This post is part of an ongoing series examining the function and use of scripture in the early Christian writing known as 1 Clement.
Before diving into Clement’s practice of composite citation, we must first contextualize the letter. Most contemporary scholars affirm that 1 Clement was primarily written by Clement of Rome, who served as the second or third Bishop of Rome and died around 99 CE. Somewhat more controversial are discussions surrounding the date when 1 Clement was written and the ecclesiastical position (if any) that Clement held whilst writing. Michael Stover has helpfully classified the plethora of opinions concerning the date of 1 Clement into three categories: Early Date (ca. 64-70 CE), Middle Date (ca. 94-98 CE), and Late Date (until 140 CE). Of these, the Middle Date (94-98 CE) remains most commonly affirmed and convincing because of references to the deaths of Peter and Paul as a recent-but-not-immediate events and the interpretation of 1 Clement 1:1 as a reference to the persecutions under Domitian. Additionally, the letter’s rapid acceptance suggests that it was written by Clement while he was serving as Bishop, commonly dated between 92 and 99 CE. Continue reading