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Philo of Alexandria (a.k.a. Philo Judaeus, ca. 15 BCE–50 CE) was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher. His extensive corpus is an important source of early Jewish biblical interpretations. SBLHS §8.3.6 includes guidelines for citing the works of Philo. The link below updates those guidelines.
A review of a recent book on the use of Scripture in 1 Peter is posted today on Bookreviews.org:
Patrick T. Egan
Ecclesiology and the Scriptural Narrative of 1 Peter
Reviewed by Torrey Seland
This volume represents the publication of a PhD dissertation written at the University of St. Andrews, Scotland. The goal of the work is to carry out a study of the role of Isaiah in 1 Peter. As it is stated in the introduction, over half of the quotations in 1 Peter are taken from Isaiah. In addition, Egan suggests, the use of the quotations and allusions from 1 Peter are important for understanding the ecclesiology of 1 Peter. Egan’s thesis runs as follows: “the ecclesiology of First Peter draws upon the narrative of the restoration of divine presence among his people presently experiencing suffering, which is informed largely by the themes and images of the Isaianic corpus, so that the church is identified as participants in this scriptural narrative through its participation in Christ, who is understood to be the Messiah of the scriptures” .
Brian J. Wright, Communal Reading in the Time of Jesus: A Window into Early Christian Reading Practices Hardcover – December 1, 2017. Fortress Press.
Much of the contemporary discussion of the Jesus tradition has focused on aspects of oral performance, storytelling, and social memory, on the premise that the practice of communal reading of written texts was a phenomenon documented no earlier than the second century CE. Brian J. Wright overturns that premise by examining evidence that demonstrates communal reading events in the first century. Wright disproves the simplistic notion that only a small segment of society in certain urban areas could have been involved in such communal reading events during the first century; rather, communal reading permeated a complex, multifaceted cultural field in which early Christians, Philo, and many others participated. His study thus pushes the academic conversation back by at least a century and raises important new questions regarding the formation of the Jesus tradition, the contours of book culture in early Christianity, and factors shaping the transmission of the text of the New Testament. These fresh insights have the potential to inform historical reconstructions of the nature of the earliest churches as well as the story of canon formation and textual transmission.
Gregory E. Sterling (ed.), Studies in Philo in Honor of David Runia. Studia Philonica Annual: Studies in Hellenistic Judaism, volume XXVII (2016). Atlanta: SBL Press, 2016. Pp. x, 465. ISBN 9780884141815. $61.95.Reviewed by Ilaria Ramelli, Catholic University; Angelicum; Princeton (email@example.com)
See review at http://bmcr.brynmawr.edu/2017/2017-07-16.html
Prof. Louis H. Feldman, one of the greatest Josephus scholars ( and well versed in Philo too), has passed away.
VR (virtual reality) viewers and videos are getting increasingly popular these days, and one might presume that several Christmas gifts this year were related to VR.
What is VR? VR, according to Wikipedia, “typically refers to computer technologies that use software to generate realistic images, sounds and other sensations that replicate a real environment (or create an imaginary setting), and simulate a user’s physical presence in this environment, by enabling the user to interact with this space and any objects depicted therein using specialized display screens or projectors and other devices. VR has been defined as “…a realistic and immersive simulation of a three-dimensional environment, created using interactive software and hardware, and experienced or controlled by movement of the body” or as an “immersive, interactive experience generated by a computer”. A person using virtual reality equipment is typically able to “look around” the artificial world, move about in it and interact with features or items that are depicted on a screen or in goggles. Virtual realities artificially create sensory experiences, which can include sight, touch, hearing, and, less commonly, smell. Most 2016-era virtual realities are displayed either on a computer monitor, a projector screen, or with a virtual reality headset (also called head-mounted display or HMD). HMDs typically take the form of head-mounted goggles with a screen in front of the eyes. Some simulations include additional sensory information and provide sounds through speakers or headphones. Virtual Reality actually brings the user into the digital world by cutting off outside stimuli. In this way user is solely focusing on the digital content.”
There are several ways of viewing, e.g., VR videos. Old me even got a viewer to see videos on Iphone. There are, namely, several apps available for Iphone, that when viewed in a special viewer, can display simple VR videos. But of course, the better the equipment, the better the end result.
VR and the ancient world. The main reason for this blog post is, however, a brief post recently by Jim Davila on his own blog, pointing to the existence of a new app ( http://www.lithodomosvr.com/ ) making it possible to ‘see’ ancient Jerusalem and other sites from the ancient Greek and Roman world.
One might surmise that here may lay great opportunities for educational valuable devices. Or, to quote from the Lithodomus website: “Archaeology and virtual reality are changing the way we view and understand history. From excavated remains we can reflect centuries of history, from Classical Greece to the Roman Empire, and deliver it seamlessly in a virtual reality headset.”
Logos Bible Software , now produced under the wider company name of Faithlife.com, has this week launched a new version of their program; now named Logos 7. In addition to an expansion of the variety of packages (?) and contents of most of their packages (there is an impressive range of various packages available), it was also announced that the Loeb Philo edition (English and Greek) would be included in one of them!
It turns out that the Loeb Philo edition will not be included in the two cheapest packages called Starter (361 dollars) and Bronze (700 dollars), but in the ones called Silver, Gold, Platinum, Diamond, Portfolio and Collectors edition (with a range of prices from 1200 to 12000 dollars!). For a comparison of the contents of the various packages, see here.
The Loeb Philo edition can also be bought as a separate book collection for those having older versions or not wanting to upgrade to a more expansive Logos 7 package. The collection has been open to pre-ordering for some time now, and according to this page, it is now under development. But now fixed date is given for its publication.
The volume I edited, Reading Philo. A Handbook to Philo of Alexandria (paperversion publ. 2014), is also under development. Hopefully, both the Loeb edition and Reading Philo will be available ‘soon’! 🙂