Philonica et Neotestamentica

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Logos 7 and Loeb’s Philo

Logos Bible Software , now produced under the wider company name of, 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.

Reading Philo

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’!  🙂


Good News for Norwegian Bible Readers

The most recent Norwegian bible translations from the Norwegian Bible Society are now available in the Logos Bible Software! This is great news for both the Norwegian users of Logos as well as others interested in the Norwegian translations.

This addition to the Logos Library has been in process for a rather long time (several years), most probably due to a slow subscription process. One may, alas, be somewhat surprised over the high pricing of the volumes. But all in all, it is wonderful to have these translations available in Logos too, as they have already been available for some time in both Bibleworks and Accordance.

NotaBene 11.5



The new Nota Bene 11.5 is the best version  ever produced, and it provides some very useful new features that will make your research and writing much easier.

For those of you who purchased Nota Bene 10 Plus or Nota Bene 11, this is a $60 upgrade. Those who are upgrading from versions 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, or 10 of Nota Bene have until June 24 to upgrade at reduced prices — NB have extended the date to give you one last chance! Log in to see the price that applies to you, or see what is new in this version on the Upgrade FAQ for a list of the current upgrade prices.


I am not affiliated with this company, but I have used NotaBene since 1985, and find it extremely helpful for my scholary writing.

Philo at SBL International Meeting 2016

The annual SBL International Meeting will this year be held in partnership with the Korea New Testament Society, Korea Old Testament Society, and the Society of Asian Biblical Studies, in Seoul, South Korea, on July 2 – 7.

In the group on Hellenistic Judaism, (July 5;  4:00 PM to 5:30 PM, Room: B145 – Baekyang Hall (Yonsei)) there will be a session on Current Scholarship Reads Philo, featuring these scholars and topics:

Elisa Uusimäki, Helsingin Yliopisto – Helsingfors Universitet
The Practise of Spiritual Exercises according to Philo of Alexandria (25 min)

Abstract: “This paper examines the intermingling of Jewish and Graeco-Roman traditions in Philo’s view of a wise way of life. How does this Jewish author, who lived in the multicultural society of Alexandria in the first century CE, depict the cultivation of a person towards being a philosopher (filosofos), a lover of wisdom, and eventually a sage (sofos) who possesses wisdom? The analysis focuses on the embodiment of wisdom in everyday life and draws on Pierre Hadot’s studies on ancient philosophy as a lifestyle. Drawing on Hadot’s observations concerning the centrality of spiritual exercises in the search for wisdom, I will show that Philo too imagines the performance of wisdom as entailing constant practice. The treatises Quis rerum divinarum heres sit and Legum allegoriarum include two passages where Philo attributes lists of spiritual exercises to Jacob, the eponymous patriarch who represents wisdom to be attained specifically through practice. It will be argued that the exercises listed by Philo are largely familiar from Greek philosophy, yet the named exercises contain Jewish tones that “domesticate” them and enable the audience to grasp how to live a philosophical life in a Jewish manner. For Philo, the process of seeking wisdom connects Jews with Graeco-Roman philosophers. The practice of at least some of the spiritual exercises may originate from the former, yet it can coexist with and even contributes to the performance of his own Jewish tradition.”

Discussion (10 min)

Jee Hei Park, Fordham University
Philo’s Racial Mapping as a Defense and Definition of Jewishness: Reading Ethnicity in theLegatio ad Gaium (25 min)

Abstract: “In this paper, I examine Philo’s racial mapping in the Legatio ad Gaium with the aim of showing this apologetic writing as an effort to articulate Jewish identity in the non-Judean land. The riot in Alexandria in 38 CE significantly challenged the Jews, who had enjoyed religious and political liberty as maintaining their community in a type of politeia since the Ptolemaic kingdom, to redefine their Jewish identity. Philo tells us that Greek nationalists of Alexandria who loathed the Jews encouraged Flaccus, their prefect, to deprive the Jews of privileges, and finally, the Alexandrian mob burst into the street and attacked the Jews and desecrated the synagogues. I propose that Philo draws upon “race” (ethnos or genos) as the locus in which Jewishness—not only in its geographical meaning, but also culturally and customarily—is reframed. Ethnicity is usually regarded as an identity marker to the biological relationship with a male ancestor or to a geographical origin. However, Philo shifts this limited definition of ethnicity by emphasizing the significance of subjective actions such as observing the Law, participating in the synagogue, and collecting money; Jewishness can be delineated by practicing Jewish paideia. Moreover, when Jewishness is mapped out as a race, it is able to coincide with other ethnicities. Philo complexifies the ethnic identity of the Alexandrian Jews along with their bond with Judea, their origin. By symbolizing Jerusalem as the mother city for diasporic Jews, Philo confers certain concreteness on the Jewishness of the diasporic Jews and simultaneously keeps Jewishness open to others such as the civic world of Alexandria and the Roman Empire. Insofar as others do not impede their subjective actions, Jewish ethnicity can be multiethnic so that the Alexandrian Jews might not be considered legitimate residents of Alexandria.”

Discussion (10 min)

ITQ review

The Irish Theological Quarterly had a review of  T. Seland (ed.), Reading Philo,  in volume 81 (February 2016), pp. 103104, written by Jonathan Burroughs, at St Patrick’s College, Maynooth.

The review is, in general, positive:”Taken together, the chapters equip their readers with a good overview of Philo’s works and of the state of research in Philonic studies.”But the reviewer regrets the lack of a subject index, and would also have liked to have found  a clear leitmotif (or connecting thread) running throughout the chapters.



Every year there are several scholarly Bible conferences held around the world. Many -if not most-of these are arranged by some scholarly organisations. Some conferences are focusing on Old Testament issues, some on New Testament, and others then, on various other fields of study like the Pseudepigrapha, Qumran etc. etc. As far as I know there is only one such conference that has had a postage stamp issued in its honor, and that is the 1980 conference of the International Organization for the Study of the Old Testament (IOSOT), held in Vienna, Austria in 1980.

See more on this here.

Norwegian Bible Society 200 anniv.

The Norwegian Bible Society
is celebrating their 200th Anniversary this spring.

In the early years of the nineteenth century several Bible societies were established in order to promote the printing and propagation of the Bible. Important for the establishment of the Norwegian Bible society was the British society, established in 1804, and the growing national awareness in Norway after 1814, when the Norwegian constitution (grunnlov) were written. At the time when the Norwegian Society was established, the Bible was not to be found in every home. Some later calculations have suggested that only every fourth home had access to a Bible, but it probably  varied from county to county in Norway.

The Bible translation available was in Danish; hence there was a great need in Norway for a Norwegian translation. But it took some time before it was realized.It was first in the twentieth century that the whole Bible was translated into Norwegian, in 1892 (partly  revised/partly translated), 1930, 1978 (revised 1985), and the last one in 2011.