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The Theology of Second Clement

  • Karl Paul Donfried (a1)

There has never been a form-critical study of 2 Clement. Because of this, conclusions concerning its Gattung have varied considerably. Harnack and Goodspeed, for example, have argued that 2 Clement is in the form of a letter, and beyond that, that it was sent by Bishop Soter of Rome (c. 166–74) to Corinth. Contrary to this position, Lightfoot, Knopf, and Windisch, among others, have argued that it is either a sermon or a homily. Although in recent years this latter position has been readily accepted, it always appears as an assertion without support, form-critical or otherwise.

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1 Harnack Adolf von, Die Chronologie der altchristlichen Literatur bis Ensebius, II, 1 (Leipzig, 1897), 438–50; idem, Zum Ursprung des sogenannten zweiten Klemensbriefes, ZNW 6 (1905), 6771; Goodspeed Edgar J., The Apostolic Fathers (New York, 1950), 83.

2 Lightfoot J. B., The Apostolic Fathers (London, 1890), Part I, vol. II, 194ff.; Knopf R., Die zwei Clemensbriefe (Tübingen, 1920), 151; Windisch H., Das Christentum des zweiten Klemensbriefes, in Harnack-Ehrung (Leipzig, 1921), 119–34.

3 Grant Robert M., The Apostolic Fathers, I (New York, 1964), 44; Koester Helmut, Synoptische Überlieferung bei den apostolischen Vätern (Berlin, 1957), 62.

4 For further amplification and documentation of suggestions made in this paper (delivered in its present form at the 1971 Oxford Patristic Conference), see Donfried K. P., The Setting of 2 Clement in Early Christianity (Leiden, 1974).

5 This and all other English translations of 2 Clement are from Richardson Cyil C., Early Christian Fathers (Philadelphia, 1953).

6 English translation by Schoedel William R. in Grant Robert M. and Freedman David Noel, The Secret Sayings of Jesus (London, 1963), 136.

7 Aufsätze zur Gnosis, Dörries Hermann, editor (Göttingen, 1967), 25ft.

8 Les livres secrets des Gnostiques d'Égypte (Paris, 1958), 155–56.

9 Grant, op. cit., 140–41.

10 The Theology of the Gospel of Thomas (London, 1961), 256.

11 Richardson, op. cit., 198.

12 The older designation of this document was the Treatise of Three Natures. Puech H. C. and Quispel G., Le quatrième écrit gnostique du Codex Jung, VC 9 (1955) 94102. attributed it to Heracleon; however, this suggestion should be regarded with extreme caution.

13 This English translation is taken from Daniélou Jean, The Theology of Jewish Christianity (London, 1964), 304, who is himself dependent upon the information supplied by Puech and Quispel in the article just cited. It was impossible to doublecheck the accuracy of the translation, since the Coptic text is at present still unavailable.

14 Puech and Quispel, op. cit., 97, as translated in Daniélou (note 13).

15 Eusebius, H. E. 4.23.9–11.

16 J. B. Lightfoot, op. cit., 197.

17 Against Koester, op. cit., 62ff.

18 Bornkamm G., The History of the Origin of the So-Called Second Letter to the Corinthians, The Authorship and Integrity of the New Testament (SPCK Theological Collections 4: London, 1965), 7381.

19 Deissmann G. Adolph, Bible Studies (Edinburgh, 1923), 10; Light from the Ancient East (Grand Rapids, 1965), 229f

20 Grässer Erich, Der Hebräerbrief, ThR 30 (1964), 160.

21 Bultmann Rudolf, Die drei Johannesbriefe (Göttingen, 1967), 47.

22 Dibelius M., Geschichte der urchristlichen Literatur, II (Berlin, 1926), 60.

23 Marxsen W., Einleitung in das Neue Testament (Gütersloh, 1963), 205.

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Harvard Theological Review
  • ISSN: 0017-8160
  • EISSN: 1475-4517
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