Jun 18, 2013

1 CLEMENT study notes


The First Epistle of Clement dates from the late first century and is the earliest of extant Christian documents, outside of the canonical New Testament itself. The date for Clement's epistle is at the end of the reign of Domitian. The letter was occasioned by a dispute in Corinth, which had led to the removal from office of several presbyters. 1 Clement was included in the fifth century Codex Alexandrinus, which contained the entire Old and New Testaments. First Clement is listed among the canonical books in "Canon 85" of the Canons of the Apostles. First Clement may have had canonical rank in at some regions of early Christendom.

Irenaeus (III, iii) tells us that Clement "saw the blessed Apostles and conversed with them, and had yet ringing in his ears the preaching of the Apostles and had their tradition before his eyes, and not he only for many were then surviving who had been taught by the Apostles".
Origen identifies Clement with Paul's fellow-laborer in (Philippians 4:3), and so do Eusebius, Epiphanius, and Jerome — but this Clement was probably a Philippian.

The letter is extremely lengthy — twice as long as the
Epistle to the Hebrews — and includes many references to the Old Testament, which he repeatedly refers to the Old Testament as Scripture. New Testament references include Clement’s admonition to “Take up the epistle of the blessed Paul the Apostle” (xlvii. 1) which was written to this Corinthian audience; a reference which seems to imply written documents available at both Rome and Corinth. Clement also alludes to the epistles of Paul to the Romans, Galatians, Ephesians, and Philippians; numerous phrases from the Epistle to the Hebrews, and possible material from Acts, James, and I Peter. It may have passages based upon Paul's Epistles to the Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians, Timothy, Titus and maybe some of gospels as well. On several instances, he asks his readers to “remember” the words of Jesus, although Clement does not attribute these sayings to a specific written account. These New Testament allusions are employed as authoritative sources which strengthen Clement’s arguments to the Corinthian church.

The first document to contain the epistle and studied by scholars was found in 1628; it was included with an ancient Greek Bible given by Cyril of Jerusalem to King Charles I. The first complete copy of 1 Clement was rediscovered in 1873, when
Philotheos Bryennios found it in the Greek Codex Hierosolymitanus, written in 1056. This work was translated into at least three languages in ancient times: a Latin translation from the second or third century was found in an eleventh century manuscript in the seminary library of Namur, Belgium, (published in 1894); a Syriac manuscript, now at Cambridge University, was found in 1876 and translated in 1899; and a Coptic translation that has survived in two papyrus copies (published in 1908 and in 1910).

Second Clement, a
homily, was probably written later, c. 140–160. It may be the oldest surviving Christian sermon outside of the New Testament. While Second Clement was traditionally ascribed to Saint Clement, Clement could not have been its author if it was in fact written in the second century, since he apparently died in the year 99 AD. Like almost all early Christian texts, both letters were written in Greek, the common language of the Hellenized Mediterranean area.

*info taken from a variety of sources, including some from Wikipedia

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