Philo of Alexandria), also called Philo Judaeus, was a Hellenistic Jewish philosopher who lived in Alexandria, in the Roman province of Egypt.
Philo used philosophical allegory to harmonize Jewish scripture, mainly the Torah, with Greek philosophy. His method followed the practices of both Jewish exegesis and Stoic philosophy. His allegorical exegesis was important for several Christian Church Fathers, but he has barely any reception history within Rabbinic Judaism. He believed that literal interpretations of the Hebrew Bible would stifle humanity's perception of a God too complex and marvelous to be understood in literal human terms.
Some scholars hold that his concept of the Logos as God's creative principle influenced early Christology. Other scholars deny direct influence but say that Philo and Early Christianity borrow from a common source.
The only event in Philo's life that can be decisively dated is his participation in the embassy to Rome in 40 CE. He represented the Alexandrian Jews in a delegation to Roman Emperor Caligula following civil strife between the Alexandrian Jewish and Greek communities. The story of this event, and a few other biographical details, are found in Josephus and in Philo's own works, especially in Legatio ad Gaium (Embassy to Gaius) of which only two of the original five volumes survive.
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