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Philo was an Alexandrian philosopher; born about 20 B.C. at Alexandria, Egypt; died after 40 C.E. The few biographical details concerning him that have been preserved are found in his own works (especially in "Legatio ad Caium," and in Josephus ("Ant." xviii. 8, § 1; comp. ib. xix. 5, § 1; xx. 5, § 2).

The only event that can be determined chronologically is his participation in the embassy which the Alexandrian Jews sent to the emperor Caligula at Rome for the purpose of asking protection against the attacks of the Alexandrian Greeks. This occurred in the year 40 C.E.

Philo included in his philosophy both Greek wisdom and Judaism, which he sought to fuse and harmonize by means of the art of allegory that he had learned from the Stoics. His work was not accepted by contemporary Judaism. "The sophists of literalness," as he calls them ("De Somniis," i. 16-17), "opened their eyes superciliously" when he explained to them the marvels of his exegesis. Greek science, suppressed by the victorious Phariseeism (Men. 99), was soon forgotten. Philo was all the more enthusiastically received by the early Christians], some of whom saw in him a Christian.

His Exegesis.

Cultural Basis: Philo, of Jewish descent, was by birth a Hellene, a member of one of those colonies, organized after the conquests of Alexander the Great, that were dominated by Greek language and culture. The vernacular of these colonies, Hellenistic Greek proper, was everywhere corrupted by idiotisms and solecisms, and in specifically Jewish circles by Hebraisms and Semitisms, numerous examples of which are found in the Septuagint, the Apocrypha, and the New Testament. The educated classes, however, had created for themselves from the classics, in the so-called κοινὴ διάλεκτος, a purer medium of expression. In the same way Philo formed his language by means of extensive reading of the classics. Scholars at an early date pointed out resemblances to Plato (Suidas, s.v.; Jerome, "De Scriptoribus Ecclesiasticis," Catalogue, s.v.). But there are also expressions and phrases taken from Aristotle, as well as from Attic orators and historians, and poetic phrases and allusions to the poets. Philo's works offer an anthology of Greek phraseology of the most different periods; and his language, in consequence, lacks simplicity and purity (see Treitel, "De Philonis Judæi Sermone," Breslau, 1870; Jessen, De Elocutione Philonis Alexandrini," 1889).

Influence of Hellenism.

But more important than the influence of the language was that of the literature. He quotes the epic and dramatic poets with especial frequency, or alludes to passages in their works. He has a wide acquaintance with the works of the Greek philosophers, to which he was devoted, owing to them his real scholarship, as he himself says (see "De Congressu Quærendæ Eruditionis Gratia," 6 [i. 550]; "De Specialibus Legibus," ii. 229; Deane, "The Book of Wisdom," 1881, p. 12, note 1). He holds that the highest perception of truth is possible only after a study of the encyclopedic sciences. Hence his system throughout shows the influence of Greek philosophy. The dualistic contrast between God and the world, between the finite and the infinite, appears also in Neo-Pythagorism. The influence of Stoicism is unmistakable in the doctrine of God as the only efficient cause, in that of divine reason immanent in the world, in that of the powers emanating from God and suffusing the world. In the doctrine of the Logos various elements of Greek philosophy are united.

As Heinze shows ("Die Lehre vom Logos in der Griechischen Philosophie," 1872, pp. 204 et seq.), this doctrine touches upon the Platonic doctrine of ideas as well as the Stoic doctrine of the γενικώτατόν τι and the Neo-Pythagorean doctrine of the type that served at the creation of the world; and in the shaping of the λόγοσ τομεύς it toches upon the Heraclitean doctrine of strife as the moving principle. Philo's doctrine of dead, inert, non-existent matter harmonizes in its essentials with the Platonic and Stoic doctrine.

His account of the Creation is almost identical with that of Plato; he follows the latter's "Timæus" pretty closely in his exposition of the world as having no beginning and no end; and, like Plato, he places the creative activity as well as the act of creation outside of time, on the Platonic ground that time begins only with the world. The influence of Pythagorism appears in the numeral-symbolism, to whichPhilo frequently recurs.

The Aristotelian contrast between δύναμις and ἐντελέχεια ("Metaphysics," iii. 73) is found in Philo, "De Allegoriis Legum," i 64 (on Aristotle see Freudenthal in "Monatsschrift," 1875, p.233). In his psychology he adopts either the Stoic division of the soul into eight faculties, or the Platonic trichotomy of reason, courage, and desire, or the Aristotelian triad of the vegetative, emotive, and rational souls. The doctrine of the body as the source of all evil corresponds entirely with the Neo-Pythagorean doctrine: the soul he conceives as a divine emanation, similar to Plato's νοῦς (see Siegfried, "Philo," pp. 139 et seq.). His ethics and allegories are based on Stoic ethics and allegories. Although as a philosopher Philo must be classed with the eclectics, he was not therefore merely a compiler. He made his philosophy the means of defending and justifying the Jewish religious truths. These truths he regarded as fixed and determinate; and philosophy was merely an aid to truth and a means of arriving at it. With this end in view Philo chose from the philosophical tenets of the Greeks, refusing those that did not harmonize with the Jewish religion, as, e.g., the Aristotelian doctrine of the eternity and indestructibility of the world.

His Knowledge of Hebrew.

Although he devoted himself largely to the Greek language and literature, especially Greek philosophy, Philo's national Jewish education is also a factor to be taken into account. While he read the Old Testament chiefly in the Greek translation, not deeming it necessary to use the Hebrew text because he was under the wrong impression that the Greek corresponded with it, he nevertheless understood Hebrew, as his numerous etymologies of Hebrew names indicate (see Siegfried, "Philonische Studien," in Merx, "Arehiv für Wissenschaftliche Erforshung des A. T." 1871, ii. 2, 143-163; idem, "Hebräische Worterklärungen des Philo und Ihre Einwirkung auf die Kirchenväter," 1863). These etymologies are not in agreement with modern Hebrew philology, but are along the lines of the etymologic midrash to Genesis and of the earlier rabbinism. His knowledge of Jewish law was not profound. In the Haggadah, however, he was very much at home, not only in that of the Bible, but especially in that of the earlier Palestinian and the Hellenistic Midrash.

His Methods of Exegesis: Philo bases his doctrines on the Old Testament, which he considers as the source and standard not only of religious truth but in general of all truth. Its pronouncements are for him divine pronouncements. They are the words of the ἱερὸς λόγος ϑειος ὀρϑὸς λόγος λόγος ("De Agricultura Noë," § 12 [i. 308]; "De Somniis," i. 681, ii. 25) uttered sometimes directly and sometimes through the mouth of a prophet, especially through Moses, whom Philo considers the real medium of revelation, while the other writers of the Old Testament appear as friends or pupils of Moses. Although he distinguishes between the words uttered by God Himself, as the Decalogue, and the edicts of Moses, as the special laws ("De Specialibus Legibus," §§ 2 et seq. [ii. 300 et seq.]; "De Præmiis et Pœnis," § 1 [ii. 408]), he does not carry out this distinction, since he believes in general that everything in the Torah is of divine origin, even the letters and accents ("De Mutatione Nominum," § 8 [i. 587]). The extent of his canon can not be exactly determined (comp. Hornemann, "Observationes ad Illustrationem Doctrinæ de Canone V. T. ex Philone," 1776; B. Pick, "Philo's Canon of the O. T.," in "Jour. of Exeg. Society," 1895, pp. 126-143; C. Bissel, "The Canon of the O.T.," in "Bibliotheca Sacra," Jan., 1886, pp. 83-86; and the more recent introductions to the Old Testament, especially those of Buhl, "Canon and Text of the O. T." 1891, pp. 17, 43, 45; Ryle, "Philo and Holy Script," 1895, pp. xvi.-xxxv.; and other references in Schürer, l.c. p. 547, note 17). He does not quote Ezekiel, Daniel, Canticles, Ruth, Lamentations, Ecclesiastes, or Esther (on a quotation from Job see E. Kautzsch, "De Locis V. T. a Paulo Apostolo Allegatis," 1869, p. 69; on Philo's manner of quoting see Siegfried, l.c. p. 162). Philo regards the Bible as the source not only of religious revelation, but also of philosophic truth; for, according to him, the Greek philosophers also have borrowed from the Bible: Heraclitus, according to "Quis Rerum Divinarum Heres Sit," § 43 [i. 503]; Zeno, according to "Quod Omnis Probus Liber," § 8 [ii. 454].

Stoic Influence.

Greek allegory had preceded Philo in this field. As the Stoic allegorists sought in Homer the basis for their philosophic teachings, so the Jewish allegorists, and especially Philo, went to the Old Testament. Following the methods of Stoic allegory, they interpreted the Bible philosophically (on Philo's Predecessors in the domain of the allegoristic Midrash among the Palestinian and Alexandrian Jews, see Siegfried, l.c. pp. 16-37).

Attitude Toward Literal Meaning.

Philo bases his hermeneutics on the assumption of a twofold meaning in the Bible, the literal and the allegorical (comp. "Quod Deus Sit Immutabilis," § 11 [i. 280]; "De Somniis," i. 40 [i. 656]). He distinguishes the ῥητὴ καὶ φανερὰ ἀπόδοςις ("De Abrahamo," § 36 [ii. 29 et seq.]), "ad litteram" in contrast to "allegorice" ("Quæstiones in Genesin," ii. 21). The two interpretations, however, are not of equal importance: the literal sense is adapted to human needs; but the allegorical sense is the real one, which only the initiated comprehend. Hence Philo addresses himself to the μύςται ("initiated") among his audience, by whom he expects to be really comprehended ("De Cherubim," § 14 [i. 47]; "De Somniis," i. 33 [i. 649]). A special method is requisite for determining the real meaning of the words of Scripture ("Canons of Allegory," "De Victimas Offerentibus," § 5 [ii. 255); "Laws of Allegory," "De Abrahamo," § 15 [ii. 11]); the correct application of this method determines the correct allegory, and is therefore called "the wise architect" ("De Somniis," ii. 2 [i. 660]). As a result of some of these rules of interpretationthe literal sense of certain passages of the Bible must be excluded altogether; e.g., passages in which according to a literal interpretation something unworthy is said of God; or in which statements are made that are unworthy of the Bible, senseless, contradictory, or inadmissible; or in which allegorical expressions are used for the avowed purpose of drawing the reader's attention to the fact that the literal sense is to be disregarded.

There are in addition special rules that not only direct the reader to recognize the passages which demand an allegorical interpretation, but help the initiated to find the correct and intended meaning. These passages are such as contain: (1) the doubling of a phrase; (2) an apparently superfluous expression in the text; (3) the repetition of statements previously made; (4) a change of phraseology—all these phenomena point to something special that the reader must consider. (5) An entirely different meaning may also be found by a different combination of the words, disregarding the ordinarily accepted division of the sentence in question into phrases and clauses. (6) The synonyms must be carefully studied; e.g., why λαὸς is used in one passage and γένος in another, etc. (7) A play upon words must be utilized for finding a deeper meaning; e.g., sheep (πρόβατον) stand for progress in knowledge, since they derive their name from the fact of their progressing (προβαίνειν), etc. (8) A definite allegorical sense may be gathered from certain particles, adverbs, prepositions, etc.; and in certain cases it can be gathered even from (9) the parts of a word; e.g., from διά in διάλευκος. (10) Every word must be explained in all its meanings, in order that different interpretations may be found. (11) The skilful interpreter may make slight changes in a word, following the rabbinical rule, "Read not so, but so" (Ber. 10a). Philo, therefore, changed accents, breathings, etc., in Greek words. (12) Any peculiarity in a phrase justifies the assumption that some special meaning is intended: e.g., where μία ("one") is used instead of πρώτη ("first"; Gen. i. 5), etc. Details regarding the form of words are very important: (13) the number of the word, if it shows any peculiarity in the singular or the plural: the tense of the verb, etc.; (14) the gender of the noun; (15) the presence or omission of the article; (16) the artificial interpretation of a single expression; (17) the position of the verses of a passage; (18) peculiar verse-combinations; (19) noteworthy omissions; (20) striking statements; (21) numeral symbolism. Philo found much material for this symbolism in the Old Testament, and he developed it more thoroughly according to the methods of the Pythagoreans and Stoics. He could follow in many points the tradition handed down by his allegorizing predecessors ("De Vita Contemplativa," § 8 [ii. 481]).

Views on Numbers.

Philo regards the singular as God's number and the basis for all numbers ("De Allegoriis Legum," ii. 12 [i. 66]). Two is the number of schism, of that which has been created, of death ("De Opificio Mundi, § 9 [i. 7]; "De Allegoriis Legum," i. 2 [i. 44]; "De Somaniis," ii. 10 [i. 688]). Three is the number of the body ("De Allegoriis Legum," i. 2 [i. 44]) or of the Divine Being in connection with His fundamental powers ("De Sacrificiis Abelis et Caini," § 15 [i. 173]). Four is potentially what ten is actually, the perfect number ("De Opificio Mundi," §§ 15, 16 [i. 10, 11], etc.); but in an evil sense four is the number of the passions, πάθη ("De Congressu Quærendæ Eruditionis Gratia." § 17 [i. 532]). Five is the number of the senses and of sensibility ("De Opificio Mundi," § 20 [i. 14], etc.). Six, the product of the masculine and feminine numbers 3 × 2 and in its parts equal to 3+3, is the symbol of the movement of organic beings ("De Allegoriis Legum," i. 2 [i. 44]). Seven has the most various and marvelous attributes ("De Opiticio Mundi," §§ 30-43 [i. 21 et seq.]; comp. I. G. Müller, "Philo und die Weltschöpfung," 1841, p. 211). Eight, the number of the cube, has many of the attributes determined by the Pythagoreans ("Quæstiones in Genesin," iii. 49 [i. 223, Aucher]). Nine is the number of strife, according to Gen. xiv. ("De Congressu Qu. Eruditionis Gratia," § 17 [i. 532]). Ten is the number of perfection ("De Plantatione Noë," § 29 [i. 347]). Philo determines also the values of the numbers 50, 70, and 100, 12, and 120. (22) Finally, the symbolism of objects is very extensive. The numerous and manifold deductions made from the comparison of objects and the relations in which they stand come very near to confusing the whole system, this being prevented only by assigning predominance to certain forms of comparison, although others of secondary importance are permitted to be made side by side with them. Philo elaborates an extensive symbolism of proper names, following the example of the Bible and the Midrash, to which he adds many new interpretations. On the difference between the physical and ethical allegory, the first of which refers to natural processes and the second to the psychic life of man, see Siegfried, l.c. p. 197.

Philo's teaching was not Jewish, but was derived from Greek philosophy. Desiring to convert it into a Jewish doctrine, he applied the Stoic mode of allegoric interpretation to the Old Testament. No one before Philo, except his now forgotten Alexandrian predecessors, had applied this method to the Old Testament—a method that could produce no lasting results. It was attacked even in Alexandria ("De Vita Mosis," iii. 27 [ii. 168]), and disappeared after the brief florescence of Jewish Hellenism.

His Doctrine of God:

There is a separate article on Philo's view of God.


Philo's conception of the matter out of which the world was created is entirely un-Biblical and un-Jewish; he is here wholly at one with Plato and the Stoics. According to him, God does not create the world-stuff, but finds it ready at hand. God can not create it, as in its nature it resists all contact with the divine. Sometimes, following the Stoics, he designates God as "the efficient cause,"and matter as "the affected cause." He seems to have found this conception in the Bible (Gen. i. 2) in the image of the spirit of God hoveringover the waters ("De Opificio Mundi," § 2 [i. 12]). On the connection of these doctrines with the speculations on the , see Siegfried, l.c. pp. 230 et seq.

Philo, again like Plato and the Stoics, conceives of matter as having no attributes or form; this, however, does not harmonize with the assumption of four elements. Philo conceives of matter as evil, on the ground that no praise is meted out to it in Genesis ("Quis Rerum Divinarum Heres Sit," § 32 [i. 495]). As a result, he can not posit an actual Creation, but only a formation of the world, as Plato holds. God appears as demiurge and cosmoplast.

Philo frequently compares God to an architect or gardener, who formed the present world (the κόσμος ἀισϑητός) according to a pattern, the ideal world (κόσμος νοητός). Philo takes the details of his story of the Creation entirely from Gen. i. A specially important position is assigned here to the Logos, which executes the several acts of the Creation, as God can not come into contact with matter, actually creating only the soul of the good.


The Doctrine of Man as a Natural Being: Philo regards the physical nature of man as something defective and as an obstacle to his development that can never be fully surmounted, but still as something indispensable in view of the nature of his being. With the body the necessity for food arises, as Philo explains in various allegories. The body, however, is also of advantage to the spirit, since the spirit arrives at its knowledge of the world by means of the five senses. But higher and more important is the spiritual nature of man. This nature has a twofold tendency: one toward the sensual and earthly, which Philo calls sensibility (αἴσϑησις), and one toward the spiritual, which he calls reason (νοῦς). Sensibility has its seat in the body, and lives in the senses, as Philo elaborates in varying allegoric imagery. Connected with this corporeality of the sensibility are its limitations; but, like the body itself, it is a necessity of nature, the channel of all sense-perception. Sensibility, however, is still more in need of being guided by reason. Reason is that part of the spirit which looks toward heavenly things. It is the highest, the real divine gift that has been infused into man from without ("De Opiticio Mundi," i. 15; "De Eo Quod Deterius Potiori Insidiatur," i. 206); it is the masculine nature of the soul. The νοῦς is originally at rest; and when it begins to move it produces the several phenomena of mind (ἔνϑυμήματα). The principal powers of the νοῦς are judgment, memory, and language.

Man as a Moral Being: More important in Philo's system is the doctrine of the moral development of man. Of this he distinguishes two conditions: (1) that before time was, and (2) that since the beginning of time. In the pretemporal condition the soul was without body, free from earthly matter. without sex, in the condition of the generic (γενικός) man, morally perfect, i.e., without flaws, but still striving after a higher purity. On entering upon time the soul loses its purity and is confined in a body. The nous becomes earthly, but it retains a tendency toward something higher. Philo is not entirely certain whether the body in itself or merely in its preponderance over the spirit is evil. But the body in any case is a source of danger, as it easily drags the spirit into the bonds of sensibility. Here, also, Philo is undecided whether sensibility is in itself evil, or whether it may merely lead into temptation, and must itself be regarded as a mean (μέσον). Sensibility in any case is the source of the passions and desires. The passions attack the sensibility in order to destroy the whole soul. On their number and their symbols in Scripture see Siegfried, l.c. pp. 245 et seq. The "desire" is either the lustful enjoyment of sensual things, dwelling as such in the abdominal cavity (κοιλία), or it is the craving for this enjoyment, dwelling in the breast. It connects the nous and the sensibility, this being a psychologic necessity, but an evil from an ethical point of view.

According to Philo, man passes through several steps in his ethical development. At first the several elements of the human being are in a state of latency, presenting a kind of moral neutrality which Philo designates by the terms "naked" or "medial." The nous is nude, or stands midway so long as it has not decided either for sin or for virtue. In this period of moral indecision God endeavors to prepare the earthly nous for virtue, presenting to him in the "earthly wisdom and virtue" an image of heavenly wisdom. But man (nous) quickly leaves this state of neutrality. As soon as he meets the woman (sensibility) he is filled with desire, and passion ensnares him in the bonds of sensibility. Here the moral duties of man arise; and according to his attitude there are two opposite tendencies in humanity.


Sensual Life: The soul is first aroused by the stimuli of sensual pleasures; it begins to turn toward them, and then becomes more and more involved. It becomes devoted to the body, and begins to lead an intolerable life (βίος ἄβίωτος). It is inflamed and excited by irrational impulses. Its condition is restless and painful. The sensibility endures, according to Gen. iii. 16, great pain. A continual inner void produces a lasting desire which is never satisfied. All the higher aspirations after God and virtue are stilled. The end is complete moral turpitude, the annihilation of all sense of duty, the corruption of the entire soul: not a particle of the soul that might heal the rest remains whole. The worst consequence of this moral death is, according to Philo, absolute ignorance and the loss of the power of judgment. Sensual things are placed above spiritual; and wealth is regarded as the highest good. Too great a value especially is placed upon the human nous; and things are wrongly judged. Man in his folly even opposes God, and thinks to scale heaven and subjugate the entire earth. In the field of politics, for example, he attempts to rise from the position of leader of the people to that of ruler (Philo cites Joseph as a type of this kind). Sensual man generally employs his intellectual powers for sophistry, perverting words and destroying truth.

Ascent to Reason: Abraham, the "immigrant," is the symbol of man leaving sensuality to turn to reason ("De Migratione Abrahami." § 4 [i. 439]). There are three methods whereby one can rise toward the divine: through teaching, through practise(ἄσκησις), and through natural goodness (ὁσιότης). On Philo's predecessors on this point see Siegfried, l.c. p. 257.

The method through teaching begins with a preliminary presentiment and hope of higher knowledge, which is especially exemplified in Enos. The real "teaching" is represented in the case of Abraham, the "lover of learning." The pupil has to pass through three stages of instruction. The first is that of "physiology," during which physical nature is studied. Abraham was in this stage until he went to Haran; at this time he was the "physiologer" of nature, the "meteorologer." Recognizing his short-comings, he went to Haran, and turned to the study of the spirit, devoting himself at first to the preparatory learning that is furnished by general education (ἐγκύκλιος παιδεἱα); this is most completely analyzed by Philo in "De Congressu Quærendæ Eruditionis Gratia," § 3 [i. 520]. The pupil must study grammar, geometry, astronomy, rhetoric, music, and logic; but he can never attain to more than a partial mastery of these sciences, and this only with the utmost labor, He reaches only the boundaries of knowledge (ἐπιστήμη) proper, for the "soul's irrational opinions" still follow him. He sees only the reflection of real science. The knowledge of the medial arts (μέσαι τέχναι) often proves erroneous. Hence the "lover of learning" will endeavor to become a "wise man." Teaching will have for its highest stage philosophy, which begins to divide the mortal from the immortal, finite knowledge from infinite knowledge. The tendency toward the sensuous is given up, and the insufficiency of mere knowledge is recognized. He perceives that wisdom (σοφία) is something higher than sophistry (σοφιστεία) and that the only subject of contemplation for the wise is ethics. He attains to possession (κτῆσις) and use (χρῆσις); and at the highest stage he beholds heavenly things, even the Eternal God Himself.

By the method of practise man strives to attain to the highest good by means of moral action. The preliminary here is change of mind (μετάνοια), the turning away from the sensual life. This turning away is symbolized in Enoch, who, according to Gen. v. 24, "was not." Rather than undertake to engage in the struggle with evil it is better for man to escape therefrom by running away. He can also meet the passions as an ascetic combatant. Moral endeavor is added to the struggle. Many dangers arise here. The body (Egypt), sensuality (Laban and others), and lust (the snake) tempt the ascetic warrior. The sophists (Cain, etc.) try to lead him astray. Discouraged by his labors, the ascetic flags in his endeavors; but God comes to his aid, as exemplified in Eliezer, and fills him with love of labor instead of hatred thereof. Thus the warrior attains to victory. He slays lust as Phinehas slays the snake; and in this way Jacob ("he who trips up"), the wrestling ascetic, is transformed into Israel, who beholds God.

Views on Virtue.

Good moral endowment, however, takes precedence of teaching and practise. Virtue here is not the result of hard labor, but is the excellent fruit maturing of itself. Noah represents the preliminary stage. He is praised, while no really good deeds are reported of him, whence it may be concluded that the Bible refers to his good disposition. But as Noah is praised only in comparison with his contemporaries, it follows that he is not yet a perfect man. There are several types in the Bible representing the perfect stage. It appears in its purest form in Isaac. He is perfect from the beginning: perfection is a part of his nature (φύσις); and he can never lose it (αὑτήκοος καὶ αὑτομάϑης). With such persons, therefore, the soul is in a state of rest and joy. Philo's doctrine of virtue is Stoic, although he is undecided whether complete dispassionateness (άπάϑεια; "De Allegoriis Legum." iii. 45 [i. 513]) or moderation (μετριοπαϑεῑν; "De Abrahamo," § 44 [ii. 137]) designates the really virtuous condition. Philo identifies virtue in itself and in general with divine wisdom. Hence he uses the symbols interchangeably for both; and as he also frequently identifies the Logos with divine wisdom, the allegoric designations here too are easily interchanged. The Garden of Eden is "the wisdom of God" and also "the Logos of God" and "virtue." The fundamental virtue is goodness; and from it proceed four cardinal virtues—prudence, courage, self-control, and justice (φρόνησις, ἀνδρία, σωφροσύνη, δικαιοσύνη)—as the four rivers proceed from the river of Eden. An essential difference between Philo and the Stoics is found in the fact that Philo seeks in religion the basis for all ethics. Religion helps man to attain to virtue, which he can not reach of himself, as the Stoics hold. God must implant virtue in man ("De Allegoriis Legum," i. 53 [i. 73]). Hence the goal of the ethical endeavor is a religious one: the ecstatic contemplation of God and the disembodiment of souls after death.

Hellenistic Judaism culminated in Philo, and through him exerted a deep and lasting influence on Christianity also. For the Jews themselves it soon succumbed to Palestinian Judaism. The development that ended in the Talmud offered a surer guaranty for the continuance of Judaism, as opposed to paganism and rising Christianity, than Jewish Hellenism could promise, which, with all its loyalty to the laws of the Fathers, could not help it to an independent position. The cosmpolitanism of Christianity soon swept away Hellenistic Judaism which could never go so far as to declare the Law superfluous, notwithstanding its philosophic liberality. (For the extent and magnitude of Philo's influence on Judaism and Christianity see Siegfried, l.c. pp. 275-399.)

Philo's Works

See also: Philosophy

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