Eusebius attributed two fragments in three extracts with two different titles to Philo that we know by the first title, the Hypothetica. Scholars have repeatedly expressed reservations about the authenticity of these fragments including Leopold Cohn and, more recently, John Barclay. This essay works through the three major issues that have generated doubt: the unusual presentation of Israel’s early history, the severity of the penalties for violations of the laws, and the vocabulary. The unusual character of the history and the severe penalties both reflect concerns related to the embassy to Rome. The number of hapax legomena is in line with other apologetic treatises in the corpus Philonicum. The strong similarities of the accounts of the Sabbath and the Essenes with Philo’s known treatments suggest that the fragments were drawn from a work of Philo which included both fragments.
The relationship between Philo of Alexandria and Hellenistic philosophy has almost always explored Philo’s indebtedness to Hellenistic philosophy. This chapter reverses the perspective and asks whether Philo influenced the Platonic tradition, and more particularly, Plotinus. It first explores the similarities and differences in their understandings of the Logos and the intelligible cosmos, and then the stability and the ineffability of God. The chapter develops five criteria to adjudicate the issue of awareness. Based on these criteria, the chapter argues that Plotinus probably knew Philo’s thought through Numenius and possibly knew his works directly.
Exodus was the second most important book in the Pentateuch. The book of Exodus has played a significant role in many contexts, including political contexts. The book has been important for Jews who celebrate the story of the exodus annually at Passover. It was also important for Philo of Alexandria, and this chapter discusses how he interpreted it. The chapter considers the following questions: What did Exodus mean for the most prolific commentator on the Pentateuch in Second Temple Judaism who cited or alluded to the book more than any other biblical book apart from Genesis? How did Exodus function in his writings? It explores the use of Exodus in Philo's writings by working from the broadest level down to the smallest. It is important to note the different ways that Philo handled the biblical text in his writings in order to appreciate his treatment of Exodus.