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A Jewish Theological Understanding of Christianity in Our Time
Showing Rating details. More filters. Sort order. Nov 11, Patricia Farmer rated it it was amazing. It's a new day for Process Theology. Rabbi Artson's beautifully written book is a fresh birthing of process thought--and in the most natural place of all: Judaism. But this book is not just for Jews! As a non-Jewish process thinker from the Protestant tradition of John Cobb and Marjorie Suchocki , I not only appreciate Rabbi Artson's insightful interpretation of process theology, but have gained a deeper appreciation of the Jewish tradition.
In fact, I am convinced after reading this book that It's a new day for Process Theology. In fact, I am convinced after reading this book that the Jewish faith is inherently process. But it took someone like Rabbi Artson with his keen intellect, accessible writing style, and deep faith to scrape off the heavy weight of Greek philosophy and get back to a fresh, living, breathing Judaism. What a gift he has given to the world! For example, seeing mizvot commandments through the eyes of a God whose power is persuasive rather than coercive, whose very essence is relational love, will liberate many Jews and others who seek an authentic spirituality.
The last chapter of the book--which you might want to read first--will leave you deeply moved and brush away any doubt that process theology is a way forward for Jews and non-Jews alike who yearn for an intimate and authentic spirituality. Whatever your perspective on religion, this book will change the way you see God and the world. Especially if you are dealing with trauma or grief or agonizing over how to believe in God in a world filled with evil and suffering, you will find comfort and love here--the kind that does not bypass your mind or innate moral sense.
In God of Becoming and Relationship, Rabbi Artson has made a significant contribution to the community of diverse faiths in the belief that Process Thought is "a way to build communities that are robust in their pluralism and rooted in their streams of wisdom. Jan 25, Ryan Miller rated it it was amazing. Highly recommend! Dec 22, Micah rated it really liked it Shelves: theology , judaism , There are a lot of implicit connections between Judaism - especially the mystical and Hasidic traditions - and process thought, but they have never been at least to my knowledge systematically acknowledged and explicated as Rabbi Artson does in this book.
What really distinguishes this book is not the mere acknowledgement of similarities, but the fact that he also interprets other cornerstones of Jewish thought that are not clearly process-friendly at first glance and then rereads them in a ne There are a lot of implicit connections between Judaism - especially the mystical and Hasidic traditions - and process thought, but they have never been at least to my knowledge systematically acknowledged and explicated as Rabbi Artson does in this book.
What really distinguishes this book is not the mere acknowledgement of similarities, but the fact that he also interprets other cornerstones of Jewish thought that are not clearly process-friendly at first glance and then rereads them in a new way that is frequently invigorating. This is a very book that I'd definitely recommend to anyone interested in Judaism or Christians intrigued by process thought and its usefulness for interreligious dialogue. Dec 18, Aryeh rated it liked it. A beautiful and soulful introduction to Process Theology from a Jewish perspective.
Artson's take here is the theology that I desperately want to believe, but this book wasn't as convincing as I had hoped. I think, truthfully, that without really wrestling with more of the potential issues that Process Theology brings up, it's impossible to really choose it as a life defining theology. That said, the book flows and is both witty and very accessible. Recommended, generally, but recommend reading A beautiful and soulful introduction to Process Theology from a Jewish perspective. Recommended, generally, but recommend reading Whitehead's 'Process and Reality' first.
Jun 05, ari rated it really liked it. What we think of as the physical world is really made up of energy in constant movement and interaction. G-d both organizes this chaos and lures us as individuals to make optimal choices. That's my simplistic understanding of Rabbi Artson's view of Process Theology. Baruch hashem! Gary N. Sazer rated it it was amazing Apr 18, Alexander rated it it was amazing Oct 24, Kevin Litt rated it really liked it Feb 08, Lawrence rated it liked it Apr 24, Gary rated it really liked it Dec 19, The allegory was used by the cynic Antisthenes contemporary of Plato and Diogenes the Cynic.
Stoics expanded the Cynics' use of Homeric allegory in the interest of their philosophical system. Using this allegorical method, Philo seeks out the hidden message beneath the surface of any particular text and tries to read back a new doctrine into the work of the past. In a similar way Plutarch allegorized the ancient Egyptian mythology giving it a new meaning. But in some aspects of Jewish life Philo defends the literal interpretation of his tradition as in the debate on circumcision or the Sabbath Mig.
Though he acknowledges the symbolic meaning of these rituals, he insists on their literal interpretation. The key emphasis in Philo's philosophy is contrasting the spiritual life, understood as intellectual contemplation, with the mundane preoccupation with earthly concerns, either as an active life or as a search for pleasure. Philo disdained the material world and physical body Spec. But it was a necessary evil, hence Philo does not advocate a complete abnegation from life.
On the contrary he advocates fulfilling first the practical obligations toward men and the use of mundane possessions for the accomplishment of praiseworthy works Fug. Similarly he considers pleasure indispensable and wealth useful, but for a virtuous man they are not a perfect good LA 3.
He believed that men should steer themselves away from the physical aspect of things gradually. Some people, like philosophers, may succeed in focusing their minds on the eternal realities. Philo believed that man's final goal and ultimate bliss is in the "knowledge of the true and living God" Decal. To him, mystic vision allows our soul to see the Divine Logos Ebr. In a desire to validate the scripture as an inspired writing, he often compares it to prophetic ecstasy Her.
His praise of the contemplative life of the monastic Therapeutae in Alexandria attests to his preference of bios theoreticos over bios practicos. He adheres to the Platonic picture of the souls descending into the material realm and that only the souls of philosophers are able to come to the surface and return to their realm in heaven Gig. Philo adopted the Platonic concept of the soul with its tripartite division. The rational part of the soul, however, is breathed into man as a part of God's substance. But if it were to die, then our soul would live according to its proper life being released from the evil and dead body to which it is bound" Op.
Philo differentiated between philosophy and wisdom. To him philosophy is "the greatest good thing to men" Op. It is a devotion to wisdom, and a way to acquire the highest knowledge, "an attentive study of wisdom. Hence it follows that Moses, as the author of the Torah, "had reached the very summit of philosophy" and "had learnt from the oracles of God the most numerous and important of the principles of nature" Op.
Moses was also the interpreter of nature Her. By saying this Philo wanted to indicate that human wisdom has two origins: one is divine, the other is natural Her. Moreover, that Mosaic Law is not inconsistent with nature.
Jewish Theology in Feminist Perspective
A single law, the Logos of nature governs the entire world Jos. Because of this we have a conscience that affects even wicked persons QG 4. Wisdom is a consummated philosophy and as such has to be in agreement with the principles of nature Mos. The study of philosophy has as its end "life in accordance with nature" and following the "path of right reason" Mig.
Philosophy prepares us to a moral life, i. From this follows that life in accordance with nature hastens us towards virtues Mos. Thus Philo does not discount human reason, but contrasts only the true doctrine which is trust in God with uncertain, plausible, and unreliable reasoning LA 3. Philo's ethical doctrine is Stoic in its essence and includes the active effort to achieve virtue, the model of a sage to be followed, and practical advice concerning the achievement of the proper right reason and a proper emotional state of rational emotions eupatheia.
To Philo man is basically passive and it is God who sows noble qualities in the soul, thus we are instruments of God LA 2. Still man is the only creature endowed with freedom to act though his freedom is limited by the constitution of his mind. As such he is responsible for his action and "very properly receives blame for the offences which he designedly commits.
Philo advocates the practice of virtue in both the divine and the human spheres. Lovers only of God and lovers only of men are both incomplete in virtue. Philo advocates a middle harmonious way Decal. He differentiates four virtues: wisdom, self-control, courage, and justice LA 1. Human dispositions Philo divides into three groups — the best is given the vision of God, the next has a vision on the right i. Felicity is achieved in the culmination of three values: the spiritual, the corporeal, and the external QG 3. Philo adopts the Stoic wise man as a model for human behavior.
Such a wise man should imitate God who was impassible apathes hence the sage should achieve a state of apatheia, i. In such a state of eupatheia, the sage achieves a serene, stable, and joyful disposition in which he is directed by reason in his decisions QG 2.
But at the same time Philo claims that the needs of the body should not be neglected and rejects the other extreme, i. Everything should be governed by reason, self-control, and moderation. Joy and pleasure do not have intrinsic values, but are by-products of virtue and characterize the sage Fug. Mysticism is a doctrine that maintains that one can gain knowledge of reality that is not accessible to sense perception or to reason.
It is usually associated with some mental and physical training and in the theistic version it involves a sensation of closeness to or unity with God experienced as temporal and spatial transcendence. According to Philo, man's highest union with God is limited to God's manifestation as the Logos. It is similar to a later doctrine of intellectual contact of our human intellect with the transcendent intellect developed by Alexander of Aphrodisias and Ibn Rushd and different from the Plotinian doctrine of the absorption into the ineffable one.
Philo's biblical tradition in which one could not name or describe God was the major factor in accepting the Greek Platonic concepts and emphasis on God's transcendence. But this position is rather alien to biblical and rabbinical understanding. In the Bible, God is represented in a "material" and "physical" way. Philosophically, however, Philo differentiated between the existence of God , which could be demonstrated, and the nature of God which humans are not able to cognize.
God's essence is beyond any human experience or cognition, therefore it can be described only by stating what God is not via negativa or by depriving him of any attribute of sensible objects and putting God beyond any attribute applicable to a sensible world via eminentiae because God alone is a being whose existence is his essence Det. Philo states in many places that God's essence is one and single, that he does not belong to any class or that there is in God any distinction of genus and species.
Therefore, we cannot say anything about his qualities "For God is not only devoid of peculiar qualities, but he is likewise not of the form of man" LA 1. Strictly speaking, we cannot make any positive or negative statements about God: "Who can venture to affirm that But he alone can utter a positive assertion respecting himself, since he alone has an accurate knowledge of his own nature" LA 3.
The evolving God in Jewish process theology - William E. Kaufman - Google книги
Moreover, since the essence of God is single, therefore its property must be one which Philo denotes as acting "Now it is an especial attribute of God to create, and this faculty it is impious to ascribe to any created being" Cher. The expression of this act of God, which is at the same time his thinking, is his Logos Prov. Though God is hidden, his reality is made manifest by the Logos that is God's image Somn. Because of this we can perceive God's existence, though we cannot fathom his essence. But there are degrees and levels to our cognizance of God.
Those at the summit and the highest level may grasp the unity of the powers of God, at the lower level people recognize the Logos as the Regent Power, and those still at the lowest level, immersed in the sensible world are unable to perceive the intelligible reality Fug. Steps in mystic experience involve a realization of human nothingness, a realization that the one who acts is God alone, and abandonment of our sense of perception Her. A mystic state will produce a sensation of tranquility, and stability; it appears suddenly and is described as a sober intoxication Gig. According to Philo the highest knowledge man may have is the knowledge of infinite reality which is not accessible by the normal senses, but by unmediated intuition of divinity.
Humans were endowed with the mind, i. We received the first in order that we might consider the things that are discernable only by the intellect, the end of which is truth, and the second for the perception of visible things the end of which is opinion. Opinions are unstable, based on probability, and untrustworthy. Thus by this divine gift men are able to come to a conclusion about the existence of the divinity. They can do it in two ways: one is the apprehension of God through contemplation of his creation and forming a "conjectural conception of the Creator by a probable train of reasoning" Praem.
And in the process the soul may climb the ladder to perfection by using natural means i. The other is a direct apprehension by being instructed by God himself when the mind elevates itself above the physical world and perceives the uncreated One through a clear vision Praem.
This vision is accessible to the "purified mind" to which God appears as One. To the mind uninitiated in the mysteries, unable to apprehend God alone by himself, but only through his actions, God appears as a triad constituted by him and his two powers, Creative and Royal Abr. Such a direct vision of God is not dependent on revelation but is possible because we have an impression of God in our mind, which is nothing but a tiny fragment of the Logos pervading the whole universe, not separated from its source, but only extended Det.
And we receive this portion of the Divine Mind at birth being endowed with a mind which makes us resemble God Op. At birth two powers enter every soul, the salutary Beneficent and the destructive Unbounded. The world is created through these same powers. The creation is accomplished when " the salutary and beneficent power brings to an end the unbounded and destructive nature. Thus both the world and humans are a mixture of these powers and the prevailing one has the moral determination: "For the souls of foolish men have the unbounded and destructive rather than the powerful and salutary [power], and it is full of misery when it dwells with earthly creatures.
But the prudent and noble [soul] receives the powerful and salutary [power] and, on the contrary, possesses in itself good fortune and happiness" QE 1. Philo evidently analyzes these two powers on two levels. One is the divine level in which the Unlimited or the Unbounded is a representation of God's infinite and immeasurable goodness and creativity. The Logos keeps it in balance through the Limit. The other level is the human one where the Unlimited or the Unbounded represents destruction and everything morally abhorrent.
Human reason is able, however, to maintain in it some kind of balance. This mind, divine and immortal, is an additional and differentiating part of the human soul which animates man just like the souls of animals which are devoid of mind. The notion of God's existence is thus imprinted in our mind that needs only some illumination to have a direct vision of God Abr. Thus we can arrive at it through the dialectical reasoning as apprehension of the First Principle.
Philo differentiates two modes for perceiving God, an inferential mode and a direct mode without mediation: "As long, therefore, as our mind still shines around and hovers around, pouring as it were a noontide light into the whole soul, we, being masters of ourselves, are not possessed by any extraneous influence" Her. Thus this direct mode is not in any way a type of inspiration or inspired prophecy; it is unlike "inspiration" when a "trance" or a "heaven-inflicted madness" seizes us and divine light sets as it happens "to the race of prophets" Her.
Philo attempts to bridge the Greek "scientific" or rational philosophy with the strictly mythical ideology of the Hebrew scriptures. As a basis for the "scientific" approach he uses the worldview presented by Plato in Timaeus which remained influential in Hellenistic times. The characteristic feature of the Greek scientific approach is the biological interpretation of the physical world in anthropocentric terms, in terms of purpose and function that may apply to biological and psychological realities but may not be applied to the physical world.
Moreover, Philo operates often on two levels: the level of mythical Hebraic religious tradition and the level of philosophical speculation in the Greek tradition. Nevertheless, Philo attempts to harmonize the Mosaic and Platonic accounts of the generation of the world by interpreting the biblical story using Greek scientific categories and concepts. He elaborates a religious-philosophical worldview that became the foundation for the future Christian doctrine.
Philo's doctrine of creation is intertwined with his doctrine of God and it answers two crucial questions: 1. Was the world created ex nihilo or from primordial matter? Was creation a temporal act or is it an eternal process? Though Philo's model of creation comes from Plato's Timaeus , the direct agent of creation is not God himself described in Plato as Demiurge, Maker, Artificer , but the Logos. Philo believes that the Logos is "the man of God" Conf. The Logos converted unqualified, unshaped preexistent matter, which Philo describes as "destitute of arrangement, of quality, of animation, of distinctive character and full of disorder and confusion," Op.
For it is out of that essence that God created everything, without indeed touching it himself, for it was not lawful for the all-wise and all-blessed God to touch materials which were all misshapen and confused, but he created them by the agency of his incorporeal powers, of which the proper name is Ideas, which he so exerted that every genus received its proper form LA 1.
According to Philo, Moses anticipated Plato by teaching that water, darkness, and chaos existed before the world came into being Op. Moses, having reached the philosophy summit, recognized that there are two fundamental principles of being, one, "an active cause, the intellect of the universe. But Philo is ambiguous in such statements as these: "God, who created all things, not only brought them all to light, but he has even created what before had no existence, not only being their maker, but also their founder" Somn.
It seems that Philo does not refer here to God's creation of the visible world ex nihilo but to his creation of the intelligible Forms prior to the formation of the sensible world Spec. Philo reasons that by analogy to the biblical version of the creation of man in the image of God, so the visible world as such must have been created in the image of its archetype present in the mind of God.
The Logos is an indestructible Form of wisdom. Interpreting the garment of the high priest Exod. The invisible intelligible world which was used by the Logos as a model for creation or rather formation of the visible world from the preexisting unformed matter was created in the mind of God: "The incorporeal world then was already completed, having its seat in the Divine Logos and the world, perceptible by the external senses, was made on the model of it" Op.
Forms, though inapprehensible in essence, leave an impress and a copy and procure qualities and shapes to shapeless things and unorganized matter. Mind can grasp the Forms by longing for wisdom. This may seem a controversial point whether the primordial matter was preexistent or was created ex nihilo. Philo's view is not clearly stated and there are seemingly contradictory statements. In some places Philo states, "for as nothing is generated out of nothing, so neither can anything which exists be destroyed as to become non-existence" Aet.
The same is repeated in his De Specialibus legibus : "Being made of us [i. The resolution of this seeming controversy is to be found in Philo's theory of eternal creation, which is described next in connection with the Logos as the agent of creation. Philo, being a strict monist, could not accept the existence of independent and eternal preexistent matter however disorganized and chaotic as Plato did.
Philo denies the Aristotelian conclusion coming, according to him, from the superficial observation that the world existed from eternity, independent of any creative act. He elaborates instead his theory of the eternal creation Prov. Proclus brilliantly demonstrated that even in the theistic system the world though generated must be eternal, because the "world is always fabricated Thus God, according to Philo, did not begin to create the world at a certain moment, but he is "eternally applying himself to its creation" Prov.
But God is the creator of time also, for he is the father of his father, and the father of time is the world, which made its own mother the creation of time, so that time stands towards God in the relation of a grandson; for this world is a younger son of God, inasmuch as it is perceptible by the outward sense, for the only son he speaks of as older than the world, is Idea, and this is not perceptible by the intellect, but having thought the other worthy of the rights of primogeniture, he has decided that it should remain with him; therefore, this younger son, perceptible by the external senses being set in motion, has caused the nature of time to shine forth, and to become conspicuous, so that there is nothing future to God, who has the very boundaries of time subject to him; for their life is not time, but the beautiful model of eternity; and in eternity nothing is past and nothing is future, but everything is present only Deus.
Philo contends that God thinks simultaneously with his acting or creating. Thus any description of creation in temporal terms, e. God is continuously ordering matter by his thought. His thinking was not anterior to his creating and there never was a time when he did not create, the Ideas themselves having been with him from the beginning. For God's will is not posterior to him, but is always with him, for natural motions never give out. Thus ever thinking he creates, and furnishes to sensible things the principle of their existence, so that both should exist together: the ever-creating Divine Mind and the sense-perceptible things to which beginning of being is given Prov.
Thus Philo postulates a crucial modification to the Platonic doctrine of the Forms, namely that God himself eternally creates the intelligible world of Ideas as his thoughts. The intelligible Forms are thus the principle of existence to the sensible things which are given through them their existence. This simply means in mystical terms that nothing exists or acts except God. On this ideal model God then orders and shapes the formless matter through the agency of his Logos Her.
Now we must form a somewhat similar opinion of God [Philo makes an analogy to a plan of the city in the mind of its builder], who, having determined to found a mighty state, first of all conceived its form in his mind, according to which form he made a world perceptible only by the intellect, and then completed one visible to the external senses, using the first one as a model Op.
Philo claims a scriptural support for these metaphysics saying that the creation of the world was after the pattern of an intelligible world Gen. There are, however, differences between Philo and Plato: according to Plato, there is no Form of space chora. In Plato space is not apprehended by reason; rather it had its own special status in the world.
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Also pneuma as a Form of soul does not exist in the system of Plato. Plato designates this primordial unorganized state of matter a self-existing Receptacle; it is most stable and a permanent constituent: "It must be called always the same, for it never departs at all from its own character" Plato, Timaeus 50b-c. Philo, being a strict monist could not allow even for a self-existing void so he makes its pattern an eternal idea in the divine mind.
Before Philo there was no explicit theory of creation ex nihilo ever postulated in Jewish or Greek traditions. Both Philo and Plato do not explain how the reflections eidola of Forms are made in the world of senses. They do not attribute them to God or the Demiurge because it would be contrary to their conception of God as "good" and "desiring that all things should come as near as possible to being like himself.
The Logos would shape the elements from this preexistent matter, first into heavy or dense and light or rare elements which were differentiated properly into water and earth, and air and fire Her. As in Plato certain geometrical descriptions characterize Philo's elements. Fire was characterized by a pyramid, air by an octahedron, water by an icosahedron, and earth by a cube QG 3. In Plato's theory too, one can envision a sort of automatic reflection of the Forms in the Receptacle due to the properties of Forms.
God could not, according to Philo's philosophy, create the preexistent matter. Logically, God is for Philo indirectly the source of preexistent matter but Philo does not ascribe to God even the shaping of matter directly. In fact this unorganized matter never existed because it was simultaneously ordered into organized matter — the four elements from which the world is made. Closely connected with Philo's doctrine of creation is his doctrine of miracles.
His favorite statement is that "everything is possible with God. Thus Philo emphasizes that God's miraculous works are within the realm of the natural order. Doing this he extends the natural order to encompass the biblical miracles and tries to explain them by their coincidence with natural events.
For example, the miracle at the Red Sea which he characterizes as a "mighty work of nature" Mos. This was the tendency inherited from some Stoics who attempted to explain miracles of divination as events preordered in nature by the divine power pervading it. Similarly Philo considers the biblical miracles as a part of the eternal pattern of the Logos acting in nature. Augustine considers miracles as implanted in the destiny of the cosmos since the time of its creation.
Philo and rabbinic literature emphasize the miraculous and marvelous character of nature itself. All natural things are wonderful, but are "despised by us by reason of our familiarity with them" and all things with which we are unaccustomed, make an impression on us "for the love of novelty" Mos. Even in modern Jewish teaching there is a tendency to explain the miraculous by the natural. Thus the one can find a certain discrepancy in Philo's writing: on one hand Philo is rationalist and naturalist in the spirit of Greek philosophical tradition, on the other, he follows popular religion to preserve the biblical tradition.
Philo emphasizes, however, that we are limited in our human capabilities to "comprehend everything" about the physical world, and it is better to "suspend our judgment" than to err:. But since we are found to be influenced in different manners by the same things at different times, we should have nothing positive to assert about anything, inasmuch as what appears has no settled or stationary existence, but is subject to various, and multiform, and ever-recurring changes.
For it follows of necessity, since the imagination is unstable, that judgment formed by it must be unstable; and there are many reasons for this Ebr. But we are able to comprehend things by comparing them with their opposites and thus arriving at their true nature. The same applies to what is virtue and to what is vice, and to what is just and good and to what is unjust and bad.
And, indeed, if any one considers everything that is in the world, he will be able to arrive at a proper estimate of its character, by taking it in the same manner; for each separate thing is by itself incomprehensible, but by a comparison with another thing, is easy to understand Ebr. The same reasoning he extends to differences between national customs and ancient laws which vary according to countries, nations, cities, different villages, even private houses and instruction received by people from childhood. And since this is the case, who is foolish enough and ridiculous as to affirm positively that such and such a thing is just, or wise, or honorable, or expedient?
For whatever this man defines as such, some one else, who from his childhood has learnt a contrary lesson, will be sure to deny Ebr. The pivotal and the most developed doctrine in Philo's writings on which hinges his entire philosophical system, is his doctrine of the Logos. By developing this doctrine he fused Greek philosophical concepts with Hebrew religious thought and provided the foundation for Christianity, first in the development of the Christian Pauline myth and speculations of John, later in the Hellenistic Christian Logos and Gnostic doctrines of the second century.
All other doctrines of Philo hinge on his interpretation of divine existence and action. The term Logos was widely used in the Greco-Roman culture and in Judaism. Through most schools of Greek philosophy, this term was used to designate a rational, intelligent and thus vivifying principle of the universe. This principle was deduced from an understanding of the universe as a living reality and by comparing it to a living creature. Ancient people did not have the dynamic concept of "function," therefore, every phenomenon had to have an underlying factor, agent, or principle responsible for its occurrence.
In the Septuagint version of the Old Testament the term logos Hebrew davar was used frequently to describe God's utterances Gen. Logos is used here only as a figure of speech designating God's activity or action. In the so-called Jewish wisdom literature we find the concept of Wisdom hokhmah and sophia which could be to some degree interpreted as a separate personification or individualization hypostatization , but it is contrasted often with human stupidity.
In the Hebrew culture it was a part of the metaphorical and poetic language describing divine wisdom as God's attribute and it clearly refers to a human characteristic in the context of human earthly existence. The Greek, metaphysical concept of the Logos is in sharp contrast to the concept of a personal God described in anthropomorphic terms typical of Hebrew thought.
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Philo made a synthesis of the two systems and attempted to explain Hebrew thought in terms of Greek philosophy by introducing the Stoic concept of the Logos into Judaism. In the process the Logos became transformed from a metaphysical entity into an extension of a divine and transcendental anthropomorphic being and mediator between God and men. Philo offered various descriptions of the Logos.
Following the Jewish mythical tradition, Philo represents the Logos as the utterance of God found in the Jewish scripture of the Old Testament since God's words do not differ from his actions Sacr. Philo accepts the Platonic intelligible Forms. Forms exist forever though the impressions they make may perish with the substance on which they were made Det. They are not, however, beings existing separately, only exist in the mind of God as his thoughts and powers. Philo explicitly identifies Forms with God's powers.
Those powers are his glory, though invisible and sensed only by the purest intellect. Logos is the indestructible Form of wisdom comprehensible only by the intellect Det. The Logos which God begat eternally because it is a manifestation of God's thinking-acting Prov. Philo relates that in an inspiration his own soul told him:. And further, Philo finds in the Bible indications of the operation of the Logos, e.
Philo's description of the Logos the Mind of God corresponds to the Greek concept of mind as hot and fiery. Philo obviously refers in these powers to the Unlimited apeiron and the Limited peras of Plato's Philebus and earlier Pythagorean tradition, and they will later reappear in Plotinus as Nous. In Plato these two principles or powers operate at the metaphysical, cosmic cosmic soul and human human soul levels. Philo considers these powers to be inherent in transcendental God, and that God himself may be thought of as multiplicity in unity. Goodness is Boundless Power, Creative, and God. Creative Power, moreover, permeates the world, the power by which God made and ordered all things.
Philo follows the ideas of the Stoics that nous pervades every part of the universe as it does the soul in us. Therefore, Philo asserts that the aspect of God which transcends his powers which we have to understand to be the Logos cannot be conceived of in terms of place but as pure being, "but that power of his by which he made and ordered all things called God, in accordance with the etymology of that name, enfolds the whole and passes through the parts of the universe" Conf.
According to Philo, the two powers of God are separated by God himself who is standing above in the midst of them Her. Referring to Genesis 2 Philo claims that God and his two Powers are in reality one. To the human mind they appear as a Triad, with God above the powers that belong to him: "For this cannot be so keen of spirit that, it can see Him who is above the powers that belong to Him, namely God, distinct from everything else. For so soon as one sets eyes on God, there also appear together with His being, the ministering powers, so that in place of one he makes the appearance of a triad QG 4.