CADRE Comments

A Rational Look at Christianity; Basing Reason in Truth

In response to a post by my colleague JD, a commenter -- Quixie -- rejected the notion that 1 Clement -- even if authentic -- betrays knowledge of Paul’s letters. On his website, he seems to concede some familiarity with Pauline thought as expressed in chapters 12 and 13 of 1 Corinthians but insists that the author had not read any of Paul’s letters. I think Clement is demonstrably reliant on 1 and 2 Corinthians as well as Romans and Galatians. In this post, however, I will examine Clement's reliance on 1 Corinthians. In particular, I will focus on Clement's explicit reference to Paul's first letter to the Corinthian church.

Quixie’s analysis is conclusory so it is unclear what if any standards he applied in evaluating potential references to Paul’s letters. He also fails to cite any of the leading studies of this issue, instead conducting his own review based on a translation and notations by William Wake, who died in 1737. In any event, judging by his conclusions, Quixie’s expectations are unreasonably high.

Although it is likely there was was an “oral tradition” phase of gospel material prior to their being written down, the same is unlikely for Paul’s letters. Though Paul undoubtedly uses some traditions in his letter, by far most of his letters were free-hand writings in response to specific situations as they arose among the churches. In other words, they were occasional. As a result, it is less likely that correlations are the result of common oral tradition. Also, explicit attribution was not a regular practice among the Apostolic Fathers. We know from their use of the Old Testament that it was not unusual to quote or allude to a written source without identifying the source or even that there was a source.

1 Clement, written by a leader (or leaders) in the Roman church to the Corinthian church, is dated by scholarly consensus to the end of the first century. In his letter, Clement explicitly refers to one of Paul’s letters to the Corinthians. Which letter to the Corinthians is made clear by his reference emphasizing the need for church unity.

Take up the epistle of the blessed Paul the Apostle. What wrote he first unto you in the beginning of the Gospel? Of a truth he charged you in the Spirit concerning himself and Cephas and Apollos, because that even then ye had made parties. Yet that making of parties brought less sin upon you; for ye were partisans of Apostles that were highly reputed, and of a man approved in their sight.

1 Clement 47:1-4. Without even comparing this passage to 1 Corinthians for linguistic parallels we see that the author knew of a letter Paul had written to the Corinthian church. Moreover, he was familiar enough with it and its occasion, that he directed the Corinthian church of his time to refer to the letter to help respond to contemporary factional disputes. As noted by Donald Hagner in a study on Clement's use of the Old and New Testaments, “Not only did both epistles have the same destination, but both were written for the same purpose: to restore order and unity to a strife-torn church.” Hagner, The Use of the Old and New Testaments in Clement of Rome, page 195. A comparison of the text of a passage from 1 Corinthians adds undeniable weight to the case for dependence on 1 Corinthians.

Now I mean this, that each one of you is saying, “I am of Paul,” and “I of Apollos,” and “I of Cephas,” and “I of Christ.” Has Christ been divided? Paul was not crucified for you, was he? Or were you baptized in the name of Paul? I thank God that I baptized none of you except Crispus and Gaius, so that no one would say you were baptized in my name.

1 Cor. 1:12-15.

Add specific references to the Pauline, Apollos, and Cephas factions in the Corinthian church in both letters combined with the context of church division and an explicit reference to a letter Paul had sent to the Corinthian church, and the case is made. In the words of the Oxford Society of Historical Theology,

It cannot be doubted that this passage refers to the First Epistle to the Corinthians; the references to Cephas and Apollos and the trouble in the Church seem to make this plain, and the conclusion is borne out by actual quotations from the Epistle.

The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers, page 41. This conclusion has been confirmed again and again by detailed examinations of Clement’s reliance on Paul’s letters. Hagner, op. cit., page 195 (“It is certain that Clement here refers to 1 Cor. 1.10ff.”), Albert Barnett, Paul Becomes a Literary Influence, page 99 (finding it “a matter of practical certainty” that Clement relies on 1 Cor. 1:11-13), Edouard Massaux, The Influence of the Gospel of Saint Matthew, page 40 (“Clement of Rome informs us himself that he knows at least one of the letters of St. Paul....”), Andrew F. Gregory, “1 Clement and the Writings that later formed the New Testament,” in The Reception of the New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers, eds. Andrew Gregory and Christopher Tuckett, page 144 (“Such clear testimony to 1 Corinthians means that this conclusion is secure....”).

An important implication of Clement's explicit reference to the above Corinthian passage is that Clement considers Paul’s letter so well-known and so authoritative that he directs another church to it in order to resolve their dispute. “It shows that Clement considered it to be self-evident that he should make use of Paul’s letter in support of his own argument; that he assumed that the letter Paul sent from forty years before is still available in the Corinthian Church; and that he saw no reason to comment on the fact that a copy of the letter already existed in Rome.” Gregory, op. cit., page 145-46. In other words, Paul was an important figure and his correspondence was considered authoritative beyond their church of destination.

Another important implication of this analysis is that the overwhelming evidence of dependence on 1 Corinthians “strengthens the likelihood” of other instances of Clement’s use of 1 Corinthians. Id. at 145. Space and time constraints prohibit a detailed examination of further examples in this post, but one and usually more of the studies referenced above also rate the following instances of dependence as certain or highly probable: 1 Cor. 12:12, 14 (1 Clem. 37:5-38.2), 1 Cor. 13:4-7 (1 Clem. 49.5), 1 Cor. 15:20, 23 (1 Clem. 24.1), 1 Cor. 15:36-37 (1 Clem. 24:4-5), 1 Cor. 1:31 (1 Clem. 13:1), 1 Cor. 2:9 (1 Clem. 34:8), 1 Cor. 13 (1 Clem 49:5). Additional correlations are considered reasonably probable.

All told, the case for 1 Clement's use of 1 Corinthians is overwhelming.

21 comments:

Very odd that he stops looking for parallels after chapter 21.

I just noticed another interesting possibility: the author of 1 Clement might very well know Acts. Look how he describes the three people that converts in Corinth were forming parties around:

"ye were partisans of Apostles that were highly reputed, and of a man approved in their sight"

Now the apostles can only be Peter and Paul, whom he already referred to as such. So Apollos must be this "man approved in their sight." This description of Apollos is not found in Paul's letters, but it does match the description given in Acts 18:24-28. Since he had not seen either the earthly or the risen Lord, he would not have been called an apostle. But according to Acts he was certainly approved by the apostles for his knowledge of Scripture and debating prowess with the Jews.

Another possibility is that, whether Clement knew Acts or not, the memories of Apollos upon which Luke also based his account were preserved in Achaia (Greece) down to the time of Clement. But if Clement is writing from Rome, it makes more sense that Clement had heard of Apollos from another source, unless he had had extensive contact with the Corinthian church. This source might well have been Acts.

Intriguing possibility, but I don't see anything in Acts 18:24-28 that says that the apostles approved him in their sight.

I think a simpler view is that the information came from 1 Clement's informant about the contemporary situation in Corinth, which the letter addresses.

OK
Let me explain how I seriously screwed up:

My internet service was crapping out for a couple of nights. As you already know, I've been studying Tübingen et al lately . . . .
My mind was burning with the question:
"Dammit, DID Clement and Ignatius quote Paul's letters??"
That's when I had the idea: 'Why don't I go look for myself? I have hard copies of the texts on my shelf . . . . I can do this! . . . "

The problem is that, while I have a bunch of different translations of the NT to consult, I only have one translation of 1 Clement and of the Ignatians. Unfortunately, the translation of 1 Clement that I have comes from the Codex Alexandrinus, which I now realize (my internet is working fine again) had a big chunk missing. Had my internet been working (and had I been a tad less manic), I'm sure I would have reached for Early Christian Writings first, like I always do.

Since posting I have done some further reading and I acknowledge the Syrian manuscripts and the couple of others that surfaced after it. (this also explains why the letter felt so much shorter than I remember it (read maybe ten years ago)

Therefore, allow me to apologize for the severity of my insistence in my post.
I assure you that I was not guided by rancor. The text I was looking at really was this incomplete version in the Alexandrinus, which contains no explicit appeals to "the epistle." I could not see any explicit mentions because there simply aren't any there. I hope that you at least recognize the source of my blunder as such.
As you predicted in your response, my enthusiasm did get the best of me in this case, and I sincerely beg your pardon.

As far as the standards that I used (just to answer your curiosity) . . . I compared and contrasted the relevant verses with an emphasis on how closely the phrasing of the ideas are followed from the NT. Most things I found are just thematic similarities (e.g. "be kind to each other"—"ye who are proud"—etc) seem to me to be just general aphoristic exhortations or affirmations. In a couple of places there does seem to be bits of phrases that call one or another of the epistles to mind ("better to give that to receive"), but I only coded in green those verses where I see an undeniable allusion to an epistle.

peace for now
still learning . . .

Ó

Quixie,

Apology accepted. We all have so much to learn in this contested field.

However, according to Kirsopp Lake and the Handbook on Patrology, the Alexandrian manuscript is not missing a 'huge chunk', only two sections, from chs. 57 and 62 respectively. See here:

http://www.earlychristianwritings.com/tixeront/section1-1.html#1clement

The section containing the explicit reference is in ch.47, which is not missing from any of our manuscripts, as far as I can tell (here's your turn to correct me if I'm wrong!). However, since I'm not sure what exactly the roman numerals refer to in the patrology handbook, I'm going to look up the most recent critical discussions in Holmes and Ehrman to see what exactly was supposed to be missing.

This is essentially what I was looking at.
Just compare it with the Lightfoot translation; it'll become instantly clear that the chapter/verse scheme is different.

Lightfoot condenses the first four Wake verses into a prelude and a single verse, for instance. Some of his chapters are much shorter. The different numbering schemes are so different, that by the time we get to what was Wake's chapter 21:4–6 (the strongest NT parallel in this codex, IMO, for what it's worth), it coincides with Lightfoot's chapter 49:5–6.

The missing chunk turns out to be about a tenth (9.65% by my word count calculation) of the total length of the work, by the way. That's a pretty significant fraction, I'd say.

Found it!

It's wake 20:20.

I concede: The author of this epistle knew about 1 Cor. in some written form.

Where before I thought that it was a writing of the second century that didn't really allude to any Gospel except Corinthians . . . . now . . . . . wait . . . I still think it's a second century pseudonymous work which only really knows (explicitly) Corinthians. Except now I KNOW that it mentions Corinthians. (laughs)

That's the thing. The only way that Clement and Ignatius make any sense to me are as forgeries with a pastoral function. If the word "forgery" bothers, then think "pseudonymity as rhetorical muscle."

So far . . . that makes more sense to me than the official story.

:)

Quixie,

In what sense do you consider 1 Clement to be a pseudonomous work? It never claims to be written by Clement or any other well known Christian leader.

It seems your anti-Christian devotions are out in front of your knowledge in this area. Perhaps you should do more -- and broader -- research and then come to more informed conclusions.

Layman: "In what sense do you consider 1 Clement to be a pseudonomous work? It never claims to be written by Clement or any other well known Christian leader. "

Q:In the same sense that I consider the synoptic gospels to be "pseudonymous." The phrasing might not be semantically correct, as they are literally "anonymous" works—perhaps the word "eponymous" is a better choice?
(Such fastidious nitpicking would have had more sting had you spelled the word in question correctly. ;)

The early allusions to what we now know as 1Clement don't ascribe authorship to Clement.
Dyonisius of Corinth refers to Clement as an amanuensis (like Onesimus) and Iraneus (Adv. Her. iii 3.3) only says it was written in Clement's time.
By the time Clement of Alexandria and Origen and Eusebius, the epistle was unhesitatingly ascribed to him. This "pseudonymous" state of the work stuck, and remains to this day (though admittedly not universally since the advent of historical-critical method).

Layman: "It seems your anti-Christian devotions are out in front of your knowledge in this area. Perhaps you should do more -- and broader -- research and then come to more informed conclusions."

Q: I'm down with that. Isn't that what we are all striving for?
:)
I reject the notion that I am somehow "anti"-christian in my devotions, though. That's just silly.

I admit that I am irreverent, and that theological concerns never enter into my reading of the materials. Ever. But "anti-christian" implies much more.

I doubt that you believe that an angel named Moroni wrote the collection we know as the LDS scriptures (correct me if I'm wrong). You probably have good reasons for doubting its mythical provenance (I have my own).
Does that make you anti-mormon?

Ó

Quixie wrote:

"In the same sense that I consider the synoptic gospels to be 'pseudonymous.' The phrasing might not be semantically correct, as they are literally 'anonymous' works—perhaps the word 'eponymous' is a better choice?"

The author of Acts, who seems to be the same person who wrote Luke, identifies himself as a companion of Paul (Acts 16:11). John's gospel claims to come from an eyewitness of Jesus (John 21:24). Even without author names, we would have some significant information about how the authors identified themselves.

But it's highly likely that all four gospels did have an author's name attached from the start. There would be multiple ways of associating an author's name with a document. In addition to an oral report about who wrote a document, a name could be attached by means of a title or label, for example.

Tertullian wrote:

"Marcion, on the other hand, you must know, ascribes no author to his Gospel, as if it could not be allowed him to affix a title to that from which it was no crime (in his eyes) to subvert the very body. And here I might now make a stand, and contend that a work ought not to be recognised, which holds not its head erect, which exhibits no consistency, which gives no promise of credibility from the fulness of its title and the just profession of its author." (Against Marcion, 4:2)

Tertullian was born around the middle of the second century and became a Christian later in that century. Apparently, he thought it was normal for a document, including a gospel, to identify its author in some manner.

(continued in next post due to Blogger space limitations)

And the traditional gospel authorship attributions are widely attested early on. We have testimony from sources representing a wide diversity of locations, personalities, theologies, etc. Multiple heretical, Jewish, and pagan sources corroborate the traditional attributions in some manner. See here. We know that both the early Christians and their early enemies were willing to question document attributions and discuss such controversies publicly, as we see with 2 Peter and Revelation, for example. Do you realize that such evidence is far better than what we have for non-Christian documents whose authorship attributions are commonly accepted?

Here's some of the other relevant evidence:

"All four Gospels are anonymous in the formal sense that the author's name does not appear in the text of the work itself, only in the title (which we will discuss below). But this does not mean that they were intentionally anonymous. Many ancient works were anonymous in the same formal sense, and the name may not even appear in the surviving title of the work. For example, this is true of Lucian's Life of Demonax (Demonactos bios), which as a bios (ancient biography) is generically comparable with the Gospels. Yet Lucian speaks throughout in the first person and obviously expects his readers to know who he is. Such works would often have been circulated in the first instance among friends or acquaintances of the author who would know who the author was from the oral context in which the work was first read. Knowledge of authorship would be passed on when copies were made for other readers, and the name would be noted, with a brief title, on the outside of the scroll or on a label affixed to the scroll. In denying that the Gospels were originally anonymous, our intention is to deny that they were first presented as works without authors. The clearest case is Luke because of the dedication of the work to Theophilus (1:3), probably a patron. It is inconceivable that a work with a named dedicatee should have been anonymous. The author's name may have featured in an original title, but in any case would have been known to the dedicatee and other first readers because the author would have presented the book to the dedicatee....In the first century CE, most authors gave their books titles, but the practice was not universal....Whether or not any of these titles originate from the authors themselves, the need for titles that distinguished one Gospel from another would arise as soon as any Christian community had copies of more than one in its library and was reading more than one in its worship meetings....In the case of codices, 'labels appeared on all possible surfaces: edges, covers, and spines.' In this sense also, therefore, Gospels would not have been anonymous when they first circulated around the churches. A church receiving its first copy of one such would have received with it information, at least in oral form, about its authorship and then used its author's name when labeling the book and when reading from it in worship....no evidence exists that these Gospels were ever known by other names." (Richard Bauckham, Jesus And The Eyewitnesses [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Eerdmans, 2006], pp. 300-301, 303)

(continued in next post due to Blogger space limitations)

"Nevertheless the fact remains that it is utterly improbable that in this dark period, at a particular place or through a person or through the decision of a group or institution unknown to us, the four superscriptions of the Gospels, which had hitherto been circulating anonymously, suddenly came into being and, without leaving behind traces of earlier divergent titles, became established throughout the church. Let those who deny the great age and therefore basically the originality of the Gospel superscriptions in order to preserve their 'good' critical conscience, give a better explanation of the completely unanimous and relatively early attestation of these titles, their origin and the names of authors associated with them. Such an explanation has yet to be given, and it never will be. New Testament scholars persistently overlook basic facts and questions on the basis of old habits....Another comment on the name Matthew: apart from the first Gospel, to which he gives his name, Matthew plays no role in primitive Christianity. He appears only in the lists of apostles. He is only mentioned rather more frequently at a substantially later date in apocryphal writings on the basis of the unique success of the Gospel named after him. That makes it utterly improbable that the name of the apostle was attached to the Gospel only at a secondary stage, in the first decades of the second century, somewhere in the Roman empire, and that this essentially later nomenclature then established itself everywhere without opposition. How could people have arrived at this name for an anonymous Gospel in the second century, and how then would it have gained general recognition?...the First Gospel [Matthew] already established itself quickly and tenaciously in the church at the beginning of the second century...this writing [the gospel of Mark], quite novel in earliest Christianity, managed to establish itself in the communities and to be used extensively by such self-confident authors as Luke and the author of the First Gospel - in the case of Matthew around eighty percent and of Luke more than sixty percent - only because a recognized authority and not an anonymous Gentile Christian, i.e. a Mr. Nobody in the church, stood behind it....Therefore nothing has led research into the Gospels so astray as the romantic superstition involving anonymous theologically creative community collectives, which are supposed to have drafted whole writings." (Martin Hengel, The Four Gospels And The One Gospel Of Jesus Christ [Harrisburg, Pennsylvania: Trinity Press International, 2000], pp. 55, 71-72, 80-81)

Quixie wrote:

"Dyonisius of Corinth refers to Clement as an amanuensis (like Onesimus) and Iraneus (Adv. Her. iii 3.3) only says it was written in Clement's time."

Even if we accepted your characterizations of what those men said, their comments would be consistent with authorship by Clement of Rome. And it's not as though the significance of First Clement's use of 1 Corinthians depends on Clementine authorship. The Roman church's testimony is significant even if Clement didn't write the document.

Dionysius refers to the document as "the earlier letter Clement wrote on your [the Roman church's] behalf" (Paul Maier, Eusebius - The Church History [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 1999], p. 159). Even the translation you cited refers to "the former one you sent us written through Clement". The epistle was written through Clement, not sent through him. Do you want to suggest that he wrote the letter while disagreeing with it in some significant manner? Is that the sort of reasoning you apply to historical documents in general, not just Christian ones?

The other sources who affirm Clementine authorship don't suggest that there's any controversy about the matter. They do mention controversies over other document attributions, but they don't mention any regarding First Clement. Jerome mentions the disputed nature of Second Clement, but doesn't mention such a dispute over First Clement (Lives Of Illustrious Men, 15). Why are we supposed to doubt the attribution of First Clement to Clement of Rome, then?

Quixie wrote:

"Where before I thought that it was a writing of the second century that didn't really allude to any Gospel except Corinthians . . . . now . . . . . wait . . . I still think it's a second century pseudonymous work which only really knows (explicitly) Corinthians. Except now I KNOW that it mentions Corinthians."

Why would the alleged lack of references to New Testament documents suggest a later date for the document? And why should we expect all references to the New Testament to be "explicit"? It's not as though we would expect Clement to be writing with the aim of making explicit references to New Testament documents. Clement's use of Hebrews, for example, is highly probable, even if you don't think the references are "explicit" (William Lane, Hebrews 1-8 [Nashville, Tennessee: Thomas Nelson, 1991], cli-clii).

Do you realize that the early dating and authorship attributions of the New Testament documents are supported by far more than sources like First Clement and the letters of Ignatius? In addition to the other early patristic sources whose writings are extant, we have many references to non-extant documents from the same period from a wide variety of sources (Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Origen, etc.). Some of those non-extant sources are described as having affirmed the traditional view of the New Testament documents in some way. Irenaeus refers to heretical corroboration of the authorship of the gospels. Eusebius refers to Quadratus' use of the gospels. Etc. Do you think all such sources were mistaken or lying?

Would you take the same approach with something like the Annals of Tacitus? Would you demand that all references to the Annals be "explicit"? Would you assume, on the same sort of weak basis on which you've made such assumptions about Christian documents, that the documents supporting the traditional view of Tacitus' Annals were "forgeries", "pseudonymous", etc.?

Do you realize that even somebody like the liberal Jesus Seminar scholar Clayton Jefford will disagree with your theories (The Apostolic Fathers And The New Testament [Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006])? You're to the left of the left.

Engwer: "The author of Acts, who seems to be the same person who wrote Luke, identifies himself as a companion of Paul (Acts 16:11)."

Q: The key word there is "seems." I highly recommend the work of scholars, Joe Tyson, Richard Pervo, and David Trobisch regarding Luke/Acts. It challenges that presupposition quite well.

Engwer: "John's gospel claims to come from an eyewitness of Jesus (John 21:24). "

Q: Sure, which is why I carefully said "the synoptics."
(Respond to what I say, please, not to some archetypal "atheist paper doll" image you may have of me.)

Engwer: "Even without author names, we would have some significant information about how the authors identified themselves."

Q:
We know how the earliest codices did it. The four canonicals were bound together and called simply 'The Gospel.' The seperate parts were headed: “According to . . . “ each of the names we know.

OK. Listen guys . . .
I came here because I was looking for something specific (i.e. a detailed critique of the Dutch Radicals). Due to a technical difficulty I made a stupid mistake, and I stood corrected when I realized this. I’ve been exposed to a whole bunch of literature in the process, so, the way I figure it, it wasn’t a total loss.
But I have no intention of becoming a paper-doll adversary that gets pelted with conjectural “possibility” apologetics (. . . ‘it’s possible, therefore, it’s what likely happened.’ . . .), especially when it comes in thousands-word packets at a time (a good portion of which are irrelevant to what I even said, or are downright strawmen).

I considered just dropping out of this whole thing, but I have to at least address the long-winded meandering Mr. Engwer's characterization. It's a fine example of meandering bafflegab.

Engwer: "And it's not as though the significance of First Clement's use of 1 Corinthians depends on Clementine authorship. The Roman church's testimony is significant even if Clement didn't write the document."

Sure, I agree with all that. . . . if 1Clement really is a late first-century document, then it shows that Corinthians is attested to in 96. But if instead 1Clement is a catholicizing epistle that dates from the 2nd century (as the Dutch Radicals maintained and made cogent arguments for) then it means that in the middle of the 2nd century, the ONLY attested (mere thematic allusions are one thing, and useful, to be sure, but we need more in order to prove a relationship historically) epistle of the apostle Paul was 1st Corinthians. ( see *** below)

Clement at least knows of a Paul. Justin of Neapolis has no clue about him, apparently, even when Paul's corpus is full of stuff Justin could have appealed to. I find that a fascinating dilemma.

(continued below)

(continued from above)

Engwer:Dionysius refers to the document as "the earlier letter Clement wrote on your [the Roman church's] behalf" (Paul Maier, Eusebius - The Church History [Grand Rapids, Michigan: Kregel Publications, 1999], p. 159). Even the translation you cited refers to "the former one you sent us written through Clement". The epistle was written through Clement, not sent through him.

Q: What Dyonisius said, sir, was :
"την σημερον ουν κυριακην αγιαν ημεραν διηγαγομεν, εν η ανεγνωμεν υμων την επιστολην, εν εξομεν αει ποτε αναγινωσκοντες νουθετεισθαι, ως και την προτεραν ημιν δια Κλημεντος γραφεσαν."
(Eusebius Eccl. Hist. iv 31.13)

"Today, we have kept the Lord's day as a holy day, and on it have read your epistle, which we shall always read for our instruction, and also the former letter which you wrote by the hand of Clement." —" δια Κλημεντος "


Compare with Colossians "δια Τυχικου και Ονησιμου" — "by the hand of Tychicus and Onesimus"

Compare also with Ephesians "δια Τυχικου" — "by the hand of Tychicus"

So, unless you are going to argue for authentic Pauline authorship of both Colossians and Ephesians (I wouldn't advise it), you would be textually unsupported in insisting that the expression means anything else in Dyonisus than what it means in Colossians and Ephesians, namely that Clement was the scribe (the amanuensis for those of you who like big scholarly words.) This is a bigger problem than you obviously realize.

Engwer: "Do you want to suggest that he wrote the letter while disagreeing with it in some significant manner? Is that the sort of reasoning you apply to historical documents in general, not just Christian ones?”

Never once did I say or even imply this. I reject this crap being put in my mouth, thank you very much.
Again, respond to what someone says, not to some inferred presumption in your own head that fits the typical/stereotype debate rival you imagine him to be.

Continuing . . .

Engwer: "Why would the alleged lack of references to New Testament documents suggest a later date for the document? And why should we expect all references to the New Testament to be "explicit"? It's not as though we would expect Clement to be writing with the aim of making explicit references to New Testament documents. Clement's use of Hebrews, for example, is highly probable, even if you don't think the references are "explicit"."

Q: First of all, my focus is Paul . . . not the NT in this case. Stay on focus, please.
Second *** . . . unfortunately, it is only through the use of direct quotations and substantive allusions that a textual relationship can be confirmed historically. You may be right about the probability of the use of Hebrews, but since there are none of the verbatims in it, it can only be a working theory. The issue is not whether 1st Corinthians (or any other work) is mentioned in 1Clement. The issue is when did it first come into being?

(continued below)

(continued from above)

Engwer: "Do you realize that the early dating and authorship attributions of the New Testament documents are supported by far more than sources like First Clement and the letters of Ignatius? In addition to the other early patristic sources whose writings are extant, we have many references to non-extant documents from the same period from a wide variety of sources (Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Origen, etc.). Some of those non-extant sources are described as having affirmed the traditional view of the New Testament documents in some way. Irenaeus refers to heretical corroboration of the authorship of the gospels. Eusebius refers to Quadratus' use of the gospels. Etc. Do you think all such sources were mistaken or lying?"

Q: Stay on focus, please. That sentence is nothing but an irrelevant rambling with no relation to Clement as a forgery (I mean, "pseudonymous for rhetorical muscle" :)

Engwer: "Would you take the same approach with something like the Annals of Tacitus? Would you demand that all references to the Annals be "explicit"?"

Q: Yes, if I was trying to determine whether Tacitus had used a specific written source, I would most certainly use the same approach as I use for these texts. I would compare and contrast them for textual and thematic correspondences. The point is not "Was Tacitus' sources frauds?" . . . but "Did Tacitus use X *where X is any given source), specifically? "
No judgement call . . . just the facts, maam. :)

Engwer:"Do you realize that even somebody like the liberal Jesus Seminar scholar Clayton Jefford will disagree with your theories (The Apostolic Fathers And The New Testament [Peabody, Massachusetts: Hendrickson Publishers, 2006])? You're to the left of the left"

Q: Really?
Oh my!

- - - - - - - - - -

Okay, I'm gonna leave it at that. I will unsubscribe to the original post now, because I don't fancy hanging around and being the only lion in a den of lambs. Do your worst, I won't respond. It's fun for a bit, but I'm not like you guys. You guys do this arguing stuff every day. Who needs that?

I'd like to thank the keeper(s) of the blog for keeping it and Mr JD specifically for his graciousness.

Peace be with the lot of you.

poof!

Ó

Quixie wrote:

"I highly recommend the work of scholars, Joe Tyson, Richard Pervo, and David Trobisch regarding Luke/Acts. It challenges that presupposition quite well."

What "presupposition" is involved in interpreting "we" in Acts 16:11 as I've interpreted it? I'm familiar with attempts to explain the language in some other manner, but my suggested reading is the most natural one. I'm taking "we" as it would normally be taken.

You don't tell us what you find convincing in the sources you name, but the author of the first post in this thread, Chris Price, has addressed this issue and others pertaining to Acts in depth. He discusses some of the claims of Richard Pervo. See here.

You write:

"But I have no intention of becoming a paper-doll adversary that gets pelted with conjectural 'possibility' apologetics (. . . ‘it’s possible, therefore, it’s what likely happened.’ . . .)"

I didn't suggest that something is likely because it's possible. And I was responding to comments you made. You chose to raise the issue of whether First Clement refers to "any Gospel except Corinthians". You chose to refer to the alleged anonymity of New Testament documents. You've been commenting on a lot of subjects. And you're not the only person reading this thread. What you refer to as "some archetypal 'atheist paper doll' image" is what many critics of Christianity do argue, so I have reason to post the sort of material I did for the benefit of other readers, even if you're not interested.

You write:

"But if instead 1Clement is a catholicizing epistle that dates from the 2nd century (as the Dutch Radicals maintained and made cogent arguments for) then it means that in the middle of the 2nd century, the ONLY attested (mere thematic allusions are one thing, and useful, to be sure, but we need more in order to prove a relationship historically) epistle of the apostle Paul was 1st Corinthians."

A vague reference to "cogent arguments" doesn't tell us much. And I was responding to what you said about the authorship of First Clement. You went into some detail about the authorship of the document, but you didn't give us any reason to date the document to the second century.

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You write:

"Justin of Neapolis has no clue about him, apparently, even when Paul's corpus is full of stuff Justin could have appealed to. I find that a fascinating dilemma."

As Layman said, you ought to do more research. There are many New Testament documents that Justin doesn't use much or at all. He doesn't use the gospel of John nearly as much as he uses the other three gospels, for example. He could use Paul's letters less than other documents without the implication you seem to be drawing from that fact.

Quotations of Paul's letters aren't the only issue that's relevant here. Allusions would be relevant as well. See, for example, the scripture index in Michael Slusser's edition of Justin's Dialogue With Trypho (Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University Of America Press, 2003). Oskar Skarsaune writes:

"There is no reason to doubt that Justin made extensive use of Paul's letters, especially Romans and Galatians....Justin can be shown to have borrowed many of Paul's quotations directly from him, as well as some of Paul's expositions." (in Sara Parvis and Paul Foster, edd., Justin Martyr And His Worlds [Minneapolis, Minnesota: Fortress Press, 2007]. p. 74)

See, also, the notes for Skarsaune's comments on that page, which give examples and further documentation.

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You write:

"So, unless you are going to argue for authentic Pauline authorship of both Colossians and Ephesians (I wouldn't advise it), you would be textually unsupported in insisting that the expression means anything else in Dyonisus than what it means in Colossians and Ephesians, namely that Clement was the scribe (the amanuensis for those of you who like big scholarly words.) This is a bigger problem than you obviously realize."

I quoted what Dionysius said from two different translations, and I added, in brackets, a reference to the Roman church as the source for whom Clement was writing. For you to act as if I was denying that Clement was writing on behalf of another entity, namely the Roman church, is ridiculous. The term "author" doesn't exclude scribes. Different scribes had different roles, depending on the context. The letter, in this case, is written in the name of the church of Rome, which includes Clement. There's nothing wrong with referring to Clement as the author of First Clement, especially if the reference is coming from somebody who has acknowledged that Clement was writing on behalf of the Roman church, as I did.

How does any of this significantly advance your position? The fact that Clement was writing on behalf of the Roman church as a whole doesn't suggest that the document was "pseudonymous". It's not as if the men who associated the document with Clement were unaware of the opening of the document, which refers to itself as coming from the church of Rome. And how would an alleged error on the part of those later sources diminish the significance of First Clement's witness to Paul?

You write:

"First of all, my focus is Paul . . . not the NT in this case. Stay on focus, please."

You didn't limit your comments to Paul. You also referred to "any Gospel except Corinthians" and "the synoptic gospels".

You write:

"That sentence is nothing but an irrelevant rambling with no relation to Clement as a forgery (I mean, 'pseudonymous for rhetorical muscle' :)"

Whether Clement was "a forgery", a claim you still haven't justified, isn't the only issue relevant to this thread. That's why you've referred to Ignatius, for example. If you can refer to other historical sources, why can't I? Other sources, like the ones I cited, tell us how significant the testimony of First Clement is. Even if First Clement didn't refer to any of the writings of Paul, we would still have a large number and diversity of credible sources who do refer to his letters.

You write:

"I will unsubscribe to the original post now, because I don't fancy hanging around and being the only lion in a den of lambs."

Yes, the "lion" who had to apologize in his initial post, because he "seriously screwed up". The "lion" whose views are so unconvincing that even the vast majority of other liberals and critics of Christianity reject them. The "lion" who repeatedly makes historical assertions he doesn't support. The "lion" who keeps shifting his terminology from "pseudonymous" to "anonymous" to "forgery" to "eponymous" or whatever other term he wants to use at a given moment. The "lion" who couldn't defend his claim that the synoptics were anonymous. The "lion" who makes vague references to alleged "cogent arguments" of "the Dutch Radicals", or makes vague references to authors who have written on Acts, without providing any specific arguments.

Re: the references to Joe Tyson, Richard Pervo, and David Trobisch reads like a response from someone in over his head. I am not impressed that Quixie can recite a recommended reading list provided by Robert Price. There is an impressive body of work discussing the genre of Luke and Acts, from varying perspectives:

Jacob Jervell, “The future of the Past,” in History Literature and Society in the Book of Acts, ed. Ben Witherington, pages 103-28.

Darryl W. Palmer, “Acts and the Ancient Historical Monograph,” in The Book of Acts in its Ancient Literary Setting, eds. Bruce W. Winter and Andrew D. Clarke.

W. Ward Gasque, “A Fruitful Field, Recent Study of the Acts of the Apostles,” Interpretations 42.04 (1998).

C.H. Talbert, Acts.

David L. Balch, “The Genre of Luke-Acts,” SWJT, Vol. 33 (Fall 1990).

Loveday Alexander, “Luke's preface in the context of Greek preface-writing,” Novum Testamentum, 28 no 1 Ja 1986, pages 48-74.

Sean A. Adams, “Luke’s Preface and its Relationship to Greek Historiography: A Response to Loveday Alexander,” JGRCh. J 3 (2006).

Gregory E. Sterling, Historiography and Self-Definition.

A number of scholars have responded directly the idea that Acts is related to historical fiction or ancient novels: David A. Aune, The New Testament in Its Literary Environment; F.F. Bruce, The Acts of the Apostles; Ben Witherington, A Socio Rhetorical Commentary on the Acts of the Apostles; John Polhill, Acts; Stanley Porter, Paul in Acts; William F. Brosend, II, “The Means of Absent Ends,” in History, Literature and Society in the Book of Acts; Douglas F. Huffman, “Review,” Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society, 40.1 (1997); Marion L. Soards, Journal of the American Academy of Religion 58.2 (Summer 1990), pages 307-10.

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