A Brief Guide to Philo by Kenneth Schenck

By Kenneth Schenck

It is a compact advent to the paintings of Philo (c. 20 BCE-50 CE), the $64000 Jewish philosopher and scriptural interpreter. Kenneth Schenck offers a advisor for figuring out Philo's advanced works, a roadmap for issues and contents of Philo's writings, and an outline of up to date learn so scholars can simply locate their methods into Philo research.

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29 30 ABriefGuidetoPhilo It must de facto have been more difficult for Diaspora Jews to escape contact with this Hellenistic environment than it was for their counterparts in Palestine. In other words, it was easier to follow Jewish purity laws in Jerusalem than it was in Alexandria. We are not surprised to find individuals who thought they could accommodate Hellenism to one degree or another alongside their Jewish identity without contradiction—advocates of Jewish universalism. Nor are we shocked to find that some Jews left: Judaism because they could not reconcile these two identities.

It is this space that non-Jewish authors clearly identified as Jewish—and that they so frequently derided. We cannot deny Artapanus his Jewish identity, but we can consider him atypical in the connection he makes between Moses and the origins of the animal cults o f Egypt. We do not find this viewpoint in the other Jewish writings that have survived from that period. A n d all the R o m a n emperors were aware that the Jews kept practices different from the other ethnic groups in their kingdom.

2 . 2 Philo s Historical and Apologetic Treatises It is customary to place four o f Philo's surviving works into the category o f "apologetic and historical treatises," although several o f Philo's lost works would also belong in this category. In one reconstruction, we would have 20 ABriefGuidetoPhUo I. a five-volume work showing G o d s protection o f the Jews 1. a lost treatise on Pilate (proposed) 2. a lost treatise on Sejanus (alluded to in Flacc. 1) 3. Against Flaccus {In Flaccum) 4. On the Embassy to Gaius {De Legatione ad Gaium) 5.

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