APOSTOLIC CANONS, fragmentary Christian Sogdian text. The early Christian Church possessed many collections of “canons” (regulations governing the conduct of priests and laity both in sacred and in secular matters, Greek kanones), among which several claimed apostolic authorship, no doubt spuriously. One such collection of “Apostolic Canons” was translated from its Syriac original into Sogdian, in which language it is partially preserved in the manuscript C2 (see Sogdian literature, Christian). The Sogdian version consisted of three parts: a prologue recounting the events which supposedly led to the apostles’ proclamation of these particular canons; a series of twenty-seven canons; and a brief summary of the missionary work and deaths of the apostles. While the first two parts are a literal translation of a Syriac text very close to that published by Cureton, the third part diverges sharply from the Syriac, and no precise source is known for it.



W. Cuerton, Ancient Syriac documents . . . , London, 1804.

O. Hansen, Berliner sogdische Texte II (Abhandlungen der Geistes- und Sozialwissenschaftlichen Klasse der Akademie der Wissenschaften und der Literatur, Jahrgang 1954, Nr. 15), Mainz, 1955, pp. 75-85.

M. Schwartz, Studies in the texts of the Sogdian Christians, unpublished dissertation, University of California, Berkeley, 1967, pp. 53-81.

(N. Sims-Williams)

Originally Published: December 15, 1986

Last Updated: August 5, 2011

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