Beatrice Wyss

Die Brotrede Philons aus Alexandreia in Legum allegoriae 3,169–178

Section: Articles
Early Christianity (EC)

Volume 12 () / Issue 2, pp. 200-227 (28)
Published 02.07.2021

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In Leg.3.169–178, Philo of Alexandria gives a dense and concise sketch of his theory of the logos. In this essay, first I show the scriptural basis of Philo's interpretation of manna as God's word or logos (Leg.3.173–174). Second, I offer a running commentary of Leg.3.169–178, discussing different aspects of Philo's theory of the logos hinted at in this passage. In the Jewish scriptures, Philo found God's word as active in the process of creation and identical with God's law and as a chastising force, each aspects he includes in his theory of the logos. Furthermore, he adds the pagan concept of Hermes as Zeus's word, Zeus's son, and Zeus's messenger (e. g., Cornutus 16). Sapiential literature is important here, because Philo uses and reworks crucial concepts of God's wisdom in his theory of the logos (as already shown by Burton Mack). Third, I demonstrate the liturgical setting of Philo's exegesis, namely Passover (Leg. 1.165) and Yom Kippur (3.174). Fourth, I situate Philo's exegesis in Leg.3.169–178 in a wider context within his exegesis of Exodus, arguing that Israel's exodus out of Egypt is to be understood as an encounter with God's logos in different dimensions. The essay concludes with a few remarks about John 6:22–58. I propose that Philo's exegesis in Leg.3.169–178 provides hermeneutical assistance toward amore accurate understanding of this New Testament passage.

Beatrice Wyss Geboren 1974; Studium der klassischen Philologie und Philosophie; 2008 Promotion; 2007–11 wissenschaftliche Mitarbeiterin DFG-Nachwuchsforschergruppe »Ratio Religionis«, Göttingen; 2011–14 DFG-Projekt »Sophist«, Göttingen und Bern; seit 2014 SNF-Projekt Erst-Edition »Giovanni del Virgilio, Paraphrasen zu Ovids Metamorphosen«, Bern.