First Epistle Of Clement To The Corinthians

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First Epistle Of Clement To The Corinthians

This is the first epistle of Clement to the Corinthians. The assembly at Corinth was a very important one and one that manifested the decline of righteousness over time. Having started out on fire, the assembly gradually became one of great sedition as groups arose with all kinds of strange doctrines, causing great upheavals and confusion.

Though very frequently referred to by ancient Christian writers, it remained unknown to the scholars of Western Europe until happily discovered in the Alexandrian manuscript. This MS. of the sacred Scriptures (known and generally referred to as Codex A) was presented in 1628 by Cyril, Patriarch of Constantinople, to Charles 1, and is now preserved in the British Museum. Subjoined to the books of the New Testament contained in it, there are two writings described as the Epistles of one Clement. Of these, that now before us is the first. It is tolerably perfect, but there are many slight lacunae, or gaps, in the ms., and one whole leaf is supposed to have been lost towards
the close. These lacunae, however, so numerous in some chapters, do not generally extend beyond a word or syllable, and can for the most part be easily supplied.

Who the Clement was to whom these writings are ascribed, cannot with absolute certainty be determined. The general opinion is, that he is the same as the person of that name referred to by Paul (Phil. iv. 3). The writings them-
selves contain no statement as to their author. The first, and by far the longer of them, simply purports to have been written in the name of the church at Rome to the church at Corinth. But in the catalogue of contents prefixed to the MS. they are both plainly attributed to one Clement; and the judgment of most scholars is, that, in regard to the first epistle at least, this statement is correct, and that it is to be regarded as an authentic production of the friend and fellow-worker of Paul. This belief may be traced to an early period in the history of the church. It is found in the writings of Eusebius (Hist. Eccl. iii. 15), of Origen (Comm. in Joan. i. 29), and others.

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