Teaching of the Twelve: Believing & Practicing the Primitive Christianity of the Ancient Didache Community - eBook
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Vendor: Paraclete Press
Publication Date: 2010
How did the first Christians practice their faith? The Didache, an early handbook of an anonymous Christian community, "is the most important book you've never heard of." It spells out a way of life for Jesus-followers, including how to love one another, how to practice the Eucharist, and how to take in wandering prophets. Likely written before many of the New Testament books, this little-known text can enlighten the way that Christians are church, today. Tony Jones unpacks the ancient document with insight and perspective, and traces the life of a small house church in Missouri that is trying to live according to its precepts. Includes a new, contemporary English translation of the complete text of the Didache.
Tony Jones is the national coordinator of Emergent-U.S. (www.emergentvillage.com) and a doctoral fellow and senior research fellow in practical theology at Princeton Theological Seminary. He is the author of Postmodern Youth Ministry: Exploring Cultural Shift, Cultivating Authentic Community, Creating Holistic Connections, The Sacred Way: Spiritual Practices for Everyday Life, The Teaching of the Twelve: Believing and Practicing the Primitive Christianity of the Ancient Didache Community, The Most Difficult Journey You'll Ever Make: The Pilgrim's Progress and You Converted Me: The Confessions of St. Augustine. Tony Jones has spent the last two decades working with young Christians as a pastor, missionary, and theologian. Tony lives with his three children in Edina, Minnesota.
Calling the Didache the most important book youve never heard of, Emergent leader Jones (The New Christians) briefly unpacks the theological and practical lessons to be gleaned from one of early Christianitys 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 Didaches 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 books 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.
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JustinDenverAge: 25-34Gender: male5 Stars Out Of 5Book Review: The Teaching of the 12February 11, 2013JustinDenverAge: 25-34Gender: maleQuality: 5Value: 5Meets Expectations: 5I 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.
Christopher Smith5 Stars Out Of 5January 23, 2010Christopher SmithOver 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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