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

‘Ex-Pagan Pagans’?

Denys N. McDonald, “Ex-Pagan Pagans? Paul, Philo, and Gentile Ethnic Reconfiguration.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament March 2022, 1-28. https://doi.org/10.1177/0142064X221082363

Abstract: “In Paul: The Pagans’ Apostle (2017), Paula Fredriksen reminds us that gods and their cults were intertwined with ancient ethnic groups so much so that, when Gentiles committed themselves exclusively to Israel’s God, some Jews considered this ‘tantamount to changing ethnicity’. Fredriksen claims, however, that Paul’s Gentile addressees – whom she terms ‘ex-pagan pagans’ – remain separate ethnically from Jews despite forsaking their ancestral gods for Israel’s. Given that gods and ethnicity were intertwined, this article examines if it is reasonable to conclude that Paul thinks Gentile Christ-followers remain strictly Gentiles after they have abandoned their ethnic gods and entered into a relationship with Israel and its God. I argue that, similar to Philo’s proselyte inclusion strategy, Paul incorporates Gentiles-in-Christ into ethnic Israel. As Abraham’s ‘offspring’, Paul suggests that his addressees not only gain membership in Israel’s covenant on account of Israel’s messiah, but that they also acquire a new ethnic identity despite that their prior identities as ‘the Gentiles’ are not erased. This study, then, seeks to destabilize the binary that Fredriksen posits between ethnic Israel and Paul’s Gentiles-in-Christ as ethnic ‘other’. In the end, I demonstrate that Paul’s ethnic reconfiguration of Gentile identities resembles Philo’s proselyte discourse and is more disruptive ethnically than Fredriksen’s phrase ‘ex-pagan pagans’ would suggest.”

From Exclusion to Inclusion?

Clifford, H. “From Exclusion to Inclusion? Deuteronomy 23:1–8 in Philo and Beyond”. In: Hywel Clifford & Megan Daffern (eds.), The Exegetical and the Ethical. Leiden, The Netherlands: Brill, 2022, pp. 175–199.

Abstract: “This essay considers Philo of Alexandria’s interpretations of Deuteronomy 23:1–8, biblical laws about exclusion (of the “eunuch”, etc.), which he allegorised in terms of religious/philosophical doctrines (e.g. atheism). For Philo, “the assembly of the Lord” is predominantly the soul; hence Deut. 23:1–8 is about what must not enter there. What must enter is orthodox belief and practice: to be a disciple of Mosaic law, to enable the soul’s ascent towards God (in biblical Jewish Middle Platonist terms, suited to Philo’s cultural setting). Philo’s interpretations are compared with texts from Second Temple Judaism (e.g. DSS, NT), highlighting their shared landscape yet distinctive perspectives. The essay then outlines approaches from the history of interpretation: Deut. 23:1–8 are (1) marriage laws, (2) laws about the sanctuary, or (3) laws about holding public office. Philo is compared to each in turn. Modern historical-critical scholars seek to assign Deut. 23:1–8 their original setting (early Israelite governance), whereas deconstructive postmodern approaches go beyond “the tradition” seeing in these laws all non-normative identities. Finally, suggestions are made as to what a Christian sermon on Deut. 23:1–8 might contain in view of its reception history in relation to exclusion and inclusion.”

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

‘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.

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.