The Ancient Church Order Literature: Genre or Tradition?
Abstract

The ancient Christian texts frequently called "church orders" do not fit this label well, and attempts to define a single literary genre for these texts have proven problematic. One can consider them as witnesses to a tradition of ecclesiological Old Testament exegesis that conceives itself as apostolic. This becomes clear by an extension to all these texts of insights from recent studies on the Didascalia apostolorum and the Apostolic Constitutions. This move makes it possible to group these texts with many others that witness to this same tradition, which maintains a dynamic contact with ancient Jewish exegesis.