We must pay much closer attention to what we have heard, lest we drift away from it (Hebrews 2:1, ESV).
The first known discipleship book of the church was written during the latter part of the first century or first part of the second century.
Then it was lost.
This discipleship book was mentioned by several of the church fathers and for hundreds of years it was thought to be lost.
Then in 1873, a monk was rummaging in the library of a monastery in Istanbul looking for something interesting to read. He found an old dusty volume that was centuries old – and inside was the book.
The correct title is The Teaching of the Lord According to the Twelve Apostles, but it quickly became called The Didache, which is the Greek word for “teaching.”
Lost and now found.
What does The Didache teach?
Today, I read so-called scholars who write about the culture of the first century and using this knowledge claim better understanding for interpreting the New Testament.
Often, they use the context and culture code words to debunk the integrity of the Bible. Sometimes this culture snootiness allows them to undermine what the New Testament teaches about godliness.
To refute this scholastic maleficence, let’s read a few passages from a book written in the first or second century. I boldly proclaim that this book written in the first or second century knows more about first century culture than an Ivy Tower occupant in 2023.
About sexual purity and more …
Do not murder. Do not commit adultery. Do not have sex with children. Do not be sexually promiscuous. Do not steal. Do not practice magic. Do not use drugs. Do not abort a child or kill babies. Do not yearn to possess things that belong to your neighbor.
About astrologers, Ouija boards, Devil’s Alphabet, or the spiritualist game sweeping elementary schools in the U.S.A. called Charlie, Charlie …
My child, do not be a fortune-teller because that leads to idolatry. Do not cast spells. Do not be an astrologer. Do not make magic charms or amulets to ward off illnesses. Do not even want to look at any of these things because they all breed idolatry.
About generosity …
Do not hesitate to give. Do not grumble about giving because the one who is good to you, who will pay your wages and give you your reward, never complains about giving to you.
About the end times …
There will be plenty of false prophets and corrupters in the final days, and sheep will be turned into wolves, and love will be turned into hate because they will hate and betray one another as chaos increases.
The Didache is remarkably consistent with the New Testament. The question should be asked, “How we live and what we believe – is it consistent with the Gospel delivered once and for all?”