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Philo and Paideia

A Google alert made me aware of this interesting volume on pedagogy in ancient Judaism and early Christianity. I find it interesting for several reasons; first, because ‘paideia’ was an important issue in the ancient world; second because it was also important to Philo of Alexandria, and third; it was also important to the early Christians. This volume contains studies related to all these fields or issues:

Hogan, Karina Martin, Matthew Goff, and Emma Wasserman, eds. 2017. Pedagogy in Ancient Judaism and Early Christianity. Early Judaism and Its Literature. Atlanta: SBL Press

In addition to the usual Introduction chapter, introducing the various chapters, the volume contains 14 interesting studies. As of special interest to Philo scholars, if one should single out some, I would point to these three:

Ballard, C. Andrew,  “The Mysteries of Paideia: ‘Mystery’ and Education in Plato’s Symposium, 4QInstruction, and 1 Corinthians.” pp. 243–82.

Martin Hogan, Karina,  “Would Philo Have Recognized Qumran Musar as Paideia?”  pp. 81–100.

Zurawski, Jason M., “Mosaic Torah as Encyclical Paideia: Reading Paul’s Allegory of Hagar and Sarah in Light of Philo of Alexandria’s,” pp. 283–308.

In the first mentioned study (I am here drawing on the introductory presentation of the editor Karina Martin Hogan, pp. 1-12), the one by Ballard, explores the pedagogical functions of mystery language, a feature well known to readers of Philo. He argues that “the authors of these compositions (dealt with here) describe their teachings with mystery terminology to distinguish their pedagogical techniques from other forms of education- to legitimate the authority of the instructor, to lead the student on a path to acquire esoteric knowledge, and to encourage the student to experience some sort of transformative vision” (p. 8).

Karina Martin Hogan argues that ‘Philo would have recognized the ‘musar’ practiced by the Dead Sea sect as a kind of paideia, in part because both Philo and the authors of the wisdom texts from Qumran were shaped by the study of Proverbs and the torah” (p. 5)

Then, in his study of Paul’s and Philo’s allegorical use of the story of Hagar and Sarah, Zurawski concludes that “Just as Philo allows that preliminary paideia lays the groundwork for the pursuit of wisdom, Paul believes that the torah prepared the Jewish people for salvation, but that it must be set aside now that salvation is freely given through Christ to Jews and gentiles alike” (p. 9).

Those of you interested in the rest of the studies presented in this volume can read more HERE.

 

New Book: Hebrews and the Temple

HebrewsandthetempleA new book – published by Brill – also includes some discussion of material from Philo:

Philip Church,
Hebrews and the Temple.
Attitudes to the Temple in Second Temple Judaism and in Hebrews.
Novum Testamentum, Supplements 171. Leiden, Brill, March, 2017. €156,00/$180.00. ISBN-10: 9004339507.

The Publisher presents it thus:

In Hebrews and the Temple Philip Church argues that the silence of Hebrews concerning the temple does not mean that the author is not interested in the temple. He writes to encourage his readers to abandon their preoccupation with it and to follow Jesus to their eschatological goal. Following extensive discussions of attitudes to the temple in the literature of Second Temple Judaism, Church turns to Hebrews and argues that the temple is presented there as a symbolic foreshadowing of the eschatological dwelling of God with his people. Now that the eschatological moment has arrived with the exaltation of Christ to the right hand of God, preoccupation with the temple and its rituals must cease.

I have, alas, not been able to see the book yet, but as I have to be better informed about the recent discussion concerning Philo’s possible relationship to Hebrews (or, rather; vice versa!), I think this has to be added to my list!
From Google Books, I gather that it deals with Philo on pp. 64-71 under the heading: ‘Temple Affirmed: Temple Symbolism in Texts reflecting a Positive Attitude to the Temple.’
It seems to be a large book: 614 pages?

How Hebrews and Philo connected Scriptures

Ken Schenk has a brief posting over at his blog Common Denominator, probably summarizing his own paper from SBL Annual Meeting in Baltimore.

Alas, I was not able to attend his presentation as there are so many interesting seminars to attend that there are always some just as interesting to be skipped. I never manage to be in two places at the same time…..

New blog on Hebrews and Philo

Last year Scott D. Mackie launched a blog on Hebrews and Philo, or as he states it: A blog focused on ancient Jewish and early Christian mysticism, particularly the Epistle to the Hebrews and Philo of Alexandria.
So far there are only 3 posts, all about articles he has published. It is to be hoped that he might find time to post more on Hebrews and Philo.
His last post contains a link to a .pdf version of the article he had published in Studia Philonica in 2009:
“Seeing God in Philo of Alexandria: The Logos, the Powers, or the Existent One?”
The Studia Philonica Annual 21 (2009): 25–47
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Philonic Hermeneutics in the Letter to the Hebrews

Thanks to a posting on Polymeros kai polytropos, I became aware of a new book published on Philo and the letter to Hebrews:

Stefan Nordgaard Svendsen.
Allegory Transformed: The Appropriation of Philonic Hermeneutics in the Letter to the Hebrews. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament, Reihe 2. Mohr Siebeck, 2009.

The publishers own presentaation of the book runs thus: “Scholars have long discussed whether the writer of Hebrews might have been influenced by Philo of Alexandria. In spite of any disagreement, though, academics have almost universally concurred that even if bits and pieces of Philo’s thinking should have filtered through to Hebrews, Philo and Hebrews certainly differed with respect to their biblical hermeneutics. Philo, the philosopher, read the Old Testament allegorically, whereas the Christian author of Hebrews committed himself only to typological exegesis. Stefan Nordgaard Svendsen challenges this consensus, arguing that the writer of Hebrews not only employed Philo’s allegorical method, but also developed his own readings of Scripture through critical rereadings of Philo’s exegetical results. This study sheds new light on the intellectual framework of Hebrews as well as on the letter’s purpose and rhetorical strategies.”