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Philo

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  • RHS
    Dear Frank McCoy, Thank you for all your research. I still have a couple of problems, though. 1) How can you be so sure that Philo died c.AD50? The New
    Message 1 of 2 , Dec 18, 2001
      Dear Frank McCoy,
      Thank you for all your research.
      I still have a couple of problems, though.
      1) How can you be so sure that Philo died c.AD50? The New International
      Dictionary of the Christian Church states that he was 'probably past
      middle age in AD40' when he went to Rome to see Gaius. I cannot find any
      precise dating for his birth or his death. If that is the case, then
      surely you cannot mount any argument that says 'he could not have done X
      because he probably died in AD50.'
      2) Eusebius does not cite the evidence for his statement that Philo's
      books ended up in Roman libraries. I also wonder why Philo never boasted
      about that!
      3) Let's agree that Eusebius was correct and that Philo's works did end
      up in Roman libraries. That is a very unusual example of how one
      author's works ended up elsewhere. Can you really use that to establish
      the ready availability of Philo's works in other places? Can you really
      use that as an example of how readily anyone's works found their way
      around the Roman Empire? Also, how available would Roman libraries be to
      professed Christians? Would they be allowed in to handle precious mss?
      4) Both Philo and Eusebius may be wrong about the Therapeutae. But that
      is hardly the point here. What they both say implies some knowledge of
      Christian writings by Philo.
      5) Let me quote from Wisdom of Solomon 18:14-16

      'For while gentle silence enveloped all things,
      and night in its swift course was now gone,
      your all-powerful word leaped from heaven, from the royal throne,
      into the midst of the land that was doomed,
      a stern warrior,
      carrying the sharp sword of your authentic command,
      and stood and filled all things with death,
      and touched heaven while standing on the earth.'

      Why do we need Philo?

      Earlier in 16:12

      'For neither herb nor poultice cured them,
      but it was your word, O Lord, that heals all people.'
      I would translate the last phrase the way the Greek has it, 'the all
      healer'.

      In 9:1 is the conjunction of logos and sophia.

      Let's agree to differ here, Frank. I guess I happen to want evidence
      more precise than is available by the nature of things. That means that,
      for me, I have to withhold my judgment of such matters.

      Now to the whole business of the BD being adopted into Mary's family.
      Has no-one studied the way households worked in those days? Women had
      little if any status outside their relationship to a male. As eldest
      son, Jesus was the head of the household of Joseph, now dead. Mary is
      'the mother of Jesus'. Jesus is not 'the son of Mary'. She gets her
      identity from him. He does not get his identity from her.
      What he was doing was entrusting his mother to the household of the BD.
      She would then be identified through him. He would not be identified
      through her.
      For whatever reason, Jesus did not want his mother to be sponsored by
      James, who would take over as head of the household when Jesus died,
      seeing Jesus did not leave any son of his own behind. Mary would join
      the household of the BD and become his surrogate mother, not just a
      surrogate sister or daughter or cousin. This is not Roman adoption but
      Mediterranean Hebrew adoption.
      Ross Saunders from DownUnder.
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