Clement of Rome

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Clement of Rome (active AD 90-100) is regarded as "The first Christian scholar" and became a saint. As a Bishop or Elder of the Church in Rome, he wrote a letter in about AD 96 to settle a dispute in the Corinthian church. The church had replaced its leaders with new, more youthful men. Clement argued that there was a 'chain of command' in the church: God the Father sent Christ, Christ appointed the apostles and the apostles commissioned the bishops. Though at his time there was clearly some truth in this, those who came after him developed this argument into the Roman Catholic doctrine of succession.

He is known for resisting Gnostic heresies and also for his belief that truth is found amongst the teachings of all men - thus paving the way for two millennia of apologetic writings in which believers have appealed to what men know by their own philosophies in order to help them come to a knowledge of the true God.

According to tradition, Clement became a missionary to the Crimea. He was martyred by being attached to an anchor and thrown into the sea.[1]

References

  1. Who’s Who in Christianity, Lavinia Coh-Sherbok, 1998
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