Apostolic Succession : Clement's Letter III
Apostolic Succession : Clement's Letter V

Apostolic Succession : Clement's Letter IV

...continued from Apostolic Sucession : Clement's Letter Part III

Clement's letter is about the same length as the shortest gospel of Mark and, though bland and repetitive, is best read in a single sitting to keep the continuity of its ideas flowing. Modern translations, such as that of Lightfoot below, divide it into 65 numbered chapters. Peter and Paul are only mentioned in chapters 5 and 47.

Chapter 5

"But, to pass from the examples of ancient days, let us come to those champions who lived nearest to our time. Let us set before us the noble examples which belong to our generation. By reason of jealousy and envy the greatest and most righteous pillars of the Church were persecuted, and contended even unto death. Let us set before our eyes the good Apostles. There was Peter who by reason of unrighteous jealousy endured not one but many labors, and thus having borne his testimony went to his appointed place of glory.

"By reason of jealousy and strife Paul by his example pointed out the prize of patient endurance. After that he had been seven times in bonds, had been driven into exile, had been stoned, had preached in the East and in the West, he won the noble renown which was the reward of his faith, having taught righteousness unto the whole world and having reached the farthest bounds of the West; and when he had borne his testimony before the rulers, so he departed from the world and went unto the holy place, having been found a notable pattern of patient endurance."

In the words "There was Peter who by reason of unrighteous jealousy endured not one but many labors, and thus having borne his testimony went to his appointed place of glory," the Roman Catholic Church finds evidence that Peter resided in Rome.

The following CE Apostolic Succession article introduces the idea that both Peter and Paul were martyred in Rome by manipulating and massaging this text to wrest from it the words "They have suffered amongst us":

"Earlier still is Clement of Rome writing to the Corinthians, probably in 96, certainly before the end of the first century. He cites Peter's and Paul's martyrdom as an example of the sad fruits of fanaticism and envy. They have suffered "amongst us" he says."

Compare the following translations:

Lightfoot
"There was Peter who by reason of unrighteous jealousy endured not one not one but many labors, and thus having borne his testimony went to his appointed place of glory."

Hoole
"Peter, through unjust envy, endured not one or two but many labours, and at last, having delivered his testimony, departed unto the place of glory due to him. "

Roberts- Donaldson
"Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours, and when he had finally suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him."

When it comes to the actual translation, not even the Roman Catholic Church dares to contradict the work of such eminent scholars and to introduce the idea of "suffering amongst us" into this passage:

"Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours; and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him." CE Article: Letter to the Corinthians (Clement)

In the same crucial Apostolic Succession article cited above, we also read:

"Of the life and death of St.Clement nothing is known..."

Which contrasts nicely with the following recent statements by Pope Benedict XVI:

"St. Clement, Bishop of Rome during the last years of the first century, is the third successor of Peter, after Linus and Anacletus...we could say that this (Clement's) letter is a first exercise of a Primate of Rome after the death of St. Peter...Thus Clement's letter faces numerous themes of continuous actuality. This is more significant inasmuch as it represents, since the first century, solicitude of the Church of Rome, which presides in charity over all other churches...With the same spirit we make our invocations as the "great prayer," where the Bishop of Rome becomes the voice for the entire world..." (Vatican City, March 7, 2007, ZENIT.org)

Stay tuned for Clement's Letter : Part V

Comments

The comments to this entry are closed.