Tag: Philo

Judaism’s first non-biblical philosopher

                                             Scholars have recognized long ago that the Bible has “wisdom books,” books that contain philosophy. They are Proverbs, Job, Ecclesiastes (also called Qohelet), and Ben Sira (also called Sirach and Ecclesiasticus) and the […]

What does the Ten Commandments really say?

Some Jewish philosophers and rabbis and non-Jews disagreed over what exactly the Bible was saying in the Ten Commandments. The philosopher Philo who lived during the beginning of the Common era is an example. There are not ten commandments. The oft-used term “Ten Commandments” is incorrect. Scholars and clerics know there are more than ten commands […]

Who was the Jewish philosopher Philo

Rediscovering Philo of Alexandria, volume IV, Numbers By Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel   Rabbi Michael Leo Samuels has just published his fourth informative volume on the pioneer philosopher Philo, a volume is on the biblical book Numbers. He drew Philo ideas from a wealth of this philosopher’s exegetical comments and arranged them according to biblical […]

Is the Bible Really the Source of Philosophy?

                                                     Is the Bible Really the Source of Philosophy?   One of the fundamental questions posed by Jewish philosophers has always been, ironically, whether Judaism has a philosophy at all and where that philosophy stems from. Many people consider Philo the first Jewish philosopher, claiming that he introduced Greek ideas into Jewish thought. Yet he […]

The philosophy of Philo (c.20 BCE-c.50 CE)

                                                                   Philo as a Biblical Commentator   Philo (about 20 BCE to about 50 CE) of Alexandria, Egypt, is one of Judaism’s great philosophers. The noted scholar Harry Wolfson wrote in his book Philo that Philo was the first Jewish philosopher who “contributed anything new” to Jewish-Greek philosophy. Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel offers readers […]

Views of the philosopher Philo

  Torah from Alexandria: Philo as a Biblical Commentator Volume 2: Exodus Edited by Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel Kodesh Press, 2014, 311 pages   This is Rabbi Michael L. Samuel’s second book in an up-coming five-book series in which he gives readers selections from the Jewish philosopher Philo’s views on the Hebrew Bible. This volume […]

Philo: The first important Jewish philosopher

Torah from Alexandria: Philo as a Biblical Commentator Volume 1: Genesis Edited by Rabbi Michael Leo Samuel Kodesh Press, 2014, 356 pages   The philosopher Philo of Alexandria, Egypt (who lived from about 20 BCE to about 50 CE) was a man who is unfortunately little known today other than by scholars, but people, Jews […]

Philo, Epicurus, and the soul

Greek and Roman Philosophy after Aristotle Edited by Jason L. Saunders The Free Press, 1966, 371 pages   Jason L. Saunders’ book is a collection of philosophical and religious writings from Epicurus in the fourth century BCE through the early writings on Christianity, until Tertullian (160-230 CE). Some thoughts ring true today; others do not; […]

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