The Concept of Salvation in First ClementThe letter of the Church at Rome to the Church at Corinth, also known as FirstClement, is one of the earliest surviving Christian writings. On the basis of internal evidenceand external attestation, contemporary scholarship tends to date this text to the last decade(s)of the first century1. Biblical scholarship values 1 Clementespecially for the light it casts uponthe reception process of the Hebrew Scriptures and the early Christian materials that laterformed the New Testament. However, the importance of this writing is far greater than this. Aprecious witness to the formative period of the early Jesus movement, it provides valuableinformation concerning its author’s views on a variety of topics, including the theme ofsalvation, which is the focus of this volume. The concept of salvation in 1 Clement, however,has been interpreted very differently by various scholars. Whereas some have argued thatClement’s soteriology “ist völlig theozentrisch” so that Christ could be completely removedfrom it2, others have maintained that Christ and especially His suffering belong to the core ofthis author’s teaching3. In order to appreciate the message of 1 Clementbetter and deal withits various interpretations, including those mentioned above, we need to address the questionsof its content and genre first.I.Purpose and Genre of First Clement1 Clementis an extensive epistle written on behalf of the Church at Rome to theChurch at Corinth4. The unity of style indicates that this text was written by one single author,whose name, however, does not appear in the letter itself. An ancient Christian traditionascribes this writing to Clement, a bishop of Rome5. The occasion of the epistle was a1For a useful summary of discussions on the question of dating, see A. Gregory, Disturbing Trajectories: 1Clement, the Shepherd of Hermas and the Development of Early Roman Christianity, in: P. Oakes (ed.), Rome inthe Bible and the Early Church (Carlisle 2002) 142-166. Cf. L. L. Welborn, The Date of First Clement, BR 29(1985) 34-54. K. Erlemann, Die Datierung des ersten Klemensbriefes - Anfragen an eine Communis Opinio,NTS 44 (1998) 591-607. A. Jaubert, Clément de Rome: Épître aux Corinthiens. Réimpression de la premièreédition revue et corrigée, SC 167 (Paris 2000) 15-23. 2So H. Räisänen, ‘Werkgerechtigkeit’ — Eine ‘frühkatholische’ lehre? Überlegungen zum 1. Klemensbrief,Studia Theologica - Scandinavian Journal of Theology 37 (1983) 79-99 here 88.3E.g. E. W. Fisher, ‘Let Us Look Upon the Blood of Christ’ (1 Clement 7:4), VigChr 34 (1980) 218-236.4“The church of God that sojourns in Rome to the church of God that sojourns in Corinth (Ἡ ἐκκλησία τοῦθεοῦ ἡ παροικοῦσα ῾Ρώμην τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ τοῦ θεοῦ τῇ παροικούσῃ Κόρινθον)” 1 Clem sal.: M.