Convince me that 1 Clement knew a Gospel

Discussion about the New Testament, apocrypha, gnostics, church fathers, Christian origins, historical Jesus or otherwise, etc.
davidmartin
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Re: Convince me that 1 Clement knew a Gospel

Post by davidmartin » Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:22 am

Bernard i think a historicist narrative could be even simpler
Jesus was a good man, a popular prophetic teacher among the rural Jews that opposed the religious/political leadership of the time (he would have been in a majority most likely on this point). In the end he falls foul of the authorities on trumped up charges. His followers think him the messiah and his group continues but splits into many sects (what religious group doesn't?) some of which know nothing about him. The gospels then are embellished but have a kernel of a real story. What I like about this view is it's basically the view of the uneducated peasant today who never went through all the analysis and learning, all that work to get back to what most forklift truck drivers think who were the kind of people Jesus was popular with in the first place, i find this most amusing

rgprice
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Re: Convince me that 1 Clement knew a Gospel

Post by rgprice » Fri Feb 19, 2021 3:28 pm

Something new to add to this.

The main saying attributed to Jesus in 1 Clement that seemed like it didn't have a source in the OT was the one about the millstone.
1 Clem 46:8 = Matthew 18:6
1Clem 46:8
Remember the words of Jesus our Lord: for He said, Woe unto that
man; it were good for him if he had not been born, rather than that
at he should offend one of Mine elect. It were better for him that
a millstone were hanged about him, and be cast into the sea, than
that he should pervert one of Mine elect.

Matthew 18
4 Whoever becomes humble like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 5 Whoever welcomes one such child in my name welcomes me.
6 “If any of you put a stumbling block before one of these little ones who believe in me, it would be better for you if a great millstone were fastened around your neck and you were drowned in the depth of the sea. 7 Woe to the world because of stumbling blocks! Occasions for stumbling are bound to come, but woe to the one by whom the stumbling block comes!
It turns out that this passage also exited in Marcion's Gospel.
1 Then he said to his pupils, “. . . [snares . . . come.]
. . . Woe to the one through whom they come. 2 It would
be better for that person to have never been born or to
have had a millstone hung around the neck and been
hurled into the sea, rather than to have snared one of
these little ones.
BeDuhn:
17.1–2 Tertullian, Marc. 4.35.1; Adam 2.15, 1.16. Adamantius may not be
using the Evangelion in either section. In v. 1, Adamantius attests the
reading “that one through whom the snare comes,” found also in OL,
174 The Evangelion
rather than “the one through whom they come” in other witnesses
to Luke, whose plural is reflected in the testimony of Tertullian. In v.
2, Adamantius (1.16) quotes what appears to be Matt 26.24, but then
continues with wording in line with Tertullian, both witnesses agreeing
on the additional clause “that person to have never been born”
(otherwise found in Matt 26.24) combined with the “a millstone” and
so on, from the more widely attested text of Luke (note the telltale
“or” signaling a conflation of two alternative textual traditions). The
same combined reading is found in the OL, and is attested as early as
1 Clem 46.8. Volckmar, Das Evangelium Marcions, 256–57, regards this
combined reading as more original; Green, “Matthew, Clement and
Luke,” has argued that our gospel actually is dependent on Clement
here. Integrating the betrayal theme—from which the warning develops
in Adam 1.16—with the stumbling theme—from which it develops
in Adam 2.15—remains problematic.
However, I tend to agree with Green, who says that the Gospel gets from 1 Clement. But of course, since this exists in both Luke and Matthew, as well as Marcion, the most economical solution is that Marcion's Gospel got it from 1 Clement and Matthew and Luke got it from Marcion.

One could also argue that 1 Clement got the saying from Marcion's Gospel, but I really doubt this, since 1 Clem gives no information from any Gospels other than these few sayings that align with Gospel sayings.

But it is interesting that this saying exists in 1 Clem, Marcion, Matthew and Luke. Also, for what it's worth, this saying sounds very much like the type of thing the Lord would say in the OT.

hakeem
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Re: Convince me that 1 Clement knew a Gospel

Post by hakeem » Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:49 pm

davidmartin wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:22 am
Bernard i think a historicist narrative could be even simpler
Jesus was a good man, a popular prophetic teacher among the rural Jews that opposed the religious/political leadership of the time (he would have been in a majority most likely on this point). In the end he falls foul of the authorities on trumped up charges. His followers think him the messiah and his group continues but splits into many sects (what religious group doesn't?) some of which know nothing about him. The gospels then are embellished but have a kernel of a real story. What I like about this view is it's basically the view of the uneducated peasant today who never went through all the analysis and learning, all that work to get back to what most forklift truck drivers think who were the kind of people Jesus was popular with in the first place, i find this most amusing
Actually those who argue for an historical Jesus claim HJ was hardly known and it is for that reason why he was not mentioned by non-apologetic sources.

Also, in the Gospels the people did not believe Jesus was the Messiah--they claimed he was a prophet.

It is true that uneducated people would believe Jesus of the NT existed when they also believe the angel Gabriel spoke to Mary in Galilee, Satan tempted Jesus on the pinnacle of the Jewish Temple and the Holy Ghost fathered the son of God.

Bernard Muller
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Re: Convince me that 1 Clement knew a Gospel

Post by Bernard Muller » Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:54 pm

to rgprice,
But it is interesting that this saying exists in 1 Clem, Marcion, Matthew and Luke. Also, for what it's worth, this saying sounds very much like the type of thing the Lord would say in the OT.
The sayings in question is also in gMark (9:42) and is even closer to the 1 Clement one than the saying in gMatthew, gLuke and Marcion:
Mk 9:42 "Whoever causes one of these little ones who believe in me to sin, it would be better for him if a great millstone were hung round his neck and he were thrown into the sea."
However, I tend to agree with Green, who says that the Gospel gets from 1 Clement. But of course, since this exists in both Luke and Matthew, as well as Marcion, the most economical solution is that Marcion's Gospel got it from 1 Clement and Matthew and Luke got it from Marcion.
gMark has very strong internal evidence (in the mini apocapypse and the parable of the tenants) indicating that gospel was written soon after the events of 70 in Judea & Jerusalem.
What about 1 Clement dating?

Most scholars contend that '1Clement' was written in 96C.E., right after Domitian's persecution. The evidence they cite is solely from a sentence in ch.1:
"Owing, dear brethren [the Corinthians], to the sudden and successive calamitous events which have happened to ourselves [the Christians of Rome], we feel that we have been somewhat tardy in turning our attention to the points respecting which you consulted us"
However any persecution under Domitian (93-96C.E.) could hardly be referred as "sudden and successive calamitous events". Furthermore, Domitian's persecutions (supported from scanty evidence) were not momentous in Rome itself (and not even necessarily against Christians!).
But here, the calamities appear to be local: "...events which have happened to ourselves".
But if Domitian's persecution is not the events alluded to, do we have a record of successive calamities afflicting the Romans prior to 96C.E?

The answer is YES.
Suetonius: De Vita Caesarum--Divus Titus, c. 110 C.E.:
"There were some dreadful disasters during his reign [Titus], such as the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in Campania [August 79C.E.], a fire at Rome which continued three days and as many nights [80], and a plague the like of which had hardly ever been known before [80]. In these many great calamities ..."
Note: the plague affected Rome and most of Italy, but not the rest of the empire.

Furthermore, there are a few passages in '1Clement' which point to a date of composition earlier than 96C.E. Let's review them:

a) 1Clement, ch.5 "Let us take the noble examples [Peter and Paul] furnished in our own generation."
Peter and Paul probably died in the 60's and would still be considered of the same generation as the recipients of the letters, some fifteen years later.

b) According to ch.42 & 44, some presbyters, who were allegedly appointed by the first apostles themselves, had just been deposed:
1Clement, ch.44 "Those who were thus appointed by them [the apostles], or afterwards by other men of good repute, ... and who for a long time have obtained a good report from all, these, we think, have been unjustly deposed from the ministry."

c) 1Clement, ch.23 "These things we have heard [the second coming & related events] even in the times of our fathers [when those were still alive]; but, behold, we have grown old, and none of them has happened unto us."
Paul made converts and created the church of Corinth from late 50 to mid 52, during the second journey. If the "we" were around fifteen years old then, with their fathers being about twenty five years older, then thirty years later, the "we" would be in their forties, and their fathers (if still alive!) reaching their seventies. However the life expectancy in these days was no more than fifty years. So at the time the letter was written, the "we" would truly "have grown old", with the times of their fathers way behind.

d) 1Clement, ch.46 "Take up the epistle of the blessed Apostle Paul. What did he write to you at the time when the Gospel first began to be preached? Truly, under the inspiration of the Spirit, he wrote to you concerning himself, and Cephas, and Apollos, because even then parties had been formed among you."
The author thought recipients of the letter were among the same ones addressed by Paul around 55C.E.

e) 1Clement, ch.6 "To these men [Paul & Peter] ... there was gathered a great multitude of the elect, who ... became a most excellent example among us."
Initial elects would still be alive among the Christians then.

f) 1Clement, ch. 23 ""compare yourselves to a tree: take the vine. First of all, it sheds its leaves, then it buds, next it puts forth leaves, and then it flowers; after that comes the sour grape, and then follows the ripened fruit. You perceive how in a little time the fruit of a tree comes to maturity. Of a truth, soon and suddenly shall His will be accomplished, as the Scripture also bears witness, saying, "Speedily will He come, and will not tarry;""
This could not have been written after the recipients of the letter (described as being from the generation of Paul & Peter) had died. It would have been stupid to make that claim in the 2nd century, proving the author was wrong, with the second coming shown to be a false hope.

Note: it has been suggested that, from that verse (47:6), the word "ancient" would indicate the epistle was written in the 2nd century: "It is shameful, dearly beloved, yes, utterly shameful and unworthy of your conduct in Christ, that it should be reported that the very steadfast and ancient Church of the Corinthians, for the sake of one or two persons, makes sedition against its presbyters." But "ancient" is vague & not descriptive about a number of years, and, in no way, would imply the Church of Corinth was created many decades before the letter was written. "Clement" probably suggested by "steadfast and ancient" the church of Corinth was too mature to get into this (infantile) bickering.
According to Ben C. Smith (I transliterated the Greek): "Also bear in mind that in 47.2, just 4 verses earlier, the author had written, "What did [Paul] first write unto you in the beginning ['ev arche'] of his gospel?" The word 'archaios' ("ancient") in verse 6 derives etymologically from the word 'arche' ("beginning") in verse 2, and means "from the beginning," essentially. So perhaps Clement simply meant that the Corinthians were there "from the beginning" of the Pauline gospel preached in Europe."

Cordially, Bernard

hakeem
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Re: Convince me that 1 Clement knew a Gospel

Post by hakeem » Fri Feb 19, 2021 5:35 pm

1st Clement is a very late writing ---later than Acts of the Apostles and even later than Irenaeus' "Against Heresies".

The martyrdom of Peter and Paul is found in 1st Clement but unknown in Acts of the Apostles and Irenaeus' "Against Heresies".

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GakuseiDon
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Re: Convince me that 1 Clement knew a Gospel

Post by GakuseiDon » Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:25 am

davidmartin wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:22 am
Jesus was a good man, a popular prophetic teacher among the rural Jews that opposed the religious/political leadership of the time (he would have been in a majority most likely on this point). In the end he falls foul of the authorities on trumped up charges. His followers think him the messiah and his group continues but splits into many sects (what religious group doesn't?) some of which know nothing about him. The gospels then are embellished but have a kernel of a real story.
Forgive me for being late to this, but why does historicist Christianity have to start from "a good man" with an extraordinary life whom attracted attention while he was alive? Yes, that is the Gospels' view, but the earliest literature we have -- the letters of Paul for example -- doesn't support it. They simply don't. Post-Jesus Christians all knew about Jesus dying and resurrecting and elevating to heaven, which is where he became 'available' to the Christians of their time. They weren't interested in his life (at least until the time of Marcion, but that was an intra-Christian battle around what formed orthodoxy). Now if that supports mythicism, then so be it. But that is what the earliest data seems to suggest, at least to me. And this is because those post-Jesus Christians were interested in what Jesus could do for them NOW.

It's maddening that people buy into the false dilemma that Jesus either had to have been an extraordinary man with a big following in life OR he didn't exist. But a look at the earliest layer of texts shows that the first idea isn't supported.
davidmartin wrote:
Fri Jan 08, 2021 3:22 am
What I like about this view is it's basically the view of the uneducated peasant today who never went through all the analysis and learning, all that work to get back to what most forklift truck drivers think who were the kind of people Jesus was popular with in the first place, i find this most amusing
If you ask most Christian forklift truck drivers about who wrote the four Gospels, I'm sure a lot would list "John, Paul, George and Ringo". They wouldn't be too interested. Same with their equivalents throughout history. But they would all know that Jesus was crucified, died for our sins and ascended to heaven. That's the one they pray to. That's the one who can do something for them NOW.

rgprice
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Re: Convince me that 1 Clement knew a Gospel

Post by rgprice » Sat Feb 20, 2021 4:36 am

Bernard Muller wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:54 pm
to rgprice,
The sayings in question is also in gMark (9:42) and is even closer to the 1 Clement one than the saying in gMatthew, gLuke and Marcion:
True, I kind of jumped in without re-summarizing the other evidence. The issue is that 1 Clem contains multiple sayings attributed to Jesus. Of these a few are found in Mark and Matthew, but some are only found in Matthew, so the assumption would be that if 1 Clem got them from any Gospel it would be Matthew, since it had all of the sayings, while Mark only has some. However, it appears that Marcion's Gospel also had all of the sayings too.

But, of the sayings that can be found in a Gospel, basically all of those can also be found directly in the OT. The exception is this saying about the millstone. My initial assumption was that 1 Clem simply got all of the sayings from the OT, but the millstone saying posed a problem because it can't be found there.

But yeah, you're right, if anyone got it from 1 Clem it would be Mark.
gMark has very strong internal evidence (in the mini apocapypse and the parable of the tenants) indicating that gospel was written soon after the events of 70 in Judea & Jerusalem.
What about 1 Clement dating?
I wouldn't call the dating for either Mark of 1 Clem strong. Both are built on a ton of assumptions. There are no reliable external witnesses to either until the mid second century.

And I think there is an increasingly strong argument that Mark uses Antiquity of the Jews for its information about JtB. Still, I have no problem dating Mark as early as 70, but I also have no problem dating Mark as late as 130.

Bernard Muller
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Re: Convince me that 1 Clement knew a Gospel

Post by Bernard Muller » Sat Feb 20, 2021 9:23 am

to rgprice,
But yeah, you're right, if anyone got it from 1 Clem it would be Mark.
No, but the opposite: 1 Clement (dated 80-81) got it from Mark (dated 70-71).
I wouldn't call the dating for either Mark of 1 Clem strong. Both are built on a ton of assumptions. There are no reliable external witnesses to either until the mid second century.
I think there is strong evidence for Mark being written soon after the events of 70 in Judea. And at least writen in the 1st century. I know you don't agree with my dating of gJohn and Revelation. And gLuke being known of "John". And gMatthew being known by the author of Revelation. And gLuke & gMatthew being dependent on gMark.
I already provided the web pages explaining all of that, in a previous post: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7668&p=118775#p118775
As for you, your "evidence" is based on opinions, assumptions & speculations: viewtopic.php?f=3&t=7668&p=118775#p118731
And I think there is an increasingly strong argument that Mark uses Antiquity of the Jews for its information about JtB. Still, I have no problem dating Mark as early as 70, but I also have no problem dating Mark as late as 130.
"Mark" could have gotten his "info" from later followers of JtB, more so because the execution of JtB looks very embellished, and "Mark" had no reasons to provide such a long narration about it.
About the dating of gMark, you are very undecided. However a lot depends of the dating of early Christian writings, and their sequencing.
I spent a lot of time on these datings. They are imperative in order to get a true picture about the beginning of Christianity.

Cordially, Bernard

hakeem
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Re: Convince me that 1 Clement knew a Gospel

Post by hakeem » Sat Feb 20, 2021 10:18 am

GakuseiDon wrote:
Sat Feb 20, 2021 3:25 am

Forgive me for being late to this, but why does historicist Christianity have to start from "a good man" with an extraordinary life whom attracted attention while he was alive? Yes, that is the Gospels' view, but the earliest literature we have -- the letters of Paul for example -- doesn't support it. They simply don't. Post-Jesus Christians all knew about Jesus dying and resurrecting and elevating to heaven, which is where he became 'available' to the Christians of their time. They weren't interested in his life (at least until the time of Marcion, but that was an intra-Christian battle around what formed orthodoxy). Now if that supports mythicism, then so be it. But that is what the earliest data seems to suggest, at least to me. And this is because those post-Jesus Christians were interested in what Jesus could do for them NOW.
The Pauline writers could not have written anything about the life of Jesus when they never met him. The Epistle Paul did not follow Jesus while he was alive based on the Gospels and Acts of the Apostles. The Pauline writer met Jesus perhaps in the third heaven maybe in or out the body.

In addition, the Pauline writers do show that Christians were aware of stories about the life Jesus when the dead Lord Jesus revealed past events of his life to the letter writer.

1 Cor. 11.23-25
For I have received of the Lord that which also I delivered unto you, that the Lord Jesus the same night in which he was betrayed took bread:

24 And when he had given thanks, he brake it, and said, Take, eat: this is my body, which is broken for you: this do in remembrance of me.

25 After the same manner also he took the cup, when he had supped, saying, this cup is the new testament in my blood: this do ye, as oft as ye drink it, in remembrance of me.

The fallacy that early Christians were not interested in the life of their Jesus has been blown out of the water.

Aleph One
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Re: Convince me that 1 Clement knew a Gospel

Post by Aleph One » Sat Feb 20, 2021 6:29 pm

Bernard Muller wrote:
Fri Feb 19, 2021 4:54 pm
d) 1Clement, ch.46 "Take up the epistle of the blessed Apostle Paul. What did he write to you at the time when the Gospel first began to be preached? Truly, under the inspiration of the Spirit, he wrote to you concerning himself, and Cephas, and Apollos, because even then parties had been formed among you."
The author thought recipients of the letter were among the same ones addressed by Paul around 55C.E.
Can anyone say whether the Greek of the 2nd line from Chapter 47 implies the start of the existence of the gospel, or just the start of Paul's preaching of it to them, perhaps? I think this is it:
τι πρωτον υμιν εν αρχη του ευαγγελιου εγραψεν
I'm wondering cause it seems possibly strange to call a time 20+ years after the supposed crucifixion date the start of the gospel. (Then again maybe in the year 95 the 50s did seem like the start.) I add to this how Paul's letters make it sound like there has been churches spread all throughout the Roman empire long before he started making his rounds. Then again maybe they were Jewish or gentile god-fearing congregations that were being converted but i dunno.

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