Writing to the Romans: Paul and Philo of Alexandria
IU Ancient Studies Program Lecture Series
Dr. Maren Niehoff, The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
February 5, 2020
Wells Library Hazelbaker Hall
Paul’s Letter to Romans leaves many riddles regarding his implied readers, his notion of natural ethics and his attitude towards Judaism. These riddles, I argue, can be illuminated by looking at Paul’s closest contemporary, namely Philo, who was another Greek speaking Diaspora Jew and Biblical theologian, who addressed Roman audiences just one or two decades before Paul. Since Philo expresses himself at greater length, he is of immense help to decipher the apostle. Not historical dependence is advocated here, but a triangular relationship between Philo, Rome and Paul.