On the Creation of the Cosmos According to Moses

On the Creation of the Cosmos According to Moses

On the Creation of the Cosmos According to Moses

On the Creation of the Cosmos According to Moses

Synopsis

This study is the first volume in the new Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series. It contains a new English translation of Philo's famous treatise On the creation of the cosmos (the first for seventy years), and the first ever commentary in English. In this work the Jewish exegete and philosopher gives a selective exegesis of the Mosaic creation account and the events in Paradise as recorded in Genesis 1 3. It is the first preserved example of Hexaemeral literature, and had a profound influence on early Christian thought. The commentary aims to make Philo's thought accessible to readers such as graduate students who are just beginning to read him, but also contains much material that will be of interest to specialists in Hellenistic Judaism, ancient philosophy and patristic literature.

Excerpt

The writing of a commentary on an ancient text in conformity with the exacting standards of modern scholarship is a not task to be undertaken lightly. the present work could not have been written without the indispensable assistance of a number of institutions and a larger number of persons.

My greatest debt has been to Greg Sterling (Notre Dame). Not only was it his idea to launch the Philo of Alexandria Commentary Series, but he has also carried out his duties as General Editor of the series with the utmost seriousness. Throughout a period of four years we had many conversations on how the task should be tackled and what the general method of the commentary should be. When the manuscript was finished he read it through entirely and made many valuable suggestions. At an earlier stage, in November 1998, parts of the commentary were read at the Annual meeting of the Philo of Alexandria Seminar in the somewhat surreal venue of Disneyworld, Orlando, Florida. I would like to thank all the members of the group for their constructive comments. in this context I would like to make special mention of Adam Kamesar (Hebrew Union College, Cincinnati) for the stimulating conversations we had on Philo and the problems associated with writing commentaries on his works.

In 1998 I was privileged to spend five months at the Netherlands Institute for Advanced Study in Wassenaar, as a member of a research group under the leadership of Michael Stone (Jerusalem) and Jos Weitenberg (Leiden). I would like to thank the Rector and the staff for providing me with ideal working conditions. My stay at the nlas was additionally supported by a teaching replacement grant from the Netherlands Organization for Scientific Research (N.W.O.). in 1990 I spent an additional six months doing research in the Institut für Altertumswissenschaft at the University of Münster with the support of a stipendium from the Alexander von Humboldt Foundation. I would like express my warmest thanks to my host Matthias Baltes, who together with his research team helped me in every possible way. I am also grateful to Folker Siegert, Director of the Institutum Judaicum Delitzschianum of the same University, for his encouragement and assistance. None of this research would have been possible . . .

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