Sunday, August 19, 2007

2 Clement vs Tobit

Catholic apologist Gary Michuta states there are "vague" "allusions" or "echoes" to Tobit 12:8 in 2 Clement 16:4. I seem to be missing the vague allusion, other than noting the word "prayer" and the similarity between "alms" and "charitable giving". Indeed, vague...

2 Clement 16:4

"Charitable giving, therefore, is good, as is repentance from sin. Fasting is better than prayer, while charitable giving is better than both, and 'love covers a multitude of sins,' while prayer arising from a good conscience delivers one from death. Blessed is everyone who is found full of these, for charitable giving relieves the burden of sin."Source: Michael W. Holmes, ed. The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations (Michigan: Baker Books, 1999), p.123

Tobit 12:8

"Prayer is good with fasting and alms more than to lay up treasures of gold... "(Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition)

2 Clement says "Fasting is better than prayer" while Tobit says, "Prayer is good with fasting."

2 Clement says "Charitable giving, therefore, is good" and "charitable giving is better than both [prayer and fasting]" and "charitable giving relieves the burden of sin."

Tobit says "alms more than to lay up treasures of gold".

I'm tempted to comment the vague "allusion" is more of a solid "illusion," but I'll check a few other translations, as well as Lightfoot.


Carrie said...

Come on, James, it is clear as day.

In the first example, both Clement and Tobit use the word "is".

In the second example, both Clement and Tobit use the word "of".

I think your anti-Catholic bias is blinding you.

Ken Temple said...

Is this one of the earliest examples of a works-based righteousness salvation orientation in the early fathers/writings?

Is there a book that collects these ideas and quotes together?

Plowing through the Early Church Fathers is hard work!

Anonymous said...

James, I do see the similarities. The concepts of prayer, fasting, almsgiving covering sin is in both.

What I do not see is Sola Fide, or Faith Alone.

It has to be my pro-Catholic bias. Odd that Michuta would just pick these two verses out of thin air, like randomly selecting names out of a telephone book.

- Dude