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Philo and the New Testament

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Chapter Summary

Christianity emerged as a religious movement from the matrix of Second Temple Judaism, of which Philo Christianus was a part. One might speak of the two religions as 'Rebecca's children', coming out of the same womb. Philo Christianus and the New Testament thus share a common background. This chapter discusses how this common background works out in the case of Philo and individual protagonists in the New Testament. Like Philo, Paul was a Jew of the diaspora, who grew up in a city of some cultural distinction. Like Philo, Paul read the Bible in its Greek version. The New Testament book that shows the most affinity to Philonic thought is unquestionably the Epistle to the Hebrews. The chapter focuses on the New Testament book with which Philo has been frequently associated, the Gospel of John. It concludes with two more examples of New Testament passages with significant parallels to Philo.

Keywords: Gospel of John; Hebrews; New Testament; Paul; Philo Christianus



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