Abstract The document known as the First Epistle of Clement, probably written towards the end of the first century, provides some of the scant available documentary evidence about the early development of the Christian ministry. It contains an outline history of the passing down of authority, but the relevant part of the Greek text has ambiguities which have led various scholars to propose five broadly different views, or interpretations, of Clement’s intended meaning. These were examined in relation to Clement’s purpose, an approach which relied primarily on evidence internal to the epistle, and had not been considered in detail before. Only one of the five views was found to make Clement’s argument reasonably consistent with his aims, and this view also made his lack of clarity understandable. Thus Clement’s intended message in the ambiguous section was that the first local church leaders were appointed by the apostles, and when some of these local leaders died, replacement appointments were made by people who had been given the authority to do so from outside the local church.
Abstract The authenticity of the madrashe/hymns contained in the collection On Epiphany, which is traditionally ascribed to Ephrem the Syrian, is considered as doubtful by most scholars. One of the major arguments advanced against Ephrem’s authorship is the fact that the collection presupposes the existence of the feast of Epiphany commemorating Jesus’ baptism on 6 January, with which Ephrem certainly was not familiar. This, however, does not exclude the possibility that some of the hymns were written by Ephrem. It is argued in this article that the texts forming the nucleus of this collection actually were composed by him and, moreover, that they are important sources for the study of Ephrem’s baptismal theology.
Abstract After having examined the first three collections of the Pachomian monastic rules, the Praecepta ac leges are scrutinized in this article. Although their title suggests regulations of “the six evening prayers and the gathering of the six prayers in the varioues houses”, the main theme of the Leges is the authority of the housemasters and their “Seconds”. When compared with the rules on the task of the “Second” in the Praecepta, it seems that the Leges are a little bit older and earlier. It is true we only have the Latin text of the Leges. However, there is a slight chance to prove a Coptic background of this set of rules by examining a hidden biblical allusion and following it up through the various versions of Scripture. The paragraph on the role of a board of holy men to judge in cases of conflict between a brother and his superior, when compared with similar regulations in the other collections of rules, appears to be part of the oldest layer of Pachomian legislation. This proves that all the collections underwent changes and adaptations while being used parallel to each other; there is no reason to search for a genealogy of the four sets of Pachomian rules suggesting that one would have been developed out of the other. The rules on the “Six Prayers” show clearly the origin of the communal prayers of the Pachomians in the anchoritic way of prayer. Saint Pachomius has certainly issued these rules although not necessarily written them down.
Abstract Augustine explored four exegetical solutions to reconcile Christ’s sinlessness with the expression de peccato in Rom. 8:3c (de peccato damnauit peccatum in carne): de peccato as referring to (1) Christ’s death, (2) Christ’s mortal body, (3) the sin of Judas and the Jews, which caused Christ’s death, and (4) Christ’s sacrifice for man’s sin. Augustine’s elaborate treatment of the fourth interpretation in s. 152, 9-11 is the main focus of this article. In light of other works from the same period (417/418), these paragraphs can be read as implicitly answering Pelagian criticism of Augustine’s Christology.