Tertullian is uncomfortable with an authoritative text, entitled the Acts of Paul, which records a tradition of Paul, where Paul authorizes a woman to teach, and as a result of her teaching authorization, she also has the right to baptize. This Pauline tradition is threatening to Tertullian because it threatens to undermine the necessity of a Bishop, who plays a significant role in the baptismal process. I am going to make the argument that Tertullian is concerned that the Cainite woman and others have found and are using a Pauline tradition that threatens to eliminate the need for the hierarchical episcopate of the early church, rendering the dominant orthodox model as useless. Read More (pdf) ….
Jeremy Barrier wrote (p. 4):
That seems to me to make too much of the verb construo, which basically means to “heap together”. As we would say in English, “piled higher and deeper” (meaning of the abbreviation “PhD”). I’d like to see evidence that the term ever means “to redact”. Otherwise, I am very inclined to believe that Tertullian is using the term more to disparage the Acts of Paul than to reveal anything about the manner in which the author “redacted” it.