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NON-CANONICAL EPISTLES AND RELATED WRITINGS

vance, kosher foods, and circumcision were meant not as literal descriptions of how the Jewish people were to live, but as figurative pointers to Christ and the religion that he was to establish (chaps. 9–10, 15). A good deal of this book, therefore, tries to show how Christ and the Christian religion were foreshadowed in the Old Testament Scriptures. The book ends on a different note, by describing the Christian doctrine of the “Two Paths”: the morally upright path of “light” and the morally perverse path of “darkness” (chaps. 18–20; see Introduction to the Didache). All people must choose between these two ways, following the righteous practices of the one or the moral improprieties of the other.

1

Greetings, sons and daughters, in the name of the Lord who loved us, in peace. 2 So great and abundant are the righteous acts of God toward you that I am exceedingly overjoyed, beyond measure, by your blessed and glorious spirits. For you have received such a measure of his grace planted within you, the spiritual gift! 3 And so I share your joy all the more within myself,a hoping to be saved; for truly I see that, in your midst, the Spirit has been poured out upon you from the abundance of the Lord’s fountain—so amazed have I been by the sight of your face, which I have so desired. 4 And so, since I have been persuaded about this and realize that I who have spoken to you know many things (since the Lord has traveled along with me in the path of righteousness), I have also felt fully compelled to love you more than my own soul. For a great faith and love dwell within you in the hope of his life. 5 I have thus come to realize that I will be rewarded for serving spirits like yours, if I care for you enough to hand over a portion of what I have received. I have hastened, then, to send you a brief letter, that you may have perfect knowledge to accompany your faith.

6 There are three firm teachings of the Lord of life: hope, which is the beginning and end of our faith; righteousness, which is the beginning and end of judg­ ment; and love, which is a testament to our joy and gladness in upright deeds. 7 For through the prophets the Master has made known to us what has happened and what now is; and he has given us the first fruits of the taste of what is yet to be. And as we see that each and every thing has happened just as he indicated, we should make a more abundant and exalted offering in awe of him. 8 But I will show a few matters to you, not as a teacher but as one of your own; these will gladden your hearts in the pres­ ent circumstances.

2

Since, then, the days are evil and the one who is at work holds sway, we should commit ourselves to seeking after the righteous acts of the Lord. 2 Reverential awe and endurance assist our faith, and patience and self-restraint do battle on our side. 3 And so while these things remain in a holy state before the Lord, wisdom, understanding, perception, and knowl­ edge rejoice together with them.

a

Or: I congratulate myself all the more

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