Schaff, Philip. History of the Christian Church (The Complete Eight Volumes in One). Amazon Kindle Edition, 2014.
Volume 2, Ante-Nicene Christianity A.D. 100-325, “Chapter 13. Ecclesiastical Literature of the Ante-Nicene Age, and Biographical Sketches of the Church Fathers.” sec. 159-204.
§ 162. Clement of Rome.
Schaff provides a brief bibliography regarding Clement of Rome, noting that the so-called second epistle “is a homily of a later date” (Schaff 2014, 20485). Clement, possibly the one mentioned by Paul in Philippians 4:3, follows the examples of Peter and Paul, whom he knew (Schaff 2014, 20503). He shows signs of being from a distinguished family and also having intimate knowledge of the Septuagint. He was at the head of the Roman Christians. “According to Eusebius he was bishop from the twelfth year of Domitian to the third of Trajan (A.D. 92 to 101)” (Schaff 2014, 20509). Schaff observes that many legends have emerged around Clement, but little is actually known about him.
Clement is known for an epistle to the Corinthians, which was frequently cited by the Fathers but was lost for atime, then reproduced in 1633 (Schaff 2014, 20526). Since then, several additional versions have been discovered. Schaff considers it “the oldest and best among the sub-apostolic writings both in form and contents” (Schaff 2014, 20538). The letter is full of quotations both from the Septuagint and the Apocrypha, and also shows familiarity with numerous New Testament letters (Schaff 2014, 20544). Schaff further notes that many central Christian doctrines are spoken of, at least briefly, in 1 Clement.
Schaff observes that 1 Clement bears strong resemblances to Paul and to the book of Hebrews, though there are similarities to Peter as well. “There is no trace in it of an antagonism between Paulinism and Petrinism” (Schaff 2014, 20560). The idea of justification by grace through faith is certainly present, which Schaff finds unusual among the apostolic fathers. Additionally, Clement is very zealous for unity in the Christian faith, even saying that old legends point to a proper unity in creation (Schaff 2014, 20578). This unity, according to Schaff, extends in 1 Clement to the reconciliation of Judaic and Gentile Christian factions, which suggests to Schaff that the letter was written from a time when much of the earlier discomfort had been resolved. Schaff further notes that in Clement the pastoral office is an extension of the Levitical priesthood and has not yet led to a magisterial view of bishops. Clement has a concept of the eschaton as an imminent event, drawing in a variety of signs and teachings as reason to expect Christ’s coming at any time (Schaff 2014, 20591).
Schaff dates the letter “after the death of Peter and Paul, for it celebrates their martyrdom; and probably after the death of John (about 98); for one would suppose, that if he had been living, Clement would have alluded to him, in deference to superior authority, and that the Corinthian Christians would have applied to an apostle for counsel, rather than to adisciple of the apostles in distant Rome” (Schaff 2014, 20597). He refers to persecutions by Nero and Domitian, and sees the church in Corinth as “ancient.”