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Philo And The Sabbath Crisis: Alexandrian Jewish Politics And The Dating Of Philo's Works

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Chapter Summary

This chapter explores and reopens some aspects of that still largely unmined treasure trove, the works of Philo the Jewish Alexandrian, with particular reference to some hints in Philo's writings that seem to refer to a hitherto unexplored aspect of Jewish involvement in the Alexandrian political scene. The one sure date in Philo's career that every commentator recognizes is the crisis that led to the Jewish embassy to Rome around the year 40 of the Common Era. Philo's picture of Joseph here is quite negative - Joseph represents human vanity that seeks "addition" of sense-related luxuries to the ideally simple life. The Joseph of Philo's "exposition" "On Joseph" is the representation of the political person, a lifestyle that stands over against the life of learning/instruction (Abraham), of "nature" (Isaac) and of practical application (Jacob).

Keywords: Jewish Alexandrian; Joseph; Philo's writings; Rome



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