Some updates

I have made some (relatively minor) updates to the conspectus of the church orders, published here over a year ago.

This includes (most wonderfully!) a note of some Sogdian fragments of the Doctrina Addaei (making us aware of the extraordinary reach of the church order tradition) and a note of yet another unpublished Arabic version of church order material.

Once again I express the hope that this material may prove useful, and invite all readers to submit corrections and expansions via the comments.



Filed under Church orders in genera(l)

12 responses to “Some updates

  1. danivaucher

    Wonderful. While working on publishing my dissertation, I have updated my conspectus too. I will reply more hopefully soon, with bibliographical notes.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. danivaucher

    for an early morning start:

    Testamentum Domini,
    you could add the edition by A. Vööbus, The synodicon in the West Syrian tradition. 2 vols. Louvain 1975,
    as well as the translations by J. Cooper and A.J. Maclean. The Testament of Our Lord Translated into English from the Syriac. Edinburgh 1902 and F. Nau, La version syriaque de l’Octateuque de Clément. Paris 1913 (where TD is book I-II)

    Didascalia Apostolorum / CA I-VI,
    as I learn, according to M.E. Johnson, there is an edition of the arab version by H. Dawud, Ad-dasquliyah aw ta’atim ar-rusul. Cairo 1924; 3rd ed. 1967.
    This is beyond my language skills and needs further check.

    Canons of Ps.-Basil
    you could add the coptic fragments by W.E. Crum, The Coptic Version of the ‚Canons of S. Basil‘, in Proceedings of the Society of Biblical Archaeology 26 (1904), 57-62.

    More to come


    • Thank-you. Perhaps you could add the Testamentum material appropriately (NB however the Synodicon does not contain the full text of the Testamentum, only excerpts.) And certainly the Canons of Basil fragments; there are also some other fragments, see my post below from March 2014.
      I would hold off the Arabic DIdascalia for the moment… you are right to be cautious. I cannot find the book in the Bodleian library or on COPAC, which means it will be hard to check it in person; Beyond Johnson’s bibliography the only reference I can find is an Indonesian (!) website which states that this is a modern Arabic translation (ergo not a textual witness) of “The Didascalia of the apostles (the Apostolic Constitutions) edited by Hippolytus in 215.” (sic) I would hate to have to correct the learned Prof. Johnson, but I suspect that this is not an Arabic text of the Didascalia but a modern translation of the Apostolic Constitutions.


  3. danivaucher

    Well, you got it. no one tricks the master!

    I have another one though:

    Canones Petri or Canones by Clement or Letter by Peter…
    according to Georg Graf, there is an arab. ed. by Fahed, P.: Kitab al-huda, ou Livre de la Direction: Code Maronite du Haut Moyen Age, traduction du Syriaque en Arabe par l’evêque Maronite David, l’an 1059, published 1935.

    and then, it is part of the Ethiopian Senodos, published by Bausi 1995.

    I wonder then, where are the Sahidic versions?


    • Dani, please make the changes in the conspectus… you can edit. The Canones Petri should certainly be included. Note there is a translation in Riedel KRQ, 165-175.
      Riedl opines that the work was composed in Arabic, and that the Syriac and Ethiopic are translations from Arabic. This may answer your question as where the Sahidic went… that is to say it never existed!


      • danivaucher

        Well, my attempt to edit failed – it seems you are still the boss on the blog.

        Contra Riedel, Graf, Geschichte der arabischen Literatur, opines that the work goes back to a lost greek original. I leave the question to the learned scholars with expertise in Arabic


  4. danivaucher

    Correction: Fahed was not in 1817, but in Alep 1935.


    • Daniel, I’m really puzzled. I went to do the edit and realized that Canones Petri is already on there. But thought I would put your Fahed in there, only to reaiize that this is an Arabic translation… from Syriac (undertaken in the mediaeval period). Which makes me wonder whether there is a Syriac version we didn’t know about contained in this Maronite collection, or whether this is something else entirely, which we’ve both missed. Anyway, I’ve left it for the moment, especially since the formatting was going all over the place. Do you have the time/opportunity to check this out properly? Fahed has been reprinted by Gorgias. I also, therefore, wonder, which work Graf as talking about when he said it had a Greek original. I will be in the British Library next week so can check Graf, but they do not hold Fahed.


      • danivaucher

        Well, Alistair, I’m puzzled too, and I can’t find Fahed anywhere in Switzerland, but I have Graf in front of me. He writes p. 580 f.:
        “das Werk gehört einer jüngeren Zeit an, ist aber nicht (wie Riedel will) arabisches Original, sondern Ableitung aus einer oder mehreren griechischen Schriften. Eingehende Untersuchungen über Quellen und Alter fehlen noch.” (footnote 1: Vansleb, Hist. S. 259: L’épitre de saint Pierre à saint Clément, mais parce qu’elle est pleine d’absurdités, je n’ai pas voulu la mettre ici).

        I think, with Vansleb he refers to the Ethiopian version, which Bausi, Il Sēnodos etiopico, vol. I, p. 284-306, vol. II, p. 109-118 edited and translated. I don’t have Bausi in front of me, but his comment on the piece might be worth a check.

        Kaufhold: Sources of Canon Law in the Eastern Churches, in Hartmann/Pennington: The History of Byzantine and Eastern Canon Law 2012, 235 and 270, refers to a Syriac version.

        I wonder now whether this was the piece that Maronite priest David was translating into Arabic, and whether that David’s arabic version was the same that Riedel refered to. This is far beyond my understanding and knowledge of the Eastern languages, but it’s at least plausible that there was a now lost greek original, which was then translated into Syriac (only: where is this version now? – I check Kaufhold again), and from there into Arabic and Ethiopic. Given the date of the translation, anno 1059, I think it would be unsafe to assume a much earlier arabic version anyway?
        Do you know Hubert Kaufhold personally? I’m sure he could tell us more.

        Finally, by the way, to make you and us wonder some more: In 2005, Kaufhold wrote in La littérature pseudo canonique syriaque, in: Débie (ed): Les apocryphes syriaques. Paris 2005, p. 147-168 of a yet unpublished pseudo-canonique piece in Syriac with the following title:
        „Prédication de saint Jean l’Évangeliste qui enseigna à Éphèse et prêcha de Pâcques, au sujet des choses commises de manière mauvaise et désordonée par des prêtres et des chrétiens à l’interieur de l’Église, et admonition du peuple.“
        With the short summary he gives, this could well be church order! It’s found in Ms Cambr. Add. 2023, fol. 83r – 159r, and, Kaufhold refers to an Arabic version which can be found in, guess, Fahed 1935…


  5. Thanks for this. The Cambridge MS is a ms of church-order and canonical material, so this could well be one for the list. As for the Syriac?/Arabic?/Greek?/Ethiopic Canons of Peter I am now truly baffled.
    I am going to have to leave all this for the moment as I am steaming ahead finishing my book on Testamentum Domini. I’m at the stage where I just want it done and dusted (not that the writing is the end, as there is always a lot of to-ing and fro-ing with the publisher). Hopefully after Easter I will try to figure this out. I don’t know Kaufhold, but once I’ve checked all this and if I’m still as baffled there is no reason not to send him a note.


    • OK, my curiosity got the better of me and I have the following to report to the world on the matter of the Canons of Peter/canons of Clement/Letter of Peter.
      The letter of Peter, aka the canons of Clement, are indeed preserved in Arabic translation (from Syriac, presumably lost) in the Maronite canonical collection Kitab al-Huda. This was translated by the Maronite bishop David. Critical edition: Pierre Fahed, Kitab al-Huda ou livre de la direction: code Maronite du haut moyen age (Aleppo: Imp. Maronite, 1935). They are headed as the Canons of Clement.
      The same text, headed Letter of Peter, is indeed in the Ethiopian Senodos published by Bausi, as Dr Vaucher suggested. Obviously Riedel was wrong, and these are not originally Arabic, since they were rendered from Syriac by David. I suspect that they were from a variety of Greek sources, possibly mediated through Coptic for the Egyptian branch and (obviously) through the Syriac, from which they were rendered for the Kitab al-Huda.
      One can safely assume that the Coptic and Syriac versions which existed are lost.


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