Why Philo Matters

Gregory E. Sterling at Marginalia Review:

What should I say about Philo whom critics call…the ‘Jewish Plato’?” So said Saint Jerome, who spent the later years of his life as an ascetic in the cave traditionally associated with the birth of Jesus. He went on to defend Philo’s integration of philosophy and biblical interpretation and was the first to report the widely circulated bon mot among early Christian authors: “either Plato philonizes or Philo platonizes,” recognizing the degree to which Philo had incorporated Hellenistic philosophy–especially Platonism– into Judaism.

It was the knowledge of God that most interested Philo. While he did not restrict this to Platonism, he was particularly attracted to it, especially in the form in which the tradition developed in Alexandria in the first century BCE.

more here.