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Clement Bk 3

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  • Tom Saunders
    Hi All, I got a translated hard copy of Book III, of Clement s Stromata, and have found some possible parallels to both the GThom, and the GPhil. Clement
    Message 1 of 1 , May 22, 2004
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      Hi All,

      I got a translated hard copy of Book III, of Clement's "Stromata," and have found some possible parallels to both the GThom, and the GPhil. Clement does not quote word for word, as a matter of fact he kind of paraphrases. This would however be consistent with his stated purpose of keeping things hidden.

      In regard to arguments of Julius Cassianus, who he regards as the originator of docetism..... Chapter XIII, 92, "When Salome asked when she would know the answer to her questions, the Lord said, " When you trample on the robe of shame, and the two shall be one, and the male with the female, and there is neither male nor female." ( See Thomas 22, 37, 61 )

      Further he adds in XIII, 93., In the first place we have not got the saying in the four Gospels that have been handed down to us, but in the "Gospel According to the Egyptians." The text of the 'Gospel of the Egyptians' in the Nag Hammadi does not correlate with Clement's statement, but we do not know how he might have organized the Nag Hammadi texts, or if there were more than one text, or set, with that name.

      Clement quotes Philip in Bk. 3 Ch. IV, " If they quote the Lord's word to Philip, " Let the dead bury the dead, but do thou follow me," they ought to consider that Philip's flesh is also formed in the same way; his body is not a polluted corpse. How then could he have a body of flesh which is not a corpse? Because he rose from the tomb when the Lord killed his passions, and he began to live unto Christ." The idea here is consistent with the "Gospel of Philip," both in the idea of the resurrection while still alive, and the first three paragraphs of the text. (See also Matt. 8:22, and Luke 9:60 which are not ascribed to Philip)

      Early scholars would not have made the connection to Philip as the text was not available.

      Another interesting connection to what Clement may have had, and to their origin are from the fragments of Papias.....

      "But I shall not be unwilling to put down, along with my interpretations, whatsoever instructions I received with care at any time from the elders, and stored up with care in my memory, assuring you at the same time of their truth. For I did not, like the multitude, take pleasure in those who spoke much, but in those who taught the truth; nor in those who related strange commandments, but in those who rehearsed the commandments given by the Lord to faith, and proceeding from truth itself. If, then, any one who had attended on the elders came, I asked minutely after their sayings,-what Andrew or Peter said, or what was said by Philip, or by Thomas, or by James, or by John, or by Matthew, or by any other of the Lord's disciples: which things Aristion and the presbyter John, the disciples of the Lord, say. For I imagined that what was to be got from books was not so profitable to me as what came from the living and abiding voice."

      I think what Papias is saying here is that he had texts to compare with what visitors told him they heard.

      Tom Saunders
      Platter Flats, OK

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