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Gloria Dei homo vivens – St Irenaeus

Archive for the ‘Clement of Rome’ Category

March 9th, 2017 by Joel Watts

the Christians of first century Rome put you to shame

I was reading this today…

55.1 But moreover let us also bring forward examples of the heathen. Many kings and rulers who, being in times of pestilence, following some oracle, have given over themselves to death so that they might rescue their citizens by their own blood. Many have departed their own cities so that they might not rebel any more. 1 2 We know many among us have given themselves over to imprisonment so that they might ransom others. Many have given themselves over to slavery and having received their price used the proceeds to feed 2 3 others. 3 Many women, being strengthened by the grace of God, have accomplished many manly deeds. 4 The blessed Judith when her city was under siege, asked of the elders to permit her to go out into the fortified camp of the foreigners. 4 5 Therefore, giving herself over to danger, she went out because of love for her country and for the people who were under siege, and the Lord delivered Holophernes into the hand of a woman. 6 Not less also did Esther, perfect in faith, put herself in danger so that she might rescue the nation of Israel, which was about to be destroyed. For through fasting and her humiliation she beseeched the all-seeing Master of the ages, who upon seeing the humility of her soul rescued the people for whose sake she put herself in danger. 51

Christians… stood in the place of slaves that they may be free, in the place of prisoners, that they may be free… and sold themselves that others may be fed.

If that was truly a requirement, I couldn’t be a Christian.


1  Literally “against more”

2  Literally “have fed”

3 1Co 13.3

4 Jdt 8

5 Est 2–6

  1. Rick Brannan, trans., The Apostolic Fathers in English (Bellingham, WA: Lexham Press, 2012).
November 19th, 2015 by Joel Watts

Pseudo-Clementine on the inborn affection to God the Creator

Perugino, Pietro - God the Creator and Angels ...

Perugino, Pietro – God the Creator and Angels – 1507-08 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“But, inasmuch as inborn affection towards God the Creator seemed to suffice for salvation to those who loved Him, the enemy studies to pervert this affection in men, and to render them hostile and ungrateful to their Creator. For I call heaven and earth to witness, that if God permitted the enemy to rage as much as he desires. all men should have perished long ere now; but for His mercy’s sake God doth not suffer him. But if men would turn their affection towards God, all would doubtless be saved, even if for some faults they might seem to be corrected for righteousness. But now the most of men have been made enemies of God, whose hearts the wicked one has entered, and has turned aside towards himself the affection which God the Creator had implanted in them, that they might have it towards Him. But of the rest, who seemed for a time to be watchful, the enemy, appearing in a phantasy of glory and splendour, and promising them certain great and mighty things, has caused their mind and heart to wander away from God; yet it is for some just reason that he is permitted to accomplish these things.”1

  1.  Pseudo-Clement of Rome, “Recognitions of Clement,” in Fathers of the Third and Fourth Centuries: The Twelve Patriarchs, Excerpts and Epistles, the Clementina, Apocrypha, Decretals, Memoirs of Edessa and Syriac Documents, Remains of the First Ages (ed. Alexander Roberts, James Donaldson, and A. Cleveland Coxe; trans. M. B. Riddle; vol. 8; The Ante-Nicene Fathers; Buffalo, NY: Christian Literature Company, 1886), 8101.
December 14th, 2013 by Joel Watts

This is why the Church Fathers bless me so much (Even Jerome, sometimes)


Clearly, the author of 1 Clement has read Romans 1.18-32 correctly, complete with Pauline rhetoric as brought to light by myself, Douglas Campbell, and Daniel R.

Unlike some

September 9th, 2013 by Joel Watts

parting thoughts on 1 Clement, Barnabas and the Didache

English: Manuscript of Didache

English: Manuscript of Didache (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For the past few weeks in Sunday School, we’ve discusses the above named early Christian writings.

We wrapped it up this past Sunday.

Here are some thoughts…

What are the things you need when creating/forming a qualitatively new religion. I maintain Christianity grew out of Judaism. At this level, then, it was not quantitatively new, as in a separate entity, but only about quality.

What are the things you need?

First, you need an identity. This is what Barnabas gives us. He recasts the Jews as the non-Jews. Sure, they were for a time, but now God has restored the real covenant to the people called Christians. This is their new identity — he is co-opting in a rather unique way the Jewish identity.

The second thing you need is structure, or some ordering hierarchy. 1st Clement gives us this. He establishes Apostolic Succession, albeit not in the way Rome would see it today, but not that far off. He also establishes hierarchy. You must follow a prescribed institution. And this goes back to the very men who received their authority from Jesus.

Third, you need a ritual. This is the Didache’s purpose. It connects us to something of the synagogue service but sets it in a framework honoring Jesus. Some scholars see pre-Christian sources. This would fit, actually, with the idea that such a hymnbook was later co-opting by followers of Jesus to fit their bill. I am still not convinced that the Didache is pure descendant of Matthew. Given its textual history, who not have it both? It preceded Matthew and likewise descended from the same Antiochene community.

Next week, we are starting on Ignatius of Antioch, Hermes, and Diognetus.

I used this Logos Resource for the Didache.

This is a good one for 1st Clement.

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December 26th, 2012 by Joel Watts

How Early is 1 Clement? @logos @academiclogos

Clement of Rome’s First Epistle to the Corinthians is a supremely valuable historical document. One of very few noncanonical Christian texts to reach us from the first century, it’s an early example of the exercise of hierarchical—and Roman—authority in the Church. Disciplinary in nature, Clement’s epistle speaks volumes about the life of the early church. The early Christians guarded the letter fiercely, risking their own lives to preserve it for generations to come.

In Clement and the Early Church of Rome: On the Dating of Clement’s First Epistle to the Corinthians, Thomas Herron presents painstaking research in favor of an earlier dating for the epistle. Carefully examining both external and internal evidence surrounding the letter, he sketches out the historical, theological, and apologetic significance an earlier dating would have. His scholarship sheds new light on the dating questions that plague this early document and offers insight into the structural history of the post apostolic church.

via Clement and the Early Church of Rome: On the Dating of Clement’s First Epistle to the Corinthians – Logos Bible Software.

Yes, I’m copying from Jim here, but he did have a good idea.

This just hit the shelves, so to speak, at Logos. Herron is arguing for a real early date – before the destruction of the Temple. I’m not completely convinced… but I am reading it.

So, go get it.

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