The Second Letter of Clement of Rome to the Corinthians

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1. Who is the author and from where is he writing? The title "The Second Letter of Clement of Rome to the Corinthians" itself states the authorship to be Clement of Rome, the same person who wrote "The First Letter of Clement of Rome to the Corinthians." This assumption is now considered incorrect. Looking at the structure of the document it is plain to see that it does not follow the same structure as that of the letters of the period, especially I Clement it is clear that the art of letter writing, such as a greeting, words of thanksgiving and closing concerns are absent. Coming to this conclusion only brings the reader only back to the question, "What is this document anyway?" The author seems to prove himself to be an orator as he obviously addresses a congregation in a liturgical environment (17, 3). But then as one reads further it is even clearer that II Clement was written to be read aloud, possibly in the stead of the writer by the person who just had been doing the scripture reading (19, 1). As one considers the form and authorship of II Clement one must also consider where in Church History this document shows up. F. F. Bruce in "Are the New Testament Documents Reliable?" lists II Clement in the Codex of Alexandria, representing the city of Alexandria in Egypt. This finding and the fact that the author quotes the Gospel of the Egyptians both are clues that point to the assumption that II Clement may have originated in the Egyptian/Syrian area lending itself to the Coptic Church more readily (12, 1). Whatever the case may be as to the location of origin/authorship, one can glean from the text itself that the author considers himself to be a presbyter, and theref... ... middle of paper ... ...). It is clear that he perceives these books of the Hebrew Bible to be authoritative and the Apostles oral teaching along with that book in level of authority (14, 2). Along with the mentioning of the canonical books of our Western church are the mentioning of other books, that the author obviously considers authoritative. For example, in section four verse five of II Clement, the author quotes, "If you are gathered with me in my bosom and do not keep my commands, I will cast you out and will say to you: `Depart from me. I do not know whence you come, you workers of iniquity,' " which scholars attribute to the Gospel of the Egyptians. 1. Richardson, Cyril C. et al., Early Christian Fathers, Volume 1 (Philadelphia: Westminister Press) 183. 2. Bruce, F. F., Are the New Testament Documents Reliable? (Chicago: Inter-Varsity Christian Fellowship) .

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