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Re: [John_Lit] Philo

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  • Peter Hofrichter
    ... possibility that Philo of Alexandria s teaching that the logos was God s son influenced the content of the Gospel of John, particularly the Prologue.
    Message 1 of 5 , Jul 1, 2001
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      >----- Original Message -----
      >From: "Robert Raphael" <rraphael3@...>
      >To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
      >Sent: Friday, June 29, 2001 7:26 PM
      >Subject: [John_Lit] Philo

      > Does anyone on the list have any information and or opinion regarding the
      possibility that Philo of Alexandria's teaching that the logos was God's
      son influenced the content of the Gospel of John, particularly the Prologue.

      Yes, look up my book: Peter Hofrichter, Im Anfang war der
      "Johannesprolog". Das urchristliche Logosbekenntnis - die Basis
      neutestamentlicher und gnostischer Theologie (Biblische
      Untersuchungen 17), Regensburg (Pustet) 1986, 481 Seiten, pages
      336-258.

      All the best
      P.H.
      --
      Univ.-Prof. DDr Peter Hofrichter
      Vorstand des Instituts für Kirchengeschichte und Patrologie
      Theologische Fakultät der Universität Salzburg
      Tel +43 662 8044 2700, home +43 6245 85010, mobil +43 664 2027098
      homepage: www.sbg.ac.at/kig
    • Robert Raphael
      Thanks a bunch. Robert raphael ... From: Peter Hofrichter To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
      Message 2 of 5 , Jul 3, 2001
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        Thanks a bunch.

        Robert raphael
        -----Original Message-----
        From: Peter Hofrichter <Peter.Hofrichter@...>
        To: johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com
        <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
        Date: Sunday, July 01, 2001 2:52 PM
        Subject: Re: [John_Lit] Philo


        >----- Original Message -----
        >From: "Robert Raphael" <rraphael3@...>
        >To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
        >Sent: Friday, June 29, 2001 7:26 PM
        >Subject: [John_Lit] Philo

        > Does anyone on the list have any information and or opinion regarding
        the
        possibility that Philo of Alexandria's teaching that the logos was God's
        son influenced the content of the Gospel of John, particularly the Prologue.

        Yes, look up my book: Peter Hofrichter, Im Anfang war der
        "Johannesprolog". Das urchristliche Logosbekenntnis - die Basis
        neutestamentlicher und gnostischer Theologie (Biblische
        Untersuchungen 17), Regensburg (Pustet) 1986, 481 Seiten, pages
        336-258.

        All the best
        P.H.
        --
        Univ.-Prof. DDr Peter Hofrichter
        Vorstand des Instituts für Kirchengeschichte und Patrologie
        Theologische Fakultät der Universität Salzburg
        Tel +43 662 8044 2700, home +43 6245 85010, mobil +43 664 2027098
        homepage: www.sbg.ac.at/kig

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      • FMMCCOY
        ... From: RHS To: Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2001 7:06 PM Subject: [John_Lit] Philo ... Dear
        Message 3 of 5 , Dec 11, 2001
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          ----- Original Message -----
          From: "RHS" <diadem@...>
          To: <johannine_literature@yahoogroups.com>
          Sent: Tuesday, December 11, 2001 7:06 PM
          Subject: [John_Lit] Philo


          > My question about Philo is this.
          > What firm evidence do we have that Philo's writings were widely
          > disseminated and read in Jerusalem and/or wherever the author/s of the
          > FG were writing from?
          > There are more than five pages of references to logos in Hatch and
          > Redpath's Concordance to the LXX. Why do we have to link the FG's usage
          > to Philo when the LXX was already so familiar?
          > I am interested in the extent to which first and second century authors'
          > works were distributed and read. I have a feeling we tend to assume a
          > too ready availability of their works, which is why I am asking for firm
          > eveidence rather than speculation.
          > Ross Saunders from DownUnder.
          >
          >

          >
          Dear Ross Saunders:

          What follows is a repeat of my posting of June 30, in which I outline
          evidence that the author of John at least had a copy of Philo's work Fuga
          (On Flight and Finding):

          I have uncovered evidence of a literary dependency of the author
          of John on Philo's work Fuga. If this is correct, then the author of John
          did consciously identify Jesus as being Philo's Logos, God's Son.

          Lev. 21:10 thusly opens in the Septuagint, "And the priest that is chief
          among his brethren, the oil having been poured upon the head of the
          Christou,..". This means, Philo declares in Fuga 108-109, "The High Priest
          is not a man but a divine Logos....his Father being God." Further, in 110,
          he states, "His head has been kechristai with oil and by this I mean that
          his ruling facility is illumined with a brilliant light.". Thus, for Philo,
          the Logos is Son of God. Further, he is the Christ i.e., Annointed One--a
          fact Philo acknowledges by saying that he has been kechristai, i.e.,
          annointed. .

          As we shall now see, the "oil" by which the Logos, the Son of God, has been
          annointed (an
          "oil" that illumines his mind with brilliant light) is the Spirit as Sophia.
          I say this because, first of all, in Philonic thought, the
          Spirit is also Sophia (See Gig 23, "God called up Bezaleel, he
          says, and 'filled him with the Divine Spirit, with Sophia, Understanding,
          and Knowledge, and knowledge to devise in every work.' In these words we
          have suggested to us a definition of what the Spirit of God is." Also see
          On Genesis (Book I, 90), "For the Divine Spirit is not a movement of
          air but Intelligence and Sophia." Finally, see Deus. 2-3, "That
          something is his words about the Divine Spirit, that nothing is harder than
          that it should abide for ever in the soul with its manifold forms and
          divisions--the soul which has fastened on it the grievous burden of the
          fleshly coil. It is after that Spirit (has gone) that the angels or
          messengers (of falsehood) go into 'the daughters of men'. For while the
          soul is illumined by the bright and pure rays of Sophia , through which the
          sage sees God and His potencies, none of the messengers of falsehood has
          access to the reason (i.e., mind), but are barred from passing the bounds
          which the lustral water has consecrated."). I also say this because, second
          of all, as Sophia, the Spirit is a spiritual oil that lightens-up the
          mind. So, in The Worse Attacks the Better (117), Philo declares, "The
          fountain of the divine Sophia" can come "as material for lighting up the
          soul, even as oil does a lamp."

          Next, in Fuga 111, Philo states that "he (i.e., the Logos) shall never
          remove the mitre from his head; he shall not, that is to say, lay aside his
          kingly diadem, the symbol not of absolute sovereignty, but of an admirable
          viceroyalty.".

          Finally, in Fuga 114, Philo declares that "to him (i.e., the Logos) is
          betrothed a virgin of the hallowed people, pure and undefiled and of ever
          inviolate intention."

          So, in Philo's work, Fuga, we have this sequence regarding the Logos:
          109 His father is God (and, so, he is Son of God)
          110 He is anointed by God with the Spirit-Sophia
          111 He is King of the Cosmos in the sense of being God's Vice-roy
          114 He is betrothed to "a virgin of the hallowed people"

          In Chapter three of John, we have this sequence regarding what the Baptizer
          says about Jesus:
          29. He is the Bridegroom of the bride
          31. He is the King of the Cosmos ("is above all")
          34. He is anointed by God with the Spirit ("for not by measure gives God
          the Spirit")
          35a. His father is God ("The Father loves the Son")

          Note that the sequence in Fuga is in reverse order to that in John:
          109 = 35a
          110 = 34
          111 = 31
          114 = 29
          This is because, I suggest, the author of John was glancing at Fuga in
          reverse order of the narrative flow while writing this section of his
          gospel.

          There is a way to test this hypothesis. That is, if it is true, than
          John 3:35b should directly relate to a passage in Fuga not long before 109.
          Indeed. this is the case! In particular, John 3:35b directly relates to
          Fuga 101.

          In John 3:35b, John declares, the Father "has given all things into his
          (i.e., the Son's) hand." How can the Son govern the Cosmos through his
          hand? The answer is found in Fuga 101, where Philo declares that, "while
          the Logos is the charioteer of the Powers, He Who talks is seated in the
          chariot, giving directions to the charioteer for the right-wielding of the
          reins of the universe." In his right-wielding of the reins of the universe,
          of course, the Logos uses his hand. Therefore, in Fuga 101 we have a scene
          in which God has given the rulership of all things into the hand of the
          Logos--thereby making it an amazing parallel to John 3:35b: where the Father
          has given the rulership of all things into the hand of the Son...

          That this hypothesis passes this test of its validity in a decisive
          fashion means that it likely is true. Therefore, it is likely that the
          author of John was glancing at Fuga 101-14 in reverse order of its
          narrative flow while writing John 3:29-35.

          I think that this literary relationship can be expanded beyond 3:35 to 4:24:
          with 4:10-15 relating to 97, 4:16-18 relating to 94, 4:22 relating to 82
          and 4:23-24 relating to 77-81. In this
          case, from 3:29 to 4:24, we have allusions to Fuga made in reverse order,
          i.e., first an allusion to 111, then to 110, then to 109, then to 101, then
          to 97, then to 94, then to 82 and then to 77-81. Certainly, John 3:29-4:24
          is a deliberately contrived literary unit, for it is immediately preceded,
          in 3:28, by the Baptizer's cry that he is not the Christ and it is
          immediately followed, in 4:25-26, with Jesus' proclation that he is the
          Christ!

          In 4:10-15, Jesus engages in a discussion with a Samaritan woman over
          water: with Jesus referring to a living water that he has and that can
          become a fountain of water springing up into eternal life within oneself..
          There is an allusion here, I believe, to Fuga 97: where Philo exhorts one to
          "pass forward to the supreme Divine Logos, who is the fountain of (the
          Spirit as) Sophia, in order that he may draw from the stream and, released
          from death, gain life eternal as his prize." Hence, in 4:10-15, Jesus
          identifies himself as being the Logos.

          In 4:16-18, we have a curious exchange between the Samaritan woman and
          Jesus in which Jesus tells her that she has had five husbands and that the
          one she is with is not her husband. There is an allusion here, I believe,
          to Fuga. 94: where Philo states that the are six cities of refuge, with the
          chief and best city being the Logos. Therefore, in 4:16-18, the five
          "husbands" the woman has had are the five inferior cities of refuge (the
          royal power, the creative power, the gracious power, the legislative power,
          and the prohibitions on what we should do). With each of these five cities
          of refuge, she has spent some time in the past "honoring and obeying" . The
          city of refuge she is
          currently with (i.e., Jesus: the Logos who is the chief and best city of
          refuge), is not her husband because she has not (at least up till this point
          in time) ever "honored and obeyed" him.

          In 4:22, Jesus tells the Samaritan woman, " You worship who you know
          not, we worship what we know--for salvation is of the Jews." I believe that
          this relates to Fuga 82: where, Philo states, "For to know Him is true
          wisdom and virtue, and ignorance of Him is manifest stupidity and
          wickedness." Therefore, here, Jesus is very critical of the Samaritans.
          The Jews know God. Hence, as they know what is wisdom and virtue, salvation
          is of them. In contrast, the Samaritans do not know God and, so, know only
          what is stupid and wicked. They need help and it is from the Jews that they
          should seek it.

          In 4:23-24, Jesus tells the Samaritan woman, "But is coming (and now is!)
          an hour when the true worshippers will worship the Father within Spirit and
          Truth (rather than at Mt. Gerizim or the Jerusalem temple). God is a Spirit
          and they that worship Him must worship within Spirit and Truth." I believe
          that this relates to Fuga. 77-81: which Philo thusly begins by citing Exodus
          21:14a, "'If a man set upon his neighbor to slay him by guile and flee for
          refuge' to God, even to Him Who has been symbolically called a place."
          Here, Philo goes beyond the six cities of refuge to the ultimate refuge,
          i.e., God. Next, commenting on Exodus 21:14b, "You shall take him from My
          altar and put him to death.", Philo speaks of "the refuge which is a place
          of deliverance
          and safety for suppliants only, namely, the altar. Is not this meet and
          right? For the place of sacrifice is wholly occupied by victims free from
          blemish, that is by innocent and purified souls". This altar, where one
          finds refuge with God Himself, then, is not to be found on Mt Gerizim or in
          Jerusalem: for it is a spiritual altar open only to unblemished souls.
          Where, then, is this spiritual altar (and God!) located? Philo gives a clue
          by referring to the locacation as being "the hallowed precincts". This
          tells us that the location is the heavenly temple or tabernacle, i.e., the
          Spirit-Sophia, which is the true house of God. (e.g., see Cong. 116, "And
          further on he will speak of God's dwelling-place, the tabernacle, as being
          'ten curtains', for to the structure which includes the whole of (the Spirit
          as) Sophia, the perfect number ten belongs, and (the Spirit as) Sophia is
          the court and palace of the All-ruler, the sole Monarch, the Sovereign
          Lord."). Those who find refuge in God, then do so within the Spirit-Sophia,
          the heavenly temple or tabernacle: which, rather than any earthly temple
          (even the one at Jerusalem!), is the true house of God.. In worshipping God,
          then, they worship him within the Spirit-Sophia. Or, to use Johannine
          language, since the author of John took to Spirit to also be Truth (e.g.,
          see 14:17, 15:26 and 16:13), they worship God within Spirit and Truth.

          To recap:
          Passage from Fuga Relates to Passage from John
          77-81 4:23-24
          82 4:22
          94 4:16-18
          97 4:10-15
          101 3:35b
          109 3:35a
          110 3:34
          111 3:31
          114 3:29
          Suggested reason: the author of John was glancing at Fuga in reverse of the
          narrative flow while writing John 3:29-4:24. If so, then Jesus is
          identified as Philo's Logos, God's Son, in this part of John. And, if he is
          identifed as Philo's Logos, God's Son, in this part of John, the reasonable
          expectation is that he is identified as Philo's Logos, God's Son, in other
          parts of John as well--particularly the Prologue.

          Regards,

          Frank McCoy
          Maplewood, MN USA
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