A contemporary of Jesus Christ, Philo of Alexandria ranks among the greatest of Jewish and Greek thinkers. He was not only the first theologian--that is, the first who attempted to reconcile the teachings of supernatural revelation with the conclusions of speculative thought--but also the first psychologist of faith, the first mystic among monotheists, and the first systematizer of biblical allegory. His contributions to these and other fields of inquiry endow his writings with an importance of the first degree in the history of religious thought.
Chosen by Hans Lewy, these selections illuminate Philo's crucial role in assimilating Greek philosophy to biblical religion, and in accommodating Jewish belief to the requirements of Greek thought. An introductory essay on the philosopher's life and works is followed by meditations on God and the world, God and man, and man and the world. Additional subjects include the knowledge of God; the mystic way; the soul and her God; man's humility, hope, faith, and joy; vices and virtues; and Israel and the nations. The most thorough and most representative documents illuminating Hellenistic Judaism, these works are essential reading for students of philosophy and theology.