Bible commentators show usage of 2 Peter by Clement of Rome and other ECWs

Steven Avery

Clement of Rome’s New Testament
Graham Harter - UK - Feb 14, 2018

  • There are enough allusions to James and to 2 Peter in Clement’s letter for us to be reasonably certain that both texts were in Clement’s possession and were regarded by him as authoritative.
  • Clement may also have had 1 Peter in his possession; there is some evidence in the text to support this, but in my opinion it is far from conclusive.

Graham may add some to our six so far, and he helps on 1 Peter, although I believe it is sure Clement of Rome used both Epistles.

Four things Clement of Rome tells us about early Christianity
Graham Harter - February 27, 2018
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Steven Avery

Hagner is a skeptic, but he likely adds more evidences.

Donald Alfred Hagner (b. 1936)

The Use of the Old and New Testaments in Clement of Rome (1973) (2014)
by Donald Alfred Hagner

The use of the Old Testament in the New Testament is a subject that has been studied rather thoroughly in recent times. Quotation in the Apostolic Fathers, on the other hand, has remained a comparatively neglected field of study, despite the interesting questions associated with it. Shortly after my arrival in Manchester in the autumn of 1966, when I was casting about for a suitable topic of research leading to the Ph. D., my friend Dr. Julius Scott suggested that a study of quotation in Clement of Rome might be worthwhile and interesting. Following up this suggestion, for which I remain grateful, I found myself increasingly fascinated with the subject of quotation in the Apostolic Fathers and specially in Clement of Rome.

The abundance of quotations and allusions in 1 Clement together with its early date, make this epistle particularly significant for the study of text, canon, and interpretation—not only so far as the use of the Old Testament is concerned, but also concerning the early use of the New Testament writings.
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Steven Avery

Answered Aug 1

When I read the arguments against the traditional attributions of Scripture, I’m often reminded of the scene from Liar Liar with Jim Carey:

“Your Honor, I object!”

“On what basis?”

“Because it’s devastating to my case!”

In this case, critics point out that 2 Peter mentions the letters of Paul and calls them “Scripture,” and it mentions the book of Jude. Therefore, 2 Peter can’t be authentic, because that would mean that the letter of Jude is authentic, and that the letters of Paul were considered Scripture within a decade of when they were written. And both of those things are devastating to my case!

So, here’s something to consider. Clement of Rome wrote his letter to the Corinthians around 80–90 AD. He mentions the deaths of Peter and Paul as if they occurred in recent memory (both were said to have been martyred in Rome in the late 60’s), and he quotes from 2 Peter.

So, we have a prominent elder in the Church at Rome, writing within no more than twenty years of when both Peter and Paul were still alive, writing to a Christian community founded by Paul just a few decades earlier. Are we expected to believe that somebody forged a Petrine epistle, circulated it as far as Rome, and managed to fool a bishop who likely knew Peter and Paul personally… all within twenty years of the death of Peter?