Philo of Alexandria and Early Judaism

Michael Cover, Philo of Alexandria and Early Judaism in Biblical Research: The Contributions of Ralph Marcus, Earle Hilgert, and Thomas H. Tobin, SJ. Biblical Research 65 (2020) 42-57.

Abstract: The purpose of this celebratory essay is to trace ways Biblical Research has helped foster early Jewish studies (especially on texts of Second Temple Judaism outside of the Hebrew Bible), both as an independent field and as an integral part of “biblical research,” with a special focus on Philo of Alexandria. In the essays of Ralph Marcus, Earle Hilgert, and Thomas H. Tobin, SJ, Biblical Research has published the work of scholars who represent three major phases of Philonic studies in the twentieth century: (1) Philo in the era of Wolfson, the Loeb Classical Library translations, and the discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls (Marcus); (2) Philo in the era of Studia Philonica and the flourishing of source criticism (Hilgert); and (3) Philo in the era of The Studia Philonica Annual and the composition of exegetical commentaries on individual treatises (Tobin).

Two Handbook Articles

Rogers, Justin (2022). “Origen’s Use of Philo Judeaus”. In: Ronald E. Heine, Karen Jo Torjesen (eds.), The Oxford Handbook of Origen. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Bucur, Bogdan G. (2022). “Philo and Clement of Alexandria”. In: Mark Edwards, Dimitrios Pallis, y Georgios Steires (eds.), The Oxford handbook of Dionysius the Areopagite. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 77-93.

Plutarch, Philo and the New Testament

Hirsch-Luipold, Rainer (ed.), “Part 2. Plutarch, Philo and the New Testament”. In: Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts. Bridging Discourses in the World of the Early Roman Empire. Series Brill’s Plutarch Studies, Volume 9, Leiden, Brill

Pleše, Zlatko (2022). ““God Is the Measure of All Things”: Plutarch and Philo on the Benefits of Religious Worship”. In: Rainer Hirsch-Luipold (ed.), Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts. Bridging Discourses in the World of the Early Roman Empire. Series Brill’s Plutarch Studies, Volume 9. Leiden: Brill, 87–108. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004505070_006

Sterling, Gregory E. (2022). “When East and West Meet: Eastern Religions and Western Philosophy in Philo of Alexandria and Plutarch of Chaeronea”. In: Rainer Hirsch-Luipold (ed.), Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts. Bridging Discourses in the World of the Early Roman Empire. Series Brill’s Plutarch Studies, Volume 9. Leiden: Brill, 109–124. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004505070_007

Reydams-Schils, Gretchen (2022). “Philautia, Self-Knowledge, and Oikeiôsis in Philo of Alexandria and Plutarch”. In: Rainer Hirsch-Luipold (ed.), Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts. Bridging Discourses in the World of the Early Roman Empire. Series Brill’s Plutarch Studies, Volume 9. Leiden: Brill, 125–140. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004505070_008

Despotis, Athanasios (2022). “The Relation between Anthropology and Love Ethics in John against the Backdrop of Plutarchan and Philonic Ideas”. In: Rainer Hirsch-Luipold (ed.), Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts. Bridging Discourses in the World of the Early Roman Empire. Series Brill’s Plutarch Studies, Volume 9. Leiden: Brill, 141–161. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004505070_009

Elschenbroich, Julian (2022). “The Mechanics of Death: Philo’s and Plutarch’s Views on Human Death as a Backdrop for Paul’s Eschatology”. In: Rainer Hirsch-Luipold (ed.), Plutarch and the New Testament in Their Religio-Philosophical Contexts. Bridging Discourses in the World of the Early Roman Empire. Series Brill’s Plutarch Studies, Volume 9. Leiden: Brill, 162–174. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/9789004505070_010

De Vita Contemplativa

Diego Andrés Cardoso Bueno,

«El tratado De vita contemplativa de Filón de Alejandría en el marco de la Pentalogía que le atribuye Eusebio de Cesarea.» Gerión. Revista de Historia Antigua  40(1) 2022: 153-178.

Abstract. “The text of De Vita Contemplativa was written by Philo of Alexandria as an encomium of the Jewish people, and it was part of a set of essays aiming to the same purpose. We know about the existence of this group of five writings thanks to Eusebius of Caesarea, who called it Pentalogy. Only three of these five works have survived, and they were probably written (at least most part of them) during Philo’s stay in Rome, at the occasion of the embassy sent by the Hebrew Politeuma to the princeps Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus, better known as Caligula. In this article, we try to establish the essays that were included in the Pentalogy and the order of the original composition or publication.”

The Studia Philonica Annual 2021

The Studia Philonica Annual 2021 / Studies in Hellenistic Judaism Volume XXXIII is now available. Editors this year too are David T. Runia and Gregory E. Sterling. Publisher: SBL Press, Atlanta.

A lot of interesting articles (as usual), a large Bibliography section dealing with Philo-related works for the year 2018, with a Supplement: A Provisional Bibliography 2019–2021, presented some of the works to be presented in the coming years. In addition, there is also a Review section, presenting 13 in-depth reviews.

The articles contained in this volume can be listed thus:

ARTICLES
Carlos Lévy, La notion de progressant chez Philon et Sénèque: Des différences essentielles …………………………………………………………………….. 1
Carson Bay, Philo, the Gospel of John, and Two Moses Traditions: Traditionary Competition over a Cultural Icon ……………………………….. 35
Christopher S. Atkins, Human Body, Divine Image, and the Ascent of the Mind in Philo’s De plantatione………………………………………………… 73
Athanasios Despotis, Aspects of Cultural Hybridity in Philo’s Apophatic Anthropology ………………………………………………………………………………….. 91
David Satran, Repetition and Intention: Grammar and Philosophy in the Exegesis of Philo of Alexandria………………………………………………….. 109

SPECIAL SECTION: FROM EDITIO PRINCEPS TO EDITIO MAIOR: THE HISTORY OF EDITIONS OF PHILO
Gregory E. Sterling, Introduction……………………………………………………….. 125
Gregory E. Sterling, The First Critical Edition of Philo: Thomas Mangey and the 1742 Edition.………………………………………………………….. 133
Abraham Terian, Aucher’s 1822 and 1826 Editions of Philonis Judaei Opera in Armenia Conservata: A History……………………………………………. 161
Michael B. Cover, Karl Ernst Richter’s Schwickert Edition: An Opera Omnia for Its Season ………………………………………………………………………… 175
James R. Royse, The Cohn-Wendland Critical Edition of Philo of Alexandria.………………………………………………………………………………………. 197

‘GOD HAS HAD MERCY ON ME’

Scott D. Mackie, ‘GOD HAS HAD MERCY ON ME’:THEOLOGY AND SOTERIOLOGY IN PHILO OF ALEXANDRIA’S DE SACRIFICIIS ABELIS ET CAINI, In The Journal of Theological Studies, nov. 2021

Abstract

Philo of Alexandria’s treatise De sacrificiis Abelis et Caini offers a rich example of his theology and soteriology. The majestic God of De sacrificiis is transcendent, omnipresent, and absolutely unique. Anthropomorphic and anthropopathic conceptions of God also are memorably discussed and dismissed. Standing in tension with these ontological characteristics are relational attributes of God, which often are expressed in redemptive acts. Thus, the merciful God of De sacrificiis ‘transcends his transcendence’, and compassionately reaches out to humans in need. A full array of soteriological themes populate the pages of the treatise, including the war against the passions, the allegory of the soul, transformative revelatory experiences, salvific worship, contemplative ascent, and the vision of God. Furthermore, the agential acts and roles played by God and humans are complexly intertwined, demonstrating a sophisticated, experientially informed soteriology. Though these important Philonic themes typically are interpreted thematically and systemically, thus ‘ironing out’ any idiosyncrasies, this essay closely attends to the particular thought of this treatise. As a consequence, unique elements and emphases emerge, which in addition to distinctive depictions of divine compassion and soteriological agency, include a Stoic emphasis on reason, the relative absence of mediatorial figures, and a rare portrayal of an unequivocal visio Dei.

Happiness in Second Temple literature

Daniel Maier, Das Glück im antiken Judentum und im Neuen Testament. Eine Untersuchung zu den Konzepten eines guten Lebens in der Literatur des Zweiten Tempels und deren Einfluss auf die frühchristliche Wahrnehmung des Glücks, Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe (Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2021)

A recent publication by Mohr Siebeck on ‘Happiness in Second Temple literature’ contains also an extensive chapter on Philo of Alexandria, and should thus be of special interest to Philo scholars.

New book: Paul and Philo on Abraham

The Norwegian scholar, Per Jarle Bekken has written another study on Paul, and one in which he draws heavily on Philo as a significant part of his Jewish context:

Bekken, Per Jarle. Paul’s Negotiation of Abraham in Galatians 3 in the Jewish Context: The Galatian Converts — Lineal Descendants of Abraham and Heirs of the Promise (Beihefte zur Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 248; Berlin, Boston: De Gruyter, 2021).

 https://doi.org/10.1515/9783110722109

de Gruyter: “This work offers a fresh reading of Paul’s appropriation of Abraham in Gal 3:6–29 against the background of Jewish data, especially drawn from the writings of Philo of Alexandria. Philo’s negotiation on Abraham as the model proselyte and the founder of the Jewish nation based on his trust in God’s promise relative to the Law of Moses provides a Jewish context for a corresponding debate reflected in Galatians, and suggests that there were Jewish antecedents that came close to Paul’s reasoning in his own time. This volume incorporates a number of new arguments in the context of scholarly discussion of both Galatian 3 and some of the Philonic texts, and demonstrates how the works of Philo can be applied responsibly in New Testament scholarship.”

Some recent articles on Philo

Bednarek, T. (2021). “Philo of Alexandria, De Cherubim (1-39)”. Vox Patrum, 79, 505-522. DOI: https://doi.org/10.31743/vp.9683

Niehoff, M. R. (2021). “A Roman Portrait of Abraham in Paul’s and Philo’s Later Exegesis”. Novum Testamentum, 63(4), 452-476. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1163/15685365-12341713

Yli-Karjanmaa, S. (2021). “Hiding One’s Tolerance: Cyril of Alexandria’s Use of Philo”. Lehtipuu, O., Labahn, M. (eds.), Tolerance, Intolerance, and Recognition in Early Christianity and Early Judaism. Amsterdam: Amsterdam University Press, pp. 169-194. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1515/9789048535125-009

Yli-Karjanmaa, S. (2021). “Returning from the Diaspora of the Soul: Eschatology in Philo of Alexandria”. Marlow, H., Pollman, K. & van Noorden, H. (eds.), Eschatology in Antiquity: Forms and Functions (Rewriting Antiquity). Londres: Routledge. ISBN 9781138208315

Vibe,  Klaus, ‘Freedom from Necessity in Philo of Alexandria’s Ethical Thought’, JGRChJ 17 (2021), pp. 9-37

Wasserman, E. (2021). “Philosophical cosmology and religious polemic: The “worship of creation” in the writings of Philo of Alexandria and the Wisdom of Solomon”. Journal for the Study of the Pseudepigrapha, 31(1), 6–28. DOI: https://doi.org/10.1177/09518207211041308

Illuminations by Philo

A new collection of articles on Philo and the New Testament was published most recently by Brill:

Peder Borgen, Iluminations by Philo of Alexandria. Selected Studies on Interpretation in Philo, Paul, and the Revelation of John. Edited by Torrey Seland (Studies in Philo of Alexandria 12: Leiden; Brill, 2021).

The volume contains 17 articles, all previously published in various Journals and Festschriften, and not always easy to track or find. Hence this new volume brings some of the most recent studies by prof. P. Borgen. David E. Aune introduces the volume by summarizing each article in the collection.

For further info about what particular studies are included in this volume, go here.