Philonica et Neotestamentica

Home » Bibliography » Does Philo Help Explain Early Christianity?

Does Philo Help Explain Early Christianity?

January 2010
M T W T F S S
« Dec   Feb »
 123
45678910
11121314151617
18192021222324
25262728293031

At Edinburgh Research Archive I recently discovered there is available an article by Larry W. Hurtado on “Does Philo Help Explain Early Christianity?”
This is a pre-publication version of the essay, which is published in Philo and the New Testament–the New Testament and Philo, eds. Roland Deines, Karl-Wilhelm Niebuhr (Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, 172; Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2004), pp. 73-92. But for those who don’t have that volume available, it might be interesting to read Hurtado’s study in this format. If, however, you should want to refer to it in any publication, the printed version is to be used.

To wet your interest even more, let me cite his conclusion:
“For New Testament scholars, Philo is a resource of unsurpassed value, especially for developing a sense of what Diaspora Judaism represented. In Philo’s voluminous body of extant works, we have a major reservoir of material that is probably not yet studied adequately. Those of us whose primary concern is to understand early Christianity receive gratefully all that Philo specialists can furnish.
Yet, with all sincere appreciation for the importance of Philo and for the labours of those who devote themselves to study of him, neither Philo nor other second-temple Jewish texts “explains” key features of earliest Christianity witnessed in the New Testament, in the sense of accounting for their appearance. In my experience, Philo specialists have only rarely ever suggested otherwise. So, if my discussion of matters in this essay serves any good purpose, it will likely be as exhortation to fellow New Testament scholars to avoid simplistic use of “parallels,” and, instead, with the aid of experts in Philo, to acquire as deep an acquaintance as we can with this remarkable Jewish leader of Alexandria so that we may grasp better what first-century Christianity represented in the context of Roman-era Judaism.”


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: