Ante-Nicene Fathers/Volume IX/The Epistles of Clement/Additional Introduction

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Ante-Nicene Fathers Vol. IX, The Epistles of Clement
Various, translated by John Keith
Additional Introduction

Additional Introduction.

Towards the close of 1875, at Constantinople, Philotheus Bryennius, Metropolitan of Serræ, published the first complete edition of the epistles ascribed to Clement.  This he was enabled to do by the discovery of a ms. in the library of the Holy Sepulchre at Fanari in Constantinople.  This ms., of vellum, consists of one hundred and twenty leaves in small octavo, nearly seven and a half inches in length and six in breadth.  The ms. bears the date 1056, and was written by one Leo.  Its contents are:

1.  Chrysostom’s Synopsis of the Old Testament (the New also being included in the title).

2.  Epistle of Barnabas.

3.  Clement to the Corinthians I.

4.  Clement to the Corinthians II.

5.  Teaching of the Twelve Apostles.

6.  Ignatian Epistles.

The ms. is written with comparative accuracy and clearness.  Internal evidence seems to establish its independent value; e.g., words carelessly omitted in the Codex Alexandrinus are found in this ms.  It also supplies the lacunæ, notably chapters 57 (concluding sentence)—63 inclusive of the first Epistle and chapters 12 (concluding sentences)—20, being the close of the second Epistle.  Harnack seems to prove that the new ms. is as complete as the original Alexandrian.

The lacuna of the first Epistle consists mainly of a prayer, the writer somewhat abruptly passing from the oratio obliqua to the oratio recta.  The prayer is indicative of intense earnestness and emotion rather than official authority.  It is marked by wealth of quotation, especially from the Septuagint.  Perhaps, too, the nature of the sufferings referred to in the opening chapters may be inferred from the petitions of this prayer.

In the Notes the old ms. is indicated by A, the recently discovered ms. by I.