This is the second in a new six volume translation of and commentary on the works of the Apostolic Fathers. The writings of these men, which immediately follow the books of the New Testament, make up a body of literature that provides indispensable source material for the study of the formation of the Christian Church. Interest in the early Church is higher today than ever before. Theologians, religious authorities, students, and historians find the initial stages of Church development relevant to the contemporary structure of the Church.
Volume 2, First and Second Clement, provides translation of and commentary on two of the best-known writings of the Apostolic Fathers. The First Letter of Clement or, more accurately, the letter of the Roman Church to the Corinthian community, provides a significant mixture of scriptural and non-scriptural motifs. The so-called Second Letter of Clement is neither a letter nor by Clement. Actually it is a sermon which deals first with self-control and more generally with exhorting the hearers to repentance and thereby to salvation and life. Not until the rise of historical scholarship in the nineteenth century could its real importance begin to be adequately assessed.