Fortress Press

The Apostolic Tradition: A Commentary

"The anonymous early church order that became known as the Apostolic Tradition and conventionally attributed to Hippolytus of Rome has generated enormous scholarly discussion since its discovery in the nineteenth century. Surprisingly, however, there has never before been a comprehensive commentary on it such as there is for other patristic works. We have here attempted to remedy this defect, and at the same time we have offered the first full synoptic presentation in English of the various witnesses to its text. We have also taken the opportunity to develop our argument that it is neither the work of Hippolytus nor of any other individual. Instead, we believe that it is a composite document made up of a number of layers and strands of diverse provenance and compiled over a period of time, and therefore not representing the practice of any one Christian community."
— from the Preface

This Hermeneia volume provides an important contribution to New Testament research as well as the study of the patristic era.

  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Hardcover
  • ISBN 9780800660468
  • Dimensions 8.25 x 9.25
  • Pages 282
  • Publication Date October 10, 2002

Table of Contents

    Foreword to Hermeneia
    Reference Codes
    Editor's Note


  1. 1-5 [Prologue]

  2. 1-5 Concerning Bishops

  3. 1-6 [Prayer for the Ordination of a Bishop]

  4. 1-13 [Eucharistic Prayer]

  5. 1-2 [Concerning the Offering of Oil]

  6. 1-4 [Concerning the Offering of Cheese and Olives]

  7. 1-5 Concerning Presbyters

  8. 1-11 Concerning Deacons

  9. 1-4 Concerning Confessors

  10. 1-4 Concerning Widows

  11. Concerning a Reader

  12. Concerning Virgins

  13. Concerning a Subdeacon

  14. Concerning the Gift of Healing

  15. 1-8 Concerning Newcomers to the Faith

  16. 1-17 Concerning Crafts and Professions

  17. 1-2 Concerning the time of Hearing the Word after the Examination of Crafts and Professions

  18. 1-5 Concerning the Prayer of Those who Hear the Word

  19. 1-2 Concerning the Imposition of Hands on Catechumens

  20. 1-10 Concerning Those who are to Receive Baptism

  21. 1-40 Concerning the Tradition of Holy Baptism

  22. 1-3 Concerning Communion

  23. 1-4 Concerning Fasting

  24. Original Placement of 29B, C (Ethiopic)

  25. Original Placement of 29B, C (Ethiopic)

  26. 1-2 Concerning the Hour of Eating

  27. 1-2 That it is not Proper for Catechumens to Eat with the Faithful

  28. 1-6 That it is Proper to Eat Judiciously and Moderately

  29. A. That it is Proper to Eat with Thanksgiving
    B. 1-4 Concerning Gifts for the Sick
    C. 1-16 Concerning the Bringing in of the Lamp at the Supper of the Congregation
    D. Doublet of 28.4b-6

  30. A. 1-2 Concerning the Supper of the Widows
    B. Prologue (Ethiopic)

  31. Concerning the Fruit which it is Proper to Bring to the Bishop

  32. 1-3 The Blessing of Fruits

  33. 1-4 That it is not Proper for Anyone to Taste Anything in the Pasche before the Hour when it is Proper to Eat

  34. That it is Proper for the Deacons to Assist the Bishop

  35. 1-2 Concerning the Hour when it is Proper to Pray

  36. That it is Proper to Receive the Eucharist Early at the Time it Will Be Offered, Before They Taste Anything

  37. That it is Proper to Watch over the Eucharist Diligently

  38. A. 1-2 That it is not Proper to Spill Anything from the Cup
    B. [Concerning the Sign of the Cross]

  39. [Concerning Deacons and Presbyters]

  40. 1-2 Concerning the Places of Burial

  41. 1-18 Concerning the Hour when it is Proper to Pray

    Excursus: Parallels to the Hours of Daily Prayer in the Second and Third Centuries

  42. 1-4 [Concerning the Sign of the Cross]

  43. 1-4 [Conclusion]