Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church (The Complete Eight Volumes in One). Amazon Kindle Edition, 2014.
Volume 2, Ante-Nicene Christianity A.D. 100-325, “Chapter 4. Organization and Discipline of the Church” Loc. 13792-14769 (part 11).
§56. Collections of Ecclesiastical Law. The Apostolical Constitutions and Canons.
Schaff opens this section with a brief, lightly annotated bibliography. among these references, an apparent typographical error lists Bryennios’ Didache as 1833 rather than 1883. The Didache is also commented on by Schaff in The Teaching of the Twelve Apostles, or the Oldest Church Manual. New York, 1885, 3rd ed. revised and enlarged 1889.
Schaff considers all these church manuals, which claim apostolic authority, as being post-apostolic (Schaff 2014, Loc. 14581). However, they shed light on laws and customs before Nicea. The Didache, after being lost for many centuries, was discovered in the 1870s and published in 1883. Schaff notes the “substance survived in the seventh book of the Apostolical Constitutions” (Schaff 2014, Loc. 14588). Schaff also notes “The Ecclesiastical Canons of the holy apostles” probably from the 3rd century in Egypt. The text discusses morality, worship, and church discipline. Schaff also discusses “The apostolic Constitutions, the most complete and important Church Manual” (Schaff 2014, Loc. 14595). The text claims to be passed to Clement of Rome by the apostles. Schaff dates the actual composition late in the 3rd century, though he thinks it is from an earlier oral tradition (Schaff 2014, Loc. 14602). Another text, the Apostolical Canons, often found as an appendix to book eight of Apostolical Constitutions also claims to have come through Clement of Rome (Schaff 2014, Loc. 14609). Schaff finds elements from Scripture and from church councils prior to 451, and theorizes an assembly in the fifth century, probably in Syria. These Canons were accepted as authoritative and authentic by some and not by others (Schaff 2014, Loc. 14617).