Thursday, August 01, 2013

Philo of Alexandria's Relationship with Greek Philosophy

Here are some points on Philo and Greek philosophy.

J. N. D. Kelly ("Early Christian Doctrines," page 20)

"Guided by the Middle Platonists he so much admired, Philo taught that God is utterly transcedent; He transcends even virtue, knowledge and absolute goodness and beauty, the eternal Forms which his revered master, Plato, had postulated. God is pure being (TO ONTWS ON), absolutely simple and self-sufficing, and can be described as 'without quality' (APOIOS)--which probably means that, by his transcendence, He cannot be included in any of the logical categories in which we classify finite beings."

From the illustrious historian of philosophy, F. Copleston ("A History of Philosophy: Greece and Rome"
Vol II: 202:

"Filled with admiration for the Greek philosophers Philo maintained that the same truth is to be found in both the Greek philosophy and Jewish Scriptures and tradition. While believing that the philosophers had made use of the Sacred Scriptures, he at the same time did not hesitate to interpret the Scriptures allegorically when he deemed it necessary."

See Philo, De Opificio Mundi 24-25.

"What is important, from the point of view of his metaphysic, is that he identifies the Logos with the Platonic world of Forms or archetypes, of which the sensible world is a copy" (Kelly, 21).


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