AAF III: To The Text!

Tony SigI Clement: Salutation

“The church of God that lives as an exile* in Rome to the church of God that lives as an exile in Corinth”

*alternative rendering – sojourns (so Holmes), or “as alien” or “temporarily resides”

As noted in the intro, but now here asserted in the text, it is the church corporate in Rome which addresses the church corporate in Corinth. The feel is distinctly different than Paul who consistently draws attention to his apostolicity, or Peter who does likewise, or the psuedonymous writers who draw on apostolic authority (ie-some catholic and pastoral epistles). It is even less assertive than the gentle leader(s) of the Johanine Community, whose leader affectionately goes by the title “The Elder.”

It is more akin to, say Polycarp of Smyrna, who addresses his letter to the Phillipians simply “Polycarp.” Only here we see the focus of appeal made by the whole Roman community rather than focused on a single individual.

As Eusebius notes (EH 4.23.11), this letter has long been thought to have been authored by Clement of Rome. And several of the manuscripts give a title to the work saying variously: “Clement to the Corinthians I”-so Codex Hierosolymitanus (AD1056), similarily the Latin (11thc copy of likely 2nd or 3rdc pieces), Codex Alexandrinus (5thc; missing 57.7-63.4) leaves out the “I”; The Syriac has the letter in the NT and is dated (AD1169-1170), it’s title is a bit more grandiose, “the catholic epistle of Clement the disciple of Peter the apostle to the church of the Corinthians”; similarily the Coptic (incomplete, 4th and 7thc)

Since we do not have enough manuscripts to comprehend the tradition or family tree of the letter, we can observe that it is not until over a thousand years later that we see a title which mentions Peter; where it is not part of the text, and even the title only mentions “discipleship” as being a quality of Clement; there is here no mention of a Petrine or apostolic authority. Though there are several passages in the body of the letter which do give such an impression (ch 42-44), to which in time we will get.

[All info from Holmes 3rd ed]


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