Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Jonathan Soyars: Clement’s Reconstruction of Job’s Character for Corinth: The Composite Quotation of LXX Job 1-2 in 1 Clem 17.3

The author of 1 Clement is traditionally understood to have incorporated at least seven quotations from the biblical book of Job into his letter. The disagreements with both the MT and LXX apparent in these and Clement’s other scriptural quotations are typically attributed to (a) Clement’s quoting from a pre-existing testimonium or florilegium of texts (e.g., Hatch, Knopf); (b) his (rather poor) memory (e.g., Wrede, Hagner); (c) a florilegium Clement knew by memory (e.g., Grant); or (d) oral and/or homiletic traditions Clement incorporated (e.g., Lemarchand, Jaubert). Consequently, Clement himself is often denied any creativity in re-presenting his received text(s) of scripture. This paper challenges such views, focusing on the alleged quotation of LXX Job 1:1 in 1 Clem 17.3: “Job was righteous and blameless, true, pious, abstaining from every evil.” It argues that in 1 Clem 17.3 Clement carefully drew together elements from not one but three distinct depictions of Job’s qualities in LXX Job 1-2 in order for Job’s character to serve as more relevant model within Clement’s broader argument against schism at Corinth. The resulting text-form should be considered the product of Clement’s creative encounter with LXX Job, not a mere accident of memory or copying or the uncritically adopted reading of a prior compiler, even if elsewhere the forms of Clement’s scriptural quotations result from these phenomena. This recognition expands our knowledge of Clement’s scriptural sources as well as the ways in which he wove them into the fabric of his letter.

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