Return to Metalogos.org Home

The Development of the Canon of the New Testament

Home |

Authorities

| Writings | Table | Lists | Places | Heresies | Miscellaneous | for more Information



Early Christian Authorities

Ignatius of Antioch
Polycarp of Smyrna
Marcion
Valentinus
Justin Martyr
Irenaeus of Lyons
Clement of Alexandria
Tertullian of Carthage
Muratorian Canon
Origen
Eusebius of Caesarea
codex Sinaiticus
Athanasius of Alexandria
Didymus the Blind
Peshitta
Vulgate





Clement of Alexandria (TITUS FLAVIUS CLEMENS)   

(born ~150 probably in Athens -- wrote 180-200 in Alexandria -- died between 211 and 215 in Jerusalem)

This image is taken from the Encyclopædia Britannica. A larger version is available.

Clement was a Christian Apologist, missionary theologian to the Greek cultural world, and second known leader of the catechetical school of Alexandria. He synthesized Greek philosophy and Mosaic tradition, and attempted to mediate Gnostics and orthodox Christians. A Catholic Encyclopedia article is online at Clement of Alexandria.

Clement was probably an Athenian by birth and of pagan parentage. Although well versed in all branches of Greek literature and in all the existing systems of philosophy, in these he found nothing of permanent satisfaction. In his adult years he embraced the Christian religion, and by extensive travels East and West sought the most distinguished teachers. Coming to Alexandria about 180 he became a pupil of Pantaenus, his teacher and first reported leader of the catechetical school. Captivated by his teacher, whom he was accustomed to call 'the blessed presbyter', Clement became, successively, a presbyter in the church at Alexandria, an assistant to Pantaenus, and, about 190, his successor as head of the catechetical school.

Clement wrote several works in Alexandria, the most important being:

Writing

English Translation(s)

Protreptikos (Exhortation)

New Advent , Christian Classics Ethereal Library pp. 146-175

Paidagogos (The Instructor)

New Advent , Christian Classics Ethereal Library pp. 176-265

Stromata (Miscellanies)

New Advent , Christian Classics Ethereal Library pp. 266-535

Hypotyposes

New Advent , Christian Classics Ethereal Library pp. 544-545
portions quoted by [Eusebius]

Eclogae Propheticae

?

The writings of Clement disclose the amazingly broad scope of his knowledge of both classical and Biblical literature. On page after page of his treatises are copious citations of all kinds of literature. According to the tabulations of [Stählin], Clement cites some 359 classical and other non-Christian writers, 70 Biblical writings (including Old Testament apocrypha), and 36 patristic and New Testament apocryphal writings, including those of heretics. The total number of citations is about 8000, more than a third of which come from pagan writers. Furthermore, the statistics reveal that he quotes from New Testament writings almost twice as often as from the Old Testament.

After engaging in theological, ecclesiastical, and other disputes (e.g. concerning social justice and forms of Christian witnessing) for about 20 years, Clement was forced to flee Alexandria during the persecution of Christians by the Roman emperor Severus in 201-202. His position at the school was assumed by his young and gifted student Origen, who became one of the greatest theologians of the Christian Church. Clement found refuge and employment with another former student, Alexander, bishop of Jerusalem, with whom he remained until his death.

One finds in Clement's work citations of all the books of the New Testament with the exception of:

    Philemon, James, II Peter, II John, and III John

On the other hand he considered these writings, not in the present New Testament, of value:

For a summary of his opinions see the Cross Reference Table.


Clement and the New Testament

According to [Metzger]:

One finds in Clement's work citations of all the books of the New Testament with the exception of Philemon, James, 2 Peter, and 2 and 3 John. (p. 131)

Presumably, these citations are listed in [Stählin].


Clement and the Gospel of the Hebrews

Clement

 

Strom. II 9.45

As it is written in the Gospel of the Hebrews:

He that marvels shall reign, and he that has reigned shall rest.

Strom. V 14.96

To those words this is equivalent:

He that seeks will not rest until he finds; and he that has found shall marvel; and he that has marveled shall reign; and he that has reigned shall rest.

According to the tabulations of [Stählin], Clement cites the Gospel of the Hebrews 3 times.


Clement and the Gospel of the Egyptians

Clement

 

Strom. III 45

When Salome asked, 'How long will death have power?' the Lord answered, 'So long as ye women bear children' - not as if life was something bad and creation evil, but as teaching the sequence of nature.

Strom. III 63

Those who are opposed to God's creation because of continence, which has a fair-sounding name, also quote the words addressed to Salome which I mentioned earlier. They are handed down, as I believe, in the Gospel of the Egyptians, For, they say: the savior himself said, 'I am come to undo the works of the female', by the female meaning lust, and by the works birth and decay.

Strom III 64

Since then the Word has alluded to the consummation, Salome saith rightly, 'Until when shall men die?' Now Scripture uses the term 'man' in the two senses, of the visible outward form and of the soul, and again of the redeemed man and of him who is not redeemed. And sin is called the death of the soul. Wherefore the Lord answers advisedly, 'So long as women bear children', i.e. so long as lusts are powerful.

Strom III 66

Why do they not also adduce what follows the words spoken to Salome, these people who do anything but walk by the gospel rule according to truth? For when she said, 'I have then done well in not bearing children', as if it were improper to engage in procreation, then the Lord answered and said, 'Eat every plant, but that which has bitterness eat not'.

Strom III 91ff

Therefore Cassianus now says, When Salome asked when what she had inquired about would be known, the Lord said, 'When you have trampled on the garment of shame and when the two become one and the male with the female (is) neither male nor female'. Now in the first place we have not this word with in the four Gospels that have been handed down to us, but in the Gospel of the Egyptians. Further he seems to me to fail to recognize that by the male impulse is meant wrath and by the female lust.

Strom III 97

Again the Lord says: He who has married should not repudiate his wife, and he who has not married should not marry.

According to the tabulations of [Stählin], Clement cites the Gospel of the Egyptians 8 times.


Clement and the Traditions of Matthias

Clement

 

Strom. II 9.45.4

The beginning thereof [sc. of the knowledge of the truth] is to wonder at things, as Plato says in the Theaetetus and Matthias in the Traditions when he warns 'Wonder at what is present' establishing this as the first step to the knowledge of things beyond.

Strom. III 4.26.3
Strom. II 208.7-9

They (the Gnostics) say that Matthias also taught as follows: 'To strive with the flesh and misuse it, without yielding to it in any way to unbridled lust, but to increase the soul through faith and knowledge'.

Strom VII 13.82.1

They say that Matthias the apostle in the Traditions explains at every turn: 'If the neighbor of one of the chosen sin, then has the elect sinned; for if he had so conducted himself as the Word commends, the neighbor would have had such awe at his way of life that he would not have fallen into sin'.

According to [Schneemelcher], all that survives of the Traditions of Matthias are the quotations of Clement. According to the tabulations of [Stählin], Clement cites the Traditions of Matthias 3 times.


Clement and the Preaching of Peter

For 12 quotations of Clement, see [Schneemelcher] (Vol. 2 pp. 37-40). There can be no doubt that Clement regards this document as composed by Peter.


Clement and I Clement

According to [Metzger]:

He [Clement] refers to Orpheus as 'the theologian', and speaks of Plato as being 'under the inspiration of God'. Even the Epicurean Metrodorus uttered certain words 'divinely inspired'. It is not surprising then that, that he can quote passages as inspired from the epistles of Clement of Rome and of Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Apocalypse of Peter. (p. 134)

Presumably, the quotations of Clement are listed in [Stählin].


Clement and the Epistle of Barnabas

According to [Metzger]:

He [Clement] refers to Orpheus as 'the theologian', and speaks of Plato as being 'under the inspiration of God'. Even the Epicurean Metrodorus uttered certain words 'divinely inspired'. It is not surprising then that, that he can quote passages as inspired from the epistles of Clement of Rome and of Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Apocalypse of Peter. (p. 134)

However he does not hesitate to criticize an interpretation given by the author of the Epistle of Barnabas (Paed. II. x. 3, and Strom. II. xv. 67).

Presumably, the quotations of Clement are listed in [Stählin].


Clement and the Didache

According to [Grant]:

... he [Clement] employs the Didache only in Stromata I,100,4 - and there he does not name the work. (p. 167)

A complete discussion can be found in [Hitchcock].


Clement and the Shepherd of Hermas

According to [Metzger]:

He [Clement] refers to Orpheus as 'the theologian', and speaks of Plato as being 'under the inspiration of God'. Even the Epicurean Metrodorus uttered certain words 'divinely inspired'. It is not surprising then that, that he can quote passages as inspired from the epistles of Clement of Rome and of Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas, and the Apocalypse of Peter. (p. 134)

Presumably, the quotations of Clement are listed in [Stählin].


Clement and the Apocalypse of Peter

Clement

Apocalypse of Peter

Eclogae Propheticae 41

The Scripture says that the children exposed by parents are delivered to a protecting angel, by whom they are brought up and nourished. And they shall be, it says, as the faithful of a hundred years old here. Wherefore Peter also says in his Apocalypse, "and a flash of fire, coming from their children and smiting the eyes of the women".

8 (Ethiopic)

Eclogae Propheticae 48-49

For example Peter in the Apocalypse says that the children born abortively receive the better part. These are delivered to a care-taking angel, so that after they have reached knowledge they may obtain the better abode, as if they had suffered what they would have suffered, had they attained to bodily life. But the others shall obtain salvation only as a people who have suffered wrong and experience mercy, and shall exist without torment, having received this as their reward. But the milk of the mothers which flows from their breasts and congeals, says Peter in the Apocalypse, shall beget tiny flesh-eating beasts and they shall run over them and devour them - which teaches that the punishments will come to pass by reason of the sins.

8 (Ethiopic)


Pages created by Glenn Davis, 1997-2005.
For additions, corrections, and comments send e-mail to
gdavis@ntcanon.org