Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.

Philo Judaens

Philo Judaens (b. circa 10 B.C.), an Alexandrian Jew of the 1st century, who holds an important position in the history both of philosophy and religion. He belonged to the sect of the Pharisees, and received a wide education, embracing both the literature and philosophy of Greece and the religious writings of his own people Conceiving that the knowledge of truth is not confined to any one race or age, he made it his aim to reconcile the teaching of Plato and the Academy with the Mosaic dispensation and the conception of God contained in the Old Testament; yet he never ceased to regard the Jewish Scriptures as a special revelation which, by the Divine appointment, was to be conveyed to mankind at large through the agency of the chosen race. He was zealous in maintaining the literal truth of the Pentateuch, yet he regarded it as susceptible of an allegorical interpretation also. Indeed, in his hands, the symbolical meaning often becomes the more important of the two. Philo maintains that the universe was fashioned, and is now regulated, by means of certain dunameis (active powers) or hypostases, the highest being the Logos or Word, whom he describes as "the High Priest," "the Shadow of God," "the Firstborn Son," identifying him at the same time with the Angel of the Covenant of the Old Testament. Concerning Philo's life few details have come down to us. He is known to have visited Jerusalem on at least one occasion, and about 40 A.D. he was the head of an embassy sent to Rome by the Jews of Alexandria to protest against the enforcement of the worship of the emperor.