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Apostolic Constitutions

(130 words)

Author(s): Metzger, Marcel
[German Version] of Clement I, a collection in 8 books, are a reworking of three major sources: the Didascalia (I–VI), the Didache (VII, 1–22), and the so-called Apostolic Tradition (VIII; Traditio Apostolica ). They contain pastoral instructions on Christian ethics, congregational leadership, worship, ecclesiastical offices, the reconciliation of sinners, the gifts of the Spirit, alms, etc. Their theology bears the…


(567 words)

Author(s): Metzger, Marcel
[English Version] Sakramentar, Rollenbuch für den Vorsteher (Bischof, Priester) liturgischer Feiern. Die schriftliche Fixierung der euchologischen Formulare geschah so, daß benutzte Formulare aufgeschrieben, gesammelt und nach und nach von verschiedenen Lokalkirchen ergänzt wurden. Dieser Prozeß erstreckte sich von der anfänglichen Herstellung von ungeordneten Sammlungen bis hin zur Anordnung der Formulare nach dem Kirchenjahr. Man hat für die S. drei Urbücher identifiziert, deren wesentliche Best…


(585 words)

Author(s): Metzger, Marcel
[German Version] instructions for the bishop or priest presiding at liturgical celebrations. The reduction of the euchological formularies to writing came about as the formularies in use were written down, collected, and eventually supplemented by various local churches. This process extended from the initial production of disorganized collections to the arrangement of the formularies according to the liturgical year. Three original books have been identified as sources, much of whose content orig…

Apostolic Church Order

(136 words)

Author(s): Metzger, Marcel
[German Version] . A fictive assembly of apostles (including a list of the apostles) opens this short church order. An adaptation of the teaching concerning the two ways (cf. Did. 1–4) constitutes the first section (4–14). The second section (15–29) contains legal norms governing the selection and duties of bishops, priests, lectors, deacons, and widows together with instructions for the laity and the ministry of women. The regulations are dictated by the individual apostles. The document appears to have originated in Egypt (or Syria?) at the beginning of the 4th century. Marcel Metzg…

Apostolic Canons

(132 words)

Author(s): Metzger, Marcel
[German Version] The Apostolic Constitutions include a collection of canons (AC VIII, 47) comprising in part earlier synodical canons, especially those of the synods of Antioch (c. 340) and Laodicea (c. 360). The division into 85 canons came to be generally accepted. The Apostolic Canons contain instructions for the selection of church officials and duties within the community, as well as a list of the biblical books (with 1 and 2 Clement and the Apostolic Constitutions). Separated from the Apostolic Constitutions, …

Sacred Times

(1,513 words)

Author(s): Baudy, Dorothea | Metzger, Marcel | Bieritz, Karl-Heinrich
[German Version] I. Religious Studies Sacred times are ritually observed periods of time of varying duration that serve to modulate life within a community through reference to an exceptional shared experience. Someone who prays at an appointed hour knows that he or she is united with like-minded others even when alone. When people live close to nature, the necessary cooperation requires adaptation to the environment’s seasonal changes. There the ritual organization of temporal caesuras addresses bot…

Church Order

(3,561 words)

Author(s): Metzger, Marcel | Fix, Karl-Heinz | Sichelschmidt, Karla | Herms, Eilert
[German Version] I. Church History – II. Church Law – III. Dogmatics – IV. Ethics I. Church History 1. Early Church The first written formulations of church law were assembled in church orders, drawing on Old Testament and New Testament legislation. This occurred at a time when the law was generally transmitted orally, sometimes even only in secret (Bas. Spir. 27 [SC 17 bis, 478–491; Ad Joann. 179–185]). Nothing is known of the original scope of this transitional literary genre. Only ten church orders are known, of which a few have only recently be…