Scholars have noted the “synoptic-type” Jewish piety of the sermon,
perhaps surprising around A.D. 140-160 (the epistle’s approximate date).

Google Books | The Letters of Clement and Pseudo Clement | Catholic Encyclopedia: Pope St. Clement I | Second Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians

(On the Pella Flight Tradition)
“Subsequently also an evident proof of this great mystery is supplied in the fact, that every one who, believing in this Prophet who had been foretold by Moses, is baptized in His name, shall be kept unhurt from the destruction of war which impends over the unbelieving nation, and the place itself; but that those who do not believe shall be made exiles from their place and kingdom, that even against their will they may understand and obey the will of God.” (Recognitions 1:39:3)

(On Fulfillment of Isaiah 54:1-5)
“Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not; break forth and cry, thou that travailest not; for she that is desolate hath many more children than she that hath an husband.” In that He said, “Rejoice, thou barren that bearest not,” He referred to us, for our church was barren before that children were given to her. But when He said, “Cry out, thou that travailest not,” He means this, that we should sincerely offer up our prayers to God, and should not, like women in travail, show signs of weakness. And in that He said, “For she that is desolate hath many more children than she that hath an husband,” [He means] that our people seemed to be outcast from God, but now, through believing, have become more numerous than those who are reckoned to possess God. And another Scripture saith, “I came not to call the righteous, but sinners.” This means that those who are perishing must be saved. For it is indeed a great and admirable thing to establish not the things which are standing, but those that are falling. Thus also did Christ desire to save the things which were perishing, and has saved many by coming and calling us when hastening to destruction. ” (Chap. II.– The Second Epistle to the Corinthians)

(On the Last Days)
“the Books and the Apostles teach that the church is not of the present, but from the beginning. For it was spiritual, as was also our Jesus, and was made manifest at the end of the days in order to save us. (Chap. XIV.– The Second Epistle to the Corinthians)


“It must not be overlooked that there is a second epistle said to be from Clement’s pen, but I have no reason to suppose that it was well known like the first one, since I am not aware that the early fathers made any use of it. A year or two ago other long and wordy treatises were put forward as Clement’s work. They contain alleged dialogues with Peter and Apion, but there is no mention whatever of them by early writers, nor do they preserve in its purity the stamp of apostolic orthodoxy.”

Although known as 2 Clement, this document is in actuality an anonymous homily of the mid-second century. The author quotes from some document for the sayings of Jesus. Because the author betrays the redactional characteristics of both Matthew and Luke, it has been supposed that this author had access to a harmony.” (III.38)

Udo Schnelle
“In 2 Clement a larger number of logia of Synoptic types are found (cf. 2 Clem 2.4; 3.2; 4.2; 6.1, 2; 8.5; 9.11; 13.4), which are in part introduced with quotation formulae. Alsongside these are found quotations of unknown origin; cf. 2 Clem. 4.5; 5.2-4; 12.2; 13.2. These data and the introductory formula in 2 Clem. 8.5 ([for the Lord says in the Gospel]) suggest that the author of 2 Clement used, in addition to the Old Testament, an apocryphal gospel that has not come down to us. There is a clearly recognizable tendency in 2 Clement to trace the authority of the Lord back to written documents.” (The History and Theology of the New Testament Writings, p. 355)

Robert M. Grant
An early Christian epistle transmitted along with 1 Clement in the biblical Codex Alexandrinus (late 4th century) and the later Jerusalem Codex (1056) which includes the Didache, as well as in the Syriac version. It was not written by the author(s) of 1 Clement and, indeed, it is not a letter but a sermon on self-control, repentance, and judgment. The sermon begins abruptly: “Brothers, we must think about Jesus Christ as about God, as about the judge of living and dead; and we must not think little of our salvation.” The preacher tells his “brothers and sisters” that he is reading them a “petition” or “plea” (Gk enteuxis) to “pay attention to what is written,” i.e. to the scriptures which he frequently cites (along with quotations from “the prophetic word,” otherwise unknown, and something like the apocryphal Gospel of the Egyptians). He himself refers to “the books (i.e., the OT) and the apostles” as authorities (14.2).”  (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, v. 1, p. 1061)

Scholars have noted the “synoptic-type” Jewish piety of the sermon, perhaps surprising around A.D. 140-160 (the epistle’s approximate date). The work appears to rely upon the Gospel of John as well, however, notably in 9:5-6: “If Christ the Lord who saved us was spirit at first but became flesh [John 1:14] and so called us, so shall we receive the reward in the flesh. Let us then love one another [John 13:34] so that we may all come to the kingdom of God.” The kingdom will come when truth and good works are accompanied by ascetic practise (chap. 12). Until then, Christians must preserve the “seal of baptism” (7:6, 8:6) and belong to “the first, spiritual Church, created [like Israel, according to some rabbis] before sun and moon,” for Gen 1:27 refers to the male Christ and the female Church, both spiritual; Christ is also the Spirit (chap. 14). The theology is not altogether clear, and the author soon turns to the state that he has “given no trivial counsel about self-control,” leading into his practical appeal for repentance and going so far as to say that “fasting is better than prayer, but almsgiving is better than both” (16:4).    (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, v. 1, p. 1061)

Professor M. B. Riddle, D.D.
The name “Pseudo-Clementine Literature” (or, more briefly, “Clementina” ) is applied to a series of writings, closely resembling each other, purporting to emanate from the great Roman Father. But, as Dr. Schaff remarks, in this literature he is evidently confounded with “Flavius Clement, kinsman of the Emperor Domitian.” These writings are three in number: (1) the Recognitions, of which only the Latin translation of Rufinus has been preserved; (2) the Homilies, twenty in number, of which a complete collection has been known since 1853; (3) the Epitome, “an uninteresting extract from the Homilies, to which are added extracts from the letter of Clement to James, from the Martyrium of Clement by Simeon Metaphrastes, etc.” Other writings may be classed with these; but they are of the same general character, except that most of them show the influence of a later age, adapting the material more closely to the orthodox doctrine.

The Recognitions and the Homilies appear in the pages which follow. The former are given a prior position, as in the Edinburgh series. It probably cannot be proven that these represent the earlier form of this theological romance; but the Homilies, “in any case, present the more doctrinally developed and historically important form of the other treatises, which are essentially similar.” They are therefore with propriety placed after the Recognitions, which do not seem to have been based upon them, but upon some earlier document.

The critical discussion of the Clementina has been keen, but has not reached its end. It necessarily involves other questions, about which there is still great difference of opinion. A few results seem to be established:-

(1) The entire literature is of Jewish-Christian, or Ebionitic, origin. The position accorded to “James, the Lord’s brother,” in all the writings, is a clear indication of this; so is the silence respecting the Apostle Paul. The doctrinal statements, “though not perfectly homogeneous” (Uhlhorn), are Judaistic, even when mixed with Gnostic speculation of heathen origin. This tendency is, perhaps, not so clearly marked in the Recognitions as in the Homilies; but both partake largely of the same general character. More particularly, the literature has been connected with the Ebionite sect called the Elkesaites; and some regard the Homilies as containing a further development of their system. This is not definitely established, but finds some support in the resemblance between the baptismal forms, as given by Hippolytus in the case of the Elkesaites, and those indicated in the Recognitions and Homilies, especially the latter.

(2) The entire literature belongs to the class of fictitious writing “with a purpose.” The Germans properly term the Homilies a “Tendenz-Romance.” The many “lives of Christ” written in our day to insinuate some other view of our Lord’s person than that given in the canonical Gospels, furnish abundant examples of the class. The T�bingen school, finding here a real specimen of the influence of party feeling upon quasi-historical literature, naturally pressed the Clementina in support of their theory of the origin of the Gospels.

(3) The discussion leaves it quite probable, though not yet certain, that all the works are “independent elaborations-perhaps at first hand, perhaps at second or third-of some older tract not now extant.”9 Some of the opinions held respecting the relations of the two principal works are given by the Edinburgh translator in his Introductory Notice. It is only necessary here to indicate the progress of the modern discussion. Neander, as early as 1818, gave some prominence to the doctrinal view of the Homilies. He was followed by Baur, who found in these writings, as indicated above, support for his theory of the origin of historical Christianity. It is to be noted, however, that the heterogeneous mixture of Ebionism and Gnosticism in the doctrinal views proved perplexing to the leader of the T�bingen school. Schliemann took ground against Baur, collecting much material, and carefully investigating the question. Both authors give the priority to the Homilies. While Baur went too far in one direction, Schliemann, perhaps, failed to recognise fully the basis of truth in the position of the former. The next important step in the discussion was made by Hilgenfeld, whose views are briefly given in the Notice which follows. Hilgenfeld assigned the priority to the Recognitions, though he traced all the literature to an earlier work. Uhlhorn at first attempted to prove that the Recognitions were a revision of the Homilies. Further contributions were made by Lehmann and Lipsius. The former discovered in the Recognitions two distinct parts by different authors (i.-iii., iv.-ix.), tracing all the literature to the Kerygma of Peter. The latter finds the basis of the whole in the Acta Petri, which show a strong anti-Pauline tendency.

Influenced by these investigations, Uhlhorn modified his views. Lechler, while not positive in his convictions, makes the following prudent statement: “An older work lies at the basis both of the Homilies and Recognitions, bearing the title, Kerygmen des Petrus. To this document sometimes the Homilies, sometimes the Recognitions, correspond more faithfully; its historical contents are more correctly seen from the Recognitions, its doctrinal contents from the Homilies.” Other views, some of them quite fanciful, have been presented.

The prevalent opinion necessarily leaves us in ignorance of the authors of this literature. The date of composition, or editing, cannot be definitely fixed. In their present form the several works may be as old as the first half of the third century, and the common basis may be placed in the latter half of the second century.

How far the anti-Pauline tendency is carried, is a matter of dispute. Baur and many others think Simon is meant to represent Paul; but this is difficult to believe, though we must admit the disposition to ignore the Apostle to the Gentiles. As to the literary merit of these productions the reader must judge.

For convenience in comparison of the two works, the following table has been prepared, based on the order of the Recognitions. The correspondences are not exact, and the reader is referred to the footnotes for fuller details. This table gives a general view of the arrangement of the two narratives:” (INTRODUCTORY NOTICE TO PSEUDO-CLEMENTINE LITERATURE)

What do YOU think ?

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Date: 30 May 2010
Time: 14:19:20

Your Comments:

It seems like there are too many opinions about these writings without any sure grounding in the facts. Everyone since the time of Calvin has declared these writing pseudepigraphical. Calvin’s case was that the devil wrote them, so therefore Clement could not. Wow! It hasn’t gotten much better since then. Why was an Aramaic version of the Clementines been found a century and half ago in the earliest dated manuscript in any language, and yet no one has bothered to translate it? I’ve seen it and, believe me, there are many demonstrations which prove that the Aramaic is the original. The alleged anti-Pauline Tubingen conspiracies only exemplify the radical tendency of people to theorize about these writings without knowing anything about them.

Date: 18 Oct 2011
Time: 18:24:44

Your Comments:

i think the “powers that be” did their best to discredit any writings that didn’t fit their Pauline ideas/including trying to sweep Jesus’ brother(s) under the rug…

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