Scholars from numerous disciplines rely on Philo's writings for their research. As one of only a handful of Jewish authors writing during the first century AD, Philo is a necessary primary source for theologians, biblical scholars, and historians. And yet there is a tendency for these same scholars to focus more on using Philo's works as reference material for their own studies with less interest in the origins and preservation of these writings in their own right.
David T. Runia recognized this challenge to Philo scholarship and has sought to fill the gap with these two volumes. He has satisfied the need for a more comprehensive examination of Philo's writings, their historical setting, and their preservation by early Christians by providing us with the first English commentary on Philo's writings—and the first commentary in any language in more than seventy years. Likewise, Runia has also provided comprehensive coverage of the preservation by early Christians who saw Philo's works as a resource for developing Christian theology and philosophy.
An excellent and very helpful first commentary in this series on Philo's major works.
—Fred W. Burnett, Religious Studies Review, 2004
This is a masterwork of historical scholarship that, in scope and execution, demonstrates the kind of contribution a commentary of this type can make.
—Mark Weedman, Review of Biblical Literature, 2006
David T. Runia, D.Litt. (1983) Free University, Amsterdam, is Professor of Ancient and Medieval Philosophy at the University of Leiden and C.J. de Vogel Extraordinary Professor of Ancient Philosophy University of Utrecht. He has published extensively on Philo, including Philo of Alexandria and the Timaeus of Plato (Brill, 1986) and (with R. Radice), Philo of Alexandria: an Annotated Bibliography (2nd ed.; Brill, 1992). He has been editor of The Studia Philonica Annual since 1989