Here’s a trailer for the forthcoming DVD that Paraclete Press made with me. It’ll be a small group resource to be used in my book, The Teaching of the Twelve.
As Spring shifts to Summer, bookstores rotate their inventory and shift books around. That moves books in and out of publishers’ warehouses and sometimes results in some amazing deals. That sometime is now for my book, The Teaching of the Twelve: Believing and Practicing the Primitive Christianity of the Ancient Didache Community.
The book is a primer on the Didache, the handbook of a very early Christian community. You can read the complete text of the Didache here, or listen to me read it:
It’s been used as a group use resource in several churches, and I’ve heard great things back from them. Each chapter ends with some study questions, and the Didache raises important and interesting questions about church practices like communion and baptism as well as handling money and living in community.
So, for a limited time, Paraclete is offering The Teaching of the Twelve for just FIVE BUCKS! Rather than restock a couple cases of the book in their warehouse, they’re looking to move get them in your hands. Now is the time to buy one for yourself, or a pile of them for your group this fall.
When I spoke last month to the Alliance of Baptists, I tried something that I’d done once before: a public reading of our new translation of the Didache from my latest book. And I was thrilled with the result. As we passed the book around the room and heard chapters read by varying voices, it was variously funny (I mean laugh-out-loud, pause-the-reading-for-the-laughter-to-subside funny), poignant, and even uncomfortable. For instance, the Didache’s prohibition of abortion (literally, “you shall not murder a child, whether it be born or unborn”) and it’s sexual ethic raised some eyebrows in the liberal crowd. But the public reading had far more passages that were heartily affirmed by those present, especially its exhortations regarding how money is to be handled in the community.
Today I leave for Cape Cod to film a video curriculum which will complement the book. Paraclete Press is a part of the Community of Jesus, which is located on the Cape, and they’re hosting me and producing the video. I’ll be really interested to see what angle we take on the DVD, which will be for use in small groups and adult Sunday school settings. But, whatever direction we go, I hope it will capture the same spirit of the Didache that the public reading in Nashville did.
I will say this: Having written the book, I’m even more in love with the Didache now than I was before.
On that note, the UK’s Church Times published a review recently that isn’t available online, so I’ll reprint it here:
A couple new reviews of The Teaching of the Twelve were posted this week. The first, by Wes Ellis, is positive. Wes particularly likes the modern translation of the Didache that we’ve provided, and calls that the best chapter of the book. He goes on to write,
How does this fit in with Jones’ other works?
This question only needs to be asked because Jones usually writes about the Emerging Church and he usually stays away from such involved studies of ancient texts. So why does he care about the Didache? Jones says himself that “it represents a lost version of Christianity, and one that many of us long to get back to” (page 121 from the Epilogue). Jones, in all of his endeavors, is on the lookout for not only a fresh perspective but also for a way of getting back to the roots of the Church and he seems to have found both in this ancient forgotten text and in the community call the Cymbrogi.
For anyone interested in the Didache, this is a great read.
The second, by Bob Hyatt, is less positive.