“Writing to the Romans: Philo of Alexandria and Paul”

On Monday, February 10, 2020 – 5:30pm to 6:30pm, at Yale Divinity School (409 Prospect Street, New HavenCT) Maren R. Niehoff will give a lecture on

“Writing to the Romans: Philo of Alexandria and Paul.”

I hope this lecture will result in an article too, as many more than those able to attend the lecture will probably be interested in her views concerning Paul and Philo and their relations with Rome.

Maren R. Niehoff is Max Cooper Professor of Jewish Thought at Hebrew University, Israel, and now also a Martin Hengel Fellow at Tübingen University. Her two latest books are Bible Exegesis and Homeric Scholarship in Alexandria (Cambridge 2011, paperback 2014), and Philo of Alexandria: An Intellectual Biography (Yale, 2018).

Book to come

reception of the BibleA new book on the Reception of the Bible in Ancient Judaism and Christianity is scheduled to appear in September 2020:

“Reading the Bible is of key importance for Judaism and Christianity. By way of examples, the contributions to this volume engage with the whole width of the reception histories of the Jewish and Christian Bibles. The literatures its contributions study range from the Dead Sea Scrolls into Rabbinic and Patristic literature. In addition to the literary reception history of biblical texts, this volume also engages with the reception of the Bible in Jewish and Christian art history. To generate a broad insight each area is addressed by one or more examples, contributed by prominent international scholars. In addition they illuminate what unites and what divides Judaism and Christianity in their readings of Holy Scriptures.A study on Jeremiah 33:14-26 and its reception in Judaism and Christianity opens the volume, followed by one on the reception of the bible in Ancient Judaism. Further discussions of receptions from different contexts such as rabbinic Literature or Patristic Biblical Interpretation of sections of the bible spread the viewed discourse. Concluding a study on the bible in (late) antique Christian art changes the medium and takes a look at selected textiles.” (adopted from the Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht webpage.)


Conference in Münster on Philo

Michael Cover informs us that on May 12-13 this year, there will be a conference in Münster on Philo: “a Tagung that Lutz Doering and I have put together in connection with my Humboldt Fellowship at the Institutum Judaicum Delitzschianum.”
There will be 7 papers, and all sessions will receive a response by David T. Runia.
Michael Cover states that “If you are in Europe or would otherwise like to attend, please register with Maria Arnhold (arnhold@uni-muenster.de) by 3 May 2019. Also, we would appreciate it if you might pass on the information to other colleagues and students who might be interested.
Here is more info on the various papers to be presented:
Philo of Alexandria and Philosophical Discourse
12–13 May 2019
Evangelisch – Theologische Fakultät
Universitätsstraße 13-17, Raum ETH 102
13.00–13.15 Welcome and Opening Remarks
13.15–14.15 “Philo’s Library and the Libraries of
Philosophical Schools”
Gregory Sterling, Yale Divinity School
14.45–15.45 “The Difficulty of Being Theologically and
Philosophically Orthodox: Reincarnation and Afterlife as
a Test Case”
Rainer Hirsch-Luipold, Universität Bern
15.45–16.45 “Exemplary Ethics in Philo’s Every Good
Man is Free
Maren Niehoff, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
17.15–18.15 “Stoicism, Platonism and Judaism in the
Omnis Probus: Philo’s Authorial Stance”
Troels Engberg-Pedersen, University of Copenhagen
18.15–18.45 Response to Sessions One & Two
David Runia, The Institute for Research & Critical Inquiry,

Australian Catholic University

Institutum Judaicum Delitzschianum
Wilmergasse 1
9.00–10.00 “Is Philo’s Moses a Pyrrhonian Hero?”
Carlos Lévy, Université Paris-Sorbonne (Paris IV)
10.30–11.30 “Scepticism and Contemplation in Philo of
Mauro Bonazzi, University of Utrecht
14.00–15.00 “What’s in a Name Change? Neo-
Pythagorean Arithmology and Middle-Platonic
Namewrights in Philo’s Orchard of Philosophy”
Michael Cover, Marquette University / Humboldt Fellow,
WWU Münster
15.30–16.00 Response to Sessions Three & Four
David Runia, IRCI, Australian Catholic University
16.00–16.30 Summary Discussion
Lutz Doering, WWU Münster, moderator


New Commentary on Philo


In 2001, the first volume in the then-new commentary series on Philo was published: On the Creation of the Cosmos according to Moses. Introduction, Translation and Commentary, by David T. Runia. Then followed Philo’s Flaccus (by Pieter van der Horst) in 2003; On Virtues in 2011 (by Walter T. Wilson), and On Cultivation (by Albert C. Geljon and David T. Runia), in 2013.

Several volumes have been in the making for several years no, and it seems that in the not so far away future, there will be published several new volumes.

Maybe the volume published most recently introduces a new wave of commentaries on Philo. Anyway, at the very end of 2019, it was announced that a fifth volume was out:

Philo of Alexandria On Planting

Introduction, Translation and Commentary

Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series (PACS)

By Albert C. Geljon and David T. Runia

The volume is introduced thus by the publisher:

The Jewish exegete and philosopher Philo of Alexandria has long
been famous for his complex and spiritually rich allegorical
treatises on the Greek Bible. The present volume presents
first translation and commentary in English on his treatise De
plantatione (On planting), following on the volume devoted to On
cultivation published previously by the same two authors. Philo
gives a virtuoso performance as an allegorist, interpreting Noah’s
planting of a vineyard in Genesis 9.20, first in theological and
cosmological terms, then moving to the spiritual quest of both of
advanced souls and those beginning their journey. The translation
renders Philo’s baroque Greek into readable modern English. The
commentary pays particular attention to the treatise’s structure, its
biblical basis and its exegetical and philosophical contents.

The next volume to be published will be On the Life of Abraham, written by Ellen Birnbaum and John M. Dillon. Scheduled for Apr. 22. 2020.

Congratulations to the writers and editors for keeping this commentary series alive!