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    All that is known of this document may be given in brief as follows: In 1873 Philotheos Bryennios, at that time head master of the higher Greek school at Constantinople, but now metropolitan at Nicomedia, discovered a collection of manuscripts in the library of the “Jerusalem Monastery of the Most Holy Sepulcher” at Constantinople. The collection was bound in one volume, and was all written by the same hand. It bore the significant signature, “Leon, notary and sinner,” and the Greek date 6564, which equals A. D. 1056. The manuscripts that formed the remainder of the collection, are the following:—
    “Synopsis of the Old and New Testaments,” by St. Chrysostom; “The Epistle of Barnabas;” “The Two Epistles of Clement to the Corinthians;” “The Epistle of Mary of Cassoboli to Ignatius;” “Twelve Epistles of Ignatius.”
    FACC 113.1

    The matter was translated into German, and published February 3, 1884; and was translated from the German into English, and published in America, February 28, 1884. Archdeacon Farrar published in the Contemporary Review, May, 1884, a version from the Greek.FACC 113.2

    These are the simple facts concerning the discovery and publication of the “Teaching,” as given in the introductory notice to the edition published by the Christian Literature Company. The excitement which its first appearance caused in the religious world was intense, equal at least to that which would be produced in the Catholic Church by the discovery of one of the bones of an apostle. The New York Independent said that it was “by all odds the most important writing, exterior to the New Testament, now in the possession of the Christian world;” and some other journals seemed to regard it as fully equal to the New Testament. One thing is certain, and that is that for a few months after the publication of the “Teaching,” they devoted more space and attention to it than to the Bible.FACC 113.3

    Of course no one supposes that the apostles themselves ever saw or heard of the so-called “Teaching of the Apostles.” Says Professor Riddle, in his introductory notice: “Of apostolic origin no one should presume to speak, since the text of the document makes no such claim, and internal evidence is obviously against any such suggestion.” As to when it was written, nobody knows, and there is no means of knowing. Some guess that it was written as early as A. D. 80, while others, with far more reason, place it much later, at dates varying from 120 to 190 A. D. Concerning the character of the work, Bishop Coxe, in his prefatory note, says:—
    “Lactantius, in his ‘Institutes,’ shapes his instructions to Constantine by the Duce vice, which seem to have been formulated in the earliest ages for the training of catechumens. The elementary nature and the ‘childishness’ of the work are thus accounted for, and I am sure that the ‘mystagogic’ teaching of Cyril receives light from this view of the matter. This work was ‘food for lambs;’ it was not meant to meet the wants of those ‘of full age.’ It may prove, as Dr. Riddle hints, that the teaching as we have it, in the Bryennios document, is tainted by the views of some nascent sect or heresy, or by the incompetency of some obscure local church as yet unvisited by learned teachers and evangelists. It seems to me not improbably influenced by views of the charismata, which ripened into Montanism, and which are illustrated by the warnings and admonitions of Hermas.”
    FACC 114.1

    The question which would naturally arise is, Why should we take this document as an exponent of the belief and teaching of the apostles, rather than the genuine writings of the apostles? The only possible answer is, We should not. If we wish to become acquainted with the teachings and belief of John Wesley, we go to his own published works, and not to what some anonymous writer may have said of him. So with the apostles. The New Testament, and that alone, contains their doctrine, and upon that alone we must depend for our knowledge of what they taught. Anything else purporting to come from them is a base forgery.FACC 115.1

    We should not omit to state that that which recommended the “Teaching” to the religious world, as something of great value, was the fact that it was discovered in company with the “Epistle of Barnabas,” and twelve of the “Epistles of Ignatius.” That might be a good recommendation to some, but to one who has learned the simple truth concerning those productions, it will be almost sufficient ground on which to condemn the whole thing. To be found in such company is prima facie evidence of bad character.FACC 115.2

    There is no more thorough student, and none better acquainted with Patristic literature, than Professor Harnack, of Berlin. It was he who first called the attention of the western theological world to the discovery of Bryennios, and he has carefully examined everything of importance that has been said about that document.FACC 115.3

    In the Theologische Literaturzeitung, of June 12, 1886, he published the first of a series of articles on the character and result of the discussions that have been published on the “Teaching,” and from that article the New York Independent, of August 26, 1886, made a lengthy extract, the greater part of which we reproduce. It puts together, without comment, the conflicting opinions that are held in regard to it. Says Harnack:—“One investigator puts the newly discovered writing before the Pauline letters, or even before the Council of the Apostles (Sabatier); the second, in the name of Paul; the third, soon after the destruction of Jerusalem (Bestinann); the fourth, in the last decades of the first century (an idea that finds very much favor); the fifth, in the days of Trajan (also a favorite idea); the sixth, in the days of Bar-cochba; the seventh, in the time of Antonines; the eighth, about the time of Commodus; the ninth, in the third century; the tenth, in the fourth century; and there are some who favor the fifth or a later century. So much in reference to the time of composition.FACC 116.1

    “In other points matters stand no better. On the history of its transmission, one says that it is the book known to the Fathers from the days of Clement; others deny this; a third party seeks a middle path.FACC 116.2

    “In regard to the integrity of the book, some say the book is from one author, and original; others that it is a compilation, and is crowded with interpolations; that it consists of two or more parts that originally did not belong together. In regard to the character of the book, some claim that it is well arranged, others that it is poorly arranged; some that in parts it is well arranged, and in parts poorly arranged; some that the skill of the author must be admired; others that the author has no idea of the literary arts.FACC 116.3

    “With regard to the sources, some say that only the Old Testament served as a source, and that all the rest is original, because older than all other Christian writings; others say that there is nothing original in the book, but the whole is taken from other sources; some that the New Testament receives no witness from the ‘Didache;’ others that nearly all the New Testament books are used in it, and that the book itself thereby seems the best proof of its antiquity; some that Barnabas and Hermas are used; others that Barnabas is used, but that Hermas in turn used the ‘Didache;’ others, on the other hand, that Hermas was used, and that Barnabas is a later production; others that Philo, the Sibylline books, and the Gentile moralists were used; others that in primitive apostolic simplicity the author has reproduced only the pure gospel.FACC 116.4

    “In regard to the standpoint of the author, some claim that it is primitive apostolic from the view of the Jewish-Christians; others that it is a post-apostolic and Jewish-Christian; others, anti-Pauline; others, that it is strongly influenced by Paul; others, that it is Saddusaic; others, vulgar, heathenish; others, dangerously Ebionitic; others, Marcionitic; others, Montanistic; others, Theodotian; others, quite moralizing; others, encratistic; others, thoroughly Byzantine, but under a transparent mask; others, that the standpoint cannot be discovered, since the author has not treated of his ‘faith;’ others, classically evangelical.FACC 117.1

    “With regard to the importance of the book, some say that it is the most important discovery of the century, and should be received into the canon of the New Testament; that it is the whole Bible in nuce; that it solves the greatest problems; that it is peculiar, and should be used with care; that it shows the average Christianity; that as a compilation it cannot be used in picturing any period; that it shows poverty of contents; the Christianity of the author can only be lamented; that it is rationalistic, barren, and flat, but nevertheless interesting; that it is a miserable production, without any importance for those or our times; the book is characteristic only of the Byzantine forger. Places assigned for the writing: Egypt, Greece, Syria, Jerusalem, Rome, Asia Minor, Constantinople....FACC 117.2

    “Then some regard it as setting forth the Apostolic, the Presbyterian, the Episcopal, or no system of church government whatever. It is considered of great value because it favors the Protestant, or the Catholic, or the Baptist, or the anti-Baptist, or the Chiliastic, or the anti-Chiliastic, or the Irvingian, or some other church party; because it is still Apostolic and anti-Catholic, and at the same time Catholic; because its prophets are still apostles of the real primitive Christianity; others, then, claim that they are new prophets, or no prophets at all, but rather inventive swindlers and parasites; others that they are no swindlers, but homunculi produced by a forger.”FACC 118.1

    As the showman said, “You pays your money, and you takes your choice.” There are opinions enough here, from which one can choose. We see no reason for regarding it any more highly than the matter ascribed to Barnabas, Hermas, and Clement, or the “trash” attributed to Ignatius. That it contains some truth cannot be questioned, but there is none that is not contained in far better form in the New Testament, and so it is not worth while to try to winnow it out from the error. It cannot add anything to the light that shines from God’s word; its only effect can be to obscure it.FACC 118.2

    But why was it that the “Teaching” was received with such enthusiasm? It was chiefly because there was one chapter in it which by judicious manipulation could be made to do service in the Sunday cause. The passage which was hailed with such joy was the fourteenth chapter, which, in the edition published by the Christian Literature Company, is translated as follows:—
    “But every Lord’s day do ye gather yourselves together, and break bread, and give thanksgiving after having confessed your transgressions, that your sacrifice may be pure. But let no one that is at variance with his fellow come together with you until they be reconciled, that your sacrifice may not be profaned. For this is that which was spoken by the Lord. In every place and time offer to me a pure sacrifice; for I am a great king, saith the Lord, and my name is wonderful among the nations.”
    FACC 118.3

    Now if this document is to be accepted as embodying the correct teaching of the apostles, it must be accepted as a whole. As soon as we discriminate against any portion as being incorrect, we throw discredit upon the whole. If the above reference is to be taken as proof that the apostles observed the first day of the week, and thus marked out our duty for us, it also proves just as conclusively that they partook of the communion every first day of the week, and that all Christians should do likewise. The fact that those who laud the “Teaching” the most highly do not follow its-injunction in this respect is proof that they do not attach any real value to the document. They will follow it just so far as it seems to support their preconceived opinions; and they find it very convenient to have even a forgery to which to appeal in support of the practices which they are determined to follow.FACC 119.1

    But it will be noticed that the passage does not define the Lord’s day, and those who wish to find in it authority for Sunday-keeping, must first prove that the Lord’s day is a proper term for the first day of the week, which they cannot do. It will not be necessary in this case, however, for them to try, for we have before us not only the English translation of the text, but the Greek text itself, and we know whereof we speak when we say that the word for “day,” namely hemera, does not once occur in the entire chapter; neither is there any word corresponding to it, nor anything to indicate that it, rather than some other word, should be supplied. Why, then, was the word “day” inserted by the translators? We leave them to answer.FACC 119.2

    It will be asked, “If you throw out the term ‘Lord’s day,’ what word or words should be supplied to make the sense complete?” Read the passage once more carefully, and you will see. Of what does it treat? Of the Lord’s Supper, and that alone. The Greek word for “table” agrees with the adjective kuriaken, and if supplied makes better sense than does the word “day.” For while there is reason in saying that those who are at variance should not approach the Lord’s table until they become reconciled, there is none in saying that such should not observe a certain day, or meet together on it.FACC 120.1

    But let this pass. It is not worth while to argue long over the question whether or not the “Teaching of the Apostles,” so called, speaks of the Lord’s day. When the document first appeared, a prominent religious journal said that it tended strongly to “make keepers of the first day more confident of their position than heretofore.” What must have been their former confidence in their position? If a single casual expression in an anonymous document that is known to be a forgery, and which was found with some other forgeries that are worse than trash, tends to make Sunday-keepers more confident of their position, what becomes of their boasted New Testament authority for Sunday-keeping? Can it be that they regard the “Teaching” as superior to the New Testament, and therefore capable of strengthening its positions? No; the statement was simply an admission of what everyone who can read may find out for himself, namely, that the New Testament gives not the slightest warrant for Sunday-keeping. Surely it would be a pity to take from Sunday advocates the strong ground of confidence that they have in the so-called “Teaching of the Apostles”! We will not dispute the passage with them any further. They are welcome to all that they can get out of it.FACC 120.2

    A section from chapter 8 will serve to show the proclivities of the unknown writer of this now famous document. It is as follows: “But let not your fasts be with the hypocrites; for they fast on the second and fifth days of the week, but do ye fast on the fourth day and the preparation (Friday).”FACC 121.1

    Now here is a plain command, and we wait to see how many of those who are almost willing to swear by the “Teaching” will obey it. As yet we have seen no indication of any such design on the part of anyone. Nobody seems to have any special interest in this portion of the precious relic. And this again proves our statement that nobody really believes that the “Teaching” carries with it any weight of authority. It simply gives the modern Athenians something new to talk about, and a new chance to exercise their wits in finding excuses for not obeying the commandment of the Lord. It would be impossible to convince the religious world that they ought to fast on Wednesdays and Fridays; if such a thing were attempted they would immediately ask for Scripture proof. And yet there is as much reason for fasting regularly on those days, or even for keeping them holy, as there is for keeping Sunday.FACC 121.2

    If one were so disposed, he might show that the “Teaching” recognizes the seventh day as the true Sabbath; for it calls Friday the preparation. But we hope that no one who regards with reverence the commandment of Jehovah, will ever humiliate the Sabbath, which has for its backing that sacred word, by quoting in its behalf from such a source as the document now under consideration.FACC 121.3

    In chapter 6 we have this comforting bit of advice:—
    “If thou art able to bear all the yoke of the Lord, thou wilt be perfect; but if thou art not able, what thou art able that do.”
    FACC 122.1

    Which strongly reminds us of the Quaker’s reputed counsel to his son. Said he: “John, thee must be honest; but if thee cannot be honest, be as honest as thee can.”FACC 122.2

    Dr. Riddle is of the opinion that the “simplicity” of the “Teaching,” “almost amounting to childishness,” is proof that it is not a forgery, his idea evidently being that a man who would forge a document, would try to make it appear worthy of acceptance. However that may be, its simplicity is apparent, and an instance of it is herewith given:—
    “Let every apostle that cometh to you be received as the Lord. But he shall not remain except one day; but if there be need, also the next; but if he remain three days, he is a false prophet.”—Chap. 11.
    FACC 122.3

    The seventh chapter of the “Teaching” is as follows:—
    “And concerning baptism, thus baptize ye: Having first said all these things, baptize into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Spirit, in living water. But if thou have not living water, baptize into other water; and if thou canst not in cold, in warm. But if thou have not either, pour out water thrice upon the head in the name of Father and Son and Holy Spirit. But before the baptism let the baptizer fast, and the baptized, and whatever others can; but thou shalt order the baptized to fast one or two days before.”
    FACC 122.4

    The writer of this document was what would in these days be called a very “liberal” man. His advice is, “Baptize in running water if you can; if you cannot, then in some other; if you can’t get cold water, use warm; and if you can’t baptize at all, do something else, and it will do just as well.” If we knew when this was written, it might throw some light on the date at which sprinkling or pouring came to be substituted for baptism. But we have the best of evidence that as late as the middle of the third century nothing but immersion was regarded as baptism; and therefore we know that at least the seventh chapter of the so-called “Teaching of the Apostles” was written not less than two hundred years after the death of the apostles.FACC 123.1

    But the weakness or wickedness of the document is evident in the very first chapter, which contains the following:—
    “Woe to him that taketh; for if one that is in need taketh, he shall be guiltless; but he that is not in need shall give account wherefore he took and whereunto; and being in durance shall be questioned touching what he did, and he shall not go out thence until he give back the last farthing.”
    FACC 123.2

    Here this precious “Teaching” teaches that it is all right for a man to steal if he is in need. The man who needs clothes may steal them; and the man who needs a horse may “take” it, and both “shall be guiltless.” Fortunately for society, our laws have not been modeled after the standard of this much prized “Teaching.”FACC 123.3

    It is but just to say that in the Christian Literature Company’s edition, it says: “For if one having need receiveth, he is guiltless,” etc., using the word “receive” instead of “take.” This is evidently out of sympathy for the reputation of the writer of the “Teaching,” for both the original and the context show that nothing but stealing is meant. For the next clause says of the one who “takes” when he has no need, that “coming into straits (confinement), he shall pay the penalty;” and Bishop Coxe calls special attention to this, saying that it probably means imprisonment. This shows that stealing is meant, and not simply the receiving of a thing as a gift.FACC 123.4

    The following, however, is a fit accompaniment of the instruction concerning stealing:—
    “Be not a stretcher forth of the hands to receive and a drawer of them back to give. If thou hast aught, through thy hands thou shalt give ransom for thy sins.”—Chap. 4.
    FACC 124.1

    Here we have the Roman Catholic doctrine of atoning for sins by the payment of money. It is no wonder that the writer of this document, holding such a doctrine as this, should counsel a needy man to steal, since by paying to the priest a part of his ill-gotten gain he could free himself from sin.FACC 124.2

    But what more need be said? Enough has been given to convince anybody who is open to conviction, that the so-called “Teaching of the Apostles,” like the writings attributed to Hermas, Barnabas, and Ignatius, is nothing but a Catholic document, one of those writings which grew out of the working of the “mystery of iniquity,” and which form the foundation of that “MYSTERY, BABYLON THE GREAT, THE MOTHER OF HARLOTS AND ABOMINATIONS OF THE EARTH.”FACC 124.3

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