On the Life of Abraham

A new commentary on a work of Philo is now on its way through the final stages of its printing process, a commentary I have been looking forward to in a long time:
Philo of Alexandria: On the Life of Abraham

Introduction, Translation, and Commentary

Ellen Birnbaum and John M. Dillon

April 2020 – Hardback
ISBN 978 90 04 42363 3 – € 189
E-ISBN 978 90 04 42364 0 – € 189
Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series, 6

Brill, the publisher, announces this volume thus: “On the Life of Abraham displays Philo’s philosophical, exegetical, and literary genius at its best. Philo begins by introducing the biblical figures Enos, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as unwritten laws. Then, interweaving literal, ethical, and allegorical interpretations, Philo presents the life and achievements of Abraham, founder of the Jewish nation, in the form of a Greco-Roman bios, or biography. Ellen Birnbaum and John Dillon explain why and how this work is important within the context of Philo’s own oeuvre, early Jewish and Christian exegesis, and ancient philosophy. They also offer a new English translation and detailed analyses, in which they elucidate the meaning of Philo’s thought, including his perplexing notion that Israel’s ancestors were laws in themselves.”

The publishing date is set to April 22, both for the E-book and the hardback version. But alas, the price is terribly high: both versions: 189 Euro / $227.00 (1900-2000 Norwegian Kroner) each. With such a policy of price setting, I doubt if it ever will find its way to my personal bookshelves.  I have never ever paid that much for a single book! Maybe it is time for the editors to start some serious negotiations or change to another publisher? Are you listening in, Greg and David?