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Clement's knowledge of Synoptic material

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Chapter Summary

In comparison with the massive use of Old Testament (OT) quotations in Clement's epistle, the use of New Testament (NT) writings is slight. Quotations from the latter are rare and never verbatim. Clement provides us with quotations of substantial length from the synoptic tradition only in two places: 13.2 and 46.8. In addition to the extended parallels found in Clement of Alexandria and Polycarp, certain of Clement's maxims are also found in later writings. Parallels have been pointed out, for example, between the Jewish liturgical prayer Shemoneh Esreh and Clement's epistle. In several instances Clement cites OT passages which happen also to be cited in the Synoptic Gospels. From the OT citations and allusions common to both Clement and the NT, it may be concluded that in only one instance does it seem at all probable that Clement betrays a knowledge of the Synoptic Gospels.

Keywords: Clement's epistle; Clement's knowledge; New Testament (NT) writings; Old Testament (OT) quotations; Synoptic Gospels



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