An Introduction to Philo Judaeus, 2nd ed. by Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough

By Erwin Ramsdell Goodenough

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T h e gentiles w h o r e a d this b o o k w e r e to see i n J u d a i s m t h e r e a l i z a t i o n o f all their o w n d r e a m s . T h e J e w s h a d h a d t h e perfect k i n g a n d saviour, t h e i d e a l legislator, a n d h e n c e t h e h o p e o f m a n k i n d . B u t t h e gentiles w o u l d h a v e h e a r d v e r y little a b o u t a J e w i s h p o i n t o f v i e w o f G o d , n a t u r e , o r m a n w h i c h w a s i n a n y sense different from w h a t t h e noblest teachers o f G r e e c e h a d l o n g b e e n presenting.

So one could properly say that the laws of the C o d e are nothing but memoirs of the life of the ancients, discus­ sions of antiquities, namely the deeds and words of their active careers. For they were not pupils or disciples of anyone, nor did they learn w h a t to do or say from teachers, but they were people who heard for themselves (avTrjKooL) and taught themselves (avTOfiaSels), clove to w h a t w h a t was in accordance with nature, and on the supposition, as is indeed the fact, that nature herself is the primary L a w , they shot their whole lives through with the fine order of L a w (d-rravTa rov jSt'ov rjvvofjLrjdrjaav).

T h e m a n c r e a t e d i n the s e c o n d story w a s a c o m b i n a t i o n o f m a t t e r a n d spirit, m a d e f r o m m o t h e r earth, a n d , u n l i k e his i d e a l p r o t o t y p e , specifically m a l e . H e w a s m a d e o f the v e r y best m a t e r i a l s a n d g i v e n , i n the b r e a t h o f G o d , the L o g o s as his spiritual n a t u r e . A s s u c h h e w a s a c i t i z e n o f the universe, c o - c i t i z e n w i t h the h e a v e n l y b o d i e s , a n d , since the L o g o s w a s the s u m m a t i o n o f the i d e a l w o r l d , so m a n w a s i n his spiritual n a t u r e a m i c r o c o s m o s , a n d e v e n his b o d y w a s m a d e after the i d e a l n u m e r i c a l relations.

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