A new witness to the text of Apostolic church order

Recently published is David Lincicum, “An Excerpt from the Apostolic Church Order (CPG 1739)” Sacris Erudiri 57 (2018), 439-444. I am immensely grateful to Dr Lincicum for sending me an offprint of his article.

An earlier edition of Sacris Erudiri had discussed a manuscript now in Athos (Athous, Koutloumousiou 39) containing a miscellany of theological texts. This includes the text edited by Lincicum, which the original editor had taken to be a version of the Didache, but which Lincinum correctly identifies as a version of the material in Apostolic church order (K).

It is, however, heavily abbreviated. The editor notes similarities with the abbreviation of Apostolic church order found in Cod. Mosquensis 125, f. 284, but rightly concludes that it is not a direct derivative. It is also clearly distinct from the other abbreviation, the epitome edited by T. Schermann, Eine Elfapostelmoral oder die X-Rezension der “beiden Wege” (Munich: Lentner, 1903), 14-18, (termed “E” in my edition.)

Lincicum provides a collation of the various witnesses. For ease of reference I have produced a synopticon of the three abbreviated versions which may be found here. It is less scientific than Lincicum’s collation, but perhaps easier on the eye.

Lincicum’s conclusion is that “A and M share a common ancestor that also lies behind V’s (=K’s) readings, and more distantly, the OPN recension (=E). Thus, it is now possible to see A as the second-oldest witness to the Greek text of the ACO. Although it is a brief excerpt, it offers a window onto an earlier form of the Greek, and so enables one more point of purchase on a fluid textual tradition.”

This common ancestor is that which I had termed κ. I am still not sure that A (like M) is not a direct epitomization of K, but would have to spend more time with the synopsis and with Lincicum’s collation to be sure. In any event the question arises as to why this text is so prone to epitomization. And indeed it is excellent to have a further witness to the text, older than the Vienna manuscript which is the sole extant complete Greek version.

Once again, thanks to Dr Lincicum for his work and for his personal kindness.

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