A Commentary on the Didache and on 1-2 Clement

By Rudolf Knopf, Jacob N. Cerone (translator) and Andreas Lindemann (foreword)

This English translation of Knopf’s commentary on the Didache and 1-2 Clement makes this influential commentary available to the English reader.

ISBN: 9780227180082


This English translation of Knopf’s commentary on the Didache and 1-2 Clement makes this influential commentary available to the English reader. Knopf’s work is a crucial insight into the second century, revealing the early theological and organisational considerations, expressions, and discussions which characterised the early church.
Jacob N. Cerone’s scholarly insight provides verse by verse critical commentary and introductory context, and brings clarity to Knopf’s rhetorical and philological analysis. A crucial resource for students and scholars, this translation illuminates Knopf’s work anew.

Additional information

Pages 348

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About the Author

Rudolf Knopf (1874–1920) was a Professor of Protestant Theology at the University of Bonn, whose influential writings on early Christian texts remain relevant today.
Jacob N. Cerone is a doctoral candidate at the University of Erlangen-Nuremburg, and has edited several books on early Christianity.


Preface by Jacob N. Cerone
Foreword by Andreas Lindemann

Editions and Literature
Points of Contact and Witnesses
Date and Provenance
The Superscription
I. The Two Ways: The Baptismal Catechism (1:1—6:2)
A. There Are Two Ways (1:1)
B. Description of the Way of Life (1:2—4:14)
1. Basic and General Description (1:2)
2. Love, Forgiveness, and Giving (1:3–6)
3. A Catalog of Vices of the Sins of Action (2:1–7)
4. A Catalog of the Sins of the Mind (3:1–6)
5. Positive Exhortations toward Kindness and Humility (3:7–10)
6. Congregational Obligations (4:1–14)
C. The Way of Death (5:1–2)
D. Concluding Exhortations and Advice (6:1–3)
II. Cultic Regulations (7:1—10:6)
A. Baptism (7:1–4)
B. Fasting (8:1)
C. Praying (8:2–3)
D. The Celebration of the Eucharist (9:1—10:6)
III. Rules for Congregational Life (11:1—15:4)
A. The Wandering Charismatics, Their Examination, and Their Reception (11:1–12)
B. How to Treat Unostentatious, Wandering Christians (12:1–5)
C. Support of Local Prophets and Teachers (13:1–7)
D. Celebration on Sunday (14:1–3)
E. Election of the Congregation’s Officials (15:1–2)
F. Congregational Discipline (15:3–4)
IV. Conclusion (16:1–8)
A. Be Ready at Any Hour (16:1–2)
B. For After a Time of Increasing Wickedness, the Lord Comes to Judge (16:3–8)

First Clement
Editions and Literature
Points of Contact and Attestations
Provenance, Date, and Author
I. Prescript (1:0)
II. Introduction: The Occasion of the Letter, Then and Now (1:1—3:4)
A. Occasion of the Letter (1:1)
B. The Once-Splendid State of the Corinthian Congregation (1:2—2:8)
C. The Tragic Present State of the Congregation (3:1–4)
III. The God-Fearing Life (4:1—39:9)
A. Against Jealousy (4:1—6:4)
B. Admonition to Repent (7:1—8:5)
C. Obedience, Piety, Faith, Hospitality (9:1—12:8)
D. Humility (13:1—19:1)
E. God’s Benefactions and His Order (19:2—22:9)
F. Parousia and Resurrection (23:1—27:7)
G. Transition (28:1–4)
H. The Holy and Chosen Ones Must Flee from Slander, Discord, and Pride (29:1—30:8)
I. The Way of Blessedness (31:1—36:6)
J. Conclusion (37:1—39:9)
IV. The Ugly Quarrel in Corinth Should Be Settled As Soon as Possible (40:1—61:3)
A. The Congregational Office Is Appointed by God (40:1—44:6)
B. Noble Men Are Only Deposed by Villains (45:1—46:9)
C. Praise of Love (47:1—50:7)
D. Direct Admonition to the Authors of the Quarrel: They Must Repent, Submit, and Depart (51:1—58:2)
E. Conclusion of the Letter with a Long Prayer (59:1—61:3)
V. The End of the Letter with a Concluding Admonition and Vows (62:1—65:2)
A. Concluding Exhortations (62–63)
B. Two Closing Vows and the Confirmation of the Emissaries (64–65)

Second Clement
Literary Character and Outline
Author, Provenance, and Date of the Sermon
Individual Studies
I. The Surpassing Greatness of the Beneficence of Christ Who Called the Gentiles (1:1—2:7)
II. The Return Payment We Can Offer Him: Not Word but Deed (3:1—4:5)
III. Implications of Confessing God with Deeds (5:1—6:9)
IV. The Toil of the Struggle Is Great, but the Reward Is Glorious (7:1—8:6)
V. The Resurrection and Assorted Paraenesis (9:1—12:6)
VI. Exhortation to Repentance (13:1—18:2)
VII. Conclusion: Repentance, Suffering, Future Glory, and a Doxology (19:1—20:5)

Index of Authors
Index of Ancient Sources

Endorsements and Reviews

Jacob Cerone has provided English readers a gift—a readable translation of Knopf’s classic commentary on the Didache and 1–2 Clement. As scholars of the Didache and Clement continue to study these ancient texts, English-only-speaking students will be able to engage with this classic study more easily. Cerone’s translation is deeply welcomed, and students are encouraged to use this book. Shawn J. Wilhite, California Baptist University

The English edition of this classic commentary is most welcome. The translator and the publisher deserve our thanks. Although scholarship in the last century has revised some assumptions that were common when Knopf wrote (e.g., on possible uses of New Testament writings and the “gnostic” opponents’ theology), his excellent philological and rhetorical analyses remain useful and thought-provoking. James A. Kelhoffer, Uppsala University