Ancient church orders at NAPS 2022

Only one church order paper at the upcoming meeting of NAPS in Chicago, but it’s a good one! Here, with thanks to the author, is the abstract of what sounds like a fascinating paper.

Christological Titles in the Prayer-Texts of the Apostolic Tradition

Prayer-texts form a distinctive category of material within ancient Christian literature, not least because of their tendency to retain styles and vocabulary that have become archaic or even obsolete in other forms of discourse. Following the now established conclusion that the anonymous ancient church order known as the Apostolic Tradition is not a third-century work by a certain Hippolytus but a piece of “living literature” that gradually developed between the second and fourth centuries, this paper examines the use of the designation “your servant Jesus Christ” in its prayers in comparison with the same expression in other sources. While the phrase tended to be superseded by other more Christologically advanced titles in those sources in the course of the second century, it was still preserved alongside them in certain doxological formulae down to at least the fourth century, especially in Egyptian prayers. In contrast to these, however, in the Apostolic Tradition this primitive epithet is not confined to doxologies and usually appears without other titles for Christ in prayers. This suggests that any exceptions have been subjected to later interpolations, and that the substance of the whole prayers is genuinely extremely old.



Filed under Apostolic Tradition

3 responses to “Ancient church orders at NAPS 2022

  1. Timothy B. Sailors

    Hello, Alistair! I saw Paul at NAPS in Chicago, but I suppose you and I won’t see one another until the next Oxford Conference in 2024. By the way, I found that edition of the Arabic Didascalia that no one seems to have been able to locate. Warmest wishes until we next meet! – Timothy


    • Nice to hear you… is that the Dawud you found? I suppose that’s what comes of having the resources of the CIA behind you.
      You may laugh, but the postponement of the Oxford conference has seriously messed up my bio-rhythms! Still, look forward to seeing you there, should I live so long.


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