Reading Philo: A Handbook to Philo of Alexandria

Reading Philo: A Handbook to Philo of Alexandria

Reading Philo: A Handbook to Philo of Alexandria

Reading Philo: A Handbook to Philo of Alexandria


Guidebook par excellence to a significant ancient Jewish scholar

A contemporary of both Jesus and the apostle Paul, Philo was a prolific Jewish theologian, philosopher, and politician -- a fascinating, somewhat enigmatic figure -- who lived his entire life in Alexandria, Egypt. His many books are important sources for our understanding of ancient Judaism, early Christianity, and the philosophical currents of that time.

Reading Philo is an excellent introductory guide to Philo's work and significance. The contributors -- all well-known experts on Philo of Alexandria -- discuss Philo in context, offer methodological considerations (how best to study Philo), and explore Philo's ongoing relevance and value (why reading him is important). This practical volume will be an indispensable resource for anyone delving into Philo and his world.


This project had its beginning in a Scandinavian project of a somewhat larger scale, initiated by the Finnish scholar Professor Karl- Gustav Sandelin. When that project turned out not to be realizable, I — after some time — asked Professor Sandelin if I could take over his idea in a somewhat modified form, and if he would be willing to contribute. Happily, he immediately responded positively to both requests. I am very grateful for that graciousness and for his valuable contribution to this volume.

I then approached my two Norwegian friends and Philo scholars alike, Associate Professor Dr. Per Jarle Bekken and Prof. Emeritus, Dr. Theol., and Ph.D. Peder J. Borgen, if they would join me in the project of writing A Handbook to Philo. As they both agreed, the main outline and a suggestion 0" brks="brks">At first we talked about making this a Scandinavian project, but it soon turned out that this idea was too ambitious and hardly realizable. There are not that many Philo scholars in the Scandinavian or Nordic countries, and some of those that might have contributed were not able to do so. Hence we looked to some of our other friends and Philo scholars in the wider scholarly world, made up a list, contacted them, and asked for their possible contributions. the result, I believe, has been a group of very representative and distinguished Philo scholars who each approach him from their special angle of interest and expertise. the ensuing book, I hope, will prove itself to be relevant and interesting for all those wanting to approach the works of Philo . . .

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