Apostolic dating

The Apostolic Tradition (or Egyptian Church Order) is an early Christian treatise which belongs to genre of the Church Orders.It has been described as of "incomparable importance as a source of information about church life and liturgy in the third century".Against this, other scholars have suggested that the Apostolic Tradition portrays a liturgy that was never celebrated.The original Greek text of the Apostolic Tradition has survived only in fragments; but the full Greek text circulated widely in the Eastern churches from the 4th century onwards, and is consequently found in translation in three ancient collections of the Church Orders, the Alexandrine Sinodos, the Aksumite Collection and the Verona Palimpsest.The Alexandrine Sinodos was re-discovered in the 19th century: a Bohairic Coptic version was published in 1848 by Tattam, the earlier Sahidic Coptic version was published in 1883 by Paul de Lagarde, the Ethiopic and Arabic versions in 1904 by George William Horner.The text found in the Sahidic version was named by the publishers Egyptian Church Order and corresponds to what is now usually known as Apostolic Tradition.Re-discovered in the 19th century, it was given the name of Egyptian Church Order.In the first half of 20th century this text was commonly identified with the lost Apostolic Tradition presumed by Hippolytus of Rome.

This version was published in 1900 by Edmund Hauler, but only just over half of the Apostolic Tradition section was preserved.Due to this attribution, and the apparent early date of the text, this manual played a crucial role in the liturgical reforms of main mainstream Christian bodies.The attribution of this text to Hippolytus has since become a subject of continued debate in recent scholarship.A much earlier Ethiopic version translated directly from the Greek around the late 5th century, was discovered in Ethiopia in 2002 in a 13th century manuscript; amongst the works in a compendium of synodical materials: known as the 'Aksumite Collection'.


If the Apostolic Tradition is the work of Hippolytus of Rome, it could be dated before AD 235 (when Hippolytus is believed to have been suffered martyrdom) and its origin would be Rome; and this date has been defended in recent scholarship by Brent and Stewart.being gathered and compiled on about AD 375-400, probably in Egypt or even Syria.



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