Apostolic Fathers: Clement’s Use of the Bible

More Information on the Apostolic Fathers InterlinearOne reason I wanted to make the Apostolic Fathers Interlinear was because the writers of these documents used the Old Testament, New Testament, and even some portions of apocryphal/deuterocanonical books. These guys knew Scripture, and they used Scripture (and some related writings) in their writings.

Clement of Rome (First Clement is attributed to him, Second Clement is traditionally attributed to him though most today do not view Clement as its author) is exceptional in his use of the OT and NT. He uses large portions of Scripture to the point where they can even be useful for text-critical purposes. Did you know that 1Clem 18 is a quotation of Psalm 51, and that it largely reflects the text of the Septuagint as we have it today? And that there is a large chunk of Isaiah 53 in 1Clem 16? And that Clement also quotes from Proverbs and even Job? And that some portions sound like they’re coming straight from Hebrews (e.g. 1Clem 36) and that he probably has familiarity with some of Paul’s epistles—especially First Corinthians?

Further, there is a simply incredible prayer in 1Clem 59–61. You have to read it. Really. And trust me, it reads even better if you read it aloud!

And let’s not forget Second Clement (also known as “An Early Christian Homily”) which is essentially a sermon that uses portions of Isaiah 54 as its primary text. This is the earliest Christian sermon available outside of the New Testament, and  you can read it. Really! And it is awesome from its very start.

New Testament in the Apostolic FathersThis is all well and good, but why an interlinear and not a translation if I’m interested in folks really using this stuff? Well, I wanted to make something that folks who had some Greek and who find themselves using lexicons like BDAG could use to help them into the Greek text of this secondary material. Something people could search for Greek words and phrases, and see how they were used outside of the New Testament. Working on the Apostolic Fathers Interlinear was a lot of work, but it was also incredibly rewarding. I hope you’ll find it similarly helpful in your studies.

Here’s an extra bonus tip: If you’re interested in the Apostolic Fathers’ use of the New Testament, Logos has a neat book published in the early 1900′s called The New Testament in the Apostolic Fathers.  This book lists possible quotations and allusions to the New Testament in most of the works of the Apostolic Fathers (Barnabas, Didache, I Clement, Ignatius, Polycarp, Hermas, and II Clement). It is very helpful for looking into possible use of the NT in the Apostolic Fathers.