Section I — On Righteousness

Chapter 1

1 There are two ways, one of life and one of death, and the difference between the two ways is great.

2 The way of life is this: first, you shall love the God who made you; second, your neighbor as yourself, and whatever you would not have done to you, do not do to another.

3 And the teaching of these maxims is this: bless those who curse you, and pray for your enemies, and fast on behalf of those who persecute you; for what thanks is there, if you love them that love you? Do not even Gentiles do the same? But love those who hate you, and you will not have an enemy.

4 Abstain from fleshly and bodily lusts. If anyone gives you a blow on your right cheek, turn to him the other also, and you will be perfect [full-grown, fully-mature]. If anyone compels you to go a mile, go with him two; if anyone takes your cloak, give him your coat also; if anyone takes from you what is yours, do not ask for it back nor try to use force.

5 Give to everyone who asks of you, and do not demand it back; for the Father wants something from his own free gifts to be given to all. Blessed is he who gives according to the commandment, for he is guiltless; but woe to him who receives; for if one who receives is actually in need, he is guiltless; but whoever receives when not in need will have to explain why he received and for what purpose; in prison he will be interrogated concerning the things he has done, and he will not depart from there until he has paid the last penny.

6 Yes, truly it has been said about this: "Let your alms sweat in your hands until you know to whom to give."

Chapter 2

1 And the teaching of the second commandment is this: 2 You shall not murder. You shall not commit adultery; you shall not seduce boys; you shall not fornicate. You shall not steal. You shall not be a fortune-teller; you shall not practice sorcery. You shall not kill a child by abortion nor slay it when born. You shall not covet anything that belongs to your neighbor. 3 You shall not commit perjury; you shall not give false testimony; you shall not speak evil; you shall not bear malice; 4 you shall not be double-minded or double-tongued, for a double-tongue is a snare of death. 5 Your word shall not be false or empty, but confirmed by deeds. 6 You shall not be greedy or rapacious or hypocritical or malicious or arrogant. You shall not take up an evil plot against your neighbor. 7 You shall not hate anyone, but some you shall rebuke, and some you shall pray for, and some you shall love more than your own soul.

Chapter 3

1 My child, flee from everything that is evil and everything that is like it. 2 Do not be wrathful, for wrath leads to murder, nor jealous nor contentious nor quarrelsome, for from all these murder ensues. 3 My child, do not be lustful, for lust leads to fornication, nor a filthy-talker nor a lewd-looker, for from all these adulteries ensue. 4 My child, do not be an interpreter of omens, since it leads to idolatry, nor an enchanter nor an astrologer nor a magical purifier, nor wish to see them, for from all these idolatry arises. 5 My child, do not be a liar, for lying leads to theft, nor avaricious nor conceited, for from all these thefts are produced. 6 My child, do not be a complainer, since it leads to blasphemy, nor self-willed nor evil-minded, for from all these blasphemies are produced. 7 Be meek, for the meek will inherit the earth. 8 Be long-suffering and merciful and guileless and peaceable and good, and revere always the words you have heard.

9 You shall not exalt yourself, nor let your soul be presumptuous. Your soul shall not be joined with the lofty, but with the righteous and humble you shall walk. 10 You shall accept what befalls you as good, knowing that without God nothing happens.

Chapter 4

1 My child, remember night and day him who speaks the word of God to you; honor him as the Lord, for where his lordship is proclaimed, there is the Lord. 2 Seek out daily the faces of the saints, that you may rest in their words.

3 You shall not desire schism, but shall set at peace those who contend. You shall judge righteously; you shall not show partiality when rebuking for transgressions. 4 You shall not vacillate about whether a thing will be or will not be. 5 You shall not be one who stretches out his hands to receive but one who draws them back when someone is giving.

6 If you have anything in your hands, give a ransom for your sins. 7 You shall not hesitate to give; neither shall you grumble when giving, for you know who is the fair paymaster of your reward. 8 You shall not turn away from him who is actually in need, but share with your brother in all things and not say things are your own, for if you are partners in what is imperishable, how much more so in perishable things?

9 You shall not remove your hand from your son or your daughter, but from their youth teach them the fear of God.

10 You shall not command in your bitterness your slave or your maid who hope in the same God as yourself, lest they cease to fear the God who is over you both; for he comes not with regard for reputation, but to those whom the Spirit has prepared. 11 And you slaves, subordinate yourselves to your masters in shame and fear, as to an image of God.

12 You shall hate all hypocrisy, and everything that is not pleasing to the Lord. 13 You shall not abandon the commandments of the Lord, but guard what you have received, neither adding nor subtracting anything. 14 You shall confess your transgressions in the congregation; and you shall not come to prayer with an evil conscience. This is the way of life.

Chapter 5

1 But this is the way of death: first of all, it is evil and full of curses, murders, adulteries, lusts, fornications, thefts, idolatries, fortune-tellings, sorceries, robberies; false testimony, hypocrisy, duplicity, deception, arrogance, malice, stubbornness, greed, filthy-talking, jealousy, audacity, pride, boastfulness;

2 persecuting good men, hating truth, loving falsehood, not knowing the reward of righteousness, not adhering to what is good nor to righteous judgment; watching not for that which is good but for that which is evil; far from gentleness and patience, loving worthless things, pursuing recompense, having no mercy for the needy, not working for him that is distressed, not recognizing him who made them; murderers of children, corrupters of the image of God, turning away from him that is in need, oppressing him that is distressed, advocates of the rich, unjust judges of the poor, utterly sinful. May you be delivered, my children, from all these!

Chapter 6

1 Take heed lest anyone lead you astray from this way of teaching, for he who does so teaches you away from God.

2 If you can carry the whole yoke of the Lord, you will be perfect [full-grown, fully-mature]; but if you cannot, then do what you can.

3 Concerning food, bear what you can, but carefully keep away from food sacrificed to idols, for it is a worship-service to gods from the realm of the dead.