1911 Encyclopædia Britannica/Apostolic Canons

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APOSTOLIC CANONS, a collection of eighty-five rules for the regulation of clerical life, appended to the eighth book of the Apostolical Constitutions (q.v.). They are couched in brief legislative form though on no definite plan, and deal with the vexed questions of ecclesiastical discipline as they were raised towards the end of the 4th century. At least half of the canons are derived from earlier constitutions, and probably not many of them are the actual productions of the compiler, whose aim was to gloss over the real nature of the Constitutions, and secure their incorporation with the Epistles of Clement in the New Testament of his day. The Codex Alexandrinus does indeed append the Clementine Epistles to its text of the New Testament. The Canons may be a little later in date than the preceding Constitutions, but they are evidently from the same Syrian theological circle.