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Spiritual Philosopher Philo of Alexandria_A Contemporary of Jesus at 1st Century Roman Empire

Updated on April 30, 2013

First Century Hebrews Culture in Roman Empire

Philo of Alexandria (20 BC - 50 AD) was a near contemporary of Paul the Apostle (5 AD -67AD) and Peter The Appostle (1 BC (best estimate)-67 AD best estimate)

Paul did not know Jesus personally as did Peter The Apostle who was known as the "Rock". Peter was designated as a key leader for the early Christian movement in Jerusalem, shortly before the Crucifixon event .

James the Just, a brother of Jesus, was designated as the leader of the Jerusalem Church when Christianity was still a Hebrew Sect. .

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3 Synoptic Gospels of Christianity , Paul The Apostle and Philo

This information about Paul and Peter s given in all three of the Synoptic Gospels, Mathew, Mark, Luke.

These three Gospels were among the earliest so called Cannonical gospels, written in the 1st Century AD within the generational memory of Jesus after the Crucifixon event as concluded by Bible scholars.

The fourth Cannonical Gospel, John was written late 1st Century AD to early 2nd Century AD, that has variations on events during Jesus life and minstery that often are different that those described in the three Synoptic Gospels.

St. Paul who is given credit for the expansion of the early Christian Church that became a separate religion from Hebrew Religion.

Paul knew Peter personally as his letters had stated that still exists today and is part of the Christian Gospels.

But did not appear to know Philo.

All three, Paul, Peter, and Philo came from deep spiritual backrgounds in their respective Hebrew communities where they spent their earlier lives.

Paul was a tent maker by profession. Peter a fisherman and Philo came from a wealthy trading family in the Hebrew community of Alexandria, Egypt.

Philo has written that he visited Jerusalem only once in his life time.

Alexandria, Egypt -- A Reputation as Center of Cosmopolitan Philosophy and East West Cultural Support in 1st Century AD

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During this 1st Century Roman Empire under which Judea and the coastal city of Alexandria that had a reputation for support of spiritual and philosophical dialogue and scholarship, Philo's work has survived to modern day Hebrew culture and deemed to be surpirsingly relavant to modern day beyond just Hebrew spirituality.

This element of Philo's spiritual philosophy will be discussed briefly here .

Three Hebrew Sects in Judea with Political Debates Raging in 1st Century AD - With Roman Overlord King With A Look Out for Revolutionaries That Threatened Autho

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But it is valuable to know that in this 1st Century center of Roman dominated civiliation, Hebrews consisted of three spiritual philosophy sects who often engaged in political debate, even under the Roman Empire overlord.

The Seducees were a priestly sect, that had control and responsibility over the then existing 2nd Temple in Jerusalem.

The best we know now, family of Jesus, and prior to Jesus, family of Joseph and Mary, had a Seducee sect origins.

The Essenes, who retired to Qumran community , and who had serious political disagreements with the Seducee priests whom they considered "illigimate", being appointed by the Roman overlords, had retired to the desert to make the way for the "Messiah" for return to Judea.

Based on deep convictions they held on the need to follow the "law" literally , for Hebrew People handed down from Moses The Law Maker.

Such orthodox knowledge and practice of the "Law" was necessary according to the Qurman Sect , to usher the Promised Kingdom of peace and spirituality, from seeds of King David . This they wanted and expected above all.

John The Baptist links to Essene Community of Qumran now established by Scholars

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Biblical schoars who have been studing the Qumran Library documents have not seen any evidence to link Jesus to the Essenes .

But they have good indirect reasons to indicate that John The Baptist, a relative of Jesus, who according to the Gospel recognized Jesus as the Messiah, and baptist him in the Jordon River, have concluded that John was likely a member of the Qumran community.

That is before he branched out on his own ministry and practice of Baptism on the Jordon River.

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2 of 3 1st Century Hebrew Sects Went Extinct with Roman Millitary Invasion of Judea on 67 AD

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Both the Seducees and Essene sects died out when Roman General Titus invaded Galilee and lay seize to Jerusalem on 67 AD when there was a revolt in Jerusalem.

The Second Temple of the Hebrews was destroyed in this Roman invasion. And both the Seducees and the Essenes disappeared subsequently.

Only the Farsee sect remained, from which modern Rabanical Hebrews evolved over centuries (only exception is the sect known as Karaites, a very small sect still existing today, who did not appear on the scene until the 9th Century AD. .

Philo of Alexandria was a Deep Thinking Scholar ; Admired & Studied Greek Philosophy of Aristotle and Stoics - A Scholar of HIs Own Hebrew Scripture Heritag

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Philo of Alexandria was a deep thinking scholar and admired the philosophical heritage of the Greek world in which he lived in Alexandria, Egypt of that time.

He was part of the Hebrew community of Alexandria where existence of the Great Alexandrian library was still in use then, which few centuires later were destroyed by fire.

Philo was well versed with both Hebrew Old Testament scriptures of his own culture and also of the Greek great philophers of Aristotle, Plato in particular.

Philo no doubt given the cosmopolitan culture of Alexandria , Egypt, of that time, he was influencd by eastern spiriutal ideas with which he used along with the Greek philosophical ideas.

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Philo and the Greek Culture of Alexandria in centuries earlier

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In Alexandria, Egypt, following centuries of Greek rule (Alexander The Great had established this port city some 400 years earlier) where along with trade with eastern cultures of India, and China, and elsewhere, many people along with goods to exchange, readily came with philosphical and spiritual ideas that helped to create the cosmopolitan culture of Alexandria in which scholarly mind of Philo thrived.

During this 1st Century, in fact, due to royal Greek cultural patronage, three great libraries existed, including the Great Alexandria Library with scrolls and books that came from far flung corners of the east that Alexander, and subsequent Greek dynasties were overlords.

A Brief Summary of Startlingly Modern Philosophy of Philo Of Alexandria - Did Einstein and other Physicsts of his early 20th Century Scientist Colleagues know o

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Here is a brief summary of spiritual philosophy of Philo. See if this philosophy makes sense in the context of modern day when science of physics has dominated our search for truth of the unverse.

I am not sure to what extent Albert Einstein was familiar with philosophy of Philo.

On the surface, Einstein's concept of God appears to be directly related to what Philo had decribed in his writings in 1st century AD.

This summary is takes from The Works of Philo Judeaeu, The Contempoary of Josephus, translated from the Greek, C.D. Young, BA , Volume 1, London: George Hell and Sons, York Street, Covenant Garden. 1800. Andover Harvard Theological Library Harvard Divinity School.

This book is available on the internet, courtesy of Google.com (Search by name of this book)

Here is Philo speaking to humanity then and now :

Jehova as a single uncompounded Being, unchangeable, eternal incomprehensible and knowledge of whom is to be looked upon as the ultimate objective of all human efforts.

He teaches that visible world leads men over to the invislble world and that contemplation of the world so wonderfully and beautifully made proves a wise and intelligent Cause and a Creat or of it.

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Duel Debate Module

Do you Agree that there is a clear connection between what Philo spoke to humanity in 1st Century AD and Einstein spoke of his concept of the "Old One" ?

No, Philo is not meaningful to Humanity today, driven by the engines of modern science and philosophy of a new age

No, Philo is not meaningful to Humanity today, driven by the engines of modern science and philosophy of a new age

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Yes, I agree with Avi that what Philo Said is clearly similar to what Einstein said and argued with his fellow theoretical physics firends about the "Old One"

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  • Yaheem 5 years ago from Toronto

    I agree. It also goes with my own philosophy of God. I am a biologist by the way, and the agreement between me, a physicist and a philosopher makes it sound like a semi-universal philosophy.

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Conclusion on Philo and Links to Modern Culture of Science and Arts

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Conclusion: "Jahova" of Philo appears to fit neatly to the God that Einstein described as "The Old One" in his several books such as "Out of My Later Years" available at most public library.

Einstein Comment on Spirituality That Restates Philo in Modern Era

That deep emotional conviction of the presence of a superior reasoning power, which is revealed in the incomprehensible universe, forms my idea of God.

Albert Einstein

Philo and Einstein on Spirituality ? - Linking Past, Present and Future Magic

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Cafe Twin Bridge to Arts and Science

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Cosmic Dance--Mystic Voices East Meet West

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Cosmic Dance - A Spiritual Perspective of Ancient East

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My New Group at LinkedIn.Com. - Welcome !

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Comments appreciated and shared here

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    • Inthepresentati1 profile image

      Inthepresentati1 4 years ago

      Fascinating topic. I'll have to keep investigating. Thanks.

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      Yaheem 5 years ago from Toronto

      I looooooooooooooooooooved it, and I am thirsty for more :D

      Thanks a million

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      TTMall 5 years ago

      Great lens with excellent pictures. Thanks for sharing!

    • BelindaBlevins profile image

      BelindaBlevins 5 years ago

      I like your lens

    • Michey LM profile image

      Michey LM 5 years ago

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