Letter of Saint Clement - Authorship and Date

Authorship and Date

Although traditionally attributed to Clement of Rome, this view has been questioned by modern scholarship. The letter is anonymous, however the stylistic coherence suggests a single author. Many scholars believe 1 Clement was written around the same time as the Book of Revelation, c. 95-97 AD. Neither 1 nor 2 Clement was accepted in the canonical New Testament, but they are part of the Apostolic Fathers collection.

The First Epistle does not contain Clement's name, instead being addressed by "the Church of God which sojourneth in Rome to the Church of God which sojourneth in Corinth." The traditional date for Clement's epistle, which has been elicited by the Epistle to the Hebrews's call for leadership from the church in Rome and is permeated with the earlier letter's influence, is at the end of the reign of Domitian, or c. 96 AD, by taking the phrase "sudden and repeated misfortunes and hindrances which have befallen us" (1:1) for a reference to persecutions under Domitian. An indication of the date comes from the fact that the church at Rome is called "ancient" and that the presbyters installed by the apostles have died (44:2), and a second ecclesiastical generation has also passed on (44:3). However, some scholars hold to a wider and earlier range of dates, but limit the possibilities to the last two decades of the 1st century.

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