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Thread: St. Clement's First Letter to the Corinthians

  1. #91

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    The epistle that is commonly called First Clement actually never claims to have been written by Clement. It is the Epistle from the Church at Rome to the Church at Corinth.

    I don't doubt that Clement was involved in writing it, perhaps even the main author. But he was probably not the same Clement as that mentioned in Philippians (see Lightfoot's thorough discussion of this). Clement was a very common name at that time. And he certainly wasn't the bishop of Rome. He might have been (I think probably was) a bishop in a church at Rome. But, as the letter itself proves, there was no such thing as a single bishop over all of Rome at that time. First Clement uses the terms "bishop" and "elder" interchangeably, and indicates that there are a plurality of them at both Rome and Corinth at the time it was written. Monarchical bishops (i.e. one bishop for a whole city) didn't exist yet when 1 Clement was written, at least not in the churches concerning which that letter provides evidence.

    The tradition that Clement was a monarchical bishop of Rome derives from later Christian authors who anachronistically read back the church leadership model that they knew from their own time back on that earlier period.



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  3. #92

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    In Chapter 9 of this first century Epistle by the Bishop of the capital of the Roman Empire, he clearly repeats the commandment given by the Lord and carried down by the Saints, namely, to "submit ourselves to His excellent and glorious will, and, becoming suppliants of His mercy and goodness, let us fall before Him and betake ourselves to His mercies".

    Again, he clearly demonstrated the apostolic doctrine of synergism, whereby we must submit to His will so that we may receive mercy, that by falling before Him in repentance, we may "betake" of His mercies.

    Then referring to Enoch, who he includes in those who have "ministered with perfectness to His excellent glory", that by such faithful works, he was "found just by reason of obedience". For those who do His will by their own volition and will are found just and are glorified, and being perfected by God, was translated and did not find death.

    So too, he mentions another great Prophet of God, namely Noah, who by his ministry, preached the regeneration of the world and by him (Noah) "God preserved the animals that entered with one consent into the ark."

    Again, we find that these God-bearing saints were the vessels of change and hope in the world, and that even the animals which were saved in the floods entered into salvation not forcefully, but willingly, "with one consent", demonstrating that even the wild beasts when they will to consent and obey God's calling, find salvation.
    Last edited by TER; 11-26-2016 at 10:14 AM.
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    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  4. #93

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superfluous Man View Post
    The epistle that is commonly called First Clement actually never claims to have been written by Clement. It is the Epistle from the Church at Rome to the Church at Corinth.

    I don't doubt that Clement was involved in writing it, perhaps even the main author. But he was probably not the same Clement as that mentioned in Philippians (see Lightfoot's thorough discussion of this). Clement was a very common name at that time. And he certainly wasn't the bishop of Rome. He might have been (I think probably was) a bishop in a church at Rome. But, as the letter itself proves, there was no such thing as a single bishop over all of Rome at that time. First Clement uses the terms "bishop" and "elder" interchangeably, and indicates that there are a plurality of them at both Rome and Corinth at the time it was written. Monarchical bishops (i.e. one bishop for a whole city) didn't exist yet when 1 Clement was written, at least not in the churches concerning which that letter provides evidence.

    The tradition that Clement was a monarchical bishop of Rome derives from later Christian authors who anachronistically read back the church leadership model that they knew from their own time back on that earlier period.
    So you say, but wiser men than you, living in times long ago and closer to the first century (using whatever sources and documents they possessed which we do not have any longer) say differently.

    I chose the Saints over the Superfluous Man.
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    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  5. #94

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    Quote Originally Posted by TER View Post
    So you say, but wiser men than you, living in times long ago and closer to the first century (using whatever sources and documents they possessed which we do not have any longer) say differently.

    I chose the Saints over the Superfluous Man.
    No you don't. You choose much later people over the very author of the letter you're discussing. Why do you trust your own brain concerning the situation of the churches mentioned in 1 Clement, rather than what that epistle itself says?

  6. #95

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superfluous Man View Post
    No you don't. You choose much later people over the very author of the letter you're discussing. Why do you trust your own brain concerning the situation of the churches mentioned in 1 Clement, rather than what that epistle itself says?
    I don't trust my brain to be the authority on truth, especially when it goes against what Saints have taught through illumination by God. Especially so when the body of the faithful, namely the Church, proclaim such things as true. I simply don't consider myself or my brain to be that great.

    I am not trying to formulate my own faith or church. I am trying to mold my mind to the faith handed down by the Church Christ established on earth.

    But the funny thing is how you question whether Clement wrote the Epistle because he didn't specifically name himself, as if that would have made that much of a difference to you. Meanwhile, you ignore the rest of the verses and teachings and cling onto such things so that you can justify why you don't believe the same things the Church in Rome in the first century did (the home of the greatest martyrs).
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    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  7. #96

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    Quote Originally Posted by TER View Post
    I don't trust my brain to be the authority on truth
    Yes you do.

    Quote Originally Posted by TER View Post
    especially when it goes against what Saints have taught through illumination by God. Especially so when the body of the faithful, namely the Church, proclaim such things as true.
    How are you even capable of knowing what the saints and Church proclaim?

    If you need them to interpret what First Clement says, and what the Bible says, then you must need another interpreter to interpret for you what they say. And then you also won't be able to understand that other interpreter unless you have someone interpret them to you as well. Ad infinitum.

    This is what you're left with when you take this view that texts don't have objective meanings that you are capable of understanding without additional interpreters.

    In the case at hand, you positively reject the testimony of First Clement concerning the churches it talks about in favor of things that you think later writers say (according to your personal interpretation of those later writers).
    Last edited by Superfluous Man; 11-26-2016 at 10:27 AM.

  8. #97

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superfluous Man View Post
    Yes you do.
    To a degree, yes. But when a Church of great brains inspired by the Holy Spirit of God teach things which speak something different, I cast away my radical thoughts and submit to their authority over my limited brain and the limited knowledge, experience and resources I have which have shaped my brain.

    After all, the Scriptures and the Apostles do not teach that our brains are the pillar and foundation of the truth, but rather, that the Church is.
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    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  9. #98

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    Quote Originally Posted by TER View Post
    But when a Church of great brains inspired by the Holy Spirit of God teach things which speak something different, I cast away my radical thoughts and submit to their authority over my limited brain and the limited knowledge, experience and resources I have which have shaped my brain.
    But the Church doesn't speak. Individuals do. And the individuals who make up the Church don't all say the same thing, except concerning essentials of the faith. The "Church" does not have a view that it proclaims about Clement being the bishop of Rome, for example.

  10. #99

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    Quote Originally Posted by TER View Post
    To a degree, yes. But when a Church of great brains inspired by the Holy Spirit of God teach things which speak something different, I cast away my radical thoughts and submit to their authority over my limited brain and the limited knowledge, experience and resources I have which have shaped my brain.

    After all, the Scriptures and the Apostles do not teach that our brains are the pillar and foundation of the truth, but rather, that the Church is.
    That is not what the verses says. I've explained this to you several times. The church (meaning the individual people of God) is the PILLAR that holds up the truth. The "truth" and the "church" are two different things in that verse.
    "You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings."



    1st Corinthians 7:23

  11. #100

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superfluous Man View Post
    But the Church doesn't speak. Individuals do. And the individuals who make up the Church don't all say the same thing, except concerning essentials of the faith. The "Church" does not have a view that it proclaims about Clement being the bishop of Rome, for example.
    Maybe your church of like minded believers do not have a view that proclaims Clement being the Bishop of Rome, but the Orthodox Church which traces herself back to the first century Bishops and Apostles most certainly does. (So, too, the other Churches which can trace themselves that far back, namely the Roman Catholic and Oriental Orthodox Churches).

    Again, I chose the Saints over the Superfluous Man.

    But perhaps you are getting nervous about the next chapter in the book, which completely destroy the heretical views of the Reformers called justification by faith alone?

    Let's move on to Chapter 10 and see what this first century Epistle says...
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    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  12. #101

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    CHAPTER 10

    Abraham, who was called the friend, was found faithful, inasmuch as he became obedient to the words of God.

    This man, by obedience, went out from his land and his kinsfolk, and the house of his father, that, by leaving a scanty land and weak kinsfolk and a small house, he might inherit the promises of God.

    For he saith unto him, Go out from thy land and thy kinsfolk, and the house of thy father, unto the land that I shall show thee, and I will make thee a great nation, and bless thee, and magnify thy name, and thou shalt be blessed; and I will bless them that bless thee, and curse them that curse thee, and in thee shall all the tribes of the earth be blessed.

    And again, when he separated from Lot, God said unto him, Lift up thine eyes, and look from the place where thou now art unto the north and unto the south, and unto the east and unto the sea; for all the land which thou seest, to thee will I give it and to thy seed for ever,

    and I will make thy seed as the dust of the earth: if any man can number the dust of the earth, thy seed also shall be numbered.

    And again he saith, God brought forth Abraham, and said unto him: Look up to heaven and number the stars, if thou art able to number them, so shall thy seed be. And Abraham believed God, and it was counted to him for righteousness.

    Through faith and hospitality a son was given unto him in old age, and through obedience he offered him a sacrifice unto God on one of the mountains that he showed him.
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    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  13. #102

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    Quote Originally Posted by TER View Post
    Maybe your church of like minded believers do not have a view that proclaims Clement being the Bishop of Rome, but the Orthodox Church which traces herself back to the first century Bishops and Apostles most certainly does.
    You are mistaken. The Orthodox Church which traces herself back to the first century bishops and apostles does not proclaim that.

    See, for example, the letter of First Clement.

  14. #103

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superfluous Man View Post
    You are mistaken. The Orthodox Church which traces herself back to the first century bishops and apostles does not proclaim that.

    See, for example, the letter of First Clement.
    I believe it is you who are mistaken. Go to any Orthodox Calendar, or Hagiography, and check for yourself. Study the hymns and iconography of the Church, including also the numerous writings of the Saints from the early Church afterwards, and nowhere will you find anything to suggest that Clement was not the Bishop of Rome. They all state he was. The Church most assuredly does 'speak' uniformly and universally on this topic. Only those who don't want to believe have to ignore these things and do mental gymnastics to justify themselves.
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    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  15. #104

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    Quote Originally Posted by TER View Post
    Go to any Orthodox Calendar, or Hagiography, and check for yourself.
    That will tell me what that calendar or hagiography says. But it won't tell me what the Orthodox Church says, neither in the true sense of the body of all those who have faith in Jesus, nor in the sense that you intend of the particular denomination of Eastern Orthodoxy.

  16. #105

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    In Chapter 10, we find the apostolic belief of synergism again, namely that Abraham "was found faithful, inasmuch as he became obedient to the words of God."

    Faith is found in a man when they are obedient to the words and commandments of God. That is why at Judgement Day, Christ warns us that many will say to Him that they believed Him and called Him 'Lord', but only those who did works of mercy, love and charity will find salvation.
    Last edited by TER; 11-26-2016 at 10:52 AM.
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    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  17. #106

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    Quote Originally Posted by Superfluous Man View Post
    That will tell me what that calendar or hagiography says. But it won't tell me what the Orthodox Church says, neither in the true sense of the body of all those who have faith in Jesus, nor in the sense that you intend of the particular denomination of Eastern Orthodoxy.
    You obviously have no idea how truths are proclaimed by the Orthodox Church. Since you are not a baptized and communing member of the Orthodox Church, it is a bit presumptuous for you to speak for it. For anyone who is reading and wishes to learn more about the Orthodox Church, they should look elsewhere than from you. Most appropriately, they should seek out a local Orthodox Church and speak with the priest there.
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    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  18. #107

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    Quote Originally Posted by TER View Post
    In Chapter 10, we find the apostolic belief of synergism again, namely that Abraham "was found faithful, inasmuch as he became obedient to the words of God."

    Faith is found in a man when they are obedient to the words and commandments of God. That is why at Judgement Day, Christ warns us that many will say to Him that they believed Him and called Him 'Lord', but only those Who did works of mercy, love and charity will find salvation.
    If that was what the writer meant, then it contradicts what Paul said in Romans chapter 4 about Abraham (and what the entire Bible says about saving faith). More proof that this is someone's opinion and not Scripture...if indeed that is what the writer meant.
    "You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings."



    1st Corinthians 7:23

  19. #108

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    Again, in Chapter 10, St. Clement writes:

    "This man, by obedience, went out from his land and his kinsfolk, and the house of his father, that, by leaving a scanty land and weak kinsfolk and a small house, he might inherit the promises of God."

    So that Abraham went and did the good works commanded to him by God, even leaving his home and family, so that, by willfully obeying Him, he might inherit the promises of God.
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    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  20. #109

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    TER,

    Do you know what Paul says about Abraham in Romans 4?
    "You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings."



    1st Corinthians 7:23

  21. #110

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sola_Fide View Post
    If that was what the writer meant, then it contradicts what Paul said in Romans chapter 4 about Abraham (and what the entire Bible says about saving faith). More proof that this is someone's opinion and not Scripture...if indeed that is what the writer meant.
    Rather, it is you who misinterpret St. Paul, and St. Clement, who knew St. Paul personally, knows better than you.
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    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  22. #111

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    Quote Originally Posted by TER View Post
    Again, in Chapter 10, St. Clement writes:

    "This man, by obedience, went out from his land and his kinsfolk, and the house of his father, that, by leaving a scanty land and weak kinsfolk and a small house, he might inherit the promises of God."

    So that Abraham went and did the good works commanded to him by God, so that, by willfully obeying Him, he might inherit the promises of God.

    Wrong. Do you know what Paul says about works and faith in regards to Abraham in Romans 4? I seriously think you've never read it.

    Romans 4:13-15

    It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, because the law brings wrath.

    Last edited by Sola_Fide; 11-26-2016 at 10:58 AM.
    "You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings."



    1st Corinthians 7:23

  23. #112

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    Quote Originally Posted by TER View Post
    Rather, it is you who misinterpret St. Paul, and St. Clement, who knew St. Paul personally, knows better than you.
    Sorry, I choose the Word of God over the uninspired opinions of men. That is the difference between me and you.
    "You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings."



    1st Corinthians 7:23

  24. #113

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    Quote Originally Posted by Sola_Fide View Post
    Sorry, I choose the Word of God over the uninspired opinions of men. That is the difference between me and you.
    Rather, you choose your interpretation of the Word of God over the interpretation of the great early Saints of the Church. That is the difference between me and you.
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    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  25. #114

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    CHAPTER 11



    By hospitality and goodness Lot was saved out of Sodom when the whole region round about was judged with fire and brimstone; the Lord making it manifest that he leaveth not them that hope upon him, but appointeth to punishment and torment them that turn in another way.

    For his wife, who went out together with him, being of another mind, and not being in concord with him, was on that account placed as a sign, so that she became a pillar of salt even to this day; that it might be known to all that the double-minded, and they who doubt concerning the power of God, are for a judgment and a sign to all generations.
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    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  26. #115

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    Quote Originally Posted by TER View Post
    Rather, you choose your interpretation of the Word of God over the interpretation of the great early Saints of the Church. That is the difference between me and you.
    You choose your three pound brains interpretation of what the select people you think are right said, not the Word of God. That is the difference between a Christian view of truth, and the antichristian view of truth.

    Still, you do not understand what Paul said about works and faith in Romans chapter 4. And you call yourself a Christian!
    "You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings."



    1st Corinthians 7:23

  27. #116

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    TER,

    I'm asking honestly: Have you ever read Romans chapter 4?
    "You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings."



    1st Corinthians 7:23

  28. #117

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    Clement continues his Epistle to the Corinthians by demonstrating that it was by hospitality and goodness whereby Lot was saved out of Sodom. Again, demonstrating the concept of synergism, we find that the Lord does not abandon those who do good works and follow His will, and to those that chose to turn away from Him and His commandments, such as Lot's wife, they will be judged with torment and punishment.

    So far, in the first few chapters of this single first century Epistle alone, there is enough to completely discredit and destroy the innovative interpretations and doctrines of the Reformers of the 16th century.
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    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  29. #118

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    CHAPTER 12



    Through faith and hospitality Rahab the harlot was saved;

    for when spies were sent unto Jericho by Jesus, the son of Nun, the king of the land knew that they had come to spy out his country, and sent out men to apprehend them that they might be taken and put to death.

    But the hospitable Rahab having received them, hid them in an upper story under the stalks of flax.

    When, therefore, the men from the king came upon her, and said, There came unto thee men who are spies of this our land; bring them out, for the king so commandeth it; she answered, The two men whom ye are seeking entered in unto me, but they departed quickly and are on their way; but she showed not the men unto them.

    And she said unto the men, Of a surety I know that the Lord your God has given over this city unto you; for the fear and trembling of you hath fallen upon them that inhabit it; when, therefore, it hath happened unto you to take it, save me and the house of my father.

    And they say unto her, So shall it be, even as thou hast spoken unto us. When, therefore, thou hast perceived that we are coming, thou shalt gather together all thy household under thy roof, and they shall be saved; but as many as shall be found without the house shall be destroyed.

    And they proceeded further to give her a sign, that she should hang from her house scarlet, making it manifest beforehand that through the blood of the Lord there shall be redemption to all who believe and hope upon God.

    Behold, beloved, how there was not only faith, but prophecy in the woman.
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    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

  30. #119

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    TER, you just said that Abraham received the promise by obedience to commands. You are WRONG. Paul says the exact opposite in Romans 4:

    Romans 4:13-15

    It was not through the law that Abraham and his offspring received the promise that he would be heir of the world, but through the righteousness that comes by faith. For if those who depend on the law are heirs, faith means nothing and the promise is worthless, because the law brings wrath.

    The law brings wrath TER. It condemns. Man can't do the commands of God, be righteous, and receive anything from Him, because man is a sinner.
    "You were bought at a price; do not become slaves of human beings."



    1st Corinthians 7:23

  31. #120

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    Continuing on the same theme, Clement uses more examples in the Old Testament

    Scholars point to a date of around 80 AD when this Epistle may have been written. Of course, this is long before a Biblical Canon was decided. In fact, at the time of the writing of this letter, the Book of Revelation and the Gospel of John probably had not yet been written. For these early Christians, who sat at the table with the Apostles of Christ, the writings which they called the Scriptures where referring mainly to the Books of the Old Testament.

    We see in the story of Rahab the Harlot that it was "faith AND hospitality" which saved her. Notice, it was not faith alone, but faith and the good works of hospitality.

    Also notice at the end of the retelling of this scene in the Scriptures, Clement says "Behold, beloved, how there was not only faith, but prophecy in the woman." She had faith, which was vitally important, but she too had prophecy, again pointing to the apostolic concept of synergism, for it was God working in this women on account of her faith and hospitality.
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    'These things I command you, that you love one another.' - Jesus Christ

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