Heidegger's Bible Handbook: NT Apocrypha: The Apostolic Constitutions and Canons

8. To all the Apostles are attributed Constitutions and Canons, the νοθεία/ illegitimacy and origin of which are indicated.


To all the Apostles as authors are attributed by some διαταγαὶ/ Constitutions, comprehended in eight books, in which are delivered precepts concerning the life of the faithful and Ecclesiastical ministry. The eighth book of the same is made up of κανόνες/Canons, eighty-five in number according to the Greeks, giving instruction concerning the ordination, life, and office of Bishops and Presbyters, likewise concerning Clergymen, feast days, and other things of this sort. Lindanus, Turrianus, Lambertus, Gruterus,[1] Pighius,[2] and others persist in the assertion that both the Constitutions and the Canons were written by the Apostles, and collected by Clement of Rome. But the Most Celebrated Daillé, in his published book de Pseudepigraphis Apostolicis, with irresistible arguments assailed both the Apostolic authority of the Constitutions, and also their antiquity: and some time ago the Sixth Trullan Synod,[3]Canon 2, decreed that they were to be rejected for the safety of the Church. But also, that the Canons are not descended from the Apostles as authors, even that one thing powerfully argues, that in them a new form of worship, much degenerating from Apostolic simplicity, like the offering of oil in the candelabrum, fasts of human invention, a decreed time for celebrating Easter, excommunications over rather slight matters, altars, degrees, and other things of this sort, is ordained and constituted. And that at least certain Canons, especially 65, 67, 84, 85, are not Apostolic, Baronius, Bellarmine, and Possevinus assert. But already of old Gelasius reckoned those λεγομένους/ called the Apostolic Canons among the books that are in nowise received by the Catholic Church, nor the Apostolic Roman Church, as we saw above. There is not anyone of the company of the Papists, who would suffer himself to be bound to the observance of these Canons. But, whether the same were written at least by Apostolical Men, at the end of the second century, and the beginning of the third, which the Most Learned Beveridge,[4]Annotationum in Canones Apostolicos Præfatione, Section 10, and closely following him, Albaspinæus,[5] Observationibus, book I, chapter 13, had asserted, Daillé the πολυμαθέστατος/polymath denies, de Pseudepigraphis, book 3; it belongs neither to this place, nor to the present purpose, to enter into disputation concerning this.

[1] Lambertus Gruterus (died 1582) was Bishop of Wiener-Neustadt, Austria, and a considerable theologian and philologist. He was involved in a publication of the Clementina. [2] Albert Pighius (1490-1542) was a Dutch Roman Catholic theologian. He was heavily involved in the defense of the Roman hierarchy against the Reformers and the Eastern Orthodox. [3] The Council in Trullo was a major ecclesiastical council held at Constantinople in 692 under Justinian II. It confirmed the decisions of the Council of Laodicea. [4] William Beveridge (1637-1708) was the learned Bishop of St. Asaph. As a student at Cambridge, he received special attention from Dr. Anthony Tuckney, and excelled in oriental languages, church history, and languages. [5] Gabriel de L'Aubespine (1579-1630) was a French churchman, serving as Bishop of Orleans. He was especially learned in church history.

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