Sunday, December 13
by Peter Combes on Sun 13 Dec 2009 07:51 PM GMT
We spent some time looking at the use that Clement makes of the Old Testament. His repertoire seems wider than Paul's, though he shares Paul's propensity for merging different excerpts together to make a new quotation! His (unattributed) quotes from the gospels are interesting, and we toyed with the idea that his excerpts may predate the redaction of the gospels themselves.
Chapter 59 starts with some of his usual threats, but segues into what may be an early Christian hymn.
We`were struck by Clement's description of God as the "prime cause of all animals", and compared it with Robinson's use of Tillich's phrase "the ground of our being".
Clement mentions the messengers who are carrying the letter to Corinth. They have patrician names, and it has been suggested that they were members of the imperial court, and Clement himself may have been an office-holder.
We reviewed the evidence for Clement having actual authority over the Corinthian church (Catholics, of course, accept him as the fourth Pope). We does use very direct language, but early in the letter says that the Corinthians had wishes to "consult" him. Although he enjoins them to obey the presbyters, he makes no such demand that they should obey him.
Sunday, December 6
by Peter Combes on Sun 06 Dec 2009 08:04 PM GMT
We looked at the contrast with our usual view that church officers should be replaced from to time with Clement's position that "presbyters" were appointed for life, and were owed total obedience by church members. Clement characterises opposition to the presbyters as "sedition" and quotes violent threats from the Wisdom literature in Proverbs. Catholics quote this material as establishing the Doctrine of Apostolic Succession.
We glanced at Clement's use of the doctrines of the Elect.
We were impressed by the amount of literature that Clement apparently had at his disposal -- I Corinthians, Romans, Ephesians, and Romans. One commentator said that Clement appeared to have access to all NT scriptural sources other than the Johannine tradition.
We puzzled over his use of "King Sacrifice" material, and wondered about his sources; John suggested that Clement might know Euripedes' play "Alcestis".