More Philo Seminar papers available!

I have uploaded some more Philo papers for the upcoming SBL Annual Meeting.

Go see them here:

The papers uploaded most recently are:

  • Ludovica De Luca, Università degli studi Roma Tre
    The bronze snake according to Philo of Alexandria in Legum allegoriae II, 79-81
  • Miriam Ben Zeev, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
    Philo as Historian: His Testimony on the Beginning of the Jewish Settlement at Rome as a Case Study
  • Angela Standhartinger, Philipps-Universität Marburg, Germany
    Philo in ethnographic discourse. Some observations to the literary context of De Vita Contemplativa
  • Justin M. Rogers, Freed-Hardeman University
    The Reception of Philonic Arithmological Exegesis in Didymus the Blind’s Commentary on Genesis

Those uploaded at an earlier time are:

  • David Runia, Queen’s College University of Melbourne
    The place of the treatise De plantatione in Philo’s Allegorical Commentary
  • Frank Shaw, Ashland University
    An Onomastic History: What Can Philo Provide?


John H. Elliott 80!


One of those scholars whose writings I have enjoyed reading the most is John H. Elliott. He is a pleasant person, and his writings rank high on my list; his commentary to 1 Peter is truly magnificent! But his writings in the fields of social science have also proved themselves influential and rewarding to read.

Today, Oct 23., he can celebrate his 80th birthday.

Happy Birthday wishes from from Norway.


A selected bibliography is given below:

Elliott, J. H. 1979 1 Peter: Estrangement and Community, Chicago: Franciscan Herald Press.

Elliott, J. H. 1981 A Home for the Homeless: A Sociological Exegesis of 1 Peter, Its Situation and Strategy, Philadelphia: Fortress Press.

Elliott, J. H. 1982 ‘Salutation and Exhortation to Christian Behavior on the Basis of God’s Blessings (1 [Peter] 1:1-2:10’), RevExp 79/3: 415-25.

Elliott, J. H. 1983 ‘The Roman Provinance of 1 Peter and the Gospel of Mark: A Response to David Dungan’, in Bruce Corely (ed.) Colloquy on New Testament Studies: A Time for Reappraisal and Fresh Approaches, Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 182-94.

Elliott, J.H., 1990, A home for the homeless: A social-scientific criticism of I Peter, its situation and strategy, with a new introduction, Fortress, Minneapolis.

Elliott, J. H. 1985 ‘Backward and Foreward “In His Steps”: Following Jesus from Rome to Raymond and Beyond. The Tradition, Redaction, and Reception of 1 Peter 2:18-24’, in Fernando F. Segovia (ed.) Discipleship in the New Testament, Philadelphia: Fortress Press, 184-209.

Elliott, J.H., 1986, ‘Social-scientific criticism of the New Testament and its social world: More on method and models’, in J.H. Elliott (ed.), Social-scientific criticism of the New Testament and its social world, Semeia 35, pp. 1–33, Scholars Press, Decatur.

Elliott, J. H. 1986 ‘1 Peter, Its Situation and Strategy: A Discussion with David Balch’, in Charles H. Talbert (ed.) Perspectives on First Peter, National Association of Baptist Progessors of Religion Special Studies Series, 9, Macon, GA: Mercer University Press, 61-78.

Elliott, J. H. 1987 ‘Patronage and Clientism in Early Christian Society: A Short Reading Guide’,Forum 3/4: 39-48.

Elliott, J.H., 1988, ‘The fear of the leer. The evil eye from the Bible to Li’l Abner’, Forum 4(4), 42–71.

Elliott, J.H., 1990, ‘Paul, Galatians, and the evil eye’, Currents in Theology and Mission 17, 262–73.

Elliott, J.H. 1991 ‘Household and Meals vs. Temple Purity: Replication Patterns in Luke-Acts’,BTB 21: 102-8 = Hervormde Teologiese Studies 47/2: 386-99.

Elliott, J.H., 1991, ‘The evil eye in the first testament: The ecology and culture of a pervasive belief’, in D. Jobling et al. (eds.),The Bible and the politics of exegesis. Essays in honor of Norman K. Gottwald on his sixty-fifth birthday, pp. 147–159, Pilgrim Press, Cleveland.

Elliott, J. H. 1991 ‘Temple versus Household in Luke-Acts: A Contrast in Social Institutions’, in J. H. Neyrey, The Social World of Luke-Acts, Peabody, MA: Hendrickson Publishers: 211-40 = Hervormde Teologiese Studies 247/1: 88-120.

Elliott, J. H. 1992 ‘Matthew 20:1-15: A Parable of Invidious Comparison and Evil Eye Accusation’, BTB 22: 52-65.

Elliott, J.H., 1992, ‘Matthew 20:1-15: A parable of invidious comparison and evil eye accusation’, Biblical Theology Bulletin 22(2), 52–65.

Elliott, J. H. 1993 What Is Social-Scientific Criticism? Minneapolis: Fortress Press.

Elliott, J.H., 1994, ‘The evil eye and the sermon on the mount. Contours of a pervasive belief in social scientific perspective’,Biblical Interpretation 2(1), 51–84.

Elliott, J.H., 1993, What is social-scientific criticism?, Guides to biblical scholarship, New Testament series, Fortress, Minneapolis.

—— 1998 ‘Phases in the Social Formation of Early Christianity: From Faction to Sect. A Social-Scientific Perspective’, in Peder Borgem, Vernon K. Robbins, and David B. Gowler (eds.) Recruitment, Conquest, and Conflict: Strategies in Judaism, Early Christianity, and the Greco-Roman World, Emory Studies in Early Christianity 6. Atlanta: Scholars Press.

Elliott, J.H., 2000, 1 Peter: A new translation with introduction and commentary, Anchor Bible 37B, Doubleday, Random House, New York.

Elliott, J.H., 2002, ‘Jesus was not an egalitarian. A critique of an anachronistic and idealist theory’, Biblical Theology Bulletin32(2), 75–91.

Elliott, J.H., 2003, ‘The Jesus movement was not egalitarian but family-oriented’, Biblical Interpretation 11(2), 173–210.

Elliott, J.H., 2005, ‘Lecture socioscientifique. Illustration par l’accusation du Mauvais Oeil en Galatie’, in A. Lacocque (ed.), Guide des nouvelles lectures de la Bible, pp. 141–167, Traduction de Jean-Pierre Prévost, Bayard Éditions, Paris.

Elliott, J.H., 2008a, ‘La crítica socio-cientifica: La configuración colectiva y cooperativa de un método’, in C. Bernabé & C. Gil (eds.), Reimaginando los orígenes del cristianismo. Relevancia social y ecclesial de los estudios sobre orígenes del cristianismo. Libro homenaje a Rafael Aguirre en su 65 compleaños, Agora 23, pp. 101–115, Editorial Verbo Divino, Estrella, Navarra.

Elliott, J.H., 2008b, ‘From social description to social-scientific criticism. The history of a society of biblical literature section 1973–2005’, Biblical Theology Bulletin 38(1), 26–36.

Celebrating Turid Karlsen Seim



The Norwegian Professor  in New Testament Studies, dr. Turid Karlsen Seim, turned 70 on last Thursday,  and yesterday she was honored and celebrated by a reception at the Faculty of Theology, University of Oslo, and a great Festschrift was presented.

Karlsen Seim has been a professor at the UiO since 1991; she was, in fact, the first woman who got her degree of dr. theol. in Norway, and the first female dean at the Faculty of Theology. In the last 8 years she has been the leader of the Norwegian Institute in Rome (see further info about her biography in the Festschrift.).

The Festschrift was edited by some of her former students, Anna Rebecca Solevåg, Anne Hege Grung, and Marianne Bjelland Kartzow, and is published by Pickwick Publications: Bodies-Borders-Believers. Ancient Texts and Present Conversations.

You can see the volume HERE, and and get an impression of the various articles (some pages are left out in the presentation)


PS: yes, there is even an article on Philo in the volume (glad you asked :):
Karen L. King, ‘Comparative study of gendered strategies to represent the
sacrality of the group: Philo of Alexandria and a Korean-American Presbyterian Church,’
pp. 3-21).


Lectures on Philo at the SBL Annual Meeting 20015

The SBL Annual Meeting is approaching fast, and it is time to search the Program and make up one’s mind what sessions to attend, and if papers are available before the meeting, what papers to read,… etc  etc.

Here is e listing of what I found about lectures/papers on Philo:

S21-238 Philo of Alexandria; Corpus Hellenisticum Novi Testamenti
Joint Session With: Philo of Alexandria, Corpus Hellenisticum Novi Testamenti

11/21/2015 1:00 PM to 3:45 PM
Room: A701 (Atrium Level) – Marriott

Theme: Philo, Plutarch, and the New Testament
This joint session is the second in a three-part CHNT series on Plutarch and the New Testament that will conclude next year.

Rainer Hirsch-Luipold, Universität Bern – Université de Berne, Presiding

Gregory E. Sterling, Yale Divinity School
When East and West Meet: Eastern Religions and Western Philosophy in Philo of Alexandria and Plutarch (25 min)

Ronald Cox, Pepperdine University
“Through Others”: The Dirty Work of Heavenly Intermediaries in Philo, Plutarch, and Early Christianity (25 min)

Julian Elschenbroich, Protestant University Wuppertal/Bethel
The Mechanics of Death: Philo’s and Plutarch’s View on the Death of the Human (25 min)

Break (10 min)

Zlatko Plese, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill
Ritual, Idolatry, and the Rational Norm in Plutarch and Philo (25 min)

Gretchen Reydams-Schils, University of Notre Dame
Philo and Plutarch on Philautia (25 min)

David T. Runia, University of Melbourne
Response to Papers on Philo and Plutarch (15 min)
Discussion (15 min)


S21-250 Use, Influence, and Impact of the Bible
11/21/2015 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: 202 (Level 2) – Hilton

Andrew Mein, Westcott House, Presiding

The third lecture/paper deals with Philo:
James E. Harding, University of Otago
Masculine Domination and the Anthropology of Biblical Commentary: The Case of Philo of Alexandria (20 min)
Discussion (10 min)


S22-234 Pauline Epistles
11/22/2015 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Room: 207 (Level 2) – Hilton

Edward Adams, King’s College – London, Presiding
Fourth paper:
Brian J. Robinson, Fuller Theological Seminary
“Be a [subordinate] man”: Paul’s Subordinate Masculinity in 1 Corinthians within a Hellenistic Jewish Milieu (25 min)


S22-237 Philo of Alexandria
11/22/2015 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Room: International 4 (International Level) – Marriott

Theme: Philo & the History of Interpretation

Seminar papers will be available on-line at

Sarah Pearce, University of Southampton, Presiding

Nelida Naveros Cordova, Loyola University of Chicago
The Greek Philosophical Tradition in Philo’s Ethical Teaching: Eusebeia for the Service of God and Human Beings (25 min)

Frank Shaw, Ashland University
An Onomastic History: What Can Philo Provide? (25 min)

Michael Francis, University of Notre Dame
Voluntary and Involuntary Sin and the Allegory of the Soul in Philo (25 min)
Break (10 min)

Ludovica De Luca, Università degli studi Roma Tre
The Bronze Snake according to Philo of Alexandria in Legum allegoriae II, 79–81 (25 min)

Justin M. Rogers, Freed-Hardeman University
The Reception of Philonic Arithmological Exegesis in Didymus the Blind’s Commentary on Genesis (25 min)

Discussion (15 min)


S23-136 Philo of Alexandria
11/23/2015 9:00 AM to 11:30 AM

Room: International 4 (International Level) – Marriott
Theme: Historical and Intellectual Traditions in Philo
Seminar papers will be available on-line at

Ellen Birnbaum, Cambridge, Massachusetts, Presiding

Miriam Ben Zeev, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev
Philo as Historian: His Testimony on the Beginning of the Jewish Settlement at Rome as a Case Study (25 min)

Michael Pope, Brigham Young University
Opportunistic Stoicism: Philo’s Quod Omnis Probus Liber Sit and Cicero’s Tusculan Disputations Book 2 (25 min)

Courtney Friesen, University of Oxford
Dying Like a Woman: Philo on the Tragic Death of Polyxena (25 min)

Break (10 min)

Angela Standhartinger, Philipps-Universität Marburg
Philo in Ethnographic Discourse: Some Observations to the Literary Context of De Vita Contemplativa (25 min)

Joan E. Taylor, King’s College – London
The Women Therapeutae and the Divided Space of the ‘Synagogue’ (25 min)
Discussion (15 min)

Next: No lecture focusing expecially on Philo, bu some drawing on him. And the sessions is very relevant for Philo research.


S23-221 Hellenistic Judaism
11/23/2015 1:00 PM to 3:30 PM

Room: A708 (Atrium Level) – Marriott

Theme: Alexandria and the Jews in the Ptolemaic and Roman Periods

Sandra Gambetti, The College of Staten Island – CUNY, Presiding

Alexandrian-Jewish Literature
Jonathan Numada, McMaster Divinity College
Legends of the Septuagint: Alexandria as Date with Jewish Destiny (20 min)

Ashley Bacchi, Graduate Theological Union
The Muses’ Birdcage: Book III of the Sibylline Oracles and Alexandrian Intellectual Competition (20 min)

Patrick O’Kernick, Marquette University
Stelae, Elephants, and Irony: The Battle of Raphia and Its Import as Historical Context for 3 Maccabees (20 min)

Discussion (15 min)

Alexandrian-Jewish Politics and Society

Tyler A. Stewart, Marquette University
Jewish Paideia: Greek Education and Torah in Alexandria (20 min)

Patrick Pouchelle, Centre Sèvres
Was the Greek Pentateuch Intended to Be Used by Non-Jewish Greek Courts? (20 min)

Julia Wilker, University of Pennsylvania
Networks to the Top: The Alabarch’s Family and the Restructuring of the Jewish Elite in Alexandria (20 min)

Discussion (15 min)


S23-319 Early Exegesis of Genesis 1
11/23/2015 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: 313 (Level 3) – Hilton

Theme: Genesis 1 in Philo and Apocryphal Writings

Christoph Markschies, Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin – Humboldt University of Berlin, Presiding

Michaela Bauks, Universität Koblenz – Landau
The Rising of a Disembodiment of Creation by the doctrine of creatio ex nihilo. Alternative Readings of Gen 1,1-3(, 21) in Ancient Jewish Texts of the Second Temple Period (30 min)

Beatrice Wyss, Universität Bern – Université de Berne
Philo of Alexandria and the fifth day of creation (De opificio mundi 62-68) (30 min)

Ekaterina Matusova, Moscow, Russia
Gen 1 in Philo of Alexandria and Related Literature (30 min)


S23-341 Philo of Alexandria
11/23/2015 4:00 PM to 6:30 PM

Room: A701 (Atrium Level) – Marriott

Theme: Philo’s De Plantatione
Seminar papers will be available on-line at

Thomas Tobin, Loyola University of Chicago, Presiding

Albert C. Geljon, Christelijk Gymnasium Utrecht
Sample Translation and Commentary on Philo De Plantatione (10 min)

Maren Niehoff, Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Writing a Commentary on a Philonic Allegorical Treatise (20 min)

David Runia, Queen’s College University of Melbourne
The Place of the Treatise De plantatione in Philo’s Allegorical Commentary (20 min)

Discussion (20 min)
Break (10 min)

James R. Royse, Claremont, California
The Text of Philo’s De plantatione (20 min)

Sami Yli-Karjanmaa, University of Helsinki
Plant. 1–27: The Significance of Reading Philonic Parallels (20 min)

Discussion (20 min)
Business Meeting (10 min)

In the next section, the two first lectures seem very relevant to Philo students:


S23-346 Sabbath in Text and Tradition
11/23/2015 4:00 PM to 6:45 PM

Room: 312 (Level 3) – Hilton

Theme: The Sabbath in Second Temple Judaism and the Greco-Roman World

Sarit Kattan Gribetz, Fordham University, Presiding

Dulcinea Boesenberg, Creighton University
The Construction of Jewish Identity in Philo’s Defense of Sabbath Observance (20 min)
Robert Johnston, Andrews University, Respondent (10 min)

Discussion (10 min)

Malka Z. Simkovich, Catholic Theological Union
The Role of the Sabbath in Jewish Universalist and Particularist Literature of the Second Temple Period (20 min)
Jonathan Klawans, Boston University, Respondent (10 min)

Discussion (10 min)

Anders Runesson new professor in Oslo, Norway

RunessonAfter 12 years in Canada, Anders Runesson has returned to Scandinavia. This summer, he started in his new position as professor in the New Testament at the Faculty of Theology.

Anders Runesson started his academic career at Lund University. Here he took a BA in Jewish Studies, M.Div. and M.A. in Religious Studies, and his Ph.D in 2001. After finishing his Ph.D. at Lund, he worked there at a research project on the Formation of Christian Identity.
Then, in 2003, he was offered the position as Assistant Professor in Early Christianity and Early Judaism at McMaster University in Canada.
“After twelve good years at McMaster I now look forward to working with colleagues and students at the Faculty of Theology in Oslo”, Runesson tells us.

Read more about this here.

Children in the Ancient World and the Early Middle Ages: A Bibliography

Children in the Ancient World and the Early Middle Ages: A Bibliography for Scholars and Students

In connection with the reseach project mentioned below, on Tiny Voices From the Past: New Perspectives on Childhood in Early Europe, a bibliography is posted on the site of the project:

An up-to-date version (Jan. 2014) of this bibliography is available, currently counting 1776 entries. The bibliography will be updated annually. Those interested are more than welcome to propose additions and corrections. These can be sent to Ville Vuolanto

The complete bibliography can be found here (Pdf).

Tiny Voices From the Past: a research project

A research project, centered at the University of Oslo, Department of Philosophy, Classics, History of Arts, and Ideas, is approaching its end. The project (2013-2016) studies the lives of children and attitudes to childhood at a culturally formative stage of European culture: Antiquity and the Early/High Middle Ages. It covers the period from the fifth century BC to the twelfth century AD, but with an emphasis on the period from the first to the eight century.

The project focuses particularly on three types of material:

  • Early Christian apocryphal stories about the childhoods of Jesus and his mother Mary (the Infancy Gospels of Thomas and James),
  • Works by central thinkers (philosophical, theological, political) which reflect different notions about children and childhood, and
  • Material and remains that can in various ways document the lives and experiences of the children themselves (children’s letters, papyrus documents, toys, stories etc.).

Further information about background, methology and scope of the project can be found here (Pdf).

As a part of this project, there will be a Seminar with guest lecturer Professor Margaret MacDonald, Dean of Arts, Saint Mary’s University, Halifax; Canada, presenting “Bringing Children to the Forefront: Small People, Big Questions”

“Taking MacDonald’s recent book The Power of Children: The Construction of Christian Families in the Greco-Roman World as a point of departure, researchers involved in Childhood Studies, Ancient History and New Testament Studies will introduce a discussion on what role different kinds of children may have played, how/if we can get access to traces of real children in the sources, and how childhood perspectives may challenge given ideas about early Christian families, societies and power systems.”

Time and place:
Oct 13, 2015 01:15 PM – 03:00 PM, U305, Domus Theologica, University of Oslo

The Ancient World Digital Library (AWDL)

Some relevant news from Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, at New York University:

Quote 1:

The Ancient World Digital Library (AWDL) is an initiative of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World(ISAW) at New York University. AWDL will identify, collect, curate, and provide access to a broad range of scholarly materials relevant to the study of the ancient world.

With NYU’s Digital Library Technology Services (DLTS), AWDL is developing mechanisms to digitize, preserve, and host digitized print and born-digital scholarly content. We are actively soliciting partnershipswith publishers, scholarly societies, organizations, and individuals who hold the rights to scholarly content as we expand our collection.

For additional information related to AWDL, DLTS, or other ISAW digital initiatives, please subscribe to theISAW Library Blog and/or contact David M. Ratzan, Head Librarian, ISAW.”

Quote 2:

“The ISAW Library is a full-service, non-circulating library of approximately 40,000 volumes related to the history, language, literature, and material culture of the ancient world from the Mediterranean to China. Our collections are searchable via Bobcat, the catalog of print and electronic resources of NYU Libraries.”

Quote 3:

“The ISAW Library and NYU’s Digital Library Technology Services (DLTS) are pleased to announce that they have partnered with the American Society of Papyrologists (ASP) to digitize and publish American Studies in Papyrology, the ASP’s scholarly monographic series, on the Ancient World Digital Library (AWDL). An initial selection of fifteen volumes were published this week, with more volumes to follow later this year.

Each digital object published on AWDL has a unique, persistent URL, may be downloaded as a PDF, and has been cataloged with high-quality MARC records, so that it is discoverable from both Bobcat (NYU’s Library catalog) and WorldCat. The current ASP volumes have already been linked to the authoritative online checklist of editions maintained on, thanks to the team at the Duke Collaboratory for Classics Computing (DC3).”