Philo of Alexandria

    Philo of Alexandria (circa 20 BC- 50 AD)
    Philo of Alexandria (circa 20 B.C.- 50 A.D.), also called Philo Judaeus, was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher who lived in Alexandria, Egypt. The epitome of Philo’s religious exegesis is one of skillfully weaving together the Jewish scriptures into allegories that harmonize with Greek philosophy. While not altogether abandoning the historicity of the Jewish scriptures, his methodology of distinguishing history from allegory is eclectic and represents a comprehensive metaphysical scheme that even allows him to grapple with morally disturbing biblical events. To achieve this biblical characters are sometimes interpreted as aspect of the human being, and Biblical episodes may be interpreted as universal human experiences.

    Even though Philo was writing as a Jew with a Greek education, historically his significance has been one of Christian making. One example that contributes to this importance is that Philo wrote extensively on the Son of God which he called The Logos, decades before the Gospel of John was written; although a contemporary of the historical Jesus, it should be noted that none of his surviving works mention either Jesus of Nazareth or the Christ.

    Philo should be rightfully considered a sage of the late ancient world who was a pioneer and proactive advocate of religious understanding and tolerance in the cosmopolitan city of Alexandria.
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