received without adding or subtracting anything. 4.14 In the assembly you shall
confess your faults, and you shall not approach prayer with an evil conscience.
This is the way of life.
5.1 And the way of death is this. First of all, it is evil and full of
accursedness; murder, adultery, lust, fornication, theft, idolatry, magic, sorcery,
robbery, false witness, hypocrisy, doubleness of heart, treachery, pride, malice,
stubbornness, covetousness, obscene speech, jealousy, insolence, arrogance,
boastfulness. 5.2 Those who are persecutors of the good, hating truth, loving
falsehood, not knowing the reward of the righteous, not adhering to the good
nor to righteous judgement, lying awake not for what is good but for what is
evil, those who are far from being meek and patient, loving what is futile,
seeking repayment, not showing mercy to the poor, not labouring for the
oppressed, not recognizing him who made them, murderers of children,
corrupters of God’s creatures, who turn away from the needy, oppressing the
afflicted, defenders of the rich, unjust judges of the poor and altogether sinful.
[May you be delivered from all this.]
6.1 See that no one leads you astray from this way of teaching, since the one
who does so teaches apart from God. 6.2 If you are able to bear the whole
yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect, but if you cannot, do what you can. 6.3
Concerning food, bear what you can, but abstain strictly from food offered to
idols, for it is worship of dead gods.
7.1 Concerning baptism, baptize thus: [After you have repeated all these
things.] Baptize in the name of the [the Lord]
[cf. 9.5, later changed to ‘Father, Son and Holy Spirit’] in running water.
[7.2 If you do not have running water, baptize in other water; if you cannot
in cold, then in warm. 7.3. But if you have neither, pour water on the head
three times in the name of Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.]
7.4 Before the baptism, let the one baptizing and the one being baptized, and
any others who are able, fast.
[Command the one being baptized to fast for one or two days beforehand.
8.1 Do not let your fasts coincide with those of the hypocrites. They fast on
Monday and Thursday; you, though, should fast on Wednesday and Friday. 8.2
And do not pray as the hypocrites, but as the Lord commanded in his gospel
pray thus:
Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be your name, Your kingdom come, Your
will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our bread for the
morrow, And forgive us our sin, As we forgive those who sin against us. And
lead us not into temptation,
But deliver us from evil. For the power and glory are yours forever.
8.3 Pray this three times a day.]
9.1 Concerning the eucharist, give thanks thus:
9.2 First, concerning the cup: We give thanks to you, our Father, For the
holy vine of David your servant which you have revealed to us through Jesus
your servant. To you be glory for ever. 9.3 And concerning the fragment: We
give thanks to you, our Father, For the life and knowledge, which you have
revealed to us through Jesus your servant. To you be glory for ever. 9.4 As this
fragment lay scattered upon the mountains and has been gathered to become
one, so gather your Church from the ends of the earth into your kingdom. For
the glory and power are yours, through Jesus Christ, forever. 9.5 Let no one eat
or drink of your eucharist but those baptized in the name of the Lord,
[For concerning this the Lord has said, ‘Do not give to dogs what is holy’.]
[10.1 After you have had your fill, give thanks thus: 10.2 We give thanks to
you holy Father for your holy Name which you have made to dwell in our
hearts and for the knowledge, faith and immortality which you have revealed to
us through Jesus your servant. To you be glory for ever. 10.3 You Lord
almighty have created everything for the sake of your Name; you have given
human beings food and drink to partake with enjoyment so that they might
give thanks; but to us you have given the grace of spiritual food and drink and
of eternal life through Jesus your servant. 10.4 Above all we give you thanks
because you are mighty. To you be glory for ever. 10.5 Remember Lord your
Church, to preserve it from all evil and to make it perfect in your love. And,
sanctified, gather it from the four winds into your kingdom which you have
prepared for it. Because yours is the power and the glory for ever. 10.6 Let
grace come and let this world pass away. Hosanna to the house of David.. If
anyone is holy let him come, if anyone is not let him repent. Maranatha. Amen.
10.7 Allow the prophets to give thanks as much as they wish …]
[11.1 Whoever comes teaching all the above, receive him. 11.2 But if the
teacher himself turns away and teaches another teaching, to destroy them, do
not listen to him. But if it aims at promoting righteousness and knowledge of
the Lord, then receive him as the Lord.]
11.3 Concerning apostles
[and prophets, according to the directions in the gospel, act in this way.]
11.4 let every apostle who comes to you be received as the Lord.
11.5 He shall stay only one day, or, if need be, another day too. If he stays
three days, he is a false prophet. 11.6 When the apostle leaves, let him receive
nothing but enough bread to see him through until he finds lodging. If he asks
for money he is a false prophet.
[11.7 … and every prophet speaking in the Spirit neither test nor judge; every
sin shall be forgiven, but this sin shall not be forgiven. 11.8 But not every one
speaking in the Spirit is a prophet, but only those whose behaviour is as the
Lord’s, by their actions you can discern the false prophet from the prophet.
11.9 Every prophet calling for a table of food in the Spirit will not eat of it. If
he does he is a false prophet.]
[11.10 And every prophet teaching the truth who does not do what he
teaches is a false prophet. 11.11 But every prophet tested and found true who
lives ‘the mystery of the church in the world’ and does not teach others to do
the same – do not judge him. His judgment is with God. For the prophets of
old also lived/acted in this way.]
[11.12 If any prophet, speaking in the Spirit says, ‘Give me money’, or
anything else, do not listen to him. On the other hand, if he calls you to give it
to someone who is in need, do not judge him.
12.1 Let everyone who comes in the name of the Lord be received, after
that, when you have tested him, you will know what he is like – for you will
have right and left perception. 12.2a If the one who comes is a traveller, help
him as much as you can, 12.2b but he shall not stay with you more than two or
three days if this is necessary. 12.3 But if he wants to settle with you, and he is a
craftsman, let him work and so eat. 12.4 If he has no craft, see to it in your own
understanding that no one lives among you in idleness because he is a
Christian. 12.5 If he is unwilling to do this, he is trading on Christ. Be on your
guard against such people.]
[13.1 But every true prophet, who wants to settle with you is worthy of his
food, 13.2 In the same way, a true teacher is worthy, just as the worker is
worthy of his food. 13.3 Therefore, when you take any firstfruits of what is
produced by the wine press and the threshing floor, by cows and by sheep, you
shall give the firstfruits to the prophets, for they are your High Priests. 13.4 If,
however, you have no prophet, give them to the poor. 13.5 If you make bread,
take the firstfruits and give them according to the commandment. 13.6
Likewise, when you open a jar of wine or oil, take the firstfruits and give them
to the prophets. 13.7 Take the firstfruits of money and clothing and whatever
you own as you think best and give them according to the commandment.
14.1 Assembling on every Sunday of the Lord, break bread and give thanks,
confessing your faults besides so that your sacrifice may be clean. 14.2 Let no
one engaged in a dispute with his comrade join you until they have been
reconciled, lest your sacrifice be profaned. 14.3 This is the sacrifice of which
the Lord has said: “‘to offer me a clean sacrifice in every place and time,
because I am a great king,’ says the Lord, ‘and my name is wonderful among
the nations.'”
15.1 Elect, then, for yourselves bishops and deacons worthy of the Lord,
meek men who are not lovers of money, who are true and have proved
themselves, for they too perform the functions of prophets and teachers for
you. 15.2 So do not disregard them, for they are persons who hold a place of
honour among you, together with the prophets and teachers.]
[15.3 Correct one another not in anger but in peace, as you have it in the
gospel; and let no one speak to anyone who wrongs another, let him not hear a
word from you, until he has repented. 15.4 Perform you prayers and your
almsgiving and everything you do as you have it in the gospel of our Lord.]
16.1 Watch over your life. Let your lamps not go out and let your loins not
be ungirded but be ready, for you do not know the hour at which our Lord is
coming. 16.2 You shall assemble frequently, seeking what your souls need, for
the whole time of your faith will be of no profit to you unless you are perfected
at the final hour.
16.3 In the last days shall be multiplied false prophets and corruption and
shall turn the sheep into wolves and love shall turn into hate. 16.4a For with
the increase of lawlessness they shall hate one another and shall persecute and
betray. 16.4b And then shall appear the world-deceiver as a son of God and he
shall do signs and wonders and the earth shall be betrayed into his hands and
he shall do godless things that have not been done since the beginning of the
age.
16.5 Then human creation shall pass into the fire of testing and many shall
be caused to stumble and be lost, but those who persevere in their faith shall be
saved by the curse itself. 16.6 And then shall appear the signs of truth first the
sign of extension in heaven next the sign of the trumpet call and third the
resurrection of the dead. [16.7 not of all the dead, but, as it says, ‘the Lord shall
come, and all his holy ones with him’.]
16.8 Then the world shall see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven,
and all the holy ones with him, on his royal throne, to judge the world-deceiver
and to reward each according to his deeds. 16.9 Then the evil shall go away into
eternal punishment but the righteous shall enter into life eternal, inheriting
those things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard and which has not
arisen in the heart of man. Those things which God has prepared for those
who love him.

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