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Didache - Chapter 2

2 The Second Commandment

2:1 The second commandment of the teaching is this:

2:2 Do not commit murder; do not commit adultery; do not corrupt boys; do not have illicit sex; do not steal; do not practice magic; do not practice witchcraft; you shall not murder a child, whether it be born or unborn. Do not covet the things of your neighbor.

2:3 Do not swear or bear false witness. Do not speak evil of others; do not bear grudges.

2:4 You should not be double-minded or double-tongued, for a double-tongue is a deadly snare.

2:5 Your speech should not be false nor empty, but fulfilled by action.

2:6 Do not be covetous, or greedy, or hypocritical, or malicious, or arrogant. Do not have designs against your neighbor.

2:7 Hate no one; correct some, pray for others, and some you should love more than your own life.

Comments

Jack said…
Now that I have had some time to reflect on this chapter, I have some comments.

First, this is the 'second commandment' for the community. That is, this is a fleshing out of very practical ways of the 'way of life'.

Second, is the idea that some of these things were easily understood things in the first century. That is, some of the items in this list are straight-forward enough ('do not commit adultery') but others are more vague ('do not corrupt boys'). Without going into all of the details of this list, one must keep in mind this very important fact - this was written for their time, not ours. In other words, we could decide what we think 'do not corrupt boys' means in our day, but that would almost certainly not mean what it did in their day.

Furthermore, these were the 'way of living' for that community. That is, if one were to adopt this is their own rule (which would not be a bad thing) one would need to set it within a community and then the community would need to decide what those stickier points would mean. This, to me, is a central piece of the whole puzzle. And, I might add, one for the whole Christian family today. That is this: community. We need to read, and study, and learn, and question, all within a community of other people. The whole point is that this is document, this 'way of living' was not handed to an individual and then that person was left by herself to figure this stuff out. No. The context is quite clear that this is a community document and the best way to understand it and to live it is within that community. Likewise, for one to adopt such a document, the best practice would be within a loving community wanting to follow Jesus.

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