Ancient Spiritual Formation: The Didache – Teaching of the Twelve Apostles

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Didache, Teaching of the Twelve Apostles
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What Is the Didache?

The Didache (literally “Teaching” but commonly called “The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles”) is an ancient spiritual formation discipleship book. It is an extrabiblical (non-scriptural) booklet that provides an orthodox understanding of essential Christian teaching. It is the earliest known discipleship manual from the Early Church in existence, believed to express the core teachings of the Twelve Disciples, which would have ostensibly included the Original Twelve, minus Judas Iscariot, who was almost immediately replaced by Matthias (Acts 1:12-26).

A depiction of Matthias, the Apostle replacing the deceased traitor, Judas Iscariot Matthias (Acts 1:12-26) replaced Judas Iscariot, after Judas betrayed Christ and committed suicide.[/caption]

The Teaching of the Apostles.

Translated by J.B. Lightfoot; Modernized and abridged by Stephen Tomkins; introduced, edited and prepared for the web by Dan Graves and partially re-edited by Freddy Cardoza.


The Didache meaning “Teaching” is the short name of a Christian manual compiled very early in the history of the Christian faith. The full title is The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles. Some Christians thought Didache was inspired, but the church rejected it when making the final decision which books to include in the New Testament.
Didache contained instructions for Christian groups; and its statement of belief may be the first written catechism. It has four parts: the first is the “Two Ways, the Way of Life and the Way of Death;” the second explains how to perform rituals such as baptism, fasting, and Communion; the third covers ministry and how to deal with traveling teachers; the fourth part is a reminder that Jesus is coming again, with quotations from several New Testament passages which exhort Christians to live godly lives and prepare for “that day.”
This is how you should baptize:
Having recited all these things, [the first half of the Teaching, “The Way of Life and the Way of Death”] baptize in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, in running water. If you do not have running water, then baptize in still water. The water should be cold, but if you do not have cold water, then use warm. If you have neither, then just pour water on the head three times in the name of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit. Both the one who is baptized and the one who baptizes should fast beforehand, along with any others who are able, the one that is baptized being told to fast for a day or two.
Prayer and Fasting
Your fasting should not be like the hypocrites’. They fast on Monday and the Thursday: you should fast on the Wednesday and Friday. You should not pray like the hypocrites either, but as the Lord commanded in his Gospel:
Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name; Your kingdom come; Your will be done, as in heaven, so also on earth; Give us this day our daily bread; And forgive us our debt, as we forgive our debtors; Do not lead us into trial, but deliver us from the evil one; for yours is the power and the glory for ever and ever. Say this prayer three times a day.

The Eucharist

This is how you should give thanks at the Eucharist: First, for the cup:
We give you thanks, our Father, for the holy vine of your son David which you revealed to us through your son Jesus. Yours is the glory for ever and ever.
Then for the broken bread:
We give you thanks, our Father, for the life and knowledge which you revealed to us through your son Jesus. Yours is the glory for ever and ever. As this broken bread was scattered upon the mountains and being gathered together became one, so may your Church be gathered together from the ends of the earth into your kingdom For yours is the glory and the power through Jesus Christ for ever and ever.
No one should eat or drink this Eucharistic thanksgiving, unless they that have been baptized into the name of the Lord. As the Lord has said, “Do not give what is holy to the dogs.” After everyone has had enough, thank God with these words:
We give you thanks, Holy Father, for your holy name, which you have revealed to us through your son Jesus. Yours is the glory for ever and ever. Almighty Lord, you created all things for your name’s sake, and gave food and drink to people for their enjoyment, so that they would thank you, but you gave us spiritual food and drink and eternal life through your son. Above all we thank you that you are powerful Yours is the glory for ever and ever. Remember your Church, Lord. Deliver it from all evil, perfect it in your love, sanctify it and gather it together from the four winds into your kingdom which you have prepared for it. Yours is the glory for ever and ever. May grace come and may this world pass away. Hosanna to the God of David. If any man is holy, let him come; if any man is not, let him repent. Maranatha. Amen.
Let prophets, however, give thanksgiving as they see fit.
Teachers, Apostles and Prophets
Listen to anyone who comes to teach you such things as these, but if a teacher is led astray and teaches a different doctrine that undermines what you have been told, do not hear him. However if he comes to the increase righteousness and the knowledge of the Lord, receive him as you would the Lord.
You should treat apostles and prophets as the Gospel commands. Receive every apostle that comes to you as you would the Lord. But he must not stay more than one day, or two if necessary: but if he stays three days, he is a false prophet. When an apostle leaves you, give him nothing except bread until he finds shelter. If he asks for money, he is a false prophet. Do not test or evaluate any prophet speaking in the Spirit – this is the one unforgivable sin. But not every one that speaks in the Spirit is a prophet, only those who live in the way of the Lord.
Thus it is by their conduct that you can tell false prophets from true. Similarly, no prophet shall eat while he is in the Spirit; if he does, he is a false prophet. Even if a prophet teaches the truth, if he does not do what he teaches, is a false prophet. However, if a prophet that has been approved and found true, and lives out the cosmic mystery of the Church, does not teach you to do all that he does himself, you should not judge such a prophet. His judgment must be left to God, for the prophets in the past also did such things. If anyone says in the Spirit, “Give me silver”, or asks for anything else, do not listen to him. But if he tells you to give to others that are in want, let no one judge him.
Receive everyone who comes in the name of the Lord. When you have tested them you will know them, for you will be able to discern true from false. If the one who comes is a traveler, assist him, as well as you can, but he should not stay with you more than two days — or three if necessary. But if he is a craftsman who wishes to settle with you, let him work for his bread. If he has no trade, use your discretion to provide a way for him to live as a Christian among you, but not in idleness. If he will not do this, he is trading Christ for profit. Beware of such men. But all true prophets and teachers who wish to settle among you are, like workers, worthy of their food.
Therefore you should always give the first fruits of the produce of the wine-press and of the threshing-floor, and of your oxen and sheep, to the prophets, for they are your chief-priests. If you do not have a prophet, give them to the poor instead. In the same way you should give the first fruits to the prophet when you make bread, or open a jar of wine or oil, and the same goes for your money and clothes and all possessions, as you see fit, in accordance with the commandment.
Sunday Worship

On the Lord’s day, come together, break bread and give thanks, having first confessed your sins, so that your sacrifice may be pure. Anyone who has a dispute with another, must not join your assembly until they have been reconciled, so that your sacrifice may not be defiled, for this is the sacrifice spoken of by the Lord: ‘”In every place and at every time offer me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great king,” says the Lord, “and My name is wonderful among the nations.’”‘
Church Leaders
Therefore appoint for yourselves bishops and deacons worthy of the Lord, men who are meek and not lovers of money, who are true and approved, because they also perform the service of prophets and teachers to you. Do not despise them, for they are worthy of honor alongside prophets and teachers.
Wrongdoers and Doing Right
And reprove one another, not in anger but in peace, as the Gospel tells you. If one of you does wrong to another, do not speak a word to him until he repents. Your prayers, your giving to the poor and all your deeds, should be done in accordance with the Gospel of our Lord.
The End Times

Be careful how you live. Do not let your lamps be quenched, nor your loins ungirdled, but be ready, for you do not know the hour our Lord will come. Meet together frequently, pursuing what is good for your souls, for your whole time as a believer will come to nothing if you are found to be imperfect at the end time. In the last days the false prophets and corrupters shall multiply, and the sheep will be turned into wolves, and love will be turned into hate. As lawlessness increases, they will persecute and betray and hate one another. And then the deceiver of the world will appear as a Son of God, performing signs and wonders, and the earth will be delivered into his hands. He will do things more unholy than any since the beginning of the world.
All of humanity shall come to the fire of testing, and many will fall and perish. But all who endure in their faith shall be saved from the Curse. Then the signs of the truth will appear: firstly a rift in the heavens, then the sound of a trumpet, and thirdly the resurrection of the dead. But not all will rise, because, as it is said, ‘The Lord shall come, and all his saints with him’. Then the world will see the Lord coming upon the clouds of heaven.

The Didache gives us a glimpse into the hearts and minds of the earliest converts to Christianity. It’s a treasure trove of insight and instruction that we are grateful to possess. Read and re-read it, and be blessed!

3 Steps to Make Men From Mice (Audio Podcast)

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Facebook, 3 Steps to Make Men From Mice

God doesn’t want us to live in fear—but many do.
This session is to challenge us not to fear, but to overcome it with courage.
Throughout scripture, God says it again, and again, and again—Fear Not; Be Not Afraid, Be Strong and Courageous, and other similar phrases— a few hundred times, in fact. So it’s clear that God doesn’t want us to be afraid.
But how do we overcome debilitating fear? Important tips are presented here in this special episode.
Want even more? Check out my long-talk given at a men’s retreat for Saddleback Church in 2016. Check it out

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Is Jesus Really the Only Way? ("Can I Ask That?" Video Series)

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Can I Ask That? Series

Is Jesus Really the Only Way?

“Can I Ask That?” Video Series: Session 7 of 7

Is Jesus Really the Only Way?
As a Christian, I say “Yes” and for good reason. But the Bible makes it clear that not only “Christians” should believe in Jesus. Rather, God wants everyone to believe and follow Christ as Lord (boss). How can God make such an audacious ask? Well, for one thing– He’s God! But there’s more…
God makes claim on being the only way to eternal life because of a few logical facts: No other person in the history of humanity ever rose from the dead—except Jesus. What’s more, no other faith even has the audacity to teach such a thing— except Christianity. The Bible uses that central fact as the primary truth on which the entire Christian faith rises and falls.
Once Jesus rose from the dead, he stuck around the next 40 days to prove He had risen and defeated death, something documented to believers and skeptics alike. In doing so, this became the greatest attested miracle in history. The Resurrection of Jesus is the #1 Mic Drop of all time.
And through the Resurrection, Jesus demonstrated that He is all powerful, by personally overcoming death—after having lived the greatest moral life in history.

Listening Challenge: Learn More About How Christianity Contrasts with Other Faiths


On the basis of who He was and is, Jesus claimed to be God in the flesh, the Son of God. He claimed that He was the one Way, the One Truth, and the One way to Eternal Life. Since Jesus lived a life of perfection that should be the model for all people—and because Jesus alone raised from the dead and since no one before or since has claimed or proven the same as Jesus, He has the sole right to make such an audacious claim.
But ironically, that’s not the major hurdle for people. Once they realize all this, you would think it would be impossible to object to Jesus being the One and Only Way. But that objection is just a smokescreen.
If God gave us 2 ways, instead of one way to God, people would remain unhappy. If God gave them 2 ways instead of 3, they’d be unhappy. Even if God said, you can have a million ways—we’d still want one more. You see, the problem with Jesus being the only way isn’t really Jesus. It’s that, as humans, we want COMPLETE AUTONOMY. We resist submitting because we want to be our own and only authority. But because Jesus lived a perfect life, unlike us, and died for our salvation, unlike us, and raised from the dead on His own power, unlike us or anyone else, Jesus is Lord of All, and insists that He and He only is the Only Way to God. It makes complete sense.

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What is a Study Bible? (Video)

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What is a Study Bible? Aren’t all Bibles just, well, Bibles?
Not exactly. There are five types of Bibles, as we have been learning in this seven-part series on the Podcast Seminary vlog on our YouTube Channel. View this video to learn more about the essentials of a Study Bible, then go view the entire series to learn all the details on the other Bible types. Then, if you like it– share it. And we’d appreciate your feedback or questions on the comments section below or on our YouTube Channel!

Have Questions?

If you have a spiritual question, a biblical or theological question, or discipleship question about God, drop us an email at!

Is God a Violent Person? ("Can I Ask That?" Video Series)

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Can I Ask That? Series

Is God Really Violent?

“Can I Ask That?” Video Series: Session 6 of 7

Is God Really Violent?
One of the great tragedies of human life is that there is violence in the world. Most violence is caused by evil in the human heart and the strategic influence of Satan in the world. Most violence has nothing to do with God.
But there are occasions where some violence is either allowed by God or even enacted by God. We even see serious examples of that in scripture. So it’s clear that, though God is not a warmonger, neither is He a pacifist.
Here’s what’s important to understand: God is the only Supreme Being that exists. His brilliance is beyond our ability to understand, and His character is good—even inscrutable… meaning that His benevolence is beyond the ability to accuse Him of wrongdoing. God is perfectly balanced in all moral perfections. Sometimes God is oversimplified, and therefore misunderstood. Is God love? Yes, but that doesn’t mean that God is not also a divine warrior and a champion of good. God is love, but he is not ONLY love. He is the perfect temperament of all character qualities. He is also just. He is also merciful. He is also forgiving. He holds all those perfections in perfect balance. One never eclipses the other—they always stay in perfect harmony.
This is possible, because God is all knowing. And all powerful, and everywhere present. And changeless. So for this reason, he always does the right thing and cannot err—EVER.
So here’s how to understand violence: On those rare occasions there is divine violence (like God’s punishment, etc.), it is always legitimate and even necessary. God knows that to maintain His moral purity and to honor truth, justice, righteousness, love, and mercy—there needs to be a perfect balance of His judgment, even when He chooses to permit or enact violence.
We should remember that, even when it seems so out of control, in fact—because God is sovereign, every molecule, every piece of debris, every reaction, are all in His immediate awareness, control and sovereignty.
So when violence occurs, remember God isn’t responsible for much of it—it’s often evil human free will. Remember that God is morally perfect, knows everything actual and possible, and that He is in control. And the safest place for us to be is to be willfully submitted to Him and trusting completely in his good character.

Upcoming Video (Released Each Thursday Through June 8)

7. Is Jesus Really the Only Way?

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Click to Learn More About Joining a Live Study by Pastor Brandon Bathauer on Wednesdays, 6:30pm PST from April 26-June 7, 2017 at Saddleback Church (Irvine South Campus) 18842 Teller Avenue, Irvine, Calif

What Does God Say About Sexuality and Identity? ("Can I Ask That?" Video Series)

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Can I Ask That? Series

What Does God Say About Sexuality and Identity?

“Can I Ask That?” Video Series: Session 5 of 7

What Does God Say About Sexuality and Identity?
Human identity and sexuality are very deeply intertwined subjects. In many ways, both our personhood and sexuality are enigmas—deeply mysterious subjects, and not nearly as simplistic as they are made to seem in culture and society.
Our identity is the core of our individualism and our personality. Our identity is the amalgamation of who God made us, who we think we are, and even who others think we are. From these, we form a self-concept, and from that springs our personality, image, reputation, and character.
The Bible says that God made us, mind, body, and spirit. And together, these form who we are. Then, as we figure out our identity, because we weren’t created to live alone in isolation, we soon migrate toward intimacy.
Intimacy has to do with knowing others and being known by others. It’s about sharing our own self-discovery, who we are, with others. And a possibility of this sharing is that, as intimacy grows, human sexuality enters into the picture.
Human sexuality is unique. It isn’t like evolutionists would have us believe—just another version of the biological propagation of an animal species. Unlike animals, human beings were created in the image of God. And as such, we aren’t only composed of chemicals and physical bodies (like mere plants and animals), we are created to reflect God’s glory through our bodies and our inner essence. That inner essence, our spiritual reality, and our minds, means we were endowed with capacities not found in any other life forms.
Human sexuality was created to involve not only our bodies and our senses—but also our souls… meaning our minds, our thoughts, our motivations, our emotions, our feelings, and even our imaginations. And human sexuality also involves our spirits—the deepest inward parts of us, our very essence, and our very lives—in other words, sexuality involves every part of us.
As people, identity, intimacy, and sexuality are related. Each affects the other. So understanding what God says about these three powerful concepts will help us become more healthy and happy—and misunderstanding them will make us less happy, healthy, whole, and holy. So it’s important to get them right by learning and doing what God says.

Upcoming Videos (Released Each Thursday Through June 8)

6. Is God Really Violent?
7. Is Jesus Really the Only Way?

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Click to Learn More About Joining a Live Study by Pastor Brandon Bathauer on Wednesdays, 6:30pm PST from April 26-June 7, 2017 at Saddleback Church (Irvine South Campus) 18842 Teller Avenue, Irvine, Calif

What Mature Christians Should Know (Podcast Episode 002)

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What should Christians know?  Click to discover the answer.

  • Is there a body of beliefs that represent what it means to be a Christian? 
  • Are there essential ideas that comprise a Christian way of thinking?
  • Is there such a thing as a biblical worldview?
  • Are there truths that, if known, could help us live with more certainty?
  • Should people expect to live their lives in spiritual confusion?

These are the types of questions answered in this podcast, Episode 002 – What Mature Christians Should Know.

Take the journey with Podcast Seminary Dean, Dr. Freddy Cardoza, long-time pastor and professor, who explores the idea with you, to help equip you to grow in your faith.


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Why Do Christians Believe in Such an Old Book? ("Can I Ask That?" Video Series)

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Can I Ask That? Series

Why Do Christians Believe in Such an Old Book?

“Can I Ask That?” Video Series: Session 4 of 7

Why Do Christians Believe in Such an Old Book?
The Bible is a written testament to God’s Story—to His Story, or History. The Bible is a It’s been said that the Bible is not a book humans could write if they would, and it’s not a book we would write if they could
The Bible has proven the test of time. In terms of its manuscripts and veracity or “proofs of trustworthiness,” it’s the most attested piece of ancient literature, bar none. There’s every reason to believe the Bible is the actual Word of God. In fact, the more you study “ABOUT” the book and study the book “itself,” the more convinced you become that it is, indeed, God’s revelation about Himself.
But people don’t read it or believe the Bible just because it’s old. We believe it because it’s true. And because it’s true, it’s reliable and trustworthy. It gives the greatest wisdom of the ages throughout its pages—as a collection of 66 divinely-inspired books that form the one and only source of God’s Authoritative Word to humanity: the Holy Bible.
And why have people throughout the ages come to believe in this ancient book? Fundamentally, because it has live-changing power.
In other words, BECAUSE IT IS the “Word of God,” it is true. And because it is true, it works. And God, mysteriously and supernaturally found a way to take eternal wisdom and existential truth, and then embed them within the written and spoken languages of all people groups in our world, through the words of the Holy Bible, as it is made available in languages around the world. And, somehow, supernaturally, God infused human language with divine power so that, when we read it OR even hear it, and apply it to our lives by doing what it says, the Bible proves it is true and the power of God is manifested.
The Bible. There’s no book like it. Anywhere. At any time. It’ll change your life. Get it, read it, and see for yourself.

Upcoming Videos (Released Each Thursday Through June 8)

5. What Does God Say About Sexuality and Identity?
6. Is God Really Violent?
7. Is Jesus Really the Only Way?

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Click to Learn More About Joining a Live Study by Pastor Brandon Bathauer on Wednesdays, 6:30pm PST from April 26-June 7, 2017 at Saddleback Church (Irvine South Campus) 18842 Teller Avenue, Irvine, Calif

Is God Republican or Democrat? ("Can I Ask That?" Video Series)

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Can I Ask That? Series

Is God Republican or Democrat?

“Can I Ask That?” Video Series: Session 3 of 7

Is God Republican or Democrat?
When it comes to God, we have to think completely different than we typically do. God completely transcends political parties.
God is infinite and directs the affairs of men, so He is above politics. He is, after all, the King of Kings. He is not Republican. He is not Democrat. He is not a green Party Member, Libertarian, and certainly not Communist. But neither is He ‘Independent’ or completely neutral. After all, He DOES care about all issues ethical and moral, and politics affects those things—and politics affects the lives of every person in the world. So He cares and we should care about politics for those reasons.
But, though God isn’t Democrat or Republican, in some ways, He is more involved with Government than anyone. Even Jesus was called the King of the Jews, after all—and Jesus will ultimately be installed as the King of Kings over all the universe. And the Bible says that God will form a government, an eternal Kingdom—organized as a theocracy, in the future.
The Bible calls God the Governor, Ruler, and Judge of All. He has all power and “rules” from on high. And as the Governor and King, He does not categorically register with political parties, as humans might.
That doesn’t mean, however, that people have that luxury. Indeed, scripture makes it clear that God has made us citizens of two kingdoms—kingdom of earth and the Kingdom of God. Jesus taught us to be good citizens. And as good citizens, we have an obligation to be biblically-informed and active in bringing about good in civil society, which means at least some degree of political involvement (voting, caring about people and causes that are affected by politics).
As citizens of those two kingdoms, we owe everyone the debt of love, and to be good citizens by taking biblical positions on important issues. But even then, and even if we have loyalty to causes , political positions, or even political parties—those are ALWAYS, A-L-W-A-Y-S secondary to our faith and the Kingdom of God. Remember the words of Jude 3, that we should contend earnestly for the Kingdom of God, once for all delivered to the saints.

Upcoming Videos (Released Each Thursday Through June 8)

4. Why Do Christians Believe in Such an Old Book?
5. What Does God Say About Sexuality and Identity?
6. Is God Really Violent?
7. Is Jesus Really the Only Way?

Subscribe and Get It Delivered Automatically!

Click to Learn More About Joining a Live Study by Pastor Brandon Bathauer on Wednesdays, 6:30pm PST from April 26-June 7, 2017 at Saddleback Church (Irvine South Campus) 18842 Teller Avenue, Irvine, Calif