|PHILO JUDAEUS |
(fi' loh jyoo day' uhss) Early Jewish interpreter of Scripture known for use of allegory. Also known as Philo of Alexandria, he lived about the same time as Jesus (about 20 B.C. to A.D. 50). A member of a wealthy Jewish family in Alexandria, Egypt, He was well educated in Greek schools and used the Greek Old Testament, the Septuagint, as his Bible.
Philo's writings—particularly his commentaries on the Scriptures—influenced the early church. A literal interpretation was all right for the average scholar, but for the enlightened ones such as himself, he advocated an allegorical interpretation. See Bible, Hermeneutics.