APOSTOLIC TRADITION, a liturgical treatise, previously known as the Egyptian Church Order, by the ecclesiastical writer and theologian of the Roman church, HIPPOLYTUS (170-236). The original Greek text was lost, but Arabic, Coptic, Ethiopian, and Latin versions have survived, the oldest being the Sahidic Coptic translation made about 500. The Arabic version was made from a Coptic text not earlier than the tenth century.
In his work Hippolytus described among other things the consecration ceremony of bishops, the ordination of priests and deacons, and the sacrament of baptism. He gives the three catechismal steps of expression of faith in baptism in the following questions: "Do you believe in God the Father Almighty? Do you believe in Jesus Christ, the Son of God, Who was born of the Holy Spirit and of the Virgin Mary, Who was crucified at the time of Pontius Pilate, dead, and buried, Who rose from the dead on the third day, ascended to Heaven, and sat at the right hand of His Father, whence He will come to judge the quick and the dead? Do you believe in the Holy Spirit, the Holy Catholic Church, and the resurrection of the body?" Thereupon the priest anoints the baptized with consecrated oil, in the name of Jesus Christ.
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