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Canons Of Saint John Chrysostom - Coptic Wiki


Twelve ordered extracts from the second and, especially, the third of the six books of the treatise On the Priesthood, by JOHN CHRYSOSTOM.

This collection is peculiar to the Copts. It is not known at what date the inserted the canons into their canonical collections. These may be divided into two groups, the and the systematic. The chronological collections include the anonymous one of Berlin (colophons of the fourteenth century; Coquin, 1966, pp. 285-86), that of the fourteenth-century monk MACARIUS of Wadi al-Natrun, and the anonymous “Jacobite” collection (Riedel, 1900, p. 136).

The systematic collections include that of MIKHA’IL of Damietta, who died at the beginning of the thirteenth century, and that of al-SAFI IBN AL-‘ASSAL. It was also cited by IBN KABAR in al-Zulmah (1971, p. 182). It is proper to correct, or rather to state precisely, what Graf says (1944, vol. 1, p. 609). What he indicates simply by “Kairo 442” is the manuscript Coptic Patriarchate, Canon 13, which has been identified as an incomplete manuscript of the NOMOCANON of the twelfth-century patriarch GABRIEL II (Ibn Turayk), which gives us the oldest use of this text by the Copts (Coquin, 1966, pp. 287-88).

These canons will be found in a German translation in Riedel’s work (1900, pp. 285-87), which may be compared with the complete text of John Chrysostom, for example, the editions of the Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge (1964) and of Sources chrétiennes (1980).


  • Abu al-Barakat ibn Kabar. al-Zulmah. Cairo, 1971. Coquin, R.-G. Les Canons d’Hippolyte. PO 31. Paris, 1966.
  • John Chrysostom. John Chrysostom: De sacerdotio, ed. J. A. Nairn. Cambridge Patristic Texts 4. Cambridge, 1906.
  •  . Six Books on the Priesthood. London, 1964; revised version of 1907 edition, New York and London, 1977.
  •  . Jean Chrysostome sur le sacerdoce, ed. A. M. Malingrey. Sources chrétiennes 272. Paris, 1980.
  • Riedel, W. Die Kirchenrechtsquellen des Patriarchats Alexandrien. Leipzig, 1900; repr. Aalen, 1968.