Trajectories through the New Testament and the Apostolic Fathers

By Andrew F. Gregory; Christopher M. Tuckett | Go to book overview

1
Paul’s Influence on ‘Clement’ and Ignatius

Andreas Lindemann

The writings of the early Christian authors called ‘Apostolic Fathers’ are different from most of the New Testament texts written during the last decades of the first century and the early decades of the second century: the authors do not hide their identities behind pseudonyms such as ‘Paul’ or ‘Peter’ or ‘James’. Rather, they try to convince their addressees not by using the authority of famous persons of the past but by the strength of their own theological argumentation. But often they refer to biblical and apostolic authorities, especially to the apostle Paul, as support for their arguments. Since in my view the most important texts in the corpus of the ‘Apostolic Fathers’ are the First Letter of Clement and the seven letters of Ignatius, bishop (

) of Antioch, I will restrict my short study to these writings.


I

1. The epistle usually called First Clement1 was written by the church of Rome (

)and was sent to the church of Corinth ().2 With regard to the dating of 1 Clement, the last years of the 90s CE can be assumed as most likely.3 In this letter to Corinth, the Roman church does not claim any

1 1 Clement does not mention the name of its author but certainly the Roman Christian community did not write it ‘collectively’.

2 The Greek text is taken from A. Lindemann and H. Paulsen (eds.), Die Apostolischen Väter: Griechisch-deutsche Parallelausgabe auf der Grundlage der Ausgaben von F. X. Funk/K. Bihlmeyer und M. Whittaker, mit Übersetzungen von M. Dibelius und D.-A. Koch (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1992).

3 Cf. A. Lindemann, Die Clemensbriefe, HNT 17 (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 1992), 12: ‘Eine Datierung des 1 Clem [before 100 CE] wird am ehesten durch die Analyse der vorausgesetzten Kirchenstruktur ermöglicht.’ There is no allusion to any persecution of Christians by Domitian, as has often been argued; cf. L. L. Welborn, ‘The Preface to 1 Clement: The Rhetorical Situation and the Traditional Date’, in C. Breytenbach and L. L.Welborn (eds.), Encounters with Hellenism:

-9-

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