The document now called the Second Letter of Clement was not originally a letter; nor was it written by Clement. Rather, it originated as an address to a congregation, and was subsequently preserved among the group of non-canonical writings known as the Apostolic Fathers. Unlike the much-studied First Clement, it is one of the least known of these writings, yet it preserves a fascinating window into the life of early believers.
In his new study, William Varner combines a step-by-step commentary with a detailed theological introduction. Drawing on the text’s structure and likely context, he shows that its overall message is that Christians should render a payback to God for his grace shown to them in Christ. The implications of this for the early church community at which it was directed, and for believers today, are momentous.
Foreword by James A. Kelhoffer
Translation of 2 Clement
Part I: Introductory Articles
1. Introduction to 2 Clement
2. Reception and Use of Sacred Tradition in 2 Clement
3. Theology of 2 Clement
Part II: Commentary
Theological Section (2 Clem. 1.1—2.7)
Ethical Section (2 Clem. 3.1—14.5)
Eschatological Section (2 Clem. 15.1—20.5)
Endorsements and Reviews
2 Clement is much neglected, yet this short but multi-faceted second-century document provides a host of interesting insights into an early Christian congregation. Will Varner has provided a very useful and handy introduction to this book and its interpretive issues. He offers a clear and useful translation, a series of helpful introductory essays, and a concise commentary on its twenty chapters. I highly recommend this volume as a great beginning point for study of 2 Clement.
Stanley E. Porter, President, Dean, and Professor of New Testament, Roy A. Hope Chair in Christian Worldview, McMaster Divinity College
William Varner’s focus on theological, grammatical, and intertextual issues provides a solid basis for examining this valuable second-century writing. Whether you are new to Second Clement or a seasoned scholar, Varner’s introduction and commentary will be a helpful companion as you navigate the text of this early Christian writing.
Rick Brannan, editor of The Apostolic Fathers: A New Translation
Varner has done an excellent job discussing the genre, unity, and structure of 2 Clement. The comparison to patron-client relations is absolutely correct. It makes sense of what is going on in the text.
Robert Knapp, Professor Emeritus, University of California, Berkeley, and author of The Dawn of Christianity