Wednesday, 29 April 2015

Jennifer Otto: Orgien's Criticism of Philo of Alexandria

Several recent studies have emphasized the influence of Philo of Alexandria’s treatises on Origen’s exegesis (see, for example, Illaria L.E. Ramelli’s “Philo as Origen’s Declared Model,” Studies in Christian-Jewish Relations 7 (2012): 1–17).  While affirming Origen’s generally favourable attitude toward Philonic exegesis, this short communication argues against an over-emphasis of Origen’s debt, both declared and oblique, to Philo.  It begins by evaluating the critical comments Origen makes about Philo in Comm. Matt. 15.3, a text that has been overlooked by previous scholars.  It then re-assesses several texts identified by scholars such as Ramelli and David T. Runia as anonymous references to Philo in Origen’s treatises, and suggests instead that these “predecessors” mentioned by Origen more plausibly refer to Paul and the Hebrew prophets.

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