This will be my final post on the book of 1 Clement.  Now that I’ve summarized what the book is about and said something about its author, I can turn to the original question I was asked, about its date.  The time of its writing is an important question, for a reason you might not suspect.

It is almost always said – I myself regularly say this, as a kind of simple “short hand,” knowing that it’s probably not literally true, that the books of the New Testament are the “earliest” Christian writings we have.  In fact, if, as is often thought, Revelation was written around 95 CE, and 2 Peter around 120, then a couple of other Christian books may have ante-dated them, including 1 Clement and the Didache, two of the apostolic fathers.  So too, the letters of Ignatius of Antioch were almost certainly written around 110 CE.

So, the big question here is: when did this anonymous author from Rome write the book of 1 Clement?   This is how I discuss the matter in my edition for the Loeb Classical Library.



We are on somewhat firmer ground when it comes to assigning a date to the letter, although here too critical scholars have raised serious questions.  What is clear is that ….

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