In volume two Whiston offered a translation of the eight books of the Apostolic Constitutions
. In volume three he defended the apostolic authenticity of these constitutions.
Pius XII with the Apostolic Constitution
Sacramentum ordinus (1947) determined that "the only matter ...
As early as the fourth-century Apostolic Constitutions
, (116) there are clear differences between the ordinations of presbyter and deacon, on the one hand, and those of subdeacon and reader, on the other hand.
However, it is not a substitution for a tradition in which the Spirit was invoked, but an extension of that bipartite paleoanaphoric tradition akin to Apostolic Constitutions
7.25 which also suggested the institution narrative with Didache 9.4.(8)
In this regard three authors merit attention: the pseudoapostolic redactor of the Apostolic Constitutions
, Gregory of Elvira, and Nilus of Ancyra.
Thus the general impression given by the treatment of the topic of baptism and anointing in Apostolic Constitutions
is of the attempt, not entirely successful, to combine an existing understanding and practice of pre-baptismal anointing with oil with laying on of hands by the Bishop, which saw it as conferring the Spirit, and post-baptismal chrismation with [GREEK TEXT NOT REPRODUCIBLE IN ASCII] by the Bishop, as the crucial event symbolising the spiritual purification and rebirth of the candidates.
Not that they have always been vindicated by modern scholarship: Whiston maintained an unargued, and by his time outdated, partiality for the authority and antiquity of the Apostolic Constitutions
, for example.
He is perhaps the papacy's most prolific writer--author of 14 encyclicals, 42 apostolic letters, 15 apostolic exhortations, 10 apostolic constitutions
, hundreds of public addresses, numerous poems, five books and a number of plays--all this in addition to being the most traveled and most influential pope of the modern age.
Also, the dating of Pentecost is problematic: since the late-fourth-century Apostolic Constitutions
mentions the feast (5.20.4; 8.33.5), it would seem not to have emerged "only in the fifth century" (100).
Several church orders, including the Epitome of Book VIII of the Apostolic Constitutions
, the Canons of Hippolytus, and the Testamentum Domini as well as some Greek fragments clearly attest to the original.
Developments and differences are traced by focusing on various documents such as Apostolic Constitutions
VIII, or the homilies of St John Chrysostom, and the East Syrian Expositio Officiorum.
Papal (from apostolic constitutions
to allocutions), conciliar (from constitutions to statutes), synodal (from decrees to propositions), and Roman dicasterial (from general decrees to replies) documents afford rich insights not only in the structural and procedural complexities of consecrated life, but also in the development and style of the legal tradition in the Church.