The Apostolic ConstitutionsEdit
The Apostolic Constitutions   is an ancient document that was meant to convey to those in leadership roles as well as the laity of the Church, the correct religious doctrine of the Twelve Apostles of Jesus Christ and the proper guidelines governing Christian ethics and moral behavior. As noted by scholars, the Constitutions is a compilation of several works by well-known ancient writers. However, none of the borrowed works are as profound and extensively used as The Didache, an ancient Treatise by the Lord's Apostles. It is worthwhile to add also, that a large portion of the document contains teachings found in the The Didascalia, an ancient work which is based on the Didache and said to have been written around 250 AD in Syria.
Most scholars feel that The Constitutions was actually a composition of the third century, probably owing to the later liturgical interpolations. Jdgray 16:14, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
Origin and HistoryEdit
The Apostolic Constitutions, as stated earlier, had its roots in the early Church of Christ's Apostles. For not long after our Lord's Ascension, around 33 AD, the Apostles began setting things in order so that the newly-formed religion could operate efficiently and according to righteous principles [Acts 1:1-2]. Under the guidance of the Holy Spirit, the Apostles formulated rules of worship and proper Christian behavior for the bishop, the clergy and the congregation of worshippers.
The ancient treatise from which much of the instruction and doctrine in the Constitutions is derived is the Didache, the first known recorded teachings of the Apostles. This was a treatise that encompassed all the basic teachings from Jesus Christ, which He gave to His Apostles while He was on earth. The Apostles wrote as they preached, guided by Holy Spirit. The Didache is said to have been written around the time of the Council of Jerusalem - around 50 AD (Acts 15:1-29).
The Didache was actually a handbook for new Christian converts, consisting of instructions derived directly from Christ's teachings. The book can be divided into three sections. The first six chapters consist of Christian lessons; the next four give descriptions of the Christian ceremonies, including baptism, fasting and communion; and the last six outline the church organization.
The Didascalia, though modified in the Constitutions, was also based on the teachings of Christ's Apostles that were being read in the form of letters and epistles [see references] in the early Churches during and after the time of the original Apostles [See Apostolic Age]. The Didascalia Apostolorum, as a separate manual predating the Constitutions, dealt with matters of worship, discipline and doctrine; and was, as mentioned earlier, founded upon the Didache, which according to most scholars had its origin no later than 70 AD.
New Advent notes that the first six books of the Constitutions are an interpolated edition of the Didascalia ("Teaching of the Apostles and Disciples", written in the first half of the third century and since edited in a Syriac version by de Lagarde, 1854). They note that, in the second book, there is a part of a liturgy modified from the Didascalia.  Jdgray 16:22, 31 December 2008 (UTC)
CONTENT OF THE APOSTOLIC CONSTITUTIONSEdit
(The) Apostolic Constitutions can be generally defined as " a collection of laws from the late fourth century, which included 85 canons attributed to the Apostles dealing with ordinations, official responsibilities, and the moral behavior of bishops and priests." Compilation of these books was by Pope St. Clement of Rome, who died in 104 AD.
There has always existed a great diversity of opinion as to the author and date of the Apostolic Constitutions. Earlier writers were inclined to assign them to the apostolic age, and to Clement; but much discussion ensued, and the questions to which they give rise are still unsettled.
One interesting opinion in regard to them is that of Whiston, who devoted a volume (vol. iii.) of his Primitive Christianity Revived to prove that “they are the most sacred of the canonical books of the New Testament;” for “these sacred Christian laws or constitutions were delivered at Jerusalem, and in Mount Zion, by our Saviour, to the eleven apostles there assembled after His resurrection.”
All in all, these teachings were made up of eight books that dealt with a particular aspect of the Church life. According to one source, "They [The Apostolic Constitutions] are today of the highest value as an historical document, revealing the moral and religious conditions and the liturgical observances of the 3rd and 4th centuries. They are part of the Ante-Nicene Fathers collection." [See "Apostolic Constitutions"] 
A very important rule that appeared later in the Apostolic Constitutions had roots in the very early teaching of Saint Peter immediately following the Holy Spirit outpouring at Pentecost. Peter said, in Acts 2:38-39, "Repent and be baptized, every one of you, in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins. And you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. The promise is for you and your children and for all who are far off—for all whom the Lord our God will call."
The text, parts of which may have constituted the first written catechism [manual on doctrine], has three main sections dealing with Christian lessons, rituals such as baptism and the Eucharist, and Church organization. 
The Apostolic Constitutions was considered by some of the Church Fathers as part of the New Testament but rejected as spurious or non-canonical by others. It was eventually not accepted into the New Testament canon, with the exception of the Ethiopian Orthodox Church "broader canon". The Roman Catholic Church has accepted it as part of the collection of Apostolic Fathers. 
Below are some of the highlights of this valuable document.
Book One, section one is brief and contains "General Commandments." A special blessing is pronounced upon those Gentiles who have believed in Jesus Christ and have followed His will. The writer urges these believers "to do all things in obedience to God; and in all things please Christ our Lord, lest that person be esteemed by God as disobedient heathen."
The first commandment concerns covetousness. The writer warns about such sins, with many references to scripture [i.e., the Ten Commandments], such as lusting after another man's wife, committing adultery, or coveting another's property.
Another commandment warns the believer not to seek revenge. Here, we find similar quotes to those in the Old and New Testaments. The treatise says, "For it is written in the book of (Numbers): 'He that blesseth thee is blessed, and he that curseth thee is cursed.'" (1) In the same manner it is written in the Gospel where the Lord said, "Bless them that curse you."* (3) For so says He again in the Gospel: "Love your enemies, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you and persecute you; and ye shall be the children of your Father which is in heaven: for He maketh His sun to shine on the evil and on the good, and raineth on the just and unjust."
Section Two concerns commandments to men. Strong warning is given about the danger of over-adornment. Such adornment that leads to another person's lusting after one or overly-attentive may in turn lead to adultery. Both parties are in some way guilty of the consequences that follow such lavishneness. One is not to please men so as to commit sin [by dress] but; but God, so as to attain holiness of life, and be partaker of everlasting rest. The writers explain, "that beauty which God and nature has bestowed on thee, do not further beautify; but modestly diminish it before men. Thus, do not thou permit the hair of thy head to grow too long, but rather cut it short; lest by a nice combing thy hair, and wearing it long, and anointing thyself, thou draw upon thyself such ensnared or ensnaring women. Neither do thou wear over-fine garments to seduce any; neither do thou, with an evil subtlety, affect over-fine stockings or shoes for thy feet, but only such as suit the measures of decency and usefulness. Neither do thou put a gold ring upon thy fingers; for all these ornaments are the signs of lasciviousness."
The writer gives caution about "wandering about the streets spying out those who act wickedly without just cause," and tells the reader to "mind thine own trade and employment, endeavoring to do what is acceptable to God. And keeping in mind the oracles of Christ, meditate in the same continually. For so the Scripture says to thee: 'Thou shalt meditate in His Law day and night.'"
The writers tell Christians to read the books of the Law, of the Kings, with the Prophets; sing the hymns of David; and peruse diligently the Gospel, which is the completion of the other. He cautions them to keep from all the books that are out of the church.--those which he considers "the heathen books" which will corrupt or weaken one's faith. For if thou hast a mind to read history, thou hast the books of the Kings; if books of wisdom or poetry, thou hast those of the Prophets, of Job, and the Bible, World English, Proverbs, in which thou wilt find greater depth of sagacity than in all the heathen poets and sophisters, because these are the words of the Lord, the only wise God.
If thou desirest something to (hymn) sing, thou hast the Psalms; if the origin of things, thou hast Genesis; if laws and statutes, thou hast the glorious law of the Lord God. Nay, when thou readest the law, think not thyself bound to observe the additional precepts; though not all of them, yet some of them. Read those barely for the sake of history, in order to the knowledge of them, and to glorify God that He has delivered thee from such great and so many bonds.
Great warning is given against "bad women". The treatise reads, "Do not hearken to a wicked woman; for though the lips of an harlot are like drops from an honey-comb, which for a while is smooth in thy throat, yet afterwards thou wilt find her more bitter than gall, and sharper than any two-edged sword."
Section three of Book One gives commandments to women. A woman is to be in subjection, loving and modest to her husband. Women are also cautioned about the danger of bathing in the same place with men. Women are urged to curb any spirit of contention, esp. with regards to their husbands.
Section One of Book Two concerns the character of the Bishop. He must be well - instructed and experienced in God's word. A Pastor who is to be ordained for this position must be unblamable, unreprovable, free from all kinds of wickedness and not under 50 years of age.
Section Two makes further comment on the character of the Bishop, explaining, "Let him therefore be sober, prudent, decent, firm, stable, not given to wine; no striker, but gentle; not a brawler, not covetous; "not a novice, test, being puffed up with pride, be fall into condemnation, and the snare of the devil: for every one that exalteth himself shall be abused."
Another sections reads, "Let not a bishop be given to filthy lucre, especially before the Gentiles, rather suffering than offering injuries; not covetous, nor rapacious; no purloiner; no admirer of the rich, nor hater of the poor; no evil-speaker, nor false witness;..."
Section Three explains how the Bishop is to treat the innocent, the guilty and the penitent. It also explains what the character of the one being initiated into this role should be.
Great stress is laid upon the fact that "those who are baptized into the death of our Lord Jesus are obliged to go on no longer in sin; for as those who are dead cannot work wickedness any longer, so those who are dead with Christ cannot practise wickedness. We do not therefore believe, brethren, that any one who has received the washing of life continues in the practice of the licentious acts of transgressors."
Concerning a person falsely accused or convicted, a Bishop must boldly reject such as these upon full conviction, unless they change their course of life.
Section nine speaks of the Bishop as one who must not give any offense, nor must be himself be a respecter of persons. But if he himself has not a good conscience, and is a respecter of persons for the sake of filthy lucre, and receiving of bribes, and spares the open offender, and permits him to continue in the Church, he disregards the voice of God and of our Lord, which says, "Thou shalt exactly execute right judgment." (4) "Thou shalt not accept persons in judgment: thou shalt not justify the ungodly." (5) "Thou shalt not receive gifts against any one's life; for gifts do blind the eyes of the wise, and pervert the words of the righteous." (6) And elsewhere He says: "Take away from among yourselves that wicked person." (7) And Solomon says in his Proverbs: "Cast out a pestilent fellow from the congregation, and strife will go out along with him." (8)
It is also stated here that a Bishop, who by wrong judgment, spares an offender, is himself guilty and will be compelled to perish with him; as was the case of the people joining with Jeroboam.
Another warning concerns those who affirm that penitents are not to be received into the church. The writers of the document hold that a righteous person, although he converses with a sinner, will not perish with him, and that no person is punished for another, but everyone must give an account of himself. The feeling is that we must assist those who are weak in faith; and that a bishop must not be governed by any turbulent person among the laity. Scriptural reference is added to this point and states, "...it is not pleasing in the sight of your Father that one of these little ones should perish."
The writers emphasize that we are not to establish the will of hard-hearted men, but the will of the God and Father of the universe, which is revealed to us by Jesus Christ our Lord. (9) We therefore ought to do so with offenders, when they profess their repentance,--namely, to separate them some determinate time, according to the proportion of their offence, and afterwards, like fathers to children, receive them again upon their repentance. (10) Receive, therefore, without any doubting, him that repents.
More stress is laid upon the obligation of the Bishop to his flock. It states that a shepherd who is careless of his sheep will be condemned, and that a sheep which will not be led by the shepherd is to be punished. Section or part XIX says, "Hear, O ye bishops; and hear, O ye of; the laity, how God speaks: "I will judge between ram and ram, and between sheep and sheep." And He says to the shepherds: "Ye shall be judged for your unskilfulness, and for destroying the sheep."
Another section explains how the laity are to obey the Bishops who are set over them. Section XX states, "As to a good shepherd, let the lay person honour him, love him, reverence him as his lord, as his master, as the high priest of God, as a teacher of piety. For he that heareth him, heareth Christ; and he that rejecteth him, rejecteth Christ; and he who does not receive Christ, does not receive His God and Father:..."
In another place it states how it is a dangerous thing to judge without hearing both sides, or to determine the punishment against a person before he is convicted.
Mention is made of first-fruits and tithes, and after what manner the Bishop is himself to partake of them, or to distribute them to others. Here, the document reads, "XXV. Let him use those tenths and first-fruits, which are given according to the command of God, as a man of God; as also let him dispense in a right manner the free-will offerings which are brought in on account of the poor, to the orphans, the widows, the afflicted, and strangers in distress, as having that God for the examiner of his accounts who has committed the disposition to him. Distribute to all those in want with righteousness, and yourselves use the things which belong to the Lord, but do not abuse them;..."
Section Seven speaks on assembling in the church. There is given an exact description of a church and the clergy, and what things in particular everyone is to do in the solemn assemblies of the clergy and laity for religious worship. It states, "-and on each side of him let the presbytery sit down; and let the deacons stand near at hand, in close and small girt garments, for they are like the mariners and managers of the ship: with regard to these, let the laity sit on the other side, with all quietness and good order. And let the women sit by themselves, they also keeping silence. In the middle, let the reader stand upon some high place-
Afterwards let our Acts be read, and the Epistles of Paul, our fellow-worker, which he sent to the churches under the conduct of the Holy Spirit; and afterwards let a deacon or a presbyter read the Gospels, both those which I Matthew and John have delivered to you, and those which the fellow-workers of Paul received and left to you, Luke and Mark. And while the Gospel is read, let all the presbyters and deacons, and all the people, stand up in great silence; for it is written: "Be silent, and hear, O Israel." (2) And again: "But do thou stand there, and hear." (3) In the next place, let the presbyters one by one, not all together, exhort the people, and the bishop in the last place, as being the commander. Let the porters stand at the entries of the men, and observe them. Let the deaconesses also stand at those of the women, like shipmen."
It is said how the same description and pattern was both in the tabernacle of the testimony and in the temple of God. (4) But if any one be found sitting out of his place, let him be rebuked by the deacon, as a manager of the foreship, and be removed into the place proper for him; for the Church is not only like a ship, but also like a sheepfold. As to the deacons, after the prayer is over, let some of them attend upon the oblation of the Eucharist,.
Christian are also warned to abstain from all of the "impious" practices of the heathens.
Section Eight discusses the duty of working for a livelihood. It is stated that a Christian who will not work must not eat, as Peter and the rest of the Apostles were fishermen, but Paul and Aquila tentmakers, and Jude the son of James, a husbandman.
It is also states that Christians should not be contentious with one another. "Wherefore, O bishop, when you are to go to prayer after the lessons, and the psalmody, and the instruction out of the Scriptures, let the deacon stand nigh you, and with a loud voice say: Let none have any quarrel with another; let none come in hypocrisy; that if there be any controversy found among any of you, they may be affected in conscience, and may pray to God, and be reconciled to their brethren. For if, upon coming into any one's house, we are to say, "Peace be to this house," that it is the will of God that men should be of one mind in matters of religion, in accord with the heavenly powers." It further states, "LVI. For this is that which our Lord taught us when we pray to say to His Father, "Thy will be done, as in heaven, so upon earth;" (7) that as the heavenly natures of the incorporeal powers do all glorify God with one consent, so also upon earth all men with one mouth and one purpose may glorify the only, the one, and the true God, by Christ His only-begotten. It is therefore His will that men should praise Him with unanimity, and adore Him with one consent. (8) For this is His will in Christ, that those who are saved by Him may be many; but that you do not occasion any loss or diminution to Him, nor to the Church, or lessen the number by one soul of man, as destroyed by you, which might have been saved by repentance; (9) Such a one is a disperser of the sheep, an adversary, an enemy of God, a destroyer of those lambs whose Shepherd was the Lord."
Section One concerns widows and the ages at which they shall be chosen. The writer says, "Choose your "widows not under sixty years of age...."
The note is made of the character that widows ought to be, and how they are to be supported by the Bishop. It reads, "III. But the true widows are those which have had only one husband, having a good report among the generality for good works; widows indeed, sober, chaste, faithful, pious,..."
The writers explain that women should not teach because it is unseemly and that women should not baptize because it is impious and contrary to the doctrine of Christ.
It is also stated in this section that a layman should not do any office of the priesthood: It says, "X. Neither do we permit the laity to perform any of the offices belonging to the priesthood; as, for instance, neither the sacrifice, nor baptism, nor the laying on of hands."
Section Two concerns deacons and deaconesses, the rest of the clergy and Baptism.
Conerning the sacred initiation of Holy Baptism, it states, that the Bishop is to [according to type] anoint the head of those that are to be baptized, whether they be men or women, with the holy oil, for a type of the spiritual baptism. After that, either thou, O bishop, or a presbyter that is under thee, shall in the solemn form name over them the Father, and Son, and Holy Spirit, and shall dip them in the water; and let a deacon receive the man, and a deaconess the woman, that so the conferring of this inviolable seal may take place with a becoming decency. And after that, let the bishop anoint those that are baptized with ointment. The meaning of baptism is discussed as well. XVII. This baptism, therefore, is given into the death of Jesus: (9) the water is instead of the burial, and the oil instead of the Holy Ghost; the seal instead of the cross; the ointment is the confirmation of the confession; the mention of the Father as of the Author and Sender; the joint mention of the Holy Ghost as of the witness;
A late note is made on the charaters of a deacon and the rule that a bishop should be ordained by three or by two bishops, but not one - for that would be invalid.
Section One concerns helping the poor. The command is that those who have no children should adopt orphans, and treat them as their own children.
Instruction is also given for how the Bishop ought to provide for orphans.
Exhortation is given to the widows and orphans to partake of those things that are bestowed upon them with all fear, and all pious reverence, and to return thanks to God who gives food to the needy, and to lift up their eyes to Him.
Section Two of this section concerns domestic and social life, and parents and children. Fathers are told to educate their children in the Lord, bringing them up in the nurture and admonition of the Lord; and teach them such trades as are agreeable and suitable to the word of God.
Section One concerns martyrs. It relates how it is reasonable for the faithful to supply the wants of those who are afflicted for the sake of Christ.
Section Two emphasizes that all association with idols is to be avoided.
Section Three tells how it is incumbent upon Christians to receive those that are persecuted on account of the faith, and who "fly from city to city" (3) on account of the Lord's commandment; and assist them as martyrs, rejoicing that ye are made partakers of their persecution, as knowing that they are esteemed blessed by the Lord; for Himself says: "Blessed are ye when men shall reproach you, and persecute you, and say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake."
Section Four warns believers against the error of denying Christ. It states, "But he that denies himself to be a Christian, that he may not be hated of men, and so loves his own life more than he does the Lord, in whose hand his breath is, is wretched and miserable, as being detestable and abominable, who desires to be the friend of men, but is the enemy of God."
This section also points out that Christians are to avoid intercourse [socializing] with false brethern when they continue in their wickedness. Christians are urged to imitate Christ in suffering, with zeal and to follow his patience.
There is strong admonition to abstain from vain and obscene talking, jesting, drunkenness and the like. The supportive statement says, "X. Now we exhort you, brethren and fellow-servants, to avoid vain talk and obscene discourses, and jestings, drunkenness, lasciviousness, luxury, unbounded passions, with foolish discourses. For a Christian who is faithful ought neither to repeat an heathen hymn nor an obscene song, because he will be obliged by that hymn to make mention of the idolatrous names of demons; and instead of the Holy Spirit, the wicked one will enter into him."
A catalog of feasts of the Lord is given.
A detailed account of Christ's Crucifixion is related.
Finally, instruction is given as to how the Passover ought to be celebrated.
Section One deals with heresies. Section Two deals with the history and doctrines of heresies. Section Three discusses how the various heresies were attacked by the apostles.
One reference made to heretics is that they are "the corrupters of the souls." In regards to heretics, the document states, "XXVI. Do you therefore, O bishops, and ye of the laity, avoid all heretics who abuse the law and the prophets. For they are enemies to God Almighty, and disobey Him, and do not confess Christ to be the Son of God."
There is a commandment not to re-baptize, nor to receive that baptism which is given by the ungodly, which is considered a pollution.In reference to re-baptism, the writers are quoted as saying, "XV. Be ye likewise contented with one baptism alone, that which is into the death of the Lord; not that which is conferred by wicked heretics, but that which is conferred by unblameable priests, "in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:" (13) and let not that which comes from the ungodly be received by you, nor let that which is done by the godly be disannulled by a second. For as there is one God, one Christ, and one Comforter, and one death of the Lord in the body, so let that baptism which is unto Him be but one."
Matrimonial precepts concerning the clergymen are given.
There is the admonition of the love of boys, adultery, and fornication. "XXVIII. But we do not say so of that mixture that is contrary to nature, or of any unlawful practice; for such are enmity to God. For the sin of Sodom is contrary to nature, as is also that with brute beasts. But adultery and fornication are against the law; the one whereof is impiety, the other injustice, and, in a word, no other than a great sin. But neither sort of them is without its punishment in its own proper nature. For the practisers of one sort attempt the dissolution of the world, and endeavour to make the natural course of things to change for one that is unnatural."
A part explains how wives should to subject to their own husbands, and husbands should love their own wives.
Section Six seems to be the conclusion of the work. Here, it is discussed how it's the custom of the Jews and Gentiles to observe natural purgations, and to abominate the remains of the dead. The writers state that "all this is contrary to Christianity." The statement in support of this belief reads, "XXX. Do not therefore keep any such observances about legal and natural purgations, as thinking you are defiled by them. Neither do you seek after Jewish separations, or perpetual washings, or purifications upon the touch of a dead body. But without such observations assemble in the dormitories, reading the holy books, and singing for the martyrs which are fallen asleep, and for all the saints from the beginning of the world, and for your brethren that are asleep in the Lord, and offer the acceptable Eucharist, the representation of the royal body of Christ, both in your churches and in the dormitories; and in the funerals of the departed, accompany them with singing."
The seventh book is an equally modified version of the Didache (Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, probably written in the first century, and found by Philotheos Bryennios in 1883) with a collection of prayers.  This book concerns the Christian life, the Eucharist, and the initiation into Christ.
Section One discusses the "Two Ways: The Way of Life and the Way of Death." The wisdom related here is that there are indeed two ways, the One Natural, of Life, and the Other Introduced Afterwards, of Death; And that the Former is from God, and the Latter of Error, from the Snares of the Adversary.
Several prohibitions are given. There is the prohibition of evil-speaking and passion, of deceitful conduct, idle words, lies, covetousness, and hypocrisy. Believers are cautioned not to be a diviner, for that leads to idolatry.
The writers explains that the way of death is known by its wicked practices, for therein is the ignorance of God, and the introduction of many evils, and disorders, and disturbances; whereby come murders, adulteries, fornications. There are commandments to follow if one is to stay on the way of life. Among them are: Thou shalt confess thy sins unto the Lord thy God.Thou shalt be observant to thy father and mother as the causes of thy being born, that thou mayest live long on the earth which the Lord thy God giveth thee. Do not despise any of the sorts of food but gratefully and orderly partake of them. Avoid eating things offered to idols.
Included in this book is a constitution of our Lord, how we ought to baptize, and into whose death. The worshipper who is to be initiated into Christ's death ought first to fast, and then to be baptized.
There is a prayer that declares God various providence over all that He has made.It reads, "XXXIII. Our eternal Saviour, the King of Gods, who alone art almighty, and the Lord, the God of all beings, and the God of our holy and blameless fathers, and of those before us; the God of Abraham, and of Isaac, and of Jacob…."
We come to the closing words of the Document which read as follows: Now, [may] God who alone is unbegotten, and the Maker of the whole world, unite you all through His peace, in the Holy Spirit; perfect you unto every good work, immoveable, unblameable, and unreprovable; and vouchsafe to you eternal life with us, through the mediation of His beloved Son Jesus Christ our God and Saviour; with whom glory be to Thee, the God over all, and the Father, in the Holy Spirit the Comforter, now and always, and for ever and ever. Amen."
Most scholars agree that the eighth and final book is a mixed compilation, and contains a complete liturgy of the eighty-five "Apostolic Canons" . Chapters 28-46 of book eight contain a series of canons, and chapter 47 comprises the so-called Apostolic Canons, a collection of 85 canons derived in part from the preceding constitutions and in part from the canons of the councils of Antioch (341) and Laodicaea (c. 360). It includes a list of biblical books that omits the Revelation to John but places the Apostolic Constitutions and the two letters of Clement in the canon of Scripture. 
Notes and ReferencesEdit
1. Codex Hierosolymitanus - (the "Jerusalem Codex", often designated simply "H" in scholarly discourse) is an 11th-century Greek book, written by an unknown scribe named Leo, who dated it 1056. Its designation of "Jerusalem" recalls its current resting-place, the library of the Patriarchate at Jerusalem in 1887, where it remains in the monastery of the Holy Sepulchre. The codex contains the Didache, the Epistle of Barnabas, the two epistles 1 Clement and 2 Clement, and the long version of the letters of Ignatius of Antioch. It was discovered in 1873 by Philotheos Bryennios, the metropolitan of Nicomedia, at Constantinople. He published the texts of the two familiar epistles of Clement in 1875, overlooking the Didache, which he found when he returned to the manuscript
2. Didache (~70 CE) The Didache ("The Teaching") is one of the most fascinating yet perplexing documents to emerge from the early church. The title (in ancient times "The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles") was known from references to it by Athanasius, Didymus, and Eusebius, and Serapion of Thmuis (4th century) has a quotation from it in his Eucharistic prayer [Richardson] p. 163. But no copy was known until 1873, when Bryennios discovered the codex Hierosolymitanus, which contained the full text of the Didache which he published in 1883. Since then it has been the focus of scholarly attention to an extent quite out of proportion to its modest length. Yet such basic information as who wrote and where and when remain as much as mystery as when it was first discovered. The document is composed of two parts: (1) instruction about the "Two Ways", and (2) a manual of church order and practice. The "Two Ways" material appears to have been intended as a summary of basic instruction about the Christian life to be taught to those who were preparing for baptism and church membership. In its present form it represents the Christianization of a common Jewish form of moral instruction.
In 1886, soon after the Didache was first published, and some sixty years before the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and Nag Hammadi Codices, Scottish Professor M. D. Riddle commented: "Bryennios and Harnack assign, as the date, between 120 and 160; Hilgenfeld, 160 and 190; English and American scholars vary between 80 and 120." In the 1940s to 1970s, some commentators argued for a date of effective origin, even if not in its present form, as early as around 70 or soon thereafter, and others as late as the later 2nd century or even the 3rd century. There is no question it was known by the third century.
The closest parallels in the use of the Two Ways doctrine is found among the Essene Jews at the Dead Sea Scrolls community. The Qumran community included a Two Ways teaching in its founding Charter, The Community Rule.[Community Rule http://biblical-studies.ca/dss/introductions/1QS.html] 
3. The Canons in Book Eight - The collection of Canons at the close of the Constitutions is undoubtedly a compilation. Some are evidently much more ancient than others, and there is every evidence that various collections or recensions existed. That of Dionysius (about a.d. 500), in Latin, contained fifty canons; that of John (Scholasticus) of Antioch (about a.d. 565) contained eighty-five canons: and “it is undeniable that the Greek copy which Dionysius had before him belonged to a different family of collections from that used by John Scholasticus, for they differ frequently, if not essentially, both in text and in the way of numbering he canons. Bishop Beveridge sought to trace these to the synods of the first two centuries, while Daillé held that the collection was made as late as the fifth century. The latter view is not generally accepted, though the existence of a variety of collections tells against some of the views of Bishop Beveridge.
The Ethiopic form of these Canons has recently appeared in an English translation (Journal of Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis, 1885, pp. 63–72). Professor George H. Schodde, Ph D., the translator, has made use of the edition of Winand Fell (Cologne, 1871) with a Latin version. The Canons in this form contain most of the matter given in the Edinburgh version from the Greek, and in the same order. But the number is only fifty-seven, in many cases several Greek canons being combined as one in the Ethiopic. Some modifications are found, but very little that differs materially from the Greek. This collection is not part of the Apostolical Church Order published by Tattam, Lagarde, Harnack, and others. Comp. Schaff, Teaching, pp. 237–247.
The reader will at once perceive from the views thus suggested, as well as from the contents of the Canons, that, while some canons are presumably quite ancient, a number belong to the fourth century, and that, as a complete collection, they cannot antedate the compilation of the Apostolic Constitutions. Indeed, Drey, who accepts the latter as Ante-Nicene (see above), thinks five of the canons (30, 67, 74, 81, 83) were derived from the canons of the Fourth Œcumenical Council at Chalcedon, A.D. 451, and quite a number of others he traces to synods and councils of the fourth century. Hefele doubts the positions taken by Drey in regard to most of these. He does not, however, insist that the collection is Ante-Nicene, while he traces the origin of many of the canons to the Apostolic Constitutions.
Jdgray 23:33, 2 January 2009 (UTC) Jdgray 22:27, 9 January 2009 (UTC)
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