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.

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