We have seen that the table of contents prefixed to our leading MS (A) ascribes to Clement the Second Epistle equally with the First. On the other hand it ought to be noticed that there is no heading προσ κορινθιουσ β, as the corresponding title of the First would lead us to expect. If we could feel sure that this phenomenon was not due to the mutilation of the MS (see above, 1. p. 117), the fact would be significant. Though the scribe held the Second Epistle to be not only a letter of Clement, but also (as we may perhaps infer) a letter of Clement to the Corinthians; yet the absence of such a title might have been transmitted from an earlier copy, where the work was anonymous and not intended to be ascribed to this father. But the alternative supposition that the title has disappeared by mutilation is at least not improbable (see below, p. 199). In the later Greek MS (C), the second Epistle is entitled 'Of Clement to the Corinthians', like the first (see above, 1. p. 122).
On the other hand the Syriac version makes a distinction between the two (see 1. p. 131 sq). The First Epistle is described as 'The Catholic Epistle of Clement the disciple of Pter the Apostle to the Church of the Corinthians'; where not only is the epistle not numbered, but a distinguishing epithet is prefixed. In the case of the Second however, though the scribe makes no difference in the authorship and designation of the two, the title is given more simply 'Of the same (Clement) the Second Epistle to the Corinthians.' This distinction may be accidental; but a probable explanation is, that in some Greek MS, from which the Syriac was ultimately derived, the First Epistle stood alone, the Second not having yet been attached to it.
While the First Epistle is universally attributed to Clement, the balance of external testimony is strongly opposed to his being regarded
as the author of the Second. It is first mentioned by Eusebius, who throws serious doubts on its genuineness (H.E. iii. 37). After describing the First he adds, 'I should mention also that there is said to be a Second Epistle of Clement (ιστεον δ' 'ως και δευτερα τις ειναι λεγεται του Κλημεντος ισμεν): but we do not know that this is recognised like the former (ου μην εθ' 'ομοιως τη προτερα και ταυτην γνωριμον επισταμεθα); for we do not find the older writers making any use of it ('οτι μηδε και τους αρχαιους αυτη κεχρημενουσ ισμεν).' Then after summarily rejecting other pretended Clementine writings, because ' they are never once mentioned by the ancients' and 'do not preserve the stamp of Apostolic orthodoxy intact', he concludes by referring again to the First Epistle, which he calls 'the acknowledged writing of Clement ('η του κλημεντος 'ομολογουμενη γραφη).' And in other passages, where he has occasion to speak of it, he uses similar expressions, 'the Epistle of Clement', 'the acknowledged Epistle of Clement' (H. E. iii. 16, iv. 22, 23, vi. 13). The statement of Eusebius is more than borne out by facts. Not only is a Second Epistle of Clement not mentioned by early writers; but it is a reasonable inference from the language of Hegesippus and Dionysius of Corinth1 (as reported by Eusebius), and of Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria (as read in their extant writings), that they cannot have known or at least accepted any such epistle2. Rufinus and Jerome use still more decisive language. The former professedly translates Eusebius, 'Dicitur esse et alia dementis epistola cujus nos notitiam non accepimus'; the latter tacitly paraphrases him, 'Fertur et secunda ejus nomine epistola quae a veteribus reprobatur' (de Vir. Ill. 15). These writers are not independent witnesses, but the strength, which they consciously or unconsciously add to the language of the Greek original, has at least a negative value; for they could not have so written, if any Second Epistle
1 Hegesippus, H. E. iii. 16, iv. 22: was written by Clement. Thus he seems Dionysius, H. E. iv. 23. The words of the latter are την σημερον ουν κυριακην αγιαν ημεραν διηγδγομεν εν η ανεγνωμεν υμων την επιστολην, ην εξομεν αει ποτε αναγινωσκοντες νουθετεισθαι, ως και την προτεραν ημιν δια Κλημεντος γραφεισαν. He is writing in the name of the Corinthians to the Romans, acknowledging a letter which they had received from the brethren in Rome written apparently by their bishop Soter; and he declares that his Church will preserve and read from time to time this second letter from the Romans, as they do the former which was written by Clement. Thus he seems to know of only one letter of Clement to the Corinthians. The passage however has been strangely misinterpreted, as though την προτεραν meant the former of Clement's two epistles - a meaning which the context does not at all favour and which the grammar excludes, for then we should require την προτεραν των δια Κλημεντος γραφεισων.
2 The passages from these, and later fathers, to whom I shall have occasion to refer, are given in full above, 1. p. 153 sq.
of Clement which might be accepted as genuine had fallen within the range of their knowledge.
Early in the 9th century Georgius Syncellus still speaks of 'the one genuine letter to the Corinthians' (Chronog. A.D. 78, 1. p. 651, ed. Dind.); and later in the same century Photius (Bibl. 113) writes, 'The so-called Second Epistle (of Clement) to the same persons (the Corinthians) is rejected as spurious (ως νοθος αποδοκιμαζεται).'
Meanwhile however this epistle had been gradually gaining recognition as a genuine work of Clement. The first distinct mention of it as such is in the MS A, which belongs probably to the fifth century; but the notice of Eusebius implies that even in his day some persons were disposed to accept it. At a later period its language and teaching made it especially welcome to the Monophysites and from the close of the 5th century it is frequently quoted as genuine. Thus citations are found in TIMOTHEUS of ALEXANDRIA (1. p. 180 sq) in the middle of the 5th century and in SEVERUS of ANTIOCH (1. p. 182 sq) during the early decades of the 6th, besides certain anonymous Syriac collections (1. p. 183 sq), which may date from this latter period or subsequently. The doubtful reference in the PSEUDO-JUSTIN has been discussed above (1. p. 178 sq). To the 6th century also may perhaps be ascribed the APOSTOLICAL CANONS, where (can. 85) 'Two Epistles of Clement' are included among the books of the New Testament (see above, 1. p. 187). About the opening of the 7th century again it is quoted by DOROTHEUS the ARCHIMANDRITE (see 1. p. 190); in the 8th century by JOANNES DAMASCENUS (see 1. p. 193), if indeed the passage has not been interpolated1; and in the 11th by NICON of RHAETHUS (see the notes, § 3). If in the Stichometria attached to the Chronography of NICEPHORUS (+A.D. 828) it is placed with the First Epistle among the apocrypha, this classification does not question its genuineness but merely denies its canonicity.
But what is the external authority for considering it an Epistle to the Corinthians? We have seen that it is called an Epistle from the first; but the designation to the Corinthians is neither so early nor so universal. It was not so designated by Eusebius or Jerome or Timotheus. But in SEVERUS of ANTIOCH (c. A.D. 520) for the first time a quotation is distinctly given as 'from the Second Epistle to the Corinthians'. The Syriac MS itself which contains the extract from Severus 'can hardly,' in Cureton's opinion, 'have been transcribed later than the commencement of the 8th century and might have been
1 See the investigation above, 1. p. 373 sq.
written about the end of the 6th.' In other Syriac extracts also which perhaps belong to the 6th century, it is quoted in this way. In the copy used by Photius again it appears to have been so entitled (Bibl. 126 βιβλιδαριον εν ω Κλημεντος επιστολαι προς Κορινθιους β ενεφεροντο, compared with Bibl. 113 η λεγομενη δευτερα προς τους αυτους); and John Damascene twice cites it as 'the Second Epistle to the Corinthians'.
Passing from the external to the internal evidence, we have to seek an answer to these several questions; (1) Is it truly designated an Epistle? (2) Was it addressed to the Corinthians? (3) What indications of date does it give? (4) Who was the author, Clement or another?
Having considered the external testimony, we are now in a position to interrogate the internal evidence.
The questions suggested by the common attribute, 'The Second Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians,' are threefold; (1) Was it an epistle? If not, what is the nature of the document? (2) Was it addressed to the Corinthians or to some other Church? (3) Was it written by Clement or by some one else ? In order to answer this last question we have to enquire what indications we find of date and authorship?
(i) The answer to our first question is ready to hand. If the First Epistle of Clement is the earliest foreshadowing of a Christian liturgy, the so-called Second Epistle is the first example of a Christian homily.
The newly recovered ending has set this point at rest for ever. The work is plainly not a letter, but a homily, a sermon1. The speaker addresses his hearers more than once towards the close as 'brothers and sisters' (§§ 19, 20). Elsewhere he appeals to them in language which is quite explicit on the point at issue. 'Let us not think,' he says, 'to give heed and believe now only, while we are being admonished
1 Grabe (Spic. Patr. 1. p. 268, 300) supposed it to be a homily forged in Clement's name. He referred to Anastasius (Quaest. 96), who quotes from the sacred and apostolic doctor Clement in his first discourse (λογωι) concerning 'providence and righteous judgment,' as showing that such homilies were forged in Clement's name. The event has shown his conjecture to be right as to the character of the document. In all other respects he is in error. The Clement of Anastasius is not the Roman, but the Alexandrian; and our homily bears no traces of a forgery or of pretending to be Clement's.
by the presbyters; but likewise when we have departed home, let us remember the commandments of the Lord, etc.' (§ 17). And again a little later he speaks still more definitely; 'After the God of truth, I read to you an exhortation to the end that ye may give heed to the things which are written (i.e. to the scriptures which have just been read), so that ye may save both yourselves and him that readeth in the midst of you' (§ 19). These words remind us of the language in which Justin, who wrote within a few years of the probable date of this homily, describes the simple services of the Christians in his time. 'On the day called Sunday,' he says, 'all remaining in their several cities and districts, they come together in one place, and the memoirs of the Apostles [i. e. the Gospels, as he explains himself elsewhere] or the writings of the Prophets are read, as long as time admits. Then, when the reader has ceased, the president ('ο προεστως) in a discourse (δια λογου) gives instruction and invites (his hearers) to the imitation of these good things. Then we all rise in a body and offer up our prayers' (Apol. i. 67, quoted in the notes on § 19). Here then is one of these exhortations, which is delivered after the 'God of truth' has been first heard in the scriptures1; and, this being so, the preacher was doubtless, as Justin describes him, 'ο προεστως, the leading minister of the Church, i. e. the bishop or one of the presbyters, as the case might be. A different view indeed has been taken by Harnack. He supposes that the homily was delivered by a layman2, drawing his inference from the mention of the presbyters (in § 17 just quoted) as persons whom the preacher and his hearers alike were bound to listen to. But this language can only be regarded, I think, as an example of a very common rhetorical figure, by which the speaker places himself on a level with his audience, and of which several instances are furnished by the genuine Epistle of Clement, who again and again identifies himself with the factious brethren at Corinth (see the note on § 17). On very rare occasions indeed we read of laymen preaching in the early Church; but such concessions were only made to persons who had an exceptionally brilliant reputation, like Origen3. As a rule, this function belonged to
1 Exception has been taken to this expression μετα τον θεον της αληθειας. [[after God in truth]] Zahn (Gott. Gel. Anz. p. 1418) and Donaldson (Theol. Rev. January, 1877, p. 46) propose λογον for θεον, while Gebhardt suggests τονων or τονου (ΤΟΝΩΝ or ΤΟΝΟΥ for ΤΟΝΘΝ). But it is difficult see why our preacher should not have used this phrase, when he elsewhere introduces an evangelical quotation with λεγει ο θεος, § 13; see the note on the passage. We do not even know whether the lesson to which he here refers was taken from the Old or the New Testament.
2 See p. lxxii, note 11, p. 138 (ed. 2). So also Hilgenfeld, p. 106 (ed. 2).
3 The objections raised in his case show that the practice was rare. Alexander of Jerusalem and Theoctistus of Csesarea (Euseb. H. E. vi. 19), writing to Demetrius of Alexandria, defend themselves for according this privilege to Origen, as follows: προσεθηκε δε τοις γραμμασιν, οτι τουτο ουδε ποτε ηκουσθη ουδε νυν γεγενηται, το παροντων επισκοπων λαικους ομιλειν, ουκ οιδ οπως προφανως ουκ αληθη λεγων. οπου γουν ευρισκονται οι επιτηδειοι προς το ωφελειν τους αδελφους, και παρακαλουνται τω λαυ προσομιλειν υπο των αγιων επισκοπων ωσπερ εν Λαρανδοις Ευελπις υπο Νεωνος και εν Ικονιω Παυλινος υπο Κελσου και εν Συνναδοις Θεοδωρος υπο Αττικου των μακαριων αδελφων εικος δε και εν αλλοις τοποις τουτο γινεσθαι ημας δε μη ειδεναι.
the chief ecclesiastical officer in the congregation. A presbyter did not preach when the bishop was present; a deacon was for the most part regarded as incompetent to preach on any occasion1.
The question therefore respecting the class of writings to which this document belongs is settled beyond dispute. The homiletic character of the work was suggested long ago by Grabe and others; and in my own edition I had regarded the opinion that it was a sermon or treatise rather than a letter as prima facie probable, though so long as the end was wanting this view could not be regarded as certain2. On the other hand the theory propounded by Hilgenfeld, that we had here the letter of Soter bishop of Rome to the Corinthians, mentioned by Dionysius of Corinth about A.D. 170, was eagerly accepted by subsequent critics and editors. In a courteous review of my edition which appeared in the Academy (July 9, 1870) Lipsius espoused this theory as probable. And still later, on the very eve of the discovery of Bryennios, Harnack in the excellent edition of the Patres Apostolici of which he is coeditor had confidently adopted Hilgenfeld's opinion; 'Nullus dubito quin Hilgenfeldius verum invenerit,' 'mireris...neminem ante Hilgenfeldium verum invenisse' (prol. pp. xci, xcii, ed. 1). This view was highly
1 See Bingham Antiq. xiv. 4. 2, 4, Augusti Christl. Archaol. vi. p. 315 sq, Probst Lehre u. Gebet pp. 18 sq, 222.
2 See esp. pp. 177, 178. I call attention to this, because my view has been misrepresented. Thus Lipsius (Academy, July 9, 1870) wrote of me, 'He holds strongly with Hilgenfeld that the document is really a letter, not a homily.' So far from holding this view strongly, I have stated that we find in the document 'nothing which would lead to this inference,' and again that it 'bears no traces of the epistolary form, though it may possibly have been a letter'; but I did not consider that in the existing condition of the work certainty on this point was attainable, and I therefore suspended judgment. When my able reviewer goes on to say of me 'He also agrees with Hilgenfeld in the opinion, that the epistle was composed during the persecution under Marcus Aurelius,' he imputes to me a view directly opposed to that which I have expressed (p. 177, ed. 1).
I think also that the reader would gather from the manner in which I am mentioned by Harnack (p. lxvi, note 2, p. lxxv) as 'refuting' Grabe, that I had maintained the document to be an epistle and not a homily; though probably this was not intended.
plausible and attractive; but it was open to one objection which I pointed out as fatal to it. It did not satisfy the primary conditions of the letter mentioned by Dionysius of Corinth, which was written in the name of the whole Roman Church, whereas our author speaks in the singular throughout1.
(ii) As regards the audience addressed by the preacher Corinth has highest claims. If the homily were delivered in that city, we have an explanation of two facts which are not so easily explained on any other hypothesis.
First. The allusion to the athletic games, and presumably to the Isthmian festival, is couched in language which is quite natural if addressed to Corinthians, but not so if spoken elsewhere. When the preacher refers to the crowds that 'land' to take part in the games (εις τους φθαρτους αγωνας καταπλεουσιν, § 7) without any mention of the port, we are naturally led to suppose that the homily was delivered in the neighbourhood of the place where these combatants landed. Otherwise we should expect εις τον Ισθμον, or εις Κορινθον, or some explanatory addition of the kind2.
Secondly. This hypothesis alone satisfactorily explains the dissemination and reputed authorship of the document. It was early attached to the Epistle of Clement in the MSS and came ultimately to be attributed to the same author. How did this happen? The First Epistle was read from time to time in the Church of Corinth, as we know. This homily was first preached, if my view be correct, to these same Corinthians; it was not an extempore address, but was delivered from a manuscript3; it was considered of sufficient value to be carefully preserved;
1 Wocher (der Brief des Clemens etc. p. 204) suggested that the author was Dionysius himself. This theory had the advantage of connecting it with Clement's genuine letter (though not very directly); and it explained the local colouring. But it has nothing else to commend it.
2 Thus in Plat. Euthyd. 297 C νεωστι μοι δοκειν, καταπεπλευκοτι, where the word is used absolutely, we naturally understand the place in which the speaker is at the time.
3 § 19 ;ον της αληθειας αναγινωσκω υμιν εντευζιν εις το προσεχειν τοις γεγραμμενοις, ινα και εαυτους σωσητε και τον αναγινωσκοντα εν υμιν. It is possible however, that the homily was originally delivered extempore and taken down by short-hand writers (ταχυγραφοι, notarii), and that the references to the reader were introduced afterwards when it was read in the Church as a homily. The employment of short-hand writers was frequent. We read of discourses of Origen taken down in this way (Euseb. H.E. vi. 36): and Origen himself on one occasion (Comm. in Ioann. vi. praef., IV. p. 101) excuses himself for not having gone on with his work by the fact that the 'customary short-hand writers' were not there, και οι συνηθεις δε ταχυγραφοι μη παροντες του εχεσθαι των υπαγορευσεων εδωλον; comp. Photius Bibl. 121. At a later date this became a common mode of preserving pulpit oratory; see Bingham Ant. xiv. 4. 11. It was not uncommon for sermons and lectures to be taken down surreptitiously: see Gaudent. Praef. p. 220 (Patrol. Lat. xx. p. 831 Migne) 'notariis, ut comperi, latenter appositis' (with the note). On stenography among the ancients see Ducange Glossarium IV. p. 642 (ed. Henschel) s. v. Nota, together with the references collected in Mayor's Bibl. Clue to Lat. Lit. p. 175 sq. See also Contemporary Review October 1875, p. 841 note. This alternative is suggested by Harnack Zeitschr. f. Kirchengesch. i. p. 268. The hypothesis would at all events have the merit of explaining the incoherence and looseness of expression which we find in this work; but in the absence of evidence it is safer to assume that the sermon was committed to writing by the preacher himself.
198and (as we may venture to suppose) it was read publicly to the Christian congregation at Corinth from time to time, like the genuine Epistle of Clement. The fact that these Corinthians took for public reading not only the Epistle of Clement, which might be thought to have acquired a peculiar sanctity by its venerable age, but also the much later letter of the Romans under bishop Soter, shows the practice of this church in reference to uncanonical documents. In this way it would be bound up with the Epistle of Clement for convenience. In such a volume as is here supposed, the Epistle of Clement would be numbered and entitled thus:
κλημεντος προς κορνθιους
with or without the addition επιστολη; while the homily which stood next in the volume might have had the heading
with or without the addition λογος or ομιλια, just as Orations of Dion Chrysostom bear the titles προς αλεξανδρεις, προς απαμεις; the author of the sermon however not being named. In the course of transcription the enumeration A, B, would easily be displaced, so that the two works would seem to be of the same kind and by the same author1. As a matter of fact, indications are not wanting in our existing authorities, that after this homily had been attached to S. Clement's Epistle it remained anonymous in the common document which contained both works. In the Alexandrian MS there is no heading at all to the so-called Second Epistle (see above, 1. p. 117). This fact however cannot
1 This opinion was arrived at independently of the remarks of Zahn (Gott. Gil. Anz. Nov. 8, 1876, p. 1430 sq). and I am the more glad to find that he accounts for the common heading of this sermon in similar way. See also 1. p. 371. note 1.
be pressed, for it seems not unlikely that the title has been cut off1. But in the case of the Syriac version the testimony is free from suspicion. Here the genuine letter is called in the heading not 'The First Epistle of Clement' but 'The Catholic Epistle of Clement,' as if it were the only known letter written by this father (see above, p. 191). In both cases however the scribes themselves have in some other part of their respective MSS designated our work the Second Epistle of Clement; and this fact renders the survival of the older form only the more significant.
For these reasons I adhere to Corinth as the place of writing. On the other hand Harnack has with much ability maintained the Roman origin of this document2; and it is due to his arguments to consider them.
The external evidence seems to him to point in this direction. He remarks on the fact that this writing appears to have been very little known in the East during the earliest ages. It is first mentioned by Eusebius, and Eusebius himself, as Harnack argues from his language, only knew it from hearsay3. It is very far from certain however, that this is the correct inference from the historian's words, ιστεον δ ως και δευτερα τις ειναι λεγεται του Κλημεντος επιστολη ου μην εθ ομοιως τη προτερα και ταυτην γνωριμον επισταμεθα, οτι μηδε τους αρχαιους αυτη κεχρημενους ισμεν (H. E. iii. 38). The hearsay implied in λεγεται may refer equally well to the authorship as to the contents of the
1 This possibility was overlooked by me in my first edition pp. 22, 174. My attention was directed to it by a remark of Harnack (Z. f. K. 1. p. 275, note 1), who however incorrectly states that in A the First Epistle has 'page-headings over the columns.' There is only one such page-heading, which stands over the first column as the title to the work. Having omitted to inspect the MS myself with this view, I requested Mr E. M. Thompson of the British Museum to look at it and to give me his opinion. His report is to this effect:
The title to the First Epistle has small ornamental flourishes beneath. Between the bottom of these and the text there is a space of 7/8 of an inch. Over the first column of the Second Epistle (where the title should be, if there were any) the top of the leaf is cut obliquely so that the space left between the top of the leaf and the text varies from 7/8 to 3/4 of an inch. Thus the space is quite consistent with the supposition that the title has been cut away. Moreover there is a single spot at the top of the page, which may have been the end of an ornamental flourish under the title, though this is doubtful.
The photograph for the most part represents these facts fairly well.
2 In two careful and valuable articles in the Zeitschrift f. Kirchengeschichte 1. p. 264 sq, p. 329 sq, as well as in the prolegomena to the 2nd ed. of the Patres Apostolici Pt. i, p. lxiv sq. He stated this view first in a review of the edition of Bryennios in the Theologische Literatur-zeitung Feb. 19, 1876.
3 Z. f. K. 1. p. 269 sq; Prol. p. lxiv, note 2.
book. In other words, Eusebius does not throw any doubt on the existence of such a work, but on its genuineness; and the language which follows suggests that the historian was himself acquainted with it. If the testimony of Eusebius be set aside, the earliest reference to its contents is found in the Quaest. et Resp. ad Orthodoxos § 74, falsely ascribed to Justin Martyr1. This work is supposed to have been written at the end of the fourth or beginning of the fifth century, and, as Harnack says, unless all appearances are deceptive, to have emanated from the Syro-Antiochene Church2. Our next direct witness in point of date is probably the Alexandrian MS, about the middle of the fifth century. From that time forward the testimonies are neither few nor indistinct3.
This evidence is somewhat slight; but it cannot be alleged against the Eastern origin of the work. Such as it is, it all emanates from the East. Neither early nor late do we hear a single voice from the West testifying to the existence of this Clementine writing, except such as are mere echoes of some Greek witness. External testimony therefore, though it may not be worth much, is directly opposed to Harnack's theory.
From the internal character of the work again Harnack draws the same inference. He remarks on the close resemblances to the Shepherd of Hermas, and thence infers that it must have emanated 'ex eadem communione ac societate4.' Thus he makes it a product of the Church of Rome.
If these resemblances had referred to any peculiarities of the Roman Church generally, or of the Shepherd of Hermas in particular, the argument would have been strong. But this is not the case. The most striking perhaps is the doctrine of the heavenly Church (§ 14). But the passage, which is quoted in my notes, from Anastasius shows that this distinction of the celestial and the terrestrial Church, so far from being peculiar, was a common characteristic of the earliest Christian writers. And the statement of Anastasius is borne out by extant remains, as will appear from parallel passages also cited there. Again the pre-incarnate Son is spoken of in both documents as 'Spirit'; but here also, though such language was repugnant to the dogmatic precision of a later age, the writers of the second century and of the
1 See 1. p. 178 sq, and the notes on § 16.
2 See the article by Gass in Illgen's Zeitschr. f. d. hist. Theol. 1842, iv. p. 143 sq, quoted by Harnack Z. f. K. 1. 274.
3 The references in my notes seem to show that it was known to a very early writer, the author of Apost. Const. i-vi.
4 Prol. p. lxx sq: comp Z. f. K. 1. pp. 340, 344 sq, 363.
earlier part of the third constantly use it without misgiving (see the note on § 9). Again both writings speak of baptism as 'the seal,' and the exhortation to purity of life takes the form of an injunction to 'guard the seal.' But in this case likewise we have an image which is common in Christian writers of the second century (see the note on § 7). Nor are other coincidences wanting, though less striking than these.
On the other hand the two writings present marked contrasts on points of special prominence. There is a wide divergence for instance between the rigid, almost Encratite, view of the relations between the sexes which our Clementine author enunciates1, and the reasonable position of Hermas, which led the fierce Tertullian to denounce him as 'pastor moechorum2.' And again the difference of language regarding the relations of the two covenants is equally great. I cannot indeed regard the author of the Shepherd as a Judaizer, any more than I could regard our Clementine writer as a Marcionite: but the tendency of the one is to see in the Church a development of the Synagogue, whereas the other delights to set them in sharp contrast. And altogether it may be said that the points of difference in the two documents are more fundamental than the points of coincidence.
(iii) The third question, relating to the date and authorship, receives some illustration from the newly discovered ending, though not so much as might have been hoped. Generally speaking the notices in this portion confirm the view which was indicated in my first edition, that it belongs to the first half of the second century, nor do they contain anything that is adverse to this view. Harnack, as the result of a
1 § 12 τουτο λεγει ινα αδελφος κ.τ.λ. On the other hand Hermas (Mand. iv. 1) writes Εντελλομαι σοι, φησι, φυλασσειν την αγνειαν. και μη αναβαινετω σου επι την καρδιαν περι γυναικος αλλοτριας η περι πορνειας τινος η περι τοιουτων τινων ομοιωματων πονηρων. τουτο γαρ ποιων αμαρτιαν μεγαλην εργαζη. της δε σης μνημονευων παντοτε γυναικος ουδεποτε αμαρτησεις.. In this same section the husband is enjoined to take back into his society the wife who has been unfaithful, and just below (§ 4) second marriages are permitted to Christians, though the greater honour is assigned to those who remain in widowhood. On the other hand Harnack (Z. f. K. 1. p. 348) quotes Vis. ii. 2 τη συμβιω σου τη μελλουση σου αδελφη, as showing that Hermas looked upon the single life as the ideal state, and he concludes that neither writer 'thought of stopping marriage among Christians for the present.' It is not clear what the words in Vis. ii. 2 may mean; nor again is it certain that our Clementine preacher intended to enforce an absolute rule or to do more than give counsels of perfection. But the fact remains that the direct language of the one is in favour of latitude, of the other in favour of restraint.
2 Tertull. de Pudic. 10 'scriptura Pastoris quae sola moechos amat...adultera et ipsa et inde patrona sociorum,' ib. 20 'illo apocrypho Pastore moechorum.'
thorough examination of the whole epistle, sets the limits of date as A.D. 130-160; and, if it emanated from Rome (as he supposes to have been the case), he thinks that it must have been written within the first two decades of this period, i.e. within A.D. 130-1501.
This view is reasonable. If it were necessary to mention any limits of date, where so much uncertainty exists, I should name A.D. 120-140; but, as there is nothing in the work which militates against a still earlier date, so again it is impossible to affirm confidently that it might not have been written a few years later. The two main points in which the recently recovered portion strengthens the existing data for determining the age of the document are these.
First. We are furnished with additional information respecting the relations of the author to the Canon of the New Testament. He distinguishes between the Old and New Testament: the former he styles 'the Books,' 'the Bible' (τα βιβλια), while the latter (or a part of it) is designated 'the Apostles' (§ 14). This distinction separates him by a broad line from the age of the Muratorian writer, of Irenaeus, and of Clement of Alexandria, i.e. from the last quarter of the second century. The fact also that he uses at least one apocryphal Gospel, which we can hardly be wrong in identifying with the Gospel of the Egyptians (see the notes on § 12), apparently as an authoritative document, points in the same direction. The writers just mentioned are all explicit in the acceptance of our four Canonical Gospels alone, as the traditional inheritance of the Church. This argument would be very strong in favour of an early date, if we could be quite sure that our homily was written by a member of the Catholic Church, and not by some sectarian or half-sectarian writer. On this point there is perhaps room for misgiving, though the former seems the more probable supposition. The general acceptance of this homily and its attribution to Clement certainly point to a Catholic origin; and in its Christology also it is Catholic as opposed to Gnostic or Ebionite, but its Encratite tendencies (not to mention other phenomena) might suggest the opposite conclusion. On the other hand our preacher quotes as 'scripture' (§ 6) a saying which appears in our Canonical Gospels. But this same passage is quoted in the same way in the Epistle of Barnabas, which can hardly have been written many years after A.D. 120 at the very latest, and may have been written much earlier; and even Polycarp (§ 12), if the Latin text may be trusted, cites Ephes. iv. 26 as 'scripture.' Stronger in the same
1 Z. f. K. 1. p. 363; comp. Prol. p. lxxiii sq (ed. 2), where, supposing it to be of Roman origin, he places it not later than A.D. 135-140 (145).
direction is the fact that in the newly recovered portion our anonymous author introduces a saying of our Lord in the Gospels with the words 'God saith' (§ 13), having immediately before referred to 'the Oracles of God' in this same connexion, and that he elsewhere describes the reading of the Scriptures as the voice of 'the God of truth' speaking to the congregation (§ 19). As regards this latter passage however we do not know whether the scriptural lessons which had preceded the delivery of this homily were taken from the Old or from the New Testament.
Secondly. The relations of the preacher to Gnosticism furnish an indication of date though not very precise. He attacks a certain type of this heresy, but it is still in an incipient form. The doctrinal point on which he especially dwells is the denial of the resurrection of the body, or (as he states it) the 'resurrection of this flesh' (§§ 8, 9, 14, 16). As the practical consequence of this denial, the false teachers (§ 10 κακοδιδασκαλουντες) were led to antinomian inferences. They inculcated an indifference (αδιαφορια) with regard to fleshly lusts, and they permitted their disciples to deny their faith in times of persecution. This antinomian teaching is denounced by the preacher. But his polemic against Gnosticism does not go beyond this. There is no attack, direct or indirect, on the peculiar tenets of Valentinus and the Valentinians, of Marcion, or even of Basilides. And not only so, but he even uses language with regard to the heavenly Church which closely resembles the teaching of Valentinus respecting the seon Ecclesia (see the note on § 14), and which he would almost certainly have avoided, if he had written after this heresiarch began to promulgate his doctrine1. In like manner the language in which he sets the Church against the Synagogue would probably have been more guarded, if it had been uttered after Marcion had published his Antitheses in which the direct antagonism of the Mosaic and Christian dispensations was maintained. As it is a reasonable inference from the near approaches to Valentinian language in the Ignatian Epistles that they were written in the pre-Valentinian epoch2, seeing that the writer is a determined opponent of Gnosticism, and would not have compromised himself by such language after it had been abused, so also the same inference may be drawn here.
These considerations seem to point to a date not later than A.D. 140; and altogether the topics in this homily suggest a very primitive, though not apostolic, age of the Church. Whether we regard the exposition of doctrine or the polemic against false teachers or the state of the Christian
1 This argument drawn from the relation of the writer to Gnosticism is justly insisted upon by Harnack, Prol. p. lxxii, Z. f. K. 1. pp. 359, 360.
2 See Ignat. and Polyc. 1. p. 374, ed. 1; p. 385, ed. 2.
society or the relation to the Scriptural Canon, we cannot but feel that we are confronted with a state of things separated by a wide interval from the epoch of Irenaeus and Clement of Alexandria. At the same time other arguments have been alleged in favour of an early date, which will not bear the stress that has been laid upon them. Thus it is said that the preacher betrays no knowledge of the writings of S. John, or possibly even of S. Paul1. As regards S. John, I have called attention to an indication that our author was not unacquainted with the Fourth Gospel (see the note on § 17), though the inference is not certain. As regards S. Paul, I cannot see any probable explanation of his appeal to 'the Apostles' as supporting his doctrine respecting the heavenly Church, except that which supposes him to be referring to S. Paul, and more especially to the Epistle to the Ephesiansnot to mention echoes of this Apostle's language elsewhere in this homily2. But even if it be granted that he shows no knowledge of the writings of either Apostle, does it follow that he had none? What numbers of sermons and tracts, published in the name of authors living in this nineteenth century, must on these grounds be relegated to the first or second! And again, if he says nothing about episcopacy3, does it follow that he knew nothing about it, and therefore must have written before this institution existed? This argument again would, I imagine, remove to a remote antiquity a large portion, probably not less than half, of the theological literature of our own age.
But, while criticism suggests probable or approximate results with regard to the locality and the date, it leaves us altogether in the dark as respects the authorship; for the opinions maintained by the three editors who have discussed this question since the recent discovery of the lost ending, must, I venture to think, be discarded. All three alike agree in the retention of Clement as the author, but understand different persons bearing this name.
(1) In the first place Bryennios (p. πνθ') maintains that the homily is the work of none other than the famous Clement whose name it bears, the bishop of Rome4. This view however has nothing to recommend
1 Harnack Prol. p. lxxiii, Z. f. K. I. p. 361 sq. He regards it as uncertain, though probable, that our author had read S. Paul's Epistles. At the same time he considers it strange that S. Paul's name is not mentioned. As most of our author's quotations (even when taken from the Old Testament) are anonymous, this fact can hardly surprise us.
2 See the notes on § 14.
3 Harnack Prol. p. lxxii, Z. f. K. 1. p. 359.
4 This had been the view of Bull, Galland, Lumper, and others; who wrote without the light which the discovery of the lost ending has thrown on the question, and still regarded it as an epistle.
it, and has found no favour with others. Indeed all the arguments which, even when we possessed it only in a mutilated form, were sufficient to deter us from ascribing it to the author of the genuine epistle or indeed to any contemporary, are considerably strengthened, now that we have it complete.
(i) The writer delights to identify himself and his hearers with Gentile Christianity. He speaks of a time when he and they worshipped stocks and stones, gold and silver and bronze (§ 1). He and they are prefigured by the prophet's image of the barren woman who bore many more children than she that had the husband, or, as he explains it, than the Jewish people 'who seem to have God' (§ 2). On the other hand the genuine Clement never uses such language. On the contrary he looks upon himself as a descendant of the patriarchs, as an heir of the glories of the Israelite race; and (what is more important) he is thoroughly imbued with the feelings of an Israelite, has an intimate knowledge of the Old Testament Scriptures (though not in the original tongue), and is even conversant with the apocryphal literature of the race and with the traditional legends and interpretations. In short his language and tone of thought proclaim him a Jew, though a Hellenist. (ii) On the difference in style I do not lay great stress; because, where there is much play for fancy, there is much room also for self-deception, and criticism is apt to become hypercritical. Yet I think it will be felt by all that the language of this Second Epistle is more Hellenic and less Judaic, though at the same time more awkward and less natural, than the First. (iii) The argument from the theology is stronger than the argument from the style, but not very strong. There is a more decided dogmatic tone in the Second Epistle than in the First. More especially the pre-existence and divinity of Christ are stated with a distinctness (§§ i, 9) which is wanting in the First, and in a form which perhaps the writer of the First would have hesitated to adopt. (iv) The position of the writer with respect to the Scriptures is changed. In the First Epistle Clement draws his admonitions and his examples chiefly from the Old Testament. The direct references to the evangelical history are very few in comparison. On the other hand in the Second Epistle the allusions to and quotations from gospel narratives (whether canonical or apocryphal) very decidedly preponderate. This seems to indicate a somewhat later date, when gospel narratives were more generally circulated and when appeal could
safely be made to a written Christian literature. This last argument more especially has received a large accession of strength by the recovery of the lost ending, and would be conclusive in itself. The gulf which separates our preacher from the genuine Clement in their respective relations to the New Testament Scriptures (see above, p. 202) has been widened by the additional evidence.
(2) On the other hand Hilgenfeld (p. xlix, ed. 2) surmises that the author was not the Roman Clement but the Alexandrian. He argues that our preacher was not a presbyter, but a catechist1. He points to the passage (§ 19) in which (as he reads it) the duty of studying 'philosophy' is inculcated2. And, as Dodwell had done before him3, he imagines that he sees resemblances in this sermon to the style and thought of the Alexandrian Clement. He therefore suggests that this was an early production of the Alexandrian father.
The inference however with regard to the preacher's office is highly precarious, as we have seen already (p. 195); nor does it materially affect the question. The mention of 'philosophy' again disappears, when the passage is correctly read. The Syriac Version shows clearly that φιλοπονειν is the true reading, and that φιλοσοφειν, as a much commoner word, was written down first from mere inadvertence by the scribe of C and afterwards corrected by him4. Nor again is it possible to see any closer resemblance to the Alexandrian Clement in the diction and thoughts, than will often appear between one early Christian writer and another; while on the other hand the difference is most marked. The wide learning, the extensive vocabulary, the speculative power, the vigorous and epigrammatic expression, of the Alexandrian Clement are all wanting to this sermon, which is confused in thought and slipshod in expression, and is only redeemed from common-place by its moral earnestness and by some peculiarities of doctrinal exposition. Where there is want of arrangement in the Alexandrian Clement, it is due to his wealth of learning and of thought.
1 See pp. xlix, 106. He explains § 17 ει γαρ εντολας εχομεν...αποτων ειδωλων αποσπαν και κατηχειν as referring to the official position of the preacher; but compare e.g. 1 Cor. xiv. 19, Gal. vi. 6.
2 See pp. xlix, 84, 106.
3 Dissert. in Iren. i § xxix p. 53.
4 Compare the note on this word φιλοπονειν § 19 with that on μεταληφεται § 14. In both cases the scribe has corrected the word which he first wrote down, and in both the correction is supported by the Syriac version. Hilgenfeld has consistently adopted the scribe's first writing in both cases. On p. 84 he has incorrectly given φιλοποιειν as the correction in C. It should be φιλοπονειν.
In our author on the other hand the confusion is the result of intellectual poverty. Nor again is the difference between the two writers less wide as regards their relation to the Canon of the New Testament. It is true that both alike quote the Gospel of the Egyptians, and (as it so happens) the same passage from this Gospel. But this very fact enables us to realize the gulf which separates the two. Our author uses this apocryphal work as authoritative, and apparently as his chief evangelical narrative; Clement on the other hand depreciates its value on the ground that it is not one of the four traditionally received by the Church. Our author interprets the passage in question as favouring ascetic views respecting the relation of the sexes: Clement on the other hand refutes this interpretation, and explains it in a mystical sense1.
(3) Lastly; Harnack is disposed to assign this homily neither to the Roman bishop nor to the Alexandrian father, but to a third person bearing the name of Clement, intermediate in date between the two.
In the Shepherd of Hermas (Vis. ii. 4) the writer relates how he was directed in a vision to send a copy of his book to 'Clement,' and it is added, 'Clement shall send it to the cities abroad, for he is charged with this business' (πεμφει ουν Κλημης εις τας εξω πολεις. εκεινω γαρ επιτετραπται). As Hermas is stated to have written this work during the episcopate of his brother Pius (c. A.D. 140155), it is urged that the Clement here mentioned cannot have been the same with the illustrious bishop of Rome (see above, 1. p. 359 sq). Thus the notice in the Shepherd gives us another Roman Clement, who flourished about the time when our homily must have been written. Here, argues Harnack, we have an explanation of the phenomena of the so-called Second Epistle of Clement. If we suppose that towards the end of the third century a homily known to have emanated from the early Church of Rome and bearing the name of Clement was carried to the East, it would not unnaturally be attributed to the famous bishop, and thus, being attached
1 Strom. iii. 13, p. 553 (quoted below, p. 236 sq). Julius Cassianus, like our preacher, had interpreted the passage as discountenancing marriage; and Clement of Alexandria controverts him, substituting another interpretation. While the passage was still mutilated, the opinion was tenable that it was doubtful whether out author's explanation was more closely allied to the interpretation of Cassianus or to that of Clement of Alexandria, though I inclined to the latter supposition. The discovery of the conclusion of the passage however decides in favour of the former.
It is in reference to this very passage from the Gospel of the Egyptians, that Clement of Alexandria urges in answer to Cassianus, εν τοις παραδεδομενοις ημιν τετταρσιν ευαγγελιοις ουκ εχομεν το ρητον αλλ εν τω κατ Αιγυπτιους. Thus he is diametrically opposed to our preacher on the one point where we are able to compare their opinions.
to his genuine epistle, might easily before the close of the fourth century be furnished with the incorrect title Κλημεντος προς Κορινθιους επιστολη β'.
This view has much more to recommend it, than the two which have been considered already. But the foundation on which it rests is inadequate. The existence of this second Roman Clement is unsupported; and as I have shown above (1. p. 359 sq), the reference in Hermas must be explained in another way1.
As all these hypotheses fail us, we must be content to remain still in ignorance of the author; nor is it likely now that the veil will ever be withdrawn. The homily itself, as a literary work, is almost worthless. As the earliest example of its kind however, and as the product of an important age of which we possess only the scantiest remains, it has the highest value. Nor will its intellectual poverty blind us to its true grandeur, as an example of the lofty moral earnestness and the triumphant faith which subdued a reluctant world and laid it prostrate at the foot of the Cross.
The following is an analysis of the fragment :
'My brethren, we must look on Christ as God. We must not think mean things of Him who has been so merciful to us, who has given us life and all things (§ i). In us is fulfilled the saying that the barren woman hath many children. The Gentile Church was once unfruitful, but now has a numerous offspring. We are those sinners whom Christ came especially to save (§ 2). Therefore we owe all recompense to Him. And the return which He asks is that we should confess Him in our deeds. The worship, not of the lips only, but of the heart, must be yielded to Him (§ 3). He has denounced those who, while they obey Him not, yet call Him Lord. He has declared that, though they be gathered into His bosom, He will reject them (§ 4). Let us therefore remember that we are sojourners here, and let us not fear to quit this world. Rather let us call to mind His warning, and fear not those who kill the body, but Him who can destroy body and soul together. All
1 Hagemann (Ueber den sweiten Brief des Clemens, etc. in the Theolog. Quartalschr. XLIII p. 509 sq, 1861) supposed that this is the letter mentioned by Hermas (Vis. ii. 4). He regarded it as part of the fiction, being a letter of recommendation written in the name of the great Roman Clement. So far he anticipated the theory of Harnack.
things earthly we must hold foreign to us (§ 5). On this there must be no wavering. We cannot serve two masters. This world and the other are deadly foes. It must be our choice to do Christ's will. Even Noah, Job, and Daniel, could not have rescued their own children from destruction. How shall we then, if we keep not the baptismal seal intact, present ourselves in God's kingdom? (§ 6). The lists are open; the struggle approaches. Let us crowd thither to take our part. Let us fight to win the immortal chaplet. But, so doing, we must observe the laws of the contest, if we would escape chastisement. A horrible fate awaits those who break the seal (§ 7). Now is the time for repentance. Now we can be moulded like clay in the hands of the potter. After death it will be too late. If we keep not small things, how shall we be trusted with great? If we guard not the seal intact, how shall we inherit eternal life? (§ 8).'
'Deny not, that men shall rise in their bodies. As Christ came in the flesh, so also shall we be judged in the flesh. Let us give ourselves to God betimes. He reads our very inmost thoughts. To those who do His will Christ has given the name of brothers (§ 9). This will let us ever obey. If we fear men and choose present comfort, we shall purchase brief pleasure at the price of eternal joy. They who lead others astray herein are doubly guilty (§ 10). We must not falter. The prophetic word denounces the double-minded; it foretells how the course of things is maturing to its consummation, as the vine grows and ripens. God is faithful; and, as He has promised, so will He give joys unspeakable to the righteous (§ 11). The signs, which shall herald the approach of His kingdom, Christ has foretold. The two shall be one in universal peace. The outside shall be as the inside in strict sincerity. The male shall be as the female in the cessation of all sexual longings (§ 12).'
'Let us repent forthwith, that we may be forgiven, and God's name may not be blasphemed by our inconsistency. When God's oracles say one thing and we do another, they regard them as an idle talewhen God's precepts tell us to love our enemies and we hate one another (§ 13). Fulfilling God's command, we shall be members of the eternal, spiritual Church, which is Christ's body. This is the meaning of the words Male and female created He them. The Church, like Christ, Was spiritual, and became flesh. This flesh we must keep pure, that we may attain to the spiritual, the immortal (§ 14).'
'Whosoever obeys this precept of chastity saves both himself and the preacher. This is the only return which speaker and hearer alike can make to their Creator. God promises an immediate answer. We
must close with it and escape condemnation (§ 15). Therefore let us repent, while there is time, and obtain the mercy of Jesus. The Day cometh as a heated furnace. Heaven and earth shall melt away. Almsgiving and love are best; for they cover a multitude of sins (§ 16). We are commanded to convert others; how much more to save our own souls. Let us not forget the preacher's lesson, when we go to our homes. Let us meet more frequently together. The Lord will come and gather all nations, rewarding them after their works. The worm of the unbeliever shall never die, but the righteous shall give glory to Him, seeing His judgments on the wicked and His faithfulness to His servants (§ 17). Let us be found among His thankful servants. In the midst of temptations, I strive after righteousness (§ 18). Give heed to these exhortations from the Scriptures. Set an example to the young by your obedience. Be not offended by exhortation; nor deterred by present suffering. It is the price of future glory (§ 19). This life is only the arena; the crown shall be awarded hereafter. Else, it were a matter of mere traffic.'
'To the one invisible God, who manifested truth and life to us through the Saviour, be glory for ever (§ 20).'
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!