A resume of the Mandates on the Book of Shepherd of Hermas
The Shepherd of Hermas is a book that was consider important to some early christian writers.
The opinion of the fathers of the very earliest period concerning the authority of this book is that it was undoubtedly regarded as on a level with the canonical books of the New Testament, accordingly to Charles Hoole - 1870. Hoole says that Irenaeus quoted the book of Hermas as Scripture. (Shepherd of Hermas to english by Charles Hoole, 1870, introtuction, page xi.)
It´s part of the Stichometry of Nicephorus.
"The Shepherd of Hermas was one of the most popular books produced in the early Church, and for a time it was frequently quoted and regarded as inspired." #1
So I decided to study it. It´s been a real bless and I found appropriate to make a small resume of the commandments, the mandates, of this book.
You can download the translation I used in the links bellow:
Shepherd of Hermas - Vol I - Rev C Taylor 1903.pdf
Shepherd of Hermas - Vol II - Rev C Taylor 1903.pdf
Shepherd of Hermas - to english by Charles Hoole - 1870.pdf
1 - Believe there is one God Creator of all things:
"First of all believe that there is one God, the creator and Framer of all things ..." (Shep.Her. 1st Mand 1.1)
"Fear the Lord, quoth he, and keep His commandments; and while thou keepest the commandments of God thou shalt be able in all that thou doest, and thy doing shall be beyond compare. For fearing the Lord thou shalt do all things well. This is the fear which thou must fear, that so thou mayest be saved. 2. But fear not the devil: for if thou fear the Lord thou shalt have dominion over the devil, because there is no power in him." (Shep.Her. 7th Mand 1.1)
2 - Fear God:
"Believe therefore in Him and fear Him." (Shep.Her. Mand 1)
3 - Be continent:
"... and fearing Him be continent." (Shep.Her. Mand 1)
"Which comes next to Faith in Vis iii,8 and Sim. ix 15. "
Countinace is Power over thyself, Power over thy own will.
(Shepherd of Hermas Taylor 1903, vol I page 110, 111)
1st Promisse about the first group of commandments:
"These things observe , and thou shalt cast away all wickedness from thee, and thou shalt put on every virtue of rightousness, and shalt live unto God, if thou keep this commandment."
4 - Learn no guile:
"Hold to simplicity and be without guile, and thou shalt be as little children which know not the wickedness ..." (Shep.Her. Mand 2.1)
5 - Speak evil of no man. Slander not.
"First speak evil of no man, neither hearken gladly to one that speaketh evil. Else thou also that hearkenest shalt be guilty ..." (Shep.Her. 2nd. Mand)
Promisse about the "slander not" mandate:
"Keep thyself therefore from if (slandering), and thou shalt be in harmony always with all men."
6 - Do good.
"Work the thing that is good..." (Shep.Her. 2nd. Mand)
"Next hear the things sequent upon these:
To minister to widows, to visit orphans and the needy, to redeem the servants of God from necessities, to love hospitality, for in hospitality may haply be found well doing; to be opposed to no man, to be quiet, to make thyself poorer than all men, to reverence the aged, to practise righteousness, to preserve brotherhood, to endure despite, to be longsuffering, not to have remembrance of wrong; to confort the weary in soul, not to cast away them that have stumbled from the faith, but to convert and cheer them; to admonish sinners, not to oppress poor debtors; and if there be any other things like unto these."
(Shepher of Hermas 8th Mand. 1.10)
"If thou do good and abstain not from it, thou shalt live unto God; and all shall live unto God who do so." (Shepher of Hermas 8th Mand. 1.10)
7 - Give:
"Work the thing that is good, and of thy labours which God giveth thee give liberally to all that need, not doubting to whom thou shouldest give or not give. Give to all; for God would have us give to all out of His own gifts."
Promisse about the "give" mandate:
"Keep then this commandment (give), as I have said unto thee, that thou and thy house may be found sincere in your repentance, and thy heart pure and undefiled."
8 - Say only truth:
"Love truth, and let all be tryth which proceedeth out of thy mouth, that the spirit which God made to dwell in this flesh may be found true with all men; and so the Lord who dwelleth in thee shall be glorified. For the Lord is true in every word, and with Him is no lie." (Shepherd of Hermas Mad. 3)
"And as for you, the anointing which ye received of him abideth in you,
and ye need not that any one teach you; but as his anointing teacheth you;
concerning all things, and is true, and is no lie, and even as it taught you,
ye abide in him." (1 John 2:27)
Warn about mandate 3, "Say only truth":
"The spirit of man is a sacrad deposit, one day to be returned to God who gave it.
He who corrupts it by lying will have filched away something from that deposit: consequently they that lie have became robbers." (Shepherd of Hermas, Taylor 1903 vol 1 page 120 about the mandate 3).
"If they return this (the spirit) falsified, thy have defiled the commandment of the Lord and become robbers." (Shepherd of Hermas, Mand. 3.2)
9 - Purity of thought. Don´t even think about another man´s wife.:
"I charghe thee, quoth he, to observe purity, and to let no thought about another man´s wife or about any fornication ..." (Shepherd of Hermas 4th mand. 1.1) (See also: Mark 10.11f; 1 Cor. 12. 11f, 28, 39, 40.)
Tip to the married men keep away from this sin:
"whereas if thou remember always thine own wife, thou shalt never fall into sin." (Shepherd of Hermas 4th mand. 1.1)
"... for where modesty dwelleth, there iniquity should not come into the heart of a righteous man." (Shepherd of Hermas 4th mand. 1.3)
10 - Never remarry. But receive the repented wife.
"During ignorance, quoth he, he sinneth not; but if the man come to know of her sin (adultery), and the wife repent not but continue in her fornication, and the man live with her, he becameth guilty of her sin and a partner in her adultery." (Shepherd of Hermas 4th mand. 1.6)
"Let him put her away and let the husband abide alone; but if when he hath put away his wife he marry another, then he likewise committeth adultery." (Shepherd of Hermas 4th mand. 1.6)
"if ... she repent and desire to return to her own husband ... if the husband receive her not he sinneth." (Shepherd of Hermas 4th mand. 1.7)
"Thus the case standeth with both wife and husband." (Shepherd of Hermas 4th mand. 1.8)
Hope for couples with trouble:
"As for his former sin, there in One who can give healing; for it is He that hath the power over all things." (Shepherd of Hermas 4th mand. 1.11)
"I am set over repentance, and to all who repent I give understanding." (Shepherd of Hermas 4th mand. 2.2)
If the husband or wife died, can someone remarry?
"He sinneth not (if remarry after the partner died), quoth he; but if one abide alone, he winneth for himself more exceeding honour and great glory before the Lord." (Shepherd of Hermas 4th mand. 4.2 page 125)
For this case ... I (Hermas) enquire diligently of thee (angel of God) about all things; because first
I am a sinner, and then I know not what things I should do that I may live, for my sins are many in number and manifold. (Shepherd of Hermas 4th mand. 2.3)
Thou shalt live, quoth he (The Angel of God), if thou keep my commandments and walk in them; and whosoever heareth these commandments and keepeth them shall live unto God. (Shepherd of Hermas 4th mand. 2.4)
Shepherd of Hermas Mandate 4, chapter 3 teatches about the one only repentace a man have.
Truly repantance is when you stop doing what you say you repent on doing.
"But if he sin oft and repent it advantageth not such an one, for hardly shall he live." (Shepherd of Hermas 4th mand. 3.6)
Promisse about the mandates:
"All these things which I say and shall say unto thee observe henceforth, from the day thou wast delivered unto me, and I will dwell in thy house. And thou shalt have forgiveness of thy former transgressions if thou keep my commandments ... and walk in this purity."(Shepherd of Hermas 4th mand. 4.3, 4)
11 - Be longsuffering and prudent:
(Commandment with promisses.)
"1.Be longsuffering and prudent, quoth he, and thou shalt have dominion over all wicked works, and shalt do all righteousness. 2. For if thou be longsuffering, the Holy Spirit which dwelleth in thee shall be clear and not darkened over by another evil spirit, but dwelling at large shall joy and rejoice with the vessel in which it dwelleth, and shall serve God with much gladness having harmony within itself. 3. But if any ill-temper approach, immediately the Holy Spirit, which is delicate, is straitened by not having clear space, and seeketh to depart from the place; for it is choked by the evil spirit, and hath not room to serve the Lord as it would, because it is fouled by the ill-temper; for the Lord dwelleth in forbearance, but the devil in passionateness." (Shepherd of Hermas 5th mand. 1.1-3)
"3. But longsuffering is great and strong, hath mighty and firm power, and thriveth in
great enlargement; is joyous, exulting, void of care, and glorifieth the Lord at all seasons; and it hath in itself no bitterness, but abideth continually meek and quiet." (Shepherd of Hermas 5th mand. 2.3)
"See that thou never neglect this commandment; for if thou have the mastery of this commandment, thou shalt be able also to keep the rest of the commandments which I shall command thee." (Shepherd of Hermas 5th mand. 2.8)