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Clement of Rome on the “Martrydom of Peter and Paul”

Chapter V.—No less evils have arisen from the same source in the most recent times. The martyrdom of Peter and Paul.

But not to dwell upon ancient examples, let us come to the most recent spiritual heroes. 25 Let us take the noble examples furnished in our own generation. Through envy and jealousy, the greatest and most righteous pillars [of the Church] have been persecuted and put to death. 26 Let us set before our eyes the illustrious 27 apostles. Peter, through unrighteous envy, endured not one or two, but numerous labours and when he had at length suffered martyrdom, departed to the place of glory due to him. Owing to envy, Paul also obtained the reward of patient endurance, after being seven times thrown into captivity, 28 compelled 29 to flee, and stoned. After preaching both in the east and west, he gained the illustrious reputation due to his faith, having taught righteousness to the whole world, and come to the extreme limit of the west, 30 and suffered martyrdom under the prefects. 31 Thus was he removed from the world, and went into the holy place, having proved himself a striking example of patience.

Chapter VI.—Continuation. Several other martyrs.

To these men who spent their lives in the practice of holiness, there is to be added a great multitude of the elect, who, having through envy endured many indignities and tortures, furnished us with a most excellent example. Through envy, those women, the Danaids 32 and Dircæ, being persecuted, after they had suffered terrible and unspeakable torments, finished the course of their faith with stedfastness, 33 and though weak in body, received a noble reward. Envy has alienated wives from their husbands, and changed that saying of our father Adam, “This is now bone of my bones, and flesh of my flesh.” 34 Envy and strife have overthrown great cities and rooted up mighty nations.

Chapter XLI.—Continuation of the same subject.

Let every one of you, brethren, give thanks to God in his own order, living in all good conscience, with becoming gravity, and not going beyond the rule of the ministry prescribed to him. Not in every place, brethren, are the daily sacrifices offered, or the peace-offerings, or the sin-offerings and the trespass-offerings, but in Jerusalem only. And even there they are not offered in any place, but only at the altar before the temple, that which is offered being first carefully examined by the high priest and the ministers already mentioned. Those, therefore, who do anything beyond that which is agreeable to His will, are punished with death. Ye see, 177 brethren, that the greater the knowledge that has been vouchsafed to us, the greater also is the danger to which we are exposed.

 

Clement of Rome was either a disciple of Peter or Paul.He writes of the events of Peter and Paul being martyrdom under the Emperor Nero as being recent.I assume that he wrote the epistle between 69 A.D. and August 70 A.D. between the year of the 4 emperors and the Destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. He mention sacrifices still in Jerusalem,that would have been imposible after August 70 A.D.Some commentators place it between 80 A.D.-100 A.D.I believe that it was written earlier.Does anybody agree with me?

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