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Legat. 131-132; Plant. Yet he is little known, except among specialists. Philo Judaeus, ca. Most important of these is Biblical Antiquities, an imaginative reconstruction of Jewish history from Adam to the death of Saul, the first king of Israel. And “the Wisdom of God, which is the nurse and foster-mother and educator of those who desire incorruptible food … immediately supplies food to those which are brought forth by her … but the fountain of divine wisdom is borne along, at one time in a more gentle and moderate stream, and at another with greater rapidity and a more exceeding violence and impetuosity….(Det. 67-69; LA 1.108). Thus we can arrive at it through the dialectical reasoning as apprehension of the First Principle. Philo of Alexandria was a few years older than Jesus of Nazareth and lived longer. Moses was also the interpreter of nature (Her. But Philo is ambiguous in such statements as these: “God, who created all things, not only brought them all to light, but he has even created what before had no existence, not only being their maker, but also their founder” (Somn. 1.7; Sacr. This concept, that it is chiefly in the intellect and free volition that makes humans differ from other life forms, has a long history which can be traced to Anaxagoras and Aristotle.  Philo calls “men of God” those people who made God-inspired intellectual life their dominant issue. Philo, usually known as Philo the Jew (Philo Judaeus) or Philo of Alexandria (a city in Egypt with a large Jewish Diaspora population in Greco-Roman times), lived from about 20 B.C. 124-125). Nevertheless, Philo attempts to harmonize the Mosaic and Platonic accounts of the generation of the world by interpreting the biblical story using Greek scientific categories and concepts. 234-236). The Father eternally begat the Logos and constituted it as an unbreakable bond of the universe that produces harmony (Plant. 79-80; Det. Also, through this Logos, which men share with God, men know God and are able to perceive Him (LA 1.37-38). The one identifiable event in Philo’s life occurred in the year 39 or 40, when, after a pogrom against the Jews in Alexandria, he headed an embassy to the emperor Caligula asking him to reassert Jewish rights granted by the Ptolemies (rulers of Egypt) and confirmed by the emperor Augustus. Shu (Them Boys 3) - Alexandria House. Felicity is achieved in the culmination of three values: the spiritual, the corporeal, and the external (QG 3.16). Virt. He belonged to a wealthy and cultured family, prominent in the Jewish community in Alexandria. Such a direct vision of God is not dependent on revelation but is possible because we have an impression of God in our mind, which is nothing but a tiny fragment of the Logos pervading the whole universe, not separated from its source, but only extended (Det. 25). ... Philo, of Alexandria; Yonge, Charles Duke, 1812-1891. Mission. 115-117). And this same Logos is continually a suppliant to the immortal God on behalf of the mortal race, which is exposed to affliction and misery; and is also the ambassador, sent by the Ruler of all, to the subject race. Both Philo and Plato do not explain how the reflections (eidola) of Forms are made in the world of senses. 16:48); neither being uncreated as God, nor yet created as you, but being in the midst between these two extremities, like a hostage, as it were, to both parties (Her. Sobr. He also mentions the frequency with which he attended costly suppers with their lavish entertainment. Forms exist forever though the impressions they make may perish with the substance on which they were made (Det. One has the impression that he attempted to show that the philosophical Platonic or Stoic ideas were nothing but the deductions made from the biblical verses of Moses. Commenting on Genesis 22:16 Philo explains that God could only swear by himself (LA 3.207). 77). Philo wanted to prove that the Torah and Greek philosophy actually agreed with each other and he used allegory to do that. 2.48; Abr. Ebr. Email: hillar@sbcglobal.net He dedicated his life to the service and defense of Judaism. 118).” Next Philo explains that men are “nourished by the whole word (Logos) of God, and by every portion of it … Accordingly, the soul of the more perfect man is nourished by the whole word (Logos); but we must be contented if we are nourished by a portion of it” (LA 3.175-176). The other category apprehends him through himself, as light is seen by light. Philon Alexandrinus v25/10-40/50. 3. Jos. Following the Jewish mythical tradition, Philo represents the Logos as the utterance of God found in the Jewish scripture of the Old Testament since God’s words do not differ from his actions (Sacr. As a result we acquire some likeness to the Father and the Creator of all (Her. Philo disdained the material world and physical body (Spec. Leiden: E. J. Brill, 2001; paperback ed. Describing Moses’ account of the creation of man, Philo states also that Moses calls the invisible Divine Logos the Image of God (Op. 134, 140) into the objects of the sensible world: Now we must form a somewhat similar opinion of God [Philo makes an analogy to a plan of the city in the mind of its builder], who, having determined to found a mighty state, first of all conceived its form in his mind, according to which form he made a world perceptible only by the intellect, and then completed one visible to the external senses, using the first one as a model (Op. 1.229-230). He may have influenced Paul, his contemporary, and perhaps the authors of the Gospel of John (C. H. Dodd) and the Epistle to the Hebrews (R. Williamson and H. W. Attridge). 112). Philo explicitly identifies Forms with God’s powers. The creation is accomplished when ” the salutary and beneficent (power) brings to an end the unbounded and destructive nature.” Similarly, one or the other power may prevail in humans, but when the salutary power “brings to an end the unbounded and destructive nature” humans achieve immortality. The complete works of Philo of Alexandria (Loeb Classical Library in 12 volumes). 8; Somn. Prob. They are not, however, beings existing separately, only exist in the mind of God as his thoughts and powers. 43). 234-236; Det. 94-95). Philo denies the Aristotelian conclusion coming, according to him, from the superficial observation that the world existed from eternity, independent of any creative act. Philon Ebrajeci, ca25v.Chr.-ca45n.Chr. The next level down represents those limited to the sensible world, unable to perceive the intelligible realities (Gig. Available instantly. 187). His extensive corpus is an important source of early Jewish biblical interpretations. 22) into four primordial elements: For it is out of that essence that God created everything, without indeed touching it himself, for it was not lawful for the all-wise and all-blessed God to touch materials which were all misshapen and confused, but he created them by the agency of his incorporeal powers, of which the proper name is Ideas, which he so exerted that every genus received its proper form (LA 1.329). Following the views of Plato and the Stoics, Philo believed that in all existing things there must be an active cause, and a passive subject; and that the active cause Philo designates as the Logos. All other doctrines of Philo hinge on his interpretation of divine existence and action. And since this is the case, who is foolish enough and ridiculous as to affirm positively that such and such a thing is just, or wise, or honorable, or expedient? Philo claims a scriptural support for these metaphysics saying that the creation of the world was after the pattern of an intelligible world (Gen. 1:17) which served as its model. De Specialibus Legibus; Philo differentiated between philosophy and wisdom.  To him philosophy is “the greatest good thing to men” (Op. The study of philosophy has as its end “life in accordance with nature” and following the “path of right reason” (Mig. 66). leg. 2.249). 2.249). 58; Praem. On the contrary he advocates fulfilling first the practical obligations toward men and the use of mundane possessions for the accomplishment of praiseworthy works (Fug. General philosophical and religious essays. by the prefect Flaccus, during the reign of emperor Gaius Caligula. Samuel Sandmel. 15 BCE–50 CE) was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher. Though Philo’s model of creation comes from Plato’s Timaeus, the direct agent of creation is not God himself (described in Plato as Demiurge, Maker, Artificer), but the Logos. Conf. 4.5 out of 5 stars 10. Quod Omnis Probus Liber Sit; Anim. 32:9), God’s action (Zech. The Divine Logos never mixes with the things which are created and thus destined to perish, but attends the One alone. Philon d’Alexandrie (grec : Φίλων ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεύς, Philôn ho Alexandreus, latin : Philo Judaeus, « Philon le Juif », hébreu : פילון האלכסנדרוני, FYLôN HaLeKSaNDRôNY) [1] est un philosophe juif hellénisé qui est né à Alexandrie vers 20 av. 97-103). Thus ever thinking he creates, and furnishes to sensible things the principle of their existence, so that both should exist together: the ever-creating Divine Mind and the sense-perceptible things to which beginning of being is given (Prov. Philon Hebrajeci v25/10-40/50. His father had apparently played a prominent role in Palestine before moving to Alexandria. Usage Public Domain Mark 1.0 Topics Philo, Judaism, Alexandria, diaspora Collection opensource Language English. Philo, of Alexandria, ca25v.Chr.-ca45n.Chr. Prov. Philo adds, “Only men who have raised themselves upward from below, so as, through the contemplation of his works, to form a conjectural conception of the Creator by a probable train of reasoning” (Praem. His treatise, The Seasons, contains a Parable of Heracles, paraphrased in Xenophon’s Memorabilia (2.1.21-34), which tells the story of Heracles who, at crossroad, was attracted by Virtue and Vice in the form of two women of great stature (Sacr. De Posteritate Caini; Philo’s doctrine of creation is intertwined with his doctrine of God and it answers two crucial questions: 1. On the whole, Philo is in accord with the prevailing Palestinian point of view; nonetheless he differs from it in numerous details and is often dependent upon Greek and Roman law. The Logos, mediating between God and the world, is neither uncreated as God nor created as men. Cher. Philo Judaeus, also known as Philo of Alexandria, was a Jewish philosopher who lived from c. 20 BC to c. 50 AD. Logos has many names as did Zeus (LA 1.43,45,46), and multiple functions. 106-110; Spec. By signing up for this email, you are agreeing to news, offers, and information from Encyclopaedia Britannica. De Confusione Linguarum; In three passages Philo describes the Logos even as God: a.) Philo was Greek-speaking, as were many Jews living in Egypt at that time. Philo Judaeus, ca. Philo was a member of a prominent Jewish family in one of the largest Jewish communities in the early Roman world. Though God is hidden, his reality is made manifest by the Logos that is God’s image (Somn. 50 CE) notes how Greeks and Romans, both of whom were present in Philo’s Alexandria alongside Judeans and Egyptians, responded to the practice of circumcision with scornful laughter. 3.1-6), especially during the crisis relating to the pogrom which was initiated in 38 C.E. 1. 146; Cher. The Logos converted unqualified, unshaped preexistent matter, which Philo describes as “destitute of arrangement, of quality, of animation, of distinctive character and full of disorder and confusion,” (Op. Philo uses an allegorical technique for interpretation of the Hebrew myth and in this he follows the Greek tradition of Theagenes of Rhegium (second half of the sixth century B.C.E.). 13). elements] when you were born, you will again be dissolved into us when you come to die; for it is not the nature of any thing to be destroyed so as to become nonexistent, but the end brings it back to those elements from which its beginnings come” (Spec. 1.7; Sacr. 112-113). Concerning the World. Ancient people did not have the dynamic concept of “function,” therefore, every phenomenon had to have an underlying factor, agent, or principle responsible for its occurrence. Moreover, Moses, according to Philo called this Wisdom “Beginning,” “Image,” “Sight of God.” And his personal wisdom is an imitation of the archetypal Divine Wisdom. And in the process the soul may climb the ladder to perfection by using natural means i.e., natural dispositions, instruction, i.e., being educated to virtue, or by meditation. Herod Agrippa was a … leg. He is also regarded by Christians as a forerunner of Christian theology. 27; LA 1.37; Mut. 94; Abr. Sacr. 50-52). The third group includes historical-apologetic writings: Hypothetica or Apologia Pro Judaeos which survives only in two Greek extracts quoted by Eusebius. Philo (20 B.C.–50 A.D.), known also as Philo of Alexandria (Greek: Φίλων ὁ Ἀλεξανδρεύς, Hebrew: ידידיה הכהן Yedidia Hacohen), Philo Judaeus, Philo Judaeus of Alexandria, Yedidia, "Philon", and Philo the Jew, was a Hellenistic Jewish Biblical philosopher born in Alexandria. 2.64. Maren R. Niehoff , Max Cooper Professor of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, trained in Jerusalem, Berlin, and Oxford and at the Harvard Society of Fellows. 1.155), and an unjust man is the one “who transgresses the ordinances of nature” (Spec. As such he is responsible for his action and “very properly receives blame for the offences which he designedly commits.” This is so because he received a faculty of voluntary motion and is free from the dominion of necessity (Deus 47-48). 12-15). Philo emphasizes, however, that we are limited in our human capabilities to “comprehend everything” about the physical world, and it is better to “suspend our judgment” than to err: But since we are found to be influenced in different manners by the same things at different times, we should have nothing positive to assert about anything, inasmuch as what appears has no settled or stationary existence, but is subject to various, and multiform, and ever-recurring changes. 5:1-4; Ps. But the most universal of all things is God; and in the second place is the Logos of God”(LA 2.86). In the process the Logos became transformed from a metaphysical entity into an extension of a divine and transcendental anthropomorphic being and mediator between God and men. The notion of the utter transcendence of the First Principle probably goes back as far as Anaximander who postulated the Indefinite (apeiron) as this Principle (arche) and could be found in Plato’s concept of the Good,  but the formulation is accredited to Speusippus, the successor of Plato in the Academy.  Philo’s biblical tradition in which one could not name or describe God was the major factor in accepting the Greek Platonic concepts and emphasis on God’s transcendence. In 38 AD, Philo was one of many Egyptian Jews to meet with the Roman Emperor Caligula and he wrote a book about it.

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