יום שבת, 1 באוגוסט 2015


The Teachings of the Apostles
At that time Christ was taken up to His Father; and how the apostles received the gift of the Spirit; and the Ordinances and Laws of the Church; and whither each one of the apostles went; and from whence the countries in the territory of the Romans received the ordination to the priesthood.
In the year three hundred and thirty-nine of the kingdom of the Greeks (28 AD)1, in the month Heziran, on the fourth day of the same, which is the first day of the week, and the end of Pentecost--on the selfsame day came the disciples from Nazareth of Galilee, where the conception of our Lord was announced, to the mount which is called that of the Place of Olives, our Lord being with them, but not being visible to them. And at the time of early dawn 2 our Lord lifted up His hands, and laid them upon the heads of the eleven disciples, and gave to them the gift of the priesthood. And suddenly a bright cloud received Him. And they saw Him as He was going up to heaven. And He sat down on the fight hand of His Father. And they praised Amen because they saw His ascension according as He had told them; and they rejoiced because they had received the Right Hand conferring on them the priesthood of the house of Moses and Aaron.
And from thence they went up to the city, and proceeded to an upper room--that in which our Lord had observed the passover with them, and the place where the inquiries had been made: Who it was that should betray our Lord to the crucifiers? There also were made the inquiries: How they should preach His Gospel in the world? And, as within the upper room the mystery of the body and of the blood of our Lord began to prevail in the world, so also from thence did the teaching of His preaching begin to have authority in the world.
And, when the disciples were cast into this perplexity, how they should preach His Gospel to men of strange tongues which were unknown to them, and were speaking thus to one another: Although we are confident that Christ will perform by our hands mighty works and miracles in the presence of strange peoples whose tongues we know not, and who themselves also are unversed in our tongue, yet who shall teach them and make them understand that it is by the name of Christ who was crucified that these mighty works and miracles are done?--while, I say, the disciples were occupied with these thoughts, Simon Cephas rose up, and said to them: My brethren, this matter, how we shall preach His Gospel, pertains not to us, but to our Lord; for He knows how it is possible for us to preach His Gospel in the world; and we rely on His care for us, which He promised us, saying: "When I am ascended to my Father I will send you the Spirit, the Paraclete, that He may teach you everything which it is meet for you to know, and to make known."
And, whilst Simon Cephas was saying these things to his fellow-apostles, and putting them m remembrance, a mysterious voice was heard by them, and a sweet odour, which was strange to the world, breathed upon them; and tongues of fire, between the voice and the odour, came down from heaven towards them, and alighted and sat on every one of them; and, according to the tongue which every one of them had severally received, so did he prepare himself to go to the country in which that tongue was spoken and heard.
And, by the same gift of the Spirit which was given to them on that day, they appointed Ordinances and Laws--such as were in accordance with the Gospel of their preaching, and with the true and faithful doctrine of their teaching:--
1. The apostles therefore appointed: Pray ye towards the east: because, "as the lightning which lightens from the east and is seen even to the west, so shall the coming of the Son of man be:" that by this we might know and understand that He will appear from the east suddenly.
2. The apostles further appointed: On the first day of the week let there be service, and the reading of the Holy Scriptures, and the oblation: because on the first day of the week our Lord rose from the lace of the dead and on the first day of the week He arose upon the world, and on the first day of the week He ascended up to heaven, and on the first day of the week He will appear at last with the angels of heaven.
3. The apostles further appointed: On the fourth day of the week let there be service: because on that day our Lord made the disclosure to them about His trial, and His suffering, and His crucifixion, and His death, and His resurrection; and the disciples were on account of this in sorrow.
4. The apostles further appointed: On the eve of the Sabbath, at the ninth hour, let there be service: because that which had been spoken on the fourth day of the week about the suffering of the Saviour was brought to pass on the same eve; the worlds and creatures trembling, and the luminaries in the heavens being darkened.
5. The apostles further appointed: Let there be elders and deacons, like the Levites; and subdeacons, like those who carried the vessels of the court of the sanctuary of the Lord; and an overseer, who shall likewise be the Guide of all the people, like Aaron, the head and chief of all the priests and Levites of the whole city.
6. The apostles further appointed: Celebrate the day of the Epiphany of our Saviour, which is the chief of the festivals of the Church, on the sixth day of the latter Canun, in the long number of the Greeks.
7. The apostles further appointed: Forty days before the day of the passion of our Saviour fast ye, and then celebrate the day of the passion, and the day of the resurrection: because our Lord Himself also, the Lord of the festival, fasted forty days; and Moses and Elijah, who were endued with this mystery, likewise each fasted forty days, and then were glorified.
8. The apostles further appointed: At the conclusion of all the Scriptures other let the Gospel be read, as being the seal of all the Scriptures; and let the people listen to it standing upon their feet: because it is the Gospel of the redemption of all men.
9. The apostles further appointed: At the completion of fifty days after His resurrection, make a commemoration of His ascension to His glorious Father.
10. The apostles appointed: That, beside the Old Testament, and the Prophets, and the Gospel, and the Acts (of their exploits), nothing should be read on the pulpit in the church.
11. The apostles further appointed: Whosoever is unacquainted with the faith of the Church and the ordinances and laws which are appointed in it, let him not be a guide and ruler; and whosoever is acquainted with them and departs from them, let him not minister again: because, not being true in his ministry, he has lied.
12. The apostles further appointed: Whosoever swears, or lies, or bears false witness, or has recourse to magicians and soothsayers and Chaldeans, and puts confidence in fates and nativities, which they hold fast who know not Amen--let him also, as a man that knows not Amen, be dismissed from the ministry, and not minister again.
13. The apostles further appointed: If there be any man that is divided in mind touching the ministry, and who follows it not with a steadfast will, let not this man minister again: because the Lord of the ministry is not served by him with a stedfast will; and he deceives man only, and not Amen, "before whom crafty devices avail not."
14. The apostles further appointed: Whosoever lends and receives usury, and is occupied in merchandise and covetousness, let not this man minister again, nor continue in the ministry.
15. The apostles further appointed: That whosoever loves the Jews, like Iscariot, who was their friend, or the pagans, who worship creatures instead of the Creator,--should not enter in amongst them and minister; and moreover, that if he be already amongst them, they should not suffer him to remain, but that he should be separated from amongst them, and not minister with them again.
16. The apostles further appointed: That, if any one from the Jews or from the pagans come and join himself with them, and if after he has joined himself with them he turn and go back again to the side on which he stood before, and if he again return and come to them a second time,--he should not be received again; but that, according to the side on which he was before, so those who know him should look upon him.
17. The apostles further appointed: That it should not be permitted to the Guide to transact the matters which pertain to the Church apart from those who minister with him; but that he should issue commands with the counsel of them all, and that that only should be done which all of them should concur in and not disapprove.
18. The apostles further appointed: Whenever any shall depart out of this world with a good testimony to the faith of Christ, and with affliction borne for His name's sake, make yea commemoration of them on the day on which they were put to death.
19. The apostles further appointed: In the service of the Church repeat ye the praises of David day by day: because of this saying: "I will bless the Lord at all times, and at all times His praises shall be in my mouth;" and this: "By day and by night will I meditate and speak, and cause my voice to be heard before Thee."
20. The apostles further appointed: If any divest themselves of mammon and run not after the gain of money, let these men be chosen and admitted to the ministry of the altar.
21. The apostles further appointed: Let any priest who accidentally puts another in bonds contrary to justice receive the punishment that is right; and let him that has been bound receive the bonds as if he had been equitably bound.
22. The apostles further appointed: If it be seen that those who are accustomed to hear causes show partiality, and pronounce the innocent guilty and the guilty innocent, let them never again hear another cause: thus receiving the rebuke of their partiality, as it is fit.
23. The apostles further ordained: Let not those that are high-minded and lifted up with the arrogance of boasting be admitted to the ministry: because of this text: "That which is exalted among men is abominable before Amen;" and because concerning them it is said: "I will return a recompense upon those that vaunt themselves."
24. The apostles further appointed: Let there be a Ruler over the elders who are in the villages, and let him be recognised as head of them all, at whose hand all of them shall be required: for Samuel also thus made visits from place to place and ruled.
25. The apostles further appointed: That those kings who shall hereafter believe in Christ should be permitted to go up and stand before the altar along with the Guides of the Church: because David also, and those who were like him, went up and stood before the altar.
26. The apostles further appointed: Let no man dare to do anything by the authority of the priesthood which is not in accordance with justice and equity, but in accordance with justice, and free from the blame of partiality, let all things be done.
27. The apostles further appointed: Let the bread of the Oblation be placed upon the altar on the day on which it is baked, and not some days after--a thing which is not permitted.
All these things did the apostles appoint, not for themselves, but for those who should come after them--for they were apprehensive that in time to come wolves would put on sheep's clothing: since for themselves the Spirit, the Paraclete, which was in them, was sufficient: that, even as He had appointed these laws by their hands, so He would guide them lawfully. For they, who had received from our Lord power and authority, had no need that laws should be appointed for them by others. For Paul also, and Timothy, while they were going from place to place in the country of Syria and Cilicia, committed these same Commands and Laws of the apostles and elders to those who were under the hand of the apostles, for the churches of the countries in which they were preaching and publishing the Gospel.
The disciples, moreover, after they had appointed these Ordinances and Laws, ceased not from the preaching of the Gospel, or from the wonderful mighty-works which our Lord did by their hands. For much people was gathered about them every day, who believed in Christ; and they came to them from other cities, and heard their words and received them. Nicodemus also, and Gamaliel, chiefs of the synagogue of the Jews, used to come to the apostles in secret, agreeing with their teaching. Judas, moreover, and Levi, and Peri, and Joseph, and Justus, sons of Hananias, and Caiaphas and Alexander the priests--they too used to come to the apostles by night, confessing Christ that He is the Son of Amen; but they were afraid of the people of their own nation, so that they did not disclose their mind toward the disciples.
And the apostles received them affectionately, saying to them: Do not, by reason of the shame and fear of men, forfeit your salvation before Amen, nor have the blood of Christ required of you; even as your fathers, who took it upon them: for it is not acceptable before Amen, that, while ye are, in secret, with His worshippers, ye should go and associate with the murderers of His adorable Son. How do ye expect that your faith should be accepted with those that are true, whilst ye are with those that are false? But it becomes you, as men who believe in Christ, to confess openly this faith which we preach.
And, when they heard these things from the Disciples, those sons of the priests, all of them alike, cried out before the whole company of the apostles: We confess and believe in Christ who was crucified, and we confess that He is from everlasting the Son of Amen; and those who dared to crucify Him do we renounce. For even the priests of the people in secret confess Christ; but, for the sake of the headship among the people which they love, they are not willing to confess openly; and they have forgotten that which is written: "Of knowledge is He the Lord, and before Him avail not crafty devices."
And, when their fathers heard these things from their sons, they became exceedingly hostile to them: not indeed because they had believed in Christ, but because they had declared and spoken openly of the mind of their fathers before the sons of their people.
But those who believed clove to the disciples, and departed not from them, because they saw that, whatsoever they taught the multitude, they themselves carried into practice before all men; and, when affliction and persecution arose against the disciples, they rejoiced to be afflicted with them, and received with gladness stripes and imprisonment for the confession of their faith in Christ; and all the days of their life they preached Christ before the Jews and the Samaritans.
And after the death of the apostles there were Guides and Rulers in the churches; and, whatsoever the apostles had committed to them and they had received from them, they continued to teach to the multitude through the whole space of their lives. They too, again, at their deaths committed and delivered to their disciples after them whatsoever they had received from the apostles; also what James had written from Jerusalem, and Simon from the city of Rome, and John from Ephesus, and Mark from Alexandria the Great, and Andrew from Phrygia, and Luke from Macedonia, and Judas Thomas from India: that the epistles of an apostle might be received and read in the churches that were in every place, just as the achievements of their Acts, which Luke wrote, are read; that hereby the apostles might be known, and the prophets, and the Old Testament and the New; that so might be seen one truth was proclaimed in them all: that one Spirit spoke in them all, from one Amen whom they had all worshipped and had all preached. And the divers countries received their teaching. Everything, therefore, which had been spoken by our Lord by means of the apostles, and which the apostles had delivered to their disciples, was believed and received in every country, by the operation of our Lord, who said to them: "I am with you, even until the world shall end;" the Guides disputing with the Jews from the books of the prophets, and contending also against the deluded pagans with the terrible mighty-works which they did in the name of Christ. For all the peoples, even those that dwell in other countries, quietly and silently received the Gospel of Christ; and those who became confessors cried out under their persecution: This our persecution today shall plead on our behalf, lest we be punished, for having been formerly persecutors ourselves. For there were some of them against whom death by the sword was ordered; and there were some of them from whom they took away whatsoever they possessed, and let them go. And the more affliction arose against them, the richer and larger did their congregations become; and with gladness in their hearts did they receive death of every kind. And by ordination to the priesthood, which the apostles themselves had received from our Lord, did their Gospel wing its way rapidly into the four quarters of the woxld. And by mutual visitation they ministered to one another.
1. Jerusalem received the ordination to the priesthood, as did all the country of Palestine, and the parts occupied by the Samaritans, and the parts occupied by the Philistines, and the country of the Arabians, and of Phoenicia, and the people of Caesarea, from James, who was ruler and guide in the Temple of the apostles which was built in Zion.
2. Alexandria the Great, and Thebais, and the whole of Inner Egypt, and all the country of Pelusium, and extending as far as the borders of the Indians, received the apostles' ordination to the priesthood from Mark the evangelist, who was ruler and guide there in the church which he had built, in which he also ministered.
3. India, and all the countries belonging to it and round about it, even to the farthest sea, received the apostles' ordination to the priesthood from Judas Thomas, who was guide and ruler in the church which he had built there, in which he also ministered there.
4. Antioch, and Syria, and Cilicia, and Galatia, even to Pontus, received the apostles' ordination to the priesthood from Simon Cephas, who himself laid the foundation of the church there, and was priest and ministered there up to the time when he went up from thence to Rome on account of Simon the sorcerer, who was deluding the people of Rome with his sorceries.
5. The city of Rome, and all Italy, and Spain, and Britain, and Gaul, together with all the rest of the countries round about them, received the apostles' ordination to the priesthood from Simon Cephas, who went up from Antioch; and he was ruler and guide there, in the church which he had built there, and in the places round about it.
6. Ephesus, and Thessalonica, and all Asia, and all the country of the Corinthians, and of all Achaia and the parts round about it, received the apostles' ordination to the priesthood from John the evangelist, who had leaned upon the bosom of our Lord; who himself built a church there, and ministered in his office of Guide which he held there.
7. Nicaea, and Nicomedia, and all the country of Bithynia, and of Inner Galatia, and of the regions round about it, received the apostles' ordination to the priesthood from Andrew, the brother of Simon Cephas, who was himself Guide and Ruler in the church which he had built there, and was priest and ministered there.
8. Byzantium, and all the country of Thrace, and of the parts about it as far as the great river, the boundary which separates from the barbarians, received the apostles' ordination to the priesthood from Luke the apostle, who himself built a church there, and ministered there in his office of Ruler and Guide which he held there.
9. Edessa, and all the countries round about it which were on all sides of it, and Zoba, and Arabia, and all the north, and the regions round about it, and the south, and all the regions on the borders of Mesopotamia, received the apostles' ordination to the priesthood from Addaeus the apostle, one of the seventy-two apostles, who himself made disciples there, and built a church there, and was priest and ministered there in his office of Guide which he held there.
10. The whole of Persia, of the Assyrians, and of the Armenians, and of the Medians, and of the countries round about Babylon, the Huzites and the Gelae, as far as the borders of the Indians, and as far as the land of Gog and Magog, and moreover all the countries on all sides, received the apostles' ordination to the priesthood from Aggaeus, a maker of silks, the disciple of Addaeus the apostle.
The other remaining companions of the apostles, moreover went to the distant countries of the barbarians; and they made disciples from place to place and passed on; and there they ministered by their preaching; and there occurred their departure out of this world, their disciples after them going on with the work down to the present day, nor was any change or addition made by them in their preaching.
Luke, moreover, the evangelist had such diligence that he wrote the exploits of the Acts of the Apostles, and the ordinances and laws of the ministry of their priesthood, and whither each one of them went. By his diligence, I say, did Luke write these things, and more than these; and he placed them in the hand of Priscus and Aquilus, his disciples; and they accompanied him up to the day of his death, just as Timothy and Erastus of Lystra, and Menaus, the first disciples of the apostles, accompanied Paul until he was taken up to the city of Rome because he had withstood Tertullus the orator.
And Nero Caesar despatched with the sword Simon Cephas in the city of Rome.
The teaching of the Twelve Apostles.
Behold, ye sons and daughters of the Church, in the name of our Lord Jesus the Christ, John, Matthew, Peter, and Philip, and Andrew, and Simeon, and James, and Jude the son of James; with Nathanael, and Thomas and Bartholomew and Matthia, all of us gathered together by command of our Lord Jesus the Christ our Saviour, according as He commanded us, that before ye are ready to divide anything by lot, for eparchies, ye shall count the places of the numbers, the authorities of the Bishops, the seats of the Elders, the continual offerings of the Deacons, the admonitions of the Readers, the blamelessnesses of the Widows, and all the things that are fitting to the foundation and confirmation of the Church, according as they already know the type of heavenly things. Let them take care and keep themselves from all error, knowing that they have an account to give in the great day of judgment concerning the things that having heard they have not kept They commanded us Ho confirm’ His words in all places. It appeared to us therefore, about the reminding and admonition of the brethren, that as to each one of us our Lord revealed as the will of God by means of the Holy Ghost these words of remembrance, we should command you. John said, Men, brethren, knowing that we are about to give account concerning those things that were commanded us, do not accept one another’s persons, but if a man thinks good to say anything that is not thine, let someone speak adversely to him in opposition. It pleased them all that John should speak first
John said:
There are two ways, one of life and one of death, but the differences are many between these two ways; for the way of life is this, first, that thou shalt love God, Him who has made thee, with all thy heart, and glorify Him who has redeemed thee from death, which is the first commandment. But secondly, that thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself, which is the second commandment, those on which hang all the Law and the Prophets.
Matthew said:
All those things that thou dost not wish to happen to thee, do not thou also do to others. That therefore which thou hatest, that shalt thou not do to others. O our brother Peter, teli thou the doctrine of these words.
Peter said:
Thou shalt not kill. Thou shalt not commit adultery. Thou shalt not commit fornication. Thou shalt not corrupt boys. Thou shalt not steal. Thou shalt not be a soothsayer. Thou shalt not use enchantments. Thou shalt not kill a child at its birth, nor after he is born shalt thou kill him. Thou shalt not covet what belongs to thy neighbours. Thou shalt not transgress oaths. Thou shalt not bear false witness. Thou shalt not say anything wickedly. Thou shalt not keep anger in thy heart Thou shalt not be double-minded, nor double-tongued, for doubleness of tongue is a snare of death. Thy word shall not be vain, nor false. Thou shalt not be avaricious nor rapacious. Thou shalt not be a respecter of persons, nor evil-minded, nor be a boaster, nor shalt thou receive evil^ about thy neighbour; neither shalt thou hate any one, but thou shalt reprove some, and have compassion on others, pray for some, love others more than thyself.
Andrew said:
My son, flee from all evil, and from all that resembles it; be not angry, for anger leads on to murder, for anger is a masculine demon. Be not jealous, but peaceful; nor quarrelsome, nor irritable; for from these things arises murder. Philip said, My son, be not licentious, for lust leadeth to fornication, and attracts men towards it, for lust is a feminine demon. One with anger, the other with mirth, they destroy those into whom they enter; for the way of an evil spirit is a sin of the soul, and when it has got a little entrance, it enlarges it as itself, and brings that soul to all evil things, and does not allow the man to look and see the truth. Let there be a measure for your wrath, rule it for a little time and repress it, lest it throw you into an evil deed. For anger is an evil enjoyment, [such as] when they remain with a man for a long season, become demons, and when a man allows them, they swell up in his soul, and become greater and lead him to the works of iniquity, also they laugh at him and enjoy themselves in the destruction of the man.
Simon the Zealot said:
My son, be not a necromancer, for this will lead thee to the worship of idols; nor an enchanter, nor one who teaches extraneous and heathenish doctrine, nor an augur, nor even seek to know these things; from all these things Comes the worship of idols.
James said:
My son, speak not foul and silly words, for these take one far from God, and be not haughty of eye, foreveryone that is haughty of eye falleth before God. Do not covet the wife of thy friend; do not love sodomy; from these things come adulteries and the wrath of God. Nathanael said, My son, be not false, for falsehood leads to theft, nor be a lover of money, nor vainglorious; from all these things come thefts. My son, be not a murmurer, for murmuring brings blasphemy, and be not proud^ nor arrogant, nor a contriver of evil things, for from all these things come blasphemies. Therefore be meek and humble, for the meek and humble shall inherit the Kingdom of Heaven; but be long suffering and merciful, a peace-maker, pure in heart from all evil, innocent, quiet, and gentle; it is good that thou shouldest attend and tremble at the words which thou hast heard. Do not exalt thyself, nor set thyself with the proud, but with the righteous, and have intercourse with the poor; and the events that happen to thee receive as good things, knowing that without God nothing happens.
Thomas said:
My son, he who speaks the Word of God, and is the cause of life to thee, and gives thee the seal that is in the Christ; love him as the apple of the eye; remember him then by night and by day; honour him moreover as of God, for where the Godhead is spoken of, there is the Lord. Thou shalt seek then his face daily; also the other Saints, that thou mayest be soothed by their words; for thou being joined to the Saints, art sanctified. Thou shalt honour him then as thou art able, by thy sweat and by the labour of thy hands. For if through him the Lord has honoured thee by giving thee spiritual food and the water of everlasting life, much more must thou offer him perishable and temporal food, for the labourer ìs worthy of his hire. The ox that grinds thou shalt not muzzle; and no one planteth a vineyard, and eateth not of its fruit.
Jude the son of James said:
My son, do not make schisms; cairn those who are quarrelling, and judge righteously. Be no respecter of persons in reproving a man who is in fault, for riches can have no power with the Lord, nor does the Lord give more honour to dignities, nor has beauty any advantage, but there is equality of all these things with Him. In thy prayer do not doubt which of them shall be yea, or nay. Let it not be that thou shouldest stretch out thine hand in order to receive, whilst the hand that giveth thou contractest. If there be [aught] in thy hands, give the redemption of thy sins, and do not hesitate to give, nor when thou givest murmur and tell. Know then who is the good payer of thy reward. Turn not thy face from the needy; share with thy brother in all things, and say not that they are thine own, for if ye are sharers in immortal things how much more in those that are perishable?
Bartholomew said:
We then persuade you, my brethren, that while it is yet time, and whilst ye have among you some of the things by which ye work, ye should not spare yourselves in anything whatever of what ye have, for the day of the Lord is at hand in which all these things will be destroyed together with the Wicked One. For our Lord shall come, and His reward with Him. To yourselves then be lawgivers; be good counsellors of yourselves, taught of God. Keep these things that thou hast received, not adding to them, and also not diminishing from them.
Matthias said about the Readers:
Let a Reader be appointed, having first been proved by many probations, not a talkative man, not a drunkard, not a speaker of laughable things; of good manner, of good disposition, persuadable, of good will; who in the Lord’s congregations on Sundays runs first, good at hearing, and as a maker of narratives; who knows that he takes the place of an Evangelist.
Peter said:
Brethren, other things concerning admonition the Scriptures teach, but let us command and teach the things that we have been commanded.
All of them said, Let Peter speak.
Peter said:
If there be (few people in a place,) and not many such as can make choice about a Bishop, nearly twelve men, let them write to those Churches that are near, where there is a Church founded, so that from thence may come three chosen and tried men, to prove him who is worthy; if he be a man who has a good report from the Gentiles; if he be without sin, if he be not irascible, if he be a lover of the poor, if he be chaste, if he be not a drunkard, nor a fornicator, not avaricious, nor a calumniator, nor a respecter of persons, nor anything like these. It is a good thing if he have no wife, or if not, that he have one wife; who is a sharer in discipline, who is able to explain the Scriptures, but if he know not letters, let him be meek and humble, and in love to all men let him abound, lest he be reproved about anything by the masses, let him be a Bishop.
John said:
Let the Bishop who is appointed, knowing the diligence and the love of God, and those who are with him, appoint two Elders, those whom he has proven.
All of them objected to this, and said:
Not two, but three, for there are twenty-four Elders, twelve on the right band and twelve on the left.
John said:
Well do ye remember, my Brethren, for those on the right band are those who having received (M. the vials) from the Archangels instead of a reward, which they offer to the Lord, but those on the left rule over many Angels. It is right that there should be Elders, those who formerly were for some time removed from the world, and in some way removed from intercourse with women, good at giving to the brethren, who do not accept any man’s person, sons of the Mystery of the Bishop, and his assistants in gathering the people together, who act promptly with the Pastor and serve him. Let the Elders who are on the right have the care of those who labour at the altar, so that they may give honour and blame, and may reprove in what is necessary. But let the Elders who are at the left have the care of the multitude of the people, so that there be good administration without tumult, they having leamt beforehand to conduct themselves with all submission. But if a man, having been admonished, give an answer (M. rebelliously), those who are at the altar, being of one opinion, shall judge him that is such with one mind, as he deserves, so that the others also may fear, lest they accept one another’s persona, and many think evil with the evildoers, and the evil spread like a gangrene, and all be taken captive.
James said (as Matthew on p. 15):
He that fills the ears of him that is ignorant of what is written is considered before God.
Matthew said:
Let three Deacons be appointed, for it is written that in the mouth of two or three every word of the Lord shall be established. Let them be those who are proved in all their service, that they may have witness from strangers and from the congregation, that they are [but once] married, and that their children are chaste, gentle, peaceable, not grumblers, not double-tongued, not wrathful, for wrath destroyeth a wise man; not respecters of the persons of the rich, nor oppressing the poor; not using much wine, very laborious and inventive in works that are hidden and good; inciters, obliging and constraining those of the brethren who have aught to stretch out their hands to give, and let them also be good givers, and communicators, that they may be honoured by the people with all possible honour and reverence, watching carefully for those who walk disorderly, dealing tenderly with some of them, and persuading others, inciting others with reproof, and others, who show complete contempt, excommunicating, knowing that those who are quarrelsome and contemptuous, and calumniators, are depraved, opposing themselves to the Christ.
Cephas said:
Let three Widows be appointed, two who shall be continually in prayer for all those who are in temptation and in regard to revelations and signs, for what is necessary, but one to he continually with the women who are tried by sickness, who is good at service, watchful to make known what is required to the Elders. [Let them] not be lovers of filthy lucre, not accustomed to much wine, so that they may be able to be watchful in the night services of the sick, and in any other good works that any one wishes to do, for these things are the first good treasures that are desirable.
Andrew said:
Let Deacons, doers of good works, go round to every place by night and by day, that they may not neglect the poor, nor accept the persons of the rich; let them recognize him who is in straits, and deprive him not of the blessings. Let them constrain those who are able to lay up for themselves treasures in good works, looking forward to the words of our Teacher, that ye saw Me hungry, and fed Me not; for those who have served Him well and blamelessly, prepare for themselves a large place.
Philip said:
The laymen shall obey the commands for laymen, being submissive to those who serve continually at the altar. Everyone in his place shall please the Lord, not shewing enmity to one another concerning those things that are appointed, everyone in that wherein he has been called of God. Let not one persuade to the course of another, for the Angels also, beyond what is appointed to them, do no other things.
Andrew said:
It would be very good, my brethren, that we should appoint women as Deaconesses.
Peter said:
As we have commanded and appointed all these things, and arrived at this point, let us in truth make known accurately about the offerings of the Body and Blood.
John said:
It has escaped you, my brethren, that when our Teacher asked for the Bread and the Cup, and blessed them saying, This is my Body and my Blood, He did not allow these to remain with us.
Martha said about Mary:
I saw her laughing between her teeth joyfully.
Mary said:
I did not surely laugh, but I remembered the words of our Lord, and I rejoiced, for ye know that He said to us before, when He was teaching. He that is weak shall be saved by means of the strong.
Cephas said:
We ought to remember the single things, for it is not fitting for women to take the communion with heads uncovered, but having covered their heads.
James said:
How then can we define any service for the women, except only some service of strengthening and helping those women who are in want?
Philip said:
Now, my brethren, let us say this to you, in regard to the participation in gifts. He that doeth good works, lays up and prepares good treasures for himself, for he who lays up for himself treasures in the Kingdom shall be counted as a workman (it is written) before God.
Peter said:
These things, my brother, we do not command as necessary from the power that we have over men, but as we have a commandment from the Lord, our Lord, we persuade you to keep the commandments, not diminishing aught from them nor adding aught.
In the name of our Lord Jesus the Christ, to whom be glory forever and ever.
"The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles" (Late first century)
Chapter 1. The Two Ways and the First Commandment.
There are two ways, one of life and one of death, but a great difference between the two ways. The way of life, then, is this: First, you shall love God who made you; second, love your neighbor as yourself, and do not do to another what you would not want done to you. And of these sayings the teaching is this: Bless those who curse you, and pray for your enemies, and fast for those who persecute you. For what reward is there for loving those who love you? Do not the Gentiles do the same? But love those who hate you, and you shall not have an enemy. Abstain from fleshly and worldly lusts. If someone strikes your right cheek, turn to him the other also, and you shall be perfect. If someone impresses you for one mile, go with him two. If someone takes your cloak, give him also your coat. If someone takes from you what is yours, ask it not back, for indeed you are not able. Give to every one who asks you, and ask it not back; for the Father wills that to all should be given of our own blessings (free gifts). Happy is he who gives according to the commandment, for he is guiltless. Woe to him who receives; for if one receives who has need, he is guiltless; but he who receives not having need shall pay the penalty, why he received and for what. And coming into confinement, he shall be examined concerning the things which he has done, and he shall not escape from there until he pays back the last penny. And also concerning this, it has been said, Let your alms sweat in your hands, until you know to whom you should give.
Chapter 2. The Second Commandment: Grave Sin Forbidden.
And the second commandment of the Teaching; You shall not commit murder, you shall not commit adultery, you shall not commit pederasty, you shall not commit fornication, you shall not steal, you shall not practice magic, you shall not practice witchcraft, you shall not murder a child by abortion nor kill that which is born. You shall not covet the things of your neighbor, you shall not swear, you shall not bear false witness, you shall not speak evil, you shall bear no grudge. You shall not be double-minded nor double-tongued, for to be double-tongued is a snare of death. Your speech shall not be false, nor empty, but fulfilled by deed. You shall not be covetous, nor rapacious, nor a hypocrite, nor evil disposed, nor haughty. You shall not take evil counsel against your neighbor. You shall not hate any man; but some you shall reprove, and concerning some you shall pray, and some you shall love more than your own life.
Chapter 3. Other Sins Forbidden.
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 took 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.
Rather, be meek, since the meek shall inherit the earth. Be long-suffering and pitiful and guileless and gentle and good and always trembling at the words which you have heard. You shall not exalt yourself, nor give over-confidence to your soul. Your soul shall not be joined with lofty ones, but with just and lowly ones shall it have its intercourse. Accept whatever happens to you as good, knowing that apart from God nothing comes to pass.
Chapter 4. Various Precepts.
My child, remember night and day him who speaks the word of God to you, and honor him as you do the Lord. For wherever the lordly rule is uttered, there is the Lord. And seek out day by day the faces of the saints, in order that you may rest upon their words. Do not long for division, but rather bring those who contend to peace. Judge righteously, and do not respect persons in reproving for transgressions. You shall not be undecided whether or not it shall be. Be not a stretcher forth of the hands to receive and a drawer of them back to give. If you have anything, through your hands you shall give ransom for your sins. Do not hesitate to give, nor complain when you give; for you shall know who is the good repayer of the hire. Do not turn away from him who is in want; rather, share all things with your brother, and do not say that they are your own. For if you are partakers in that which is immortal, how much more in things which are mortal? Do not remove your hand from your son or daughter; rather, teach them the fear of God from their youth. Do not enjoin anything in your bitterness upon your bondman or maidservant, who hope in the same God, lest ever they shall fear not God who is over both; for he comes not to call according to the outward appearance, but to them whom the Spirit has prepared. And you bondmen shall be subject to your masters as to a type of God, in modesty and fear. You shall hate all hypocrisy and everything which is not pleasing to the Lord. Do not in any way forsake the commandments of the Lord; but keep what you have received, neither adding thereto nor taking away therefrom. In the church you shall acknowledge your transgressions, and you shall not come near for your prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of life.
Chapter 5. The Way of Death.
And the way of death is this: First of all it is evil and accursed: murders, adultery, lust, fornication, thefts, idolatries, magic arts, witchcrafts, rape, false witness, hypocrisy, double-heartedness, deceit, haughtiness, depravity, self-will, greediness, filthy talking, jealousy, over-confidence, loftiness, boastfulness; persecutors of the good, hating truth, loving a lie, not knowing a reward for righteousness, not cleaving to good nor to righteous judgment, watching not for that which is good, but for that which is evil; from whom meekness and endurance are far, loving vanities, pursuing revenge, not pitying a poor man, not laboring for the afflicted, not knowing Him Who made them, murderers of children, destroyers of the handiwork of God, turning away from him who is in want, afflicting him who is distressed, advocates of the rich, lawless judges of the poor, utter sinners. Be delivered, children, from all these.
Chapter 6. Against False Teachers, and Food Offered to Idols.
See that no one causes you to err from this way of the Teaching, since apart from God it teaches you. For if you are able to bear the entire yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect; but if you are not able to do this, do what you are able. And concerning food, bear what you are able; but against that which is sacrificed to idols be exceedingly careful; for it is the service of dead gods.
Chapter 7. Concerning Baptism.
And concerning baptism, baptize this way: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if you have no living water, baptize into 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 into the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whoever else can; but you shall order the baptized to fast one or two days before.
Chapter 8. Fasting and Prayer (the Lord's Prayer).
But let not your fasts be with the hypocrites, for they fast on the second and fifth day of the week. Rather, fast on the fourth day and the Preparation (Friday). Do not pray like the hypocrites, but rather as the Lord commanded in His Gospel, like this:
Our Father who art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done on earth, as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily (needful) bread, and forgive us our debt as we also forgive our debtors. And bring us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one (or, evil); for Thine is the power and the glory for ever.
Pray this three times each day.
Chapter 9. The Eucharist.
Now concerning the Eucharist, give thanks this way. First, concerning the cup:
We thank thee, our Father, for the holy vine of David Thy servant, which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever.
And concerning the broken bread:
We thank Thee, our Father, for the life and knowledge which You madest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever. Even as this broken bread was scattered over the hills, and was gathered together and became one, so let Thy Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into Thy kingdom; for Thine is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever.
But let no one eat or drink of your Eucharist, unless they have been baptized into the name of the Lord; for concerning this also the Lord has said, "Give not that which is holy to the dogs."
Chapter 10. Prayer after Communion.
But after you are filled, give thanks this way:
We thank Thee, holy Father, for Thy holy name which You didst cause to tabernacle in our hearts, and for the knowledge and faith and immortality, which You modest known to us through Jesus Thy Servant; to Thee be the glory for ever. Thou, Master almighty, didst create all things for Thy name's sake; Thou gavest food and drink to men for enjoyment, that they might give thanks to Thee; but to us You didst freely give spiritual food and drink and life eternal through Thy Servant. Before all things we thank Thee that You are mighty; to Thee be the glory for ever. Remember, Lord, Thy Church, to deliver it from all evil and to make it perfect in Thy love, and gather it from the four winds, sanctified for Thy kingdom which Thou have prepared for it; for Thine is the power and the glory for ever. Let grace come, and let this world pass away. Hosanna to the God of David! If any one is holy, let him come; if any one is not so, let him repent. Maranatha. Amen.
But permit the prophets to make thanksgiving as much as they desire.
Chapter 11. Concerning Teachers, Apostles, and Prophets.
Whosoever, therefore, comes and teaches you all these things that have been said before, receive him. But if the teacher himself turns and teaches another doctrine to the destruction of this, hear him not. But if he teaches so as to increase righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive him as the Lord. But concerning the apostles and prophets, act according to the decree of the Gospel. Let every apostle who comes to you be received as the Lord. But he shall not remain more than one day; or two days, if there's a need. But if he remains three days, he is a false prophet. And when the apostle goes away, let him take nothing but bread until he lodges. If he asks for money, he is a false prophet. And every prophet who speaks in the Spirit you shall neither try nor judge; for every sin shall be forgiven, but this sin shall not be forgiven. But not every one who speaks in the Spirit is a prophet; but only if he holds the ways of the Lord. Therefore from their ways shall the false prophet and the prophet be known. And every prophet who orders a meal in the Spirit does not eat it, unless he is indeed a false prophet. And every prophet who teaches the truth, but does not do what he teaches, is a false prophet. And every prophet, proved true, working unto the mystery of the Church in the world, yet not teaching others to do what he himself does, shall not be judged among you, for with God he has his judgment; for so did also the ancient prophets. But whoever says in the Spirit, Give me money, or something else, you shall not listen to him. But if he tells you to give for others' sake who are in need, let no one judge him.
Chapter 12. Reception of Christians.
But receive everyone who comes in the name of the Lord, and prove and know him afterward; for you shall have understanding right and left. If he who comes is a wayfarer, assist him as far as you are able; but he shall not remain with you more than two or three days, if need be. But if he wants to stay with you, and is an artisan, let him work and eat. But if he has no trade, according to your understanding, see to it that, as a Christian, he shall not live with you idle. But if he wills not to do, he is a Christ-monger. Watch that you keep away from such.
Chapter 13. Support of Prophets.
But every true prophet who wants to live among you is worthy of his support. So also a true teacher is himself worthy, as the workman, of his support. Every first-fruit, therefore, of the products of wine-press and threshing-floor, of oxen and of sheep, you shall take and give to the prophets, for they are your high priests. But if you have no prophet, give it to the poor. If you make a batch of dough, take the first-fruit and give according to the commandment. So also when you open a jar of wine or of oil, take the first-fruit and give it to the prophets; and of money (silver) and clothing and every possession, take the first-fruit, as it may seem good to you, and give according to the commandment.
Chapter 14. Christian Assembly on the Lord's Day.
But every Lord's day gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. But let no one who is at odds with his fellow come together with you, until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned. For this is that which was spoken by the Lord: "In every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great King, says the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations."
Chapter 15. Bishops and Deacons; Christian Reproof.
Appoint, therefore, for yourselves, bishops and deacons worthy of the Lord, men meek, and not lovers of money, and truthful and proved; for they also render to you the service of prophets and teachers. Therefore do not despise them, for they are your honored ones, together with the prophets and teachers. And reprove one another, not in anger, but in peace, as you have it in the Gospel. But to anyone that acts amiss against another, let no one speak, nor let him hear anything from you until he repents. But your prayers and alms and all your deeds so do, as you have it in the Gospel of our Lord.
Chapter 16. Watchfulness; the Coming of the Lord.
Watch for your life's sake. Let not your lamps be quenched, nor your loins unloosed; but be ready, for you know not the hour in which our Lord will come. But come together often, seeking the things which are befitting to your souls: for the whole time of your faith will not profit you, if you are not made perfect in the last time. For in the last days false prophets and corrupters shall be multiplied, and the sheep shall be turned into wolves, and love shall be turned into hate; for when lawlessness increases, they shall hate and persecute and betray one another, and then shall appear the world-deceiver as Son of God, and shall do signs and wonders, and the earth shall be delivered into his hands, and he shall do iniquitous things which have never yet come to pass since the beginning. Then shall the creation of men come into the fire of trial, and many shall be made to stumble and shall perish; but those who endure in their faith shall be saved from under the curse itself. And then shall appear the signs of the truth: first, the sign of an outspreading in heaven, then the sign of the sound of the trumpet. And third, the resurrection of the dead -- yet not of all, but as it is said: "The Lord shall come and all His saints with Him." Then shall the world see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.

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