Its author is representative of this center of Syrian Christianity, characterized not so much by that notable mixture of Jewish traditions and Christian doctrine, as by its continual clash with the Marcionites and other gnostic groups over cosmological and philosophical questions Drijvers, 321. Nor is it anomalous that the author made ample use of Bardesanes of Edessa’s Dialogue on Fate or Book of the Laws of the Countries, of which it offers an ample citation in Rec. 9,19-29 Eusebius HE IV, 30 knew Bardesanes as a writer of anti-Marcionite dialogues Drijvers, 322-323. The author must have written his anti-Marcionite book between 220 Bardesanes died in 222 and 253 death of Origen, a period in which Marcionism represented a real threat to nascent Syrian orthodoxy.
The identity between Adam and Christ, creation as composed of opposites G attributes evil to the combination of four elements in a substance, and the doctrines of false prophecy and the spurious biblical texts were all used as ammunition in this battle, in which biblical interpretation was the central question Drijvers, 323. In the Recognitiones, Clement, of a distinguished Roman family, is separated from his parents and brothers. As a youth he is interested in religious questions and finds the teaching of the philosophers insufficient. Learning of the manifestation of the Son of God in Judea, he travels there and stays with Peter, who instructs him and takes him on his missions as a fellow worker. Peter works as a missionary, preacher and apologist; particularly important is his opposition to Simon Magus. At the end, Clement’s whole family is reunited.
These recognitiones and other traits put the Clementines in the same class as the secular romances of the time. But their objective, at least in the original source, seems to have been apologetic, i.e., to transmit Christian doctrine systematically. This sets them apart from the apocryphal acts of the apostles, which are essentially adventure narratives. The common theory is that the Clementines go back to a basic source, and some maintain that this in turn is based on two other works: Kerygmata Petr. and Praxeis Petr., the first of which is clearly Ebionite and anti-Pauline H. Waitz. Strecker and Schoeps base their theology and history of Jewish Christianity on an analysis of the Clementines’ sources, as reconstructed by Waitz. Rius-Camps supposes that the original consisted of some Journeys of Peter Periodoi Petr., which he attributes to a disciple of Bardesanes. Then follows the basic line of Rehm, who thinks that the basic work dealt with Clement’s journeys and recognitions and that its author composed it along the rationalist lines of the apologists, between Bardesanes and Origen. Its spiritual ambience is indeed that of the rationalism of the time of the apologists. Justice on earth is a guarantee for the last judgment.
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