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Philo’s Life of Moses as “Rewritten Bible”

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Chapter Summary

Normally, Philo's writings are not included in the discussion of the phenomenon of "Rewritten Bible" because of their literary form of exposition and Philo's allegorical method. This chapter argues that Philo's Life of Moses, can be seen as an example of this phenomenon. It discusses the genre of the Life of Moses and offers an explanation for why the work seldom appears on lists of rewritten Biblical works. The chapter presents a reading of the Life of Moses that is based on an understanding of the work as an example of the "Rewritten Bible" phenomenon. In so doing, it demonstrate how Philo makes use of implicit rather than explicit exegesis as his main interpretative strategy in the first book of the Life of Moses. Philo's picture of Moses may be seen as a political response to the situation of the Alexandrian Diaspora Jews.

Keywords: Alexandrian Diaspora Jews; Philo's allegorical method; Philo's Life of Moses; rewritten Bible



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