Philonica et Neotestamentica

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Philo and Apollos

August 2009
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apolllosIn reading the book by Patrick J. Hartin on Apollos (see my posting below) , I came over this statement about the possible relationship between Philo and Apollos: (p.83):

Since Apollos and Philo both came from the same city and were contemporaries, it is logical to presume that Apollos either knew Philo or at least was familiar with his thinking and writings. Given that Apollos was also well versed in the Scriptures, (Acts 18:24) it can be further conjectured that his understanding of these Scriptures must have been influenced by Philo’s philosophy and teachings. No wonder the Jesus group of Corinth was impressed by his rhetoric as well as his philosophic wisdom in explaining the Scripture’s.”

He is not the first to suggest that Apollos might have been aquainted with Philo, if not directly so at least indirectly. Acts 18:24 does indeed locate Apollos as one coming from Alexandria.
Hartin, however, is keen to distinguish between Paul’s letters to the Corinthians and the Lukan Acts, as works stemming from first and third generation Christians respectively. Hence I had expected a more historical discussion of the relations of these sources: To what degree can Acts be used as a source for how the historical Apollos was or where he did come from? Paul nowhere says Apollos came from Alexandria.
Second: And thus how can this explain he behaviour in Corinth? Some scholars (e.g. Gäckle) characterize the strong ones, presumably present in 1 Cor 8-10, as possibly belonging to the Apollos group (1 Cor 1:12). I would have liked Martin also dealing with such hypotheses concerning Apollos in his otherwise fine book.


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