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Philo of Alexandria

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Chapter Summary

This chapter presents an account of Philo of Alexandria's writings, summed up under three heads: 'Exposition of the Laws of Moses'; allegorical interpretations; and thematic writings, including the philosophical ones. A systematic treatment of aspects of Philo's background and thought follows. There is a short study of the surviving fragments of Aristobulus, a predecessor of Philo. On the basis of Philo's own terminology and outline, the 'Exposition' can be divided in three parts: the story of creation, the historical part and the legislative part. Philo's purpose in writing the Life of Moses is to show the divine calling of Moses and the Jewish people to worship God, keep the Sabbath and serve the whole world. On Joseph reflects the relationship between Jews and the Gentiles of Philo's time. Clement and Eusebius describe Aristobulus as a Peripatetic.

Keywords: allegorical interpretations; Aristobulus; Exposition of the Laws of Moses; Life of Moses; On Joseph; Philo of Alexandria

10.1163/9789004275119_007
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