Jewish philosophy has become such a commonplace term that a great many versions of Wikipedia include entries on this subject.
Where is the term Jewish philosophy first attested? Surely this term appeared in a classical language (such as Greek, Arabic, Hebrew or Latin) long before it was used in the numerous German, French and English textbooks on the subject?

  • What term are you looking for in Hebrew, Arabic, Greek, or Latin? Philosophy has many ways it can be translated into those languages.
    – robev
    Feb 4, 2021 at 19:14
  • "Philosophy" is itself a Greek word so I doubt it needs to be translated into Greek. As for other languages, they tend to borrow the Greek word rather than coming up with their own native equivalent. To take Hebrew for instance, some writers try to use words like הגות or הגיון or even מחשבה but only פילוסופיה successfully conveys the sense without ambiguity.
    – Moshe Wise
    Feb 4, 2021 at 19:48

1 Answer 1


My guess is Philo, who says of Publius Petronius: ἀλλʼ εἶχέ τινα καὶ αὐτός, ὡς ἔοικεν, ἐναύσματα τῆς Ἰουδαϊκῆς φιλοσοφίας ἅμα καὶ εὐσεβείας. In Colson's translation: "Indeed it appears that he himself had some rudiments of Jewish philosophy and religion."

  • 1
    For those who don't read Greek, which words are Jewish Philosophy?
    – robev
    Feb 4, 2021 at 19:46
  • Ἰουδαϊκῆς φιλοσοφίας, roughly romanized: yudeikis filosofyas
    – Moshe Wise
    Feb 4, 2021 at 19:49
  • 2
    Could you edit in an English translation to the text? Or at least a transliteration?
    – Harel13
    Feb 4, 2021 at 22:21

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