Aristobulus (2), Alexandrian Jewish author, c. 2nd half of 2nd cent. BCE
Aristobulus (2), an Alexandrian Jew (see alexandria), probably of the second half of the 2nd cent. bce, author of a commentary on the Pentateuch which is known only through quotations by Clement of Alexandria, Anatolius, and Eusebius. This has been thought by some scholars to be a much later work (of the 3rd cent. ce) falsely ascribed to Aristobulus; but this conclusion is not necessary. If the earlier date be accepted, the book is the earliest evidence of contact between Alexandrian Jewry and Greek philosophy. Its object was twofold, to interpret the Pentateuch in an allegorical fashion and to show that Homer and Hesiod, the Orphic writings (see orphic literature), Pythagoras (1), Plato (1), and Aristotle had borrowed freely from a supposed early translation of the OT into Greek. Though Aristobulus toned down the anthropomorphism of the OT, his thought remained Jewish and theistic; it did not accept the pantheism of the Stoics nor anticipate the Logos-doctrine of Philon (4). See Jewish–Greek literature.