Clement of Rome
Clement of Rome (active AD 90-100) is regarded as "The first Christian scholar" and became a saint. According to Eusebius he was elected Bishop of Rome in the 12th year of the reign of Domitian (A.D. 93). As the Bishop or Elder of the Church in Rome, he wrote a letter about A.D. 93-96 to settle a dispute in the Corinthian church (1 Clement). 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 apostolic succession (2 Timothy 2:2). The tone of the letter is authoritative and has been taken as early evidence of the authority of the Church in Rome over another church.
He is known for resisting Gnostic heresies and also for his belief that truth is found among 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.
- Eusebius Pamphilus, Ecclesiastical History, Book III, chapter 15, "Clement, the Third Bishop of Rome"
- Who’s Who in Christianity, Lavinia Coh-Sherbok, 1998