Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Clement of Alexandria (part 2: The Sower)

A very short example today from Clement. Later this week, I will post a lengthy discussion of Clement’s fascinating treatise, Who is the Rich Man that Shall be Saved? and, perhaps, a bit about his interpretation of the Prodigal Son.

Pieter Bruegel the ElderLandscape with the Parable of the Sower, 1557
In Stromata 1.7, Clement comments on the parable of the Sower and illustrates how the preparatory knowledge of God came through Greek philosophy. This preparatory knowledge came not with a definite direction but in the way in which showers fall down on, for example, good land, the dunghill, and houses:

And here we are aided by the parable of the sower, which the Lord interpreted. For the husbandman of the soil which is among men is one; He who from the beginning, from the foundation of the world, sowed nutritious seeds; He who in each age rained down the Lord, the Word. But the times and places which received [such gifts], created the differences which exist. Further, the husbandman sows not only wheat (of which there are many varieties), but also other seeds—barley, and beans, and peas, and vetches, and vegetable and flower seeds. And to the same husbandry belongs both planting and the operations necessary in the nurseries, and gardens, and orchards, and the planning and rearing of all sorts of trees.

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