Fortress Press

Jewish-Christian Interpretation of the Pentateuch in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies

Jewish-Christian Interpretation of the Pentateuch in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies

Donald H. Carlson (Author)


The pseudo-Clementine writings are one of the most intriguing and valuable sources for early Jewish Christianity. They offer a second- or third-century polemic against the form of Christianity that eventually won out, the Gentile-majority, law-free Christianity that took Paul as its champion. Carlson's interest here is in the highly unusual theory expressed in the Homilies that the Pentateuch is saturated with “false pericopes,” and that the teaching of Jesus, the “true prophet,” is the criterion for establishing what the Pentateuch really means.
  • Publisher Fortress Press
  • Format Paperback
  • ISBN 9780800699772
  • eBook ISBN 9781451469677
  • Dimensions 6 x 9
  • Pages 224
  • Publication Date September 1, 2013


"In a thorough and accessible monograph, Donald H. Carlson discusses the origins, logic and justification of the so-called false pericopes theory as found in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies. This is an interesting and helpful contribution both to our understanding of evolving hermeneutical theories among early Christians and the extent to which such theories emerged from a wider Jewish, pagan, as well as Christian, world."
—James Carleton Paget
University of Cambridge
"Jewish-Christian Interpretation of the Pentateuch illumines well late antique approaches to reading Scripture and offers a timely examination of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies, a work that every scholar of early Christianity should know. Donald Carlson is to be commended for this fascinating study."
—Kelley Coblentz Bautch
St. Edward's University

“Carlson’s work is a fresh exploration of one of the most curious aspects of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies, namely its assumption that falsehoods exist within the Jewish Scripture. Understanding the theological layers of this assumption is key to unlocking this complex text as well as further illuminating the various ways Christians interpreted the Bible. Carlson’s insightful analysis offers much-needed clarification on a cryptic subject.”
Kevin Vaccarella
John Tyler Community College