Who is The Best Witness for Jesus? - Philo of Alexandria
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28-09-2016, 07:12 AM
Who is The Best Witness for Jesus? - Philo of Alexandria
The following is a topic of debate that I had a few months ago on another forum that I thought would be worth sharing here:

Philo of Alexandria aka Philo Judaeus (born 15–10 BCE, died 45–50 CE)

Philo was a Jewish philosopher and leader who was a contemporary of the Jesus Christ of the bible and the Apostle Paul. He should have had extensive knowledge of both and especially of Jesus's supposed miracles, crucifixion and resurrection.

His family was very wealthy and prominent in the region. He was a prolific writer and political commentator. About thirty manuscripts and at least 850,000 words of his works are in existence.

Yet he knew nothing about Jesus of the bible and nothing of the events in the New Testament. He mentioned Moses over 1,000 times in his writings, but not one word about the Jesus of the Bible.

Philo of Alexandria DID apparently know of a pre-christian god named Jesus - Jesus ben Jehozadak.

See Richard Carrier's book “Not the Impossible Faith” page 250-251.

Quote:“Nor was the idea of a preexistent spiritual son of God a novel idea among the Jews anyway. Paul’s contemporary, Philo, interprets the messianic prophecy of Zechariah 6:11-12 in just such a way. In the Septuagint this says to place the crown of kingship upon “Jesus,” for “So says Jehovah the Ruler of All, ‘Behold the man named ‘Rises’, and he shall rise up from his place below and he shall build the House of the Lord’.” This pretty much is the Christian Gospel. Philo was a Platonic thinker, so he could not imagine this as referring to “a man who is compounded of body and soul,” but thought it meant an “incorporeal being who in no respect differs from the divine image” whom “the Father of the Universe has caused to spring up as the eldest son.” Then Philo says, “In another passage, he calls this son the firstborn,” and says “he who is thus born” imitates “the ways of his father.”
It follows that this Jesus that Philo knew of was;

1) Firstborn son of god (coincides with Romans 8:29)
2) Celestial image of god (coincides with 2 Corinthians 4:4)
3) God’s agent of creation (coincides with 1 Corinthians 8:6)
4) God’s celestial high priest (coincides with Hebrews 2:17)

It wouldn't be hard to jump to the euhemerisation of this Jesus and so form the basis of the New Testament stories. So Philo had knowledge of Jesus, just not the one mentioned in the bible.

Sources:
http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/philo.html

I found a good debate on this topic showing both sides here: http://www.debate.org/debates/There-was-...a-Jesus/1/
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29-09-2016, 05:15 PM
RE: Who is The Best Witness for Jesus? - Philo of Alexandria
(28-09-2016 07:12 AM)Firefighter01 Wrote:  The following is a topic of debate that I had a few months ago on another forum that I thought would be worth sharing here:

Philo of Alexandria aka Philo Judaeus (born 15–10 BCE, died 45–50 CE)

Philo was a Jewish philosopher and leader who was a contemporary of the Jesus Christ of the bible and the Apostle Paul. He should have had extensive knowledge of both and especially of Jesus's supposed miracles, crucifixion and resurrection.

His family was very wealthy and prominent in the region. He was a prolific writer and political commentator. About thirty manuscripts and at least 850,000 words of his works are in existence.

Yet he knew nothing about Jesus of the bible and nothing of the events in the New Testament. He mentioned Moses over 1,000 times in his writings, but not one word about the Jesus of the Bible.

Philo of Alexandria DID apparently know of a pre-christian god named Jesus - Jesus ben Jehozadak.

See Richard Carrier's book “Not the Impossible Faith” page 250-251.

Quote:“Nor was the idea of a preexistent spiritual son of God a novel idea among the Jews anyway. Paul’s contemporary, Philo, interprets the messianic prophecy of Zechariah 6:11-12 in just such a way. In the Septuagint this says to place the crown of kingship upon “Jesus,” for “So says Jehovah the Ruler of All, ‘Behold the man named ‘Rises’, and he shall rise up from his place below and he shall build the House of the Lord’.” This pretty much is the Christian Gospel. Philo was a Platonic thinker, so he could not imagine this as referring to “a man who is compounded of body and soul,” but thought it meant an “incorporeal being who in no respect differs from the divine image” whom “the Father of the Universe has caused to spring up as the eldest son.” Then Philo says, “In another passage, he calls this son the firstborn,” and says “he who is thus born” imitates “the ways of his father.”
It follows that this Jesus that Philo knew of was;

1) Firstborn son of god (coincides with Romans 8:29)
2) Celestial image of god (coincides with 2 Corinthians 4:4)
3) God’s agent of creation (coincides with 1 Corinthians 8:6)
4) God’s celestial high priest (coincides with Hebrews 2:17)

It wouldn't be hard to jump to the euhemerisation of this Jesus and so form the basis of the New Testament stories. So Philo had knowledge of Jesus, just not the one mentioned in the bible.

Sources:
http://www.jesusneverexisted.com/philo.html

I found a good debate on this topic showing both sides here: http://www.debate.org/debates/There-was-...a-Jesus/1/
Does anyone know if Philo ever cited Paul or vica versa? Both were very important men of the same era/region and I can't find anything.
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29-09-2016, 05:31 PM
RE: Who is The Best Witness for Jesus? - Philo of Alexandria
The topic has come up...

HEHEHE

Big Grin

I seem to remember the posters talking about Philo in the thread I quoted. I can't remember if they linked him with Paul though.

Help for the living. Hope for the dead. ~ R.G. Ingersoll

Freedom offers opportunity. Opportunity confers responsibility. Responsibility to use the freedom we enjoy wisely, honestly and humanely. ~ Noam Chomsky
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30-09-2016, 02:17 AM
RE: Who is The Best Witness for Jesus? - Philo of Alexandria
(29-09-2016 05:31 PM)Fatbaldhobbit Wrote:  The topic has come up...

HEHEHE

Big Grin

I seem to remember the posters talking about Philo in the thread I quoted. I can't remember if they linked him with Paul though.
Thanks Hobbit, that thread is huge! I see some good resources there too.
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