As an allegorical interpreter who perceived some of the spiritual teachings embedded in the Hebrew scriptures, Philo did not match the image of the stereotypical Jew constructed by Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Eusebius. Neither, however, did he fulfill their criteria to be considered a legitimate Christian. This chapter argues that Philo functions in early Christian writings as neither a Christian nor a Jew but is situated in between these two increasingly differentiated identities. Acting as a third term in the equation, Philo the “Pythagorean,” the “predecessor,” and the “Hebrew,” mediates between the categories of Christian and Jew while ensuring that the two identities remain rhetorically and conceptually distinct. An epilogue briefly traces the varying depictions of Philo in later Christian literature, including accounts of his baptism by the apostle John and his transformation into Philo Judaeus, Philo the Jew.
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