Friday, April 1, 2022

Philo of Alexandria

PHILO OF ALEXANDRIA (Hellenistic Jew, c. 20 BCE-50 CE)

Philo of Alexandria (or Philo Judaeus) was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher from Alexandria, Egypt. Using allegory, he harmonized Jewish scriptures with Greek philosophy at a time when the Jews were heavily influenced by Greek culture. His use of allegory seemed to deny that the events of the scriptures (and especially the first five books, the Pentateuch) were historical, yet Philo often advocated a literal, historical reading of those books. He wrote the Quaestiones ("Inquiries") on Genesis and Exodus; an Allegorical Commentary explaining the esoteric meanings of Genesis; and the Exposition of the Law, a more straightforward synthesis of topics in the Pentateuch, probably meant to be read by gentiles as well as Jews. He is also credited with writing a few other historical and philosophical works.


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