Clement of Rome's Epistle

 

Clement of Rome is the probable author of an epistle to the Corinthians, usually dated to c.96. This epistle quotes various works, and is often claimed to quote the Gospels.

The Ante-Nicene Fathers of the Church edition of this work used for this analysis can be found here:

http://www.ccel.org/fathers2/ANF-01/anf01-05.htm

There are a total of 261 footnotes in this work, here below I list the footnotes and detail all possible Gospel references - some references are relevant to both OT and NT and are given in both sections.

 

Possible Gospel (and Acts) references

There are five possible references or allusions to the Gospels, (and one to Acts), and 2 uses of the word "Gospel" in an informal way,  Clement never directly mentions the formal Gospels and does not state or imply he is quoting scripture for the words of Jesus - rather he seems to be refering to the Sayings Tradition with forms such as "remember the words of the Lord" :

Ch. 13 : ... the words of the Lord Jesus which He spake, teaching us meekness and long-suffering. For thus He spoke: "Be ye merciful, that ye may obtain mercy; forgive, that it may be forgiven to you ; as ye do, so shall it be done unto you; as ye judge, so shall ye be judged; as ye are kind, so shall kindness be shown to you; with what measure ye mete, with the same it shall be measured to you. "

55 Comp. Matt. vi. 12-15, vii. 2; Luke vi. 36-38.

Mt 6:12 and forgive us our debts, as we ourselves have forgiven our debtors. 6:13 And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. 6:14 "For if you forgive others their sins, your heavenly Father will also forgive you. 6:15 But if you do not forgive others, your Father will not forgive you your sins.

Lk 6:36 Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful. 6:37 "Do not judge, and you will not be judged; do not condemn, and you will not be condemned; forgive, and you will be forgiven. 6:38 Give, and it will be given to you: a good measure, pressed down, shaken together, running over, will be poured into your lap. For the measure you use will be the measure you receive."

This is not a direct quote by Clement, but shows some similarity to the Gospel wording.

 

Ch. 15 : For saith in a certain place, "This people honoureth Me with their lips, but their heart is far from Me."

59 Isa. xxix. 13; Matt. xv. 8; Mark vii. 6.

Mt 15:7 Hypocrites! Isaiah prophesied correctly about you when he said, 15:8 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me,

Mk 7:6 He said to them, "Isaiah prophesied correctly about you hypocrites, as it is written: 'This people honors me with their lips, but their heart is far from me.

This is a quote from Isaiah, also found in the Gospels.


 

Ch. 24 : The sower goes forth, and casts it into the ground; and the seed being thus scattered, though dry and naked when it fell upon the earth, is gradually dissolved

102 Comp. Luke viii. 5.

Lk 8:5 “A sower went out to sow his seed. And as he sowed, some fell along the path and was trampled on, and the birds of the sky devoured it. 8:6 Other seed fell on rock, and when it came up, it withered because it had no moisture. 8:7 Other seed fell among the thorns, and they grew up with it and choked it. "

This is not a direct quote by Clement, but shows loose similarities with the Gospel story.

 

Ch. 27 : When and as He pleases He will do all things, and none of the things determined by Him shall pass away

111 Comp. Matt. xxiv. 35.

Mt 24:35 Heaven and earth will pass away, but my words will never pass away

This is not a direct quote by Clement, but shows some similarity to the Gospel phrase.

 

Ch. 46 : Remember the words of our Lord Jesus, for he said, "Woe to that man, it were better for him that he had never been born, than that he should cast a stumbling-block before one of my elect. Yea, it were better for him that a millstone should be hung about, and he should be sunk in the depths of the sea, than that he should cast a stumbling-block before one of my little ones."

210 Comp. Matt. xviii. 6, xxvi. 24; Mark ix. 42; Luke xvii. 2.

Mt 18:6 But if anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a huge millstone hung around his neck and to be drowned in the depth of the sea.

Mt 26:24 The Son of Man will go as it is written about him, but woe to that man by whom the Son of Man is betrayed! It would be better for him if he had never been born.

Mk 9:42 If anyone causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him to have a huge millstone tied around his neck and to be thrown into the sea.

Lk 17:2 It would be better for him to have a millstone tied around his neck and be thrown into the sea than for him to cause one of these little ones to sin.

This is not a direct quote by Clement, but shows definite similarity to the Gospels.

 

Ch. 2 : and were more willing to give than to receive.

6 Acts xx. 35.

Acts 20:35 ... and remember the words of the Lord Jesus that he himself said, 'It is more blessed to give than to receive.'"

This small frgament is not a direct quote by Clement, but shows some similarity to Act, possibly from a common source, as Acts is probably later than the epistle.

 

Ch. 42 : The apostles have preached the Gospel to us from the Lord Jesus Christ;

Ch. 47 : Take up the epistle of the blessed Apostle Paul. What did he write to you at the time when the Gospel first began to be preached.

Here, Clement apparently uses the term "the Gospel" in its simple meaning of good news (or teachings), but he specifically refers to an "epistle " of Paul.

 

Other NT references

5 Eph. v. 21; 1 Pet. v. 5.  8 1 Pet. ii. 17.  10 Tit. iii. 1.  15 Literally, "Christ;" comp. 2 Cor. i. 21, Eph. iv. 20.

35 Gen. vii.; 1 Pet. iii. 20; 2 Pet. ii. 5.  43 Gen. v. 24; Heb. xi. 5. Literally, "and his death was not found."

44 Isa. xli. 8; 2 Chron. xx. 7; Judith viii. 19; James ii. 23.  47 Gen. xv. 5, 6; Rom. iv. 3.   48 Gen. xxi. 22; Heb. xi. 17.

49 Gen. xix.; comp. 2 Pet. ii. 6-9.  52 Josh. ii.; Heb. xi. 31.  54 Jer. ix. 23, 24; 1 Cor. i. 31; 2 Cor. x. 17.

71 Heb. xi. 37.  75 Num. xii. 7; Heb. iii. 2.

85 Literally, "Becoming partakers of many great and glorious deeds, let us return to the aim of peace delivered to us from the beginning." Comp. Heb. xii. 1.

90 Comp. Heb. xiii. 17; 1 Thess. v. 12, 13.  93 Comp. 1 Tim. v. 21.  99 Hab. ii. 3; Heb. x. 37.

101 Comp. 1 Cor. xv. 20; Col. i. 18.   108 Comp. Tit. i. 2; Heb. vi. 18.  121 Prov. iii. 34; James iv. 6; 1 Pet. v. 5.

125 Comp. James ii. 21.  131 Comp. Rom. ix. 5.  139 Isa. xl. 10, lxii. 11; Rev. xxii. 12.  143 1 Cor. ii. 9.

147 Rom. i. 32.  155 Heb. i. 3, 4.  156 Ps. civ. 4; Heb. i. 7.  158 Ps. ii. 7, 8; Heb. i. 5.  159 Ps. cx. i; Heb. i. 13.

162 1 Cor. xii. 12, etc.  175 Literally, "to His will." [Comp. Rom. xv. 15, 16, Greek.]  185 Num. xii. 10; Heb. iii. 5.

205 Or, "war." Comp. James iv. 1.  206 Comp. Eph. iv. 4-6.  207 Rom. xvii. 5.

211 Literally, "in the beginning of the Gospel." [Comp. Philipp. iv. 15.]   213 1 Cor. iii. 13, etc.

220 James v. 20; 1 Pet. iv. 8.   221 Comp. 1 Cor. xiii. 4, etc.   242 Ps. xxiv 1; 1 Cor. x. 26, 28.

243 Literally, "and having received their prices, fed others."[Comp. Rom. xvi. 3, 4, and Phil. ii. 30.]

249 Prov. iii. 12; Heb. xii. 6.   258 Comp. Tit. ii. 14.

 

OT references

11 Prov. vii. 3.   13 Deut. xxxii. 15.    16 Wisd. ii. 24.   17 Gen. iv. 3-8.   18 Gen. xxvii. 41, etc.   19 Gen. xxxvii.

20 Ex. ii. 14.   21 Num. xii. 14, 15. [In our copies of the Septuagint this is not affirmed of Aaron.]

22 Num. xvi. 33.   23 1 Kings xviii. 8, etc.   33 Gen. ii. 23.    35 Gen. vii.; 1 Pet. iii. 20; 2 Pet. ii. 5.   36 Jonah iii.

37 Ezek. xxxiii. 11.   38 Ezek. xviii. 11.   39 Comp. Isa. i. 18.   41 Isa. i. 16-20.

43 Gen. v. 24; Heb. xi. 5. Literally, "and his death was not found."

44 Isa. xli. 8; 2 Chron. xx. 7; Judith viii. 19; James ii. 23.   45 Gen. xii. 1-3.   46 Gen. xiii. 14-16.

47 Gen. xv. 5, 6; Rom. iv. 3.    48 Gen. xxi. 22; Heb. xi. 17.   49 Gen. xix.; comp. 2 Pet. ii. 6-9.

52 Josh. ii.; Heb. xi. 31.   54 Jer. ix. 23, 24; 1 Cor. i. 31; 2 Cor. x. 17.   56 Isa. lxvi. 2.   57 Prov. ii. 21, 22.

58 Ps. xxxvii. 35-37. "Remnant" probably refers either to the memory or posterity of the righteous.

59 Isa. xxix. 13; Matt. xv. 8; Mark vii. 6.   60 Ps. lxii. 4.   61 Ps. lxxviii. 36, 37.   62 Ps. xxxi. 18.   64 Ps. xii. 3-5.

69 Isa. liii. The reader will observe how often the text of the Septuagint, here quoted, differs from the Hebrew as represented by our authorized English version.

70 Ps. xxii. 6-8.   71 Heb. xi. 37.   72 Gen. xviii. 27.   73 Job i. 1.    74 Job xiv. 4, 5. [Septuagint.]

75 Num. xii. 7; Heb. iii. 2.   77 Ex. iii. 11, iv. 10.   80 Ps. lxxxix. 21.   84 Ps. li. 1-17.   87 Job xxxviii. 11.

89 Prov. xx. 27.   95 Ps. xxxiv. 11-17.   96 Ps. xxxii. 10.   99 Hab. ii. 3; Heb. x. 37.   100 Mal. iii. 1.

105 Ps. xxviii. 7, or some apocryphal book.   106 Comp. Ps. iii. 6.   107 Job xix. 25, 26.

110 Wisd. xii. 12, xi. 22.   113 Ps. xix. 1-3.   115 Ps. cxxxix. 7-10.   118 Deut. xxxii. 8, 9.

119 Formed apparently from Num. xviii. 27 and 2 Chron. xxxi. 14. Literally, the closing words are, "the holy of holies."

121 Prov. iii. 34; James iv. 6; 1 Pet. v. 5.   122 Job xi. 2, 3. The translation is doubtful. [But see Septuagint.]

127 Gen. xxii.   132 Gen. xxii. 17, xxviii. 4.   135 Gen. i. 26, 27.   136 Gen. i. 28.   139 Isa. xl. 10, lxii. 11; Rev. xxii. 12.

141 Dan. vii. 10.   142 Isa. vi. 3.

151 Ps. l. 16-23. The reader will observe how the Septuagint followed by Clement differs from the Hebrew.

156 Ps. civ. 4; Heb. i. 7.   158 Ps. ii. 7, 8; Heb. i. 5.   159 Ps. cx. i; Heb. i. 13.   168 Comp. Ps. cxxxix. 15.

173 Job iv. 16-18, xv. 15, iv. 19-21, v. 1-5.

184 Isa. lx. 17, Sept.; but the text is here altered by Clement. The LXX. have "I will give thy rulers in peace, and thy overseers in righteousness."

185 Num. xii. 10; Heb. iii. 5.   187 See Num. xvii.    195 Dan. vi. 16.   196 Dan. iii. 20.   204 Ps. xviii. 25, 26.

219 Ps. cxviii. 19, 20.   225 Isa xxvi. 20.    226 Ps. xxxii. 1, 2.   229 Num. xvi.   230 Ex. xiv.   231 Ps. lxix. 31,32.

233 Ps. 1. 14,15.   234 Ps. li, 17.   235 Ex. xxxii. 7, etc.; Deut. ix.12, etc.   236 Ex. xxxii. 9, etc.   237 Ex. xxxii. 32.

242 Ps. xxiv 1; 1 Cor. x. 26, 28.    244 Judith viii. 30.   245 Esther vii., viii.   248 Ps. cxviii. 18.

249 Prov. iii. 12; Heb. xii. 6.   250 Ps. cxli. 5.   253 Job v. 17-26.

256 Prov. i. 23-31. [Often cited by this name in primitive writers.]

 

Other references

50 So Joseph, Antiq., i. 11, 4; Irenaeus, Adv. Haer., iv. 31.

103 This fable respecting the phoenix is mentioned by Herodotus (ii. 73) and by Pliny (Nat. Hist., x. 2.) and is used as above by Tertullian (De Resurr., §13) and by others of the Fathers.

222 [Comp. Irenaeus, v. 1; also Mathetes, Ep. to Diognetus, cap. ix.]

 


Uncertain references

Ch. 5 : Paul also obtained the reward of patient endurance, after being seven times thrown into captivity

27 Seven imprisonments of St. Paul are not referred to in Scripture.

 

40 These words are not found in Scripture, though they are quoted again by Clem. Alex. (Paedag., i. 10) as from Ezekiel.

 

Ch. 17 : And again he said, "I am but as the smoke of a pot."

78 This is not found in Scripture. [They were probably in Clement's version. Comp. Ps. cxix. 83.]

 

Ch. 23 : Far from us be that which is written, "Wretched are they who are of a double mind, and of a doubting heart; who say, These things we have heard even in the times of our fathers; but, behold, we have grown old, and none of them has happened unto us."

98 Some regard these words as taken from an apocryphal book, others as derived from a fusion of James i. 8 and 2 Pet. iii. 3, 4.

 

Ch. 46 : since it is written, "Cleave to the holy, for those that cleave to them shall be made holy."

201 Not found in Scripture.

 

by Kapyong

 


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