I return her to the book of 1 Clement, probably unknown to many people on the blog, but an important work written at about the time of some of some of the writings of the New Testament – or so I’ll b arguing in the post after this.  First I need to say something about the author.  Why is it attributed to someone named Clement?   Could this really have been written by a first-century pope (i.e., the Bishop of the church in Rome)?

Again, I am taking this information from the Introduction to the letter, which I give in a new English translation (with the Greek text on the facing page) in the first volume of my Apostolic Fathers in the Loeb Classical Library (Harvard University Press).


The Author of the Book

Even though the letter claims to be written by the “church … residing in Rome,” it has from early times been attributed to Clement, a leader of the Roman church near the end of the first century.  In his celebrated church history, Eusebius sets forth the tradition, earlier found in the writings of the third-century church Father Origen, that this Clement was the companion of the apostle Paul mentioned in Phil 4:3 (Eccl. Hist. 3.4.15; see Origen Comm. Jn. 6.36).   Some of the early traditions claim that Clement was the second bishop of Rome, ordained by Peter himself (Tertullian, Prescription 32); more commonly it was thought that he was the third, following Linus and Anacletus (thus Irenaeus in Agst. Heresies 3.3.1 and Eusebius Eccl. Hist. 3.4.21).  The first reference to any …

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