After the Image and Likeness

Heather Patton Griffin, After the Image and Likeness of Philo: Romans 1.18 32 and Philo of Alexandria’s Exposition. (A thesis submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for the degree of Master of Theological Studies in the Divinity School of Duke University. 29. nov. 2021.)

Thesis and Purpose of Essay (by the author)

“This thesis compares the themes and premises established in the first work of the  Exposition, On the Creation of the Law According to Moses, and compares them with Romans 1.18-32 by Paul the Apostle. Paul is, of course, the author that most people would associate with the above description of a first century Jewish writer; and the first chapter of the letter to the Romans is the work most likely to come to mind when reading my compact paraphrase of Philo’steachings from the first few books of his  Exposition series. The theological assumptions of Rom 1.18-32 match not only the central themes and concepts of Philo’s  Exposition series but are logically interrelated in a way that mirrors Philo’s own arguments in the first two books of the  Exposition series (On the Creation and On the Life of Abraham ) as well as On the Life of Moses, a prequel or companion to the  Exposition.

Comparing Rom 1.18-23 to Philo’s  Exposition helps us understand several puzzling features of the pericope. Philo’s  Exposition helps us explain the complex compound allusion of Gen 1.26, Deut 4.15-18, and Ps 106.20 (105.20 LXX) in Rom 1.23 and the progression from failure to honor God, idolatry, and homosexual intercourse in Rom 1.18-27. Philo uses the language of “image” and “likeness” in Gen 1.26 to import Plato’s dual structure of the cosmos onto Gen 1-3 and to establish an anthropology in which the human mind is read as the likeness of the image of God. Decline into vice in Philo’s  Exposition always begins with an impious refusal to honor the God knowable through creation. By valuing the pleasures of the senses enticed by the beauty of created things over knowledge of God, the rational human mind becomes disordered.

Drawing from Middle Platonic and Stoic readings of Plato’s creation narrative in the Timaeus (Tim ) as well as a tradition of reading Gen 1 as a cosmological hierarchy in Deut  4.15-19, Philo reads the bestowal of human dominion over creation in Gen 1.26, 28 as a placement of humans higher than animals on a hierarchy due to their possession of divine reason. Philo’s critiques of Egyptian-style animal worship are framed as a denigration of the human mind by worshipping irrational beasts. Philo treats sex as only appropriate when practiced temperately in marriage for the purposes of procreation, which informs his description of the men of Sodom in  Abr 135-136. Moral transformation in Philo is either ascent or descent along the cosmological hierarchy as the mind becomes more like God or more like the lower elements of creation.

These Philonic elements offer us a reading of Rom 1.18-27 as a descent down a Platonized and Stoicized hierarchy of Gen 1 in which humans degrade their rational likeness to the image of God by failing to honor God, degrade their dominion over animals by worshipping animals, and degrade the Gen 1.27-28 command for males and females to be fruitful and multiply. The choice of Egyptian-style polytheism and homosexual intercourse in Rom 1.23 and Rom 1.26-27 were likely chosen to supply inversions of the Gen 1 hierarchy on points describing God’s intentions for humans in Gen 1.26-28. The allusions to Jewish scripture combined with Middle Platonic and Stoic elements in Rom 1.18-32 (particularly in the assumption that humans are capable of knowing something of God through nature) indicate that this inversion of the Gen1 hierarchy is more in agreement with a Philonic reading of Torah than with the Deut 4.15-19 tradition in isolation.”

Conference: Philo of Alexandria in the Context of the Roman Empire

Conference organized by  Prof. Dr. Maren Niehoff,  Martin Hengel-Fellow  2019/20 and  Max Cooper Professor of Jewish Thought at the Hebrew University, Jerusalem.

Sunday, May 22, 2022
14.45:  Greetings: Dean Prof. Dr. Birgit Weyel, Ephorus Prof. Dr. Volker Drecoll, Prof. Dr. Maren Niehoff.
Philosophical Perspectives I (chair: Maren R. Niehoff, Jerusalem)
15.00-15.45: Gregory Sterling (Yale University): “Philo and Seneca”
15.45-16.30:  Enrico Magnelli (Università degli Studi di Firenze): “Between Platonic Paideia and Roman discipline: Philo and Josephus on Courage”
16.30-17.15:  Gretchen Reydams-Schils (University of Notre Dame): “Philo and Musonius Rufus”
Philosophical Perspectives II (chair: David Runia, Melbourne)
17.45-18.30: Volker Drecoll (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen) : “Philo and Severus”
18.30-19.15: Irmgard Männlein-Robert (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen): “Philo and Numenius”

Monday, May 23, 2022
Philo and the New Testament (chair: Volker Drecoll, Tübingen)
9.00-9.45: Matthias Becker (Universität Heidelberg): “Philo’s Biographies and the Gospels of the New Testament”
9.45-10.30: Joan R. Taylor (King’s College London): “Another Look at Logos Theology in Philo and John”
11.00-11.45: Daniel Lanzinger (Theologische Fakultät Paderborn): “Divine Providence and Politics: Observations on Philo and Luke-Acts”
11.45-12.30: Philip Alexander (University of Manchester): “The Question of Hebrews and Philo Revisited”
Literary Perspectives (chair :Thomas Schmitz, Bonn)
14.30-15.15: Rebecca Langlands (University of Exeter): “Philo’s Gymnosophists and Roman Exemplary Ethics”
15.15-16.00: Maren R. Niehoff (The Hebrew University of Jerusalem): “A Cynic Image of Heracles in Philo’s Probus”
16.30-17.15: Ludovica de Luca (Università degli Studi dell’Aquila): “Philo of Alexandria and Vitruvius: God as Architect in Rome”
17.15-18.00: Jason König (University of St. Andrews). “Human and Environment in Philo’s On the Life of Moses”

Tuesday, May 24, 2022
Historians at Work (chair: Sebastian Schmidt-Hofner, Tübingen)
9.00-9.45: Mischa Meier (Eberhard Karls Universität Tübingen) . “Nero’s Persecution of the Christians and the Jews”
9.45-10.30: Loveday Alexander (University of Sheffield). “Josephus and Luke in Rome”
11.00-11.45: Edward Watts (UC San Diego). “Roman and Greek: Intellectuals, Roman Citizens and the Productive Tension between Hellenism and Romanitas”

11.45-12.30: Concluding Discussion

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.”

Studies in Honor of James R. Royse

Alan Taylor Farnes, Scott D. Mackie, and David Runia (eds.), Ancient Texts, Papyri, and Manuscripts. Studies in Honor of James R. Royse. (New Testament Tools, Studies and Documents, Volume: 64. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill. 2021). €139.00 $167.00.

“This volume honors Prof. James R. Royse on the occasion of his seventy-fifth birthday and celebrates his scholarly achievement in the fields of New Testament textual criticism and Philonic studies. An introductory section contains a biographical notice on the honoratus and a complete list of his scholarly publications. Part one contains nine articles on New Testament textual criticism, focusing on methodological issues, difficult passages and various textual witnesses. Part two presents eight studies on the thought, writings, textual record, and reception of Philo of Alexandria. This wide-ranging collection of articles will introduce the reader to new findings in the scholarly fields to which Prof. Royse continues to make such an outstanding contribution.” (adopted from the publisher’s webpage.

The eight studies “on the thought, writings, textual record, and reception of Philo” are listed below:

10 The Scribes of Philo of Alexandria’s Oxyrhynchus Codex
  Sean A. Adams

11 Of Dreams and Editions: Emendations, Conjectures, and Marginal Glosses in David Hoeschel’s Copy of De Somniis 2
  Michael B. Cover

12 Enduring Divine Discipline in Philo, De Congressu 157–180 and the Epistle to the Hebrews 12:5–17
  Scott D. Mackie

13 The Late-Byzantine Philonic Treatise De mundo: Analysis of its Method and Contents
  David T. Runia

14 The Student Sharpens the Master’s Face: The Text of QE 2.62 Reconsidered
  Frank Shaw

15 Philon als Jurist
  Folker Siegert

16 In Fragments: The Authenticity of the Hypothetica
  Gregory E. Sterling

17 The Conflation of Israel’s Past, Present, and Future in Philo
  Abraham Terian

Great news!

In an earlier posting below I have mentioned that a new bibliographic volume of Philo of Alexandria has been published this fall: Philo of Alexandria: an Annotated Bibliography 2007-2016.

Now we can bring the good news telling that the three former volumes containing such bibliographies, that is, An Annotated Bibliography 1937-1986; An Annotated Bibliography 1987–1996, and An Annotated Bibliography 1997–2006 are now all available online for free on Brills open Access site! Links are provided below.
Enjoy!

R. Radice and Douwe (David) Runia, editors,
Philo of Alexandria. An annotated bibliography 1937-1986
Series: Vigiliae Christianae, Supplements, Volume: 8. Brill,1988.

D.T. Runia, ed., Philo of Alexandria. An Annotated Bibliography 1987-1996, with Addenda for 1937-1986
Series: Vigiliae Christianae, Supplements, Volume: 57. Brill,2000.

D.T. Runia, ed., Philo of Alexandria. An Annotated Bibliography 1997-2006
Series: Vigiliae Christianae, Supplements, Volume: 109. Brill, 2012.

The availability of open access to the first two of these bibliographies has been made possible by a generous subsidy from Freed-Hardeman University, Tennessee, USA.

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

Annotated Bibliography 2007-2016

The long-awaited annotated bibliography on Philo of Alexandria, comprising works published in 2007-2016 is now about to be released from the press:

Philo of Alexandria: an Annotated Bibliography 2007-2016

With addenda for items earlier than 2006. Series:  Vigiliae Christianae, Supplements, Volume: 174. Editor: David T. Runia. Publisher: Brill, Leiden, 2021.

This volume is a further continuation of the annotated bibliographies on the writings and thought of the Jewish exegete and philosopher Philo of Alexandria, following those on the years 1937–1986 published in 1988, 1987–1996 published in 2000 and 1997–2012 published in 2012. Prepared in collaboration with the International Philo Bibliography Project, it contains a complete listing of all scholarly writings on Philo for the period 2007 to 2016. Part One lists texts, translations, commentaries, etc. (75 items). Part Two contains critical studies (1143 items). In Part Three additional items up to 2006 are presented (27 items). In all cases, a summary of the contents of the contribution is given. Six indices, including a detailed Index of subjects, complete the work.