We are investigating the two paths or two ways of the Bible. The Psalms are the prayers and hymns of those on the righteous path and their warnings for those on the wicked path.
One of the earliest Christian “curricula” is the Didache. Likely written less than 60 years after the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus.
The Didache, also known as The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, is a brief anonymous early Christian treatise, dated by most modern scholars to the first century. The first line of this treatise is “The teaching of the Lord to the Gentiles (or Nations) by the twelve apostles”. The text, parts of which constitute the oldest extant written catechism, has three main sections dealing with Christian ethics, rituals such as baptism and Eucharist, and Church organization. The opening chapters describe the virtuous Way of Life and the wicked Way of Death. The Lord’s Prayer is included in full. Baptism is by immersion, or by affusion if immersion is not practical. Fasting is ordered for Wednesdays and Fridays. Two primitive Eucharistic prayers are given. Church organization was at an early stage of development. Itinerant apostles and prophets are important, serving as “chief priests” and possibly celebrating the Eucharist. Meanwhile, local bishops and deacons also have authority and seem to be taking the place of the itinerant ministry. The Didache is considered the first example of the genre of Church Orders. The Didache reveals how Jewish Christians saw themselves and how they adapted their practice for Gentile Christians. The Didache is similar in several ways to the Gospel of Matthew, perhaps because both texts originated in similar communities. The opening chapters, which also appear in other early Christian texts, are likely derived from an earlier Jewish source. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Didache
THERE are two paths, one of life and one of death, and the difference is great between the two paths. The Twelve Apostles. The Didache . Acheron Press. Kindle Edition.
The Path of Life
|Now the path of life is this—first, thou shalt love the God who made thee, thy neighbour as thyself, and all things that thou wouldest not should be done unto thee, do not thou unto another.
And the doctrine of these maxims is as follows.
Bless them that curse you, and pray for your enemies. Fast on behalf of those that persecute you; for what thank is there if ye love them that love you? do not even the Gentiles do the same But do ye love them that hate you, and ye will not have an enemy.
Abstain from fleshly and worldly lusts. If any one give thee a blow on thy right cheek, turn unto him the other also, and thou shalt be perfect; if any one compel thee to go a mile, go with him two; if a man take away thy cloak, give him thy coat also; if a man take from thee what is thine, ask not for it again, for neither art thou able to do so. Give to every one that asketh of thee, and ask not again, for the Father wishes that from his own gifts there should be given to all. Blessed is he who giveth according to the commandment, for he is free from guilt; but woe unto him that receiveth. For if a man receive being in need, he shall be free from guilt; but he who receiveth when not in need, shall pay a penalty as to why he received and for what purpose; and when he is in tribulation he shall be examined concerning the things that he has done, and shall not depart thence until he has paid the last farthing.
For of a truth it has been said on these matters, Let thy almsgiving abide in thy hands until thou knowest to whom thou hast given.
The Twelve Apostles. The Didache . Acheron Press. Kindle Edition.
|Path of Life
· Love the God who made thee
· Love your neighbor
· Do not do what you don’t want done
Called a doctrine
· Bless them that curse you and pray
· Fast on behalf of persecutors
· Love them that hate you
Abstain for fleshly and worldly lusts
· Don’t fight back – turn the other cheek
· Go beyond the demands of your oppressors
· Give to those who steal from you
· Give to everyone that asks of you
Be careful what you receive as an alm without being in need
Know to the details of the person to whom you are giving an alm.
The Path of Death
|My child, flee from every evil thing, and from every likeness of it.
Be not prone to anger, for anger leads to murder. Be neither jealous, nor quarrelsome, nor of hot temper, for out of all these murders are engendered.
My child, be not a lustful one. for lust leads to fornication.
Be neither a filthy talker, nor of lofty eye, for out of all these adulteries are engendered.
My child, be not an observer of omens, since it leads to idolatry. Be neither an enchanter, nor an astrologer, nor a purifier, nor be willing to look at these things, for out of all these idolatry is engendered.
My child, be not a liar, since a lie leads to theft.
Be neither money-loving, nor vainglorious, for out of all these thefts are engendered.
My child, be not a murmurer, since it leads the way to blasphemy.
Be neither self-willed nor evil-minded, for out of all these blasphemies are engendered.
|Evil things and every likeness of it
Anger and it’s final fruit of murder
Jealousy, quarrelsome, hot temper
Lustfulness and its final fruit of fornication.
Filthy talk and lofty eye and final fruit of adulteries.
Omens, enchanting, astrology nor a purifier
Do not be willing to look at these things
Lying and its fruit of theft.
Money-loving and vainglorious and their fruit of theft
Murmuring and its fruit of blasphemy.
Self-willed and evil-minded and their fruit of blasphemies
The two paths are the primary call of God through Moses in Deuteronomy 30:15.
15 “See, I have set before you today life and good, death and evil.
Elijah features the two paths too. 1 Kings 18:21
20 So Ahab sent to all the people of Israel and gathered the prophets together at Mount Carmel. 21 And Elijah came near to all the people and said, “How long will you go limping between two different opinions? If the Lord is God, follow him; but if Baal, then follow him.”