Moses Typology for Peter in the Epistula Petri and the Contestatio

in Vigiliae Christianae
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The Epistula Petri and the Contestatio, introductory writings to the Pseudo-Clementines, emphasize the primacy of Peter over against (an unnamed) Paul. The numerous allusions to Moses are of particular importance in understanding the strong claims made about Peter in these writings. Peter is shown to be Moses’ scribal successor in passing on the traditions of God’s eternally valid law. Just as Moses established an authoritative chain of succession by selecting seventy elders, so Peter, through James, passes on the books of his pro-law preaching to a new generation of seventy. Moses typology serves a polemical function. Peter’s apostolic authority is grounded in his continuity with Moses; he alone is the legitimate transmitter of Mosaic truth. Moses is the interpretive lens through which the primacy of Peter is understood.

Moses Typology for Peter in the Epistula Petri and the Contestatio

in Vigiliae Christianae




See discussion in JonesAn Ancient Jewish Christian Source on the History of Christianity128.


Cf. HippolytusHaer. 9.14.1 for the requirement of circumcision and observance of the law for believers.


Judah Goldin trans.The Fathers According to Rabbi Nathan (Yale Judaica Series 10; New Haven: Yale University Press1955) 3.




OrigenHom. Num. 5. Translations of Origen in this article are those of Rowan A. Greer in Origen (cws; New York: Paulist 1979).


See Jones“The Pseudo-Clementines: A History of Research” 1-33 63-96; Kelley Knowledge and Religious Authority in the Pseudo-Clementines 17-26.




KelleyKnowledge and Religious Authority in the Pseudo-Clementines135-79. Kelley summarizes that what matters in the Rec. is the source of knowledge; only prophetic knowledge is true.


Jones“Pseudo-Clementines,” in Encyclopedia of Early Christianity (ed. E. Ferguson; Garland Reference Library of the Humanities 846; New York & London: Garland1990) 768.

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