02.02.22 Philo

02.02.22 Philo

Bill Heinrich  -  Jan 18, 2016  -  Comments Off on 02.02.22 Philo

02.02.22 Philo. Also known as Philo of Alexandria as well as Philo Judaeus (20 B.C. – A.D. 50), was a Jewish philosopher who attempted to blend the Greek and Jewish philosophies together.[1] While he was a resident of Egypt, he was of a wealthy family that, historically, had ties with the Hasmoneans of Jerusalem as well as the Seleucid and Ptolemaic dynasties, both of which were Greek. As a Jew, his writings are valuable because he gave us insight as to how the Egyptian Jews reacted to an encroaching Greek culture.  He described the culture in which the gospels and epistles of the New Testament were written.

Philo was not orthodox in his religious heritage, but a mystic with a strong Gnostic philosophy.  This pagan belief system entered Judaism as well as the early church and, consequently, was addressed by the Apostle Paul in his letter to the Colossians.  Philo’s interpretation of the Scripture was allegorical rather than literal, which is why neither orthodox Jews nor Christians endorsed his views.  His work reflects the philosophy he was promoting.[2] The Jews in Jerusalem and Galilee rejected Gnosticism in the early first century, which may be why Jesus did not address the philosophy. Yet like many other Jewish philosophers, Philo attempted to prove that all wisdom of the Greeks was already written in the Jewish Scriptures.[3]

[1] See 02.02.01.V for more information on this subject.


[2]. Clark, “Philo Judeus.” 4:773-77; Wilson, “Philo Judeus.” 3:847-50.


[3]. Golub, In the Days. 242.


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