1 Clement: An exhortation to humility and unity

I’ve been reading Michael Holmes’ edition of the Apostolic Fathers, Christian documents from just after the New Testament period.

First Clement is a long epistle (about 30 pages) from the church of Rome to the church of Corinth, apparently addressing a situation in which younger believers who had performed a sort of ecclesiastical coup and replaced the elders.  Clement, or the leaders of the Roman church as a group, urged the younger men to repent and obey their leaders.

Throughout the letter, I noticed some similarities to the book of Hebrews.  In fact, the ESV Study Bible’s introduction to Hebrews says that some have speculated that Clement was the author of Hebrews.  There were also many references to and quotations of the Old Testament, like a long quote from Isaiah 53 in Clement 16 and a long quote from Psalm 51 in Clement 18.

Throughout the letter, the main focus was on the unity of Christians and their obedience to the church authorities.  I’ll post two passages from the letter next.


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