Scripture in 1 Clement: Place in Scholarship

This post is part of an ongoing series examining the function and use of scripture in the early Christian writing known as 1 Clement.

Jensen Memorial LibraryThis project investigates how Clement employed composite citations of Jewish and Christian writings, particularly the synoptic tradition, to support his arguments for proper Christian theology and practice. In doing so, this study seeks to fill two gaps in existing scholarship on 1 Clement: the void concerning the relationship between the Gospel of Matthew and 1 Clement and the lacuna regarding the practice of composite citation in early Christian literature. With regard to this first gap, while scholars such as Bruce M. Metzger, Bart D. Ehrman, Helmut Koester, Michael J. Kruger, and Lee M. McDonald comment on the relationship between Matthew and 1 Clement—either advocating or rejecting literary connections[3]—many treatments of 1 Clement and the formation of the New Testament forego careful consideration of this literary relationship. In contrast, the now dated works The Use of the Old and New Testaments in Clement of Rome[4] by Donald A. Hagner and The Influence of the Gospel of Saint Matthew on Christian Literature before Saint Irenaeus[5] by Edouard Massuax offer deeper considerations of the relationship between Matthew and 1 Clement. However, recent studies on 1 Clement often focus on the letter’s rhetoric,[6] its historical role in forming and extending Roman Christianity,[7] and its interaction with other non-canonical Christian literature of the period[8] rather than the 1 Clement’s insights into the formation and authority of the New Testament. This study re-evaluates the claims of Hagner and Massaux in light of recent scholarship and offers a comparative analysis that extends beyond that offered by these authors. Continue reading

Scripture in 1 Clement: Introduction

BibleMaking sense of conceptions of scripture during the earliest years of Christianity is no easy task. The relative scarcity of evidence from this period is made even more difficult by the non-systematic form of many early Christian writings and the literary practices of the time, where authors used sources without formal (or clear) introductions, regularly cited from memory, modified existing sources for form and/or content, and packaged passages together in conglomerative fashion. Not surprisingly, then, the earliest extant Christian writings are often a battleground for competing claims and narratives concerning the conception and use of scripture in the first centuries of the Church. Continue reading

Women in the Apostolic Fathers: Paranetic Women in 1 Clement (Part II)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Women in the Apostolic Fathers.

1 Clement 12.1-8[1]

Διὰ πίστιν καὶ φιλοξενίαν ἐσώθη Ῥαὰβ ἡ πόρνη…. 3. ἡ οὖν φιλόξενος Ῥαὰβ εἰσδεξαμένη αὐτοὺς ἔκρυψεν εἰς τὸ ὑπερῷον ὑπὸ τὴν λινοκαλάμην…. 7. καὶ προσέθεντο αὐτῇ δοῦναι σημεῖον, ὅπως ἐκκρεμάσῃ ἐκ τοῦ οἴκου αὐτῆς κόκκινον, πρόδηλον ποιοῦντες ὅτι διὰ τοῦ αἵματος τοῦ κυρίου λύτρωσις ἔσται πᾶσιν τοῖς πιστεύουσιν καὶ ἐλπίζουσιν ἐπὶ τὸν θεόν. 8. ὁρᾶτε, ἀγαπητοί, ὅτι οὐ μόνον πίστις, ἀλλὰ καὶ προφητεία ἐν τῇ γυναικὶ γέγονεν. Because of her faith and hospitality Rahab the prostitute was saved from danger…. 3. And so, the hospitable Rahab brought them inside and hid them in the upper room under a pile of thatching straw…. 7. And they proceeded to give her a sign, that she should hang a piece of scarlet from her house–making it clear that it is through the blood of the Lord that redemption will come to all who believe and hope in God. 8. You see, loved ones, not only was faith found in the woman, but prophecy as well.

Continue reading

Women in the Apostolic Fathers: Paranetic Women in 1 Clement (Part I)

This post is part of an ongoing series examining Women in the Apostolic Fathers.

Saint Clement of RomeWomen’s voices are not directly heard in First Clement, although a number of women do appear as characters in Clement’s exhortations to the Corinthian church. While Trevett argues that Clement singled out the “uppity women” of Corinth, this seems unlikely for a couple of reasons.[1] First, Clement was highly familiar with Paul’s writings, especially those to Rome and Corinth.[2] Yet nowhere does he invoke the authority of Paul concerning ordered and submissive women in the church, instead generally discussing the order of all.[3] Second, Clement felt free to utilize biblical women as models for concord and order among the entire community, not just among women. These paranetic women include Lot’s Wife, Rahab, Judith, and Esther. Continue reading