The Teaching of the Twelve: The Power and Relevance of the Ancient Didache Community  -     By: Tony Jones
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The Teaching of the Twelve: The Power and Relevance of the Ancient Didache Community

Paraclete Press / 2009 / Paperback

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Product Description

Discovered only 130 years ago, the Didache is apparently a catechism intended to present basic instruction on Christian ethics and worship to newcomers about to undergo baptism. The national coordinator of Emergent Village richly explains the meaning of the text section by section, then makes applications for the contemporary church. 136 pages, softcover. Paraclete.

Product Information

Format: Paperback
Number of Pages: 136
Vendor: Paraclete Press
Publication Date: 2009
Dimensions: 8.00 X 5.38 (inches)
ISBN: 1557255903
ISBN-13: 9781557255907
Availability: In Stock

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Publisher's Description

 

What can we know about the practices of the early church?
 
 
"The Didache is the most important book you've never read," begins Tony Jones, in this engaging study.
 
The Didache is an early handbook of an anonymous Christian community, likely written before some of the New Testament books were written. It spells out a way of life for Jesus-followers that includes instruction on how to treat one another, how to practice the Eucharist, and how to take in wandering prophets. In The Teaching of the Twelve, Jones unpacks the ancient document, and he traces the life of a small house church in Missouri that is trying to live according to its precepts. 
 
Readers will find The Teaching of the Twelve inspirational and challenging, and they will discover a unique window into the life of the very earliest followers of Jesus the Christ. A new, contemporary English translation of the Didache is included.
 

Author Bio

Tony Jones is the author of The New Christians: Dispatches from the Emergent Frontier, and the theologian-in-residence at Solomon's Porch in Minnesota. He is the author of many books, including The Sacred Way, and is a sought-after speaker in the areas of emerging church, postmodernism, and Christian spirituality. Tony lives in Minnesota.

Publisher's Weekly

Calling the Didache “the most important book you’ve never heard of,” Emergent leader Jones (The New Christians) briefly unpacks the theological and practical lessons to be gleaned from one of early Christianity’s most overlooked texts. Less than half the length of the shortest New Testament gospel, the Didache (“teaching”) informed new Christians about spiritual practices like baptism, prayer, hospitality, fasting, Eucharist, generosity, and basic morality. Dated between 50 and 130 C.E., it is one of the oldest extant Christian texts not found in the New Testament. Jones writes engagingly, explaining the Didache’s meaning and importance while also introducing a surprising interlocutor called “Trucker Frank,” a Missouri truck driver whose house church has based its life together on the Didache. The great and unique value of this book is its vision of how Christians today might put the Didache in practice, rather than as a contribution to early Christian studies; in fact, biblical scholars and historians may raise eyebrows at a few of the book’s assumptions, particularly its oversimplifications about Gnosticism. Jones, however, has done a great service by recovering and interpreting this neglected classic for the ancient-future church. (Feb.) Copyright 2010 Reed Business Information.

Editorial Reviews

In a world lacking moral conviction, and a Christianity deficient in the art of discipleship, we turn to the sources of earliest Christianity for guidance. And because Tony does a great job in bringing these ancient texts to life, the reader is drawn into the nascent energies that flowed in the early church.
- Alan Hirsch, author of The Forgotten Ways

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  1. Denver
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    5 Stars Out Of 5
    Book Review: The Teaching of the 12
    February 11, 2013
    Justin
    Denver
    Age: 25-34
    Gender: male
    Quality: 5
    Value: 5
    Meets Expectations: 5
    I received The Teaching of the 12 by Tony Jones from Paraclete Press as a part of their blogging network. Short and sweet review: An excellent primer for groups/people desiring to think of new ways to be the church without the traditional trappings of Western church culture. It includes not only the full script of the Didache community but excellent insights and commentaries as well. For those fed up with church polity and systems, this book could be the breath of fresh air that you have been looking for.

    Jones' analysis of the Didache writing helps in the understanding of this critical piece of early Christian work and how it has helped (even if in some ways unknowingly) shape Christianity. The book even not only the full text of the ancient Didache (along with Jones' commentary) but group study questions as well for those that are seriously wrestling with its implications in our (post)modern culture and what exactly that might look like.

    As a pastor, there seems to be little I could use in everyday ministry, but as someone with a passion for fresh expressions of the Gospel in today's world this book excited me. Within the modern confines of a church, this book (while entertaining and incredibly insightful) wouldn't be a particularly helpful 'vision statement' for the church. That being said, if you or others you know are looking for new ways to create an authentic community with heavy missional implications this book is a great place to start.

    Disclaimer: I reviewed a free copy of this book through the Paraclete Press blogging program program. I was in no way compensated for this review and all views are solely and completely my own. I was not required to offer a positive review either through the publisher or author.
  2. 5 Stars Out Of 5
    January 23, 2010
    Christopher Smith
    Over the last decade, I have read a number of books on the Didache, but none has been so vibrant and accessible as Tony Jones new book The Teaching of the Twelve: Believing and Practicing the Primitive Christianity of the Ancient Didache Community. Jones not only seeks to introduce the Didache to a broad audience an excellent task by itself but also to make a case for the significance of its message in these postmodern times that in many ways resemble the era in which the Didache was written. ...As one who has a deep appreciation for the life of the early church communities, I am excited to see the Didache explored in fresh and exciting ways as Jones does here. However, what is even more enthralling about The Teaching of the Twelve is the rich, organic and conversational vision of the church community that it offers.In recent conversations with a number of churches, I have found that there is a growing hunger for churches to be more than merely religious communities, but rather real, holistic communities, the gathered life of which extends throughout the week. This distinction was a key facet of a missional church gathering at which I spoke recently. It seems that what Jones offers us here is an historical and theological grounding for deeper, conversational church communities like the one of the Cymbrogi that he describes. Without the textual authority of the Canon or the guiding authority of institutional church hierarchies, the original Didache community had to labor together to discern the shape of their obedience to Christ. In these postmodern times, when the authorities of texts and institutions are for good reasons suspect, we find ourselves in a situation not unlike that of the Didache community. As Jones so wonderfully expounds here, we would do well to reflect on their example and discern together the shape of our faithfulness in todays world.[A longer version of this review originally appeared in THE ENGLEWOOD RVW OF BKS]
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