Book VIII of the Apostolic Constitutions has one of the most complex transmission histories of any text from the Christian Orient. Anton Baumstark describes various sources for parallel texts in order to explicate its translation history in the Oriental languages.
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The text of Book VIII of the Apostolic Constitutions has one of the most complex transmission histories of any document from the Christian Orient. The origin, author, and date at which this text was appended to the books I-VII are all unclear. Moreover, there are several parallel texts found in various recensions of multiple sources. Anton Baumstark gathers the evidence of these “non-Greek” parallel texts for Book VIII and attempts to provide a coherent explanation for its transmission history in the Oriental translations. Baumstark categorizes the sources of the parallel texts into three groups: 1) Compilations that contain Book VIII; 2) Parallel texts that contain the complete text of Book VIII; and 3) Parallel texts that contain a partial text of Book VIII (specifically sections 27-46). Each of these categories contains manuscript evidence from multiple sources in various recensions and languages, making it nearly impossible to sift through the many plausible explanations. Despite this difficulty, Baumstark carefully weighs these texts against one another and produces a coherent and plausible explanation for the dissemination of Book VIII of the Apostolic Constitutions in its Oriental translations.