An Introduction to Philo Judaeus, 2nd ed. by Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough

By Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough

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T o i n t r o d u c e the n e w conception of divine fatherhood was a most important change, a n d in the c o u r s e o f r e a d i n g P h i l o it w i l l b e c o m e a p p a r e n t t h a t this is o n e o f the essential survivals o f J u d a i s m i n its m i n g l i n g w i t h p a g a n ideas. B u t it m u s t not b e m a d e to o v e r ­ s h a d o w all the rest o f P h i l o ' s c r e e d , w h i c h , as a w h o l e , is o n e w h i c h n o i n t e l l i g e n t p a g a n w o u l d h a v e h a d a n y t r o u b l e in d e r i v i n g from his o w n postulates.

T h e first w a s L a w i n the m i n d o f G o d , the i d e a l w o r l d , a n d the m a t e r i a l cosmos, L a w as the p u r p o s e i n h e r e n t i n the n a t u r e o f G o d . T h e r e v e l a t i o n o f L a w , most perfect in the m e t a p h y s i c a l r e a l m , takes its s e c o n d PHILO'S WRITINGS 39 form i n the p e r s o n o f the i d e a l h u m a n b e i n g , the m a n w h o c o n q u e r e d his m a t e r i a l n a t u r e (as p o o r A d a m p r o v e d u n a b l e u l t i m a t e l y to d o ) a n d so w h o s e life is a r e v e l a t i o n o f true L a w in the h u m a n m i c r o c o s m .

T h i s c o n c e p t i o n o f P h i l o ' s w r i t i n g s is still v a l i d for the most p a r t , t h o u g h I shall frequently find o c c a s i o n to differ from it. B u t I s h o u l d like to consider P h i l o ' s w o r k s i n the o r d e r i n w h i c h it is r e c o m m e n d e d for a b e g i n n e r to r e a d t h e m , r a t h e r t h a n i n t h e o r d e r i n w h i c h t h e y are u s u a l l y discussed. T h e first treatises o f P h i l o w h i c h o n e s h o u l d r e a d seem to m e to b e the t w o , in the first o f w h i c h h e defends the J e w s o f A l e x a n d r i a for their relations w i t h F l a c c u s , a n d i n the s e c o n d 1 2 3 4 1 EMIL SCHURER, Geschichte des judischen Volkes im Zt&talUr Jesu Christi (4th ed.

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An Introduction to Philo Judaeus, 2nd ed. by Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough
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