ATTICIZING MOSES? NUMENIUS, THE FATHERS AND THE JEWS BY M. J. EDWARDS Numenius, the second-century disciple of Pythagoras, was the boast of Christian authors and is the friend of all modern scholars who wish to find testimonies to Jewish influences on the pagans of the later Roman world. He has been said to have known the Septuagint, to have built upon the philosophy of Philo, to have been a Jew himself: few at least have doubted the judgment of Stern, that his knowledge of Jewish Scriptures exceeded that which was displayed by any pagan of his time. I If he was not a Jew, he lived in Apamea on the Orontes, where the prox- imity of a large Jewish population may have inspired the sympathy that sometimes comes with acquaintance.2 If he was not at least an adept critic of the Old Testament, then how are we to explain his exegesis of the prophets, his celebration of Moses and his acquaintance with expres- sions which could only have been borrowed from Holy Writ? I have not found any passage in Numenius which convinces me that his knowledge of this nation was as great as modern scholars have sup-
Vigiliae Christianae – Brill
Published: Jan 1, 1990
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