Monday, June 07, 2021
Clement of Alexandria: Who is the Rich Man That Shall Be Saved? (Part 1 of 8)
I am continuing to preach through the Sermon on the Mount on Sunday mornings at CRBC. Yesterday's message was on Matthew 6:19-22, with a focus on Christ's admonition not to lay up treasures on earth but to lay up treasures in heaven.
In some of my commentary reading, I ran across a reference to Clement of Alexandria (c. 150-215) and his treatise "Who is the Rich Man That Shall Be Saved?", which is an exposition of Mark's account of the Christ's encounter with the Rich Young Ruler (Mark 10:17-31). This work consists of 42 short chapters. I decided to launch a new series to read through this treatise. Episode 1 of 8 appears above.
I'm interested not only in how Clement dealt with Christ's teaching on the difficulty of the rich entering the kingdom, but also how pre-critical exegetes dealt with the Gospels in general.
In chapter 5, for example, Clement stresses the harmony of the account of the Rich Young Ruler in the Synoptic accounts (Matthew 19; Mark 10; Luke 18):
These things are written in the Gospel according to Mark; and in all the rest correspondingly; although perchance the expressions vary slightly in each, yet all show identical agreement in meaning.
I am making use of the translation by William Wilson. You can find the complete text of the treatise online here.