In which begins my favorite quotes from the Didache

by Craig on September 6, 2012

A title on one manuscript of the Didache, dating to about 1000 A.D. reads something like “The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles for the Gentiles Churches.” Almost every one of us is a not a “Jewish” Christian, but a “Gentile” one.

In a way, the Didache was written for us – 2000 years ago.

The series on the Didache, the early church owner’s manual, began here.
And it’s part of a larger series on the Apostolic Fathers, which began here.

And I’ve been promising my favorite quotes from the Didache, and here they are…

♥✞ღ In the church you shall acknowledge your transgressions, and you shall not come near for your prayer with a conscience full of wrong.

♥✞ღ …if you are able to bear the entire yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect [full-grown, fully-mature] but if you are not able to do this, do what you are able.

(Some were teaching that perfect behavior was possible, and perfection was required for heaven. But this early teaching reflects one of the favorite phrases I have written since blogging, “The quest for perfection – and Grace for the quest”.)

♥✞ღ You shall not be one who stretches out his hands to receive but one who draws them back when someone is giving.


♥✞ღ You shall not turn away from him who is actually in need, but share with your brother in all things and not say that things are your own. For if you are partners in what is imperishable, how much more so in perishable things?

(The early church was, in general, pretty poor. The rich members were not used to this “helping with no strings attached” way of helping. The poor people were used to grabbing and begging. The gospel is balanced – and it was revolutionary.)

♥✞ღ Baptize in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water [a river or stream]. But if you have no living water, baptize in other water; and if you cannot do so in cold water, do so in warm. But if you have neither, pour out water three times upon the head in the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and also the baptized, as well as whoever else is able…

The Didache gives the earliest non biblical reference to baptism...

It's from a movie, and yes, the baptizer is Batman (Christian Bale) ツ


(So no babies baptized yet, and this does favor “dunking” over sprinkling –  but includes both. And interesting, the ones witnessing the baptism, as well as the ones being baptized should prepare for the baptism by fasting. A fast, which is a subtraction of food, but addition of spirit, can be a miracle.)

Lots more favorite Didache quotes ahead…

please come back.

{ 2 comments… read them below or add one }

Martha Orlando September 7, 2012 at 11:29 am

These are wonderful! I’ll be back for sure. :)
Blessings, Craig!


Craig September 8, 2012 at 2:42 pm

I was gonna go with just the straight quotes – but I couldn’t help throwing my 2 cents in. ツ Thank you Martha!! God bless!!


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