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Philo

Source:
A Dictionary of the Bible What is This? Contains accessibly written entries for topics covering the religious, historical, and social aspects of the Bible.

    Philo

    A contemporary of Jesus and Paul (20 BCE–c. 50 CE). Though a prolific writer in Alexandria, Philo shows no knowledge of Christianity. He was an apologist for Judaism in a rich Hellenistic culture and his aim was to combine a non‐rabbinic Judaism, often using allegory, with Platonic philosophy. He held that a universally valid ‘natural law’ had been given on Mount Sinai which had found an echo in Greek philosophers. His use of the Logos concept is reminiscent of the gospel of John, and there may also be affinities between Philo's thought and ideas in the epistle to the Hebrews. Later Christian theologians in Alexandria (Clement and Origen) were more clearly influenced by Philo.

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    Oxford University Press

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