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Philo Christianus

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Chapter Summary

Philo Christianus the Jew from Alexandria lived from about 15 BC to 50 AD. His life exactly coincides with that of Jesus, whose life and teachings led to the foundation of the Christian Church. Two ancient pagan authors have regularly been regarded as having had some acquaintance with Philo's writings, the philosophers Numenius and Plotinus. Very soon after Philo's death the face of Judaism changed. After the large-scale Jewish revolt in Egypt and Cyrenaica the once flourishing Jewish community in Alexandria passed into decline. The survival of Philo's writings was entirely dependent on the intervention of the Christian authors. Pagans were not greatly interested in his thought; Jews either ignored him or condemned him to silence. This chapter discusses how Philo lost his status as honorary Church Father and reverted to what he had been all along, a Jewish author writing in Greek.

Keywords: Christian church; Church Father; Greek; Pagan tradition; Philo Christianus



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