Get the CD Now!

The Apostolic Fathers

The Epistle of S. Clement to the Corinthians


By J. B. Lightfoot

The authorities for the text are three in number, two Greek manuscripts and a Syriac version.

(1) Codex Alexandrinus (A), where the Epistles of Clement are added to the New Testament; an uncial manuscript probably belonging to the fifth century. It is fully described above, v. 1 p. 116 sq. It is much blurred and worn, and a leaf has disappeared towards the end of the First Epistle. Thus it omits from § 57 ανθ' 'ων γαρ ηδικουν to the end of § 63. In the Second Epistle it breaks off at § 12 ουτε αρσεν ουτε θηλυ τουτο, the end of the manuscript being lost. The so-called ν εφελκυστικον is almost uniformly inserted. All deviations from this authority in my text are noted in the apparatus criticus beneath. The lacunae in this manuscript are note stated, except where a various reading is concerned; but a complete list is given at the end of the Epistles.

(2) Codex Constantinopolitanus (C), a cursive manuscript dated A.D. 1056, and containing the whole text of the Two Epistles. It is described fully above, I. p. 121 sq. The ν εφελκυστικον [[the following]] is systematically omitted, though there are one or two exceptions. All the variations of this manuscript likewise are recorded beneath, with the exception of ν εφελκυστικον which it seemed unnecessary to notice.

(3) Syriac Version (S), where the Epistles of Clement are found incorporated among the Epistles of the New Testament in the Philoxenian (Harclean) version. The extant manuscript is dated A.D. 1170. The authority is described fully in the introduction, I. p. 129 sq. How far this version may be accepted as evidence for the text, and to what extent it seemed advisable to record the variations from the Greek, I have there stated with sufficient precision.

The relations of our three authorities to each other, and the value to be assigned to each, are considered at length in the general introduction.

Besides these authorities (the manuscripts and the version) we have two other sources of evidence; (1) Clement quotes very largely from the LXX, and the text of the LXX therefore may be used as a testimony. But discretion must be exercised since the degree of accuracy in quoting must be a matter of experience; and we cannot assume, where there are variations, that the reading which agrees with the LXX text gives the actual words of our author, a tendency to restore the actual form of the original being noticeable in transcribers; (2) Clement himself is frequently quoted by later fathers, especially by his namesake Clement of Alexandria. But here again discretion is needed, for the fathers—notably the Alexandrian Clement—often quote very loosely and from memory.

Where our chief authority (A) deserts us, it is necessary to be especially careful in dealing with the others. On this account I have given the variations of the Syriac version in greater fulness in these parts than elsewhere; as this is the only check on possible errors in the one Greek manuscript (C) which we possess here. In these same parts I have unformly inserted the ν εφελκυστικον, though wanting in C, because it would certainly have had a place in A, and therefore presumably represents the original text of Clement.

A very few words only are necessary to explain the notation. The authorities are designated as above A, C, S. Where an authority omits any word or works, this is signified by 'om.'; where it is defective by mutilation or otherwise, so that we cannot tell the reading, this is expressed by 'def.' Where the reading is doubtful, as for instance when it is impossible to say what Greek text the Syriac version represents, the abbreviation is 'dub.' The abbreviations 'app.' and 'prob.' stand for 'apparently' and 'probably'. The square brackets [] in the text imply that it is doubtful whether the words or letters so enclosed ought to stand as part of the original text. The word 'Clem' in the textual notes signifies Clement of Alexandria; and, where necessary, the reference to the page of Potter's edition is added.

Return to the Table of Contents of J. B. Lightfoot's The Aposstolic Fathers, Part I, Vol. 2

Please buy the CD to support the site, view it without ads, and get bonus stuff!

Early Christian Writings is copyright © Peter Kirby <E-Mail>.

Get the CD Now!

Kirby, Peter. "Historical Jesus Theories." Early Christian Writings. <>.