Daly, Robert J. "Part 3: The Early Christian Literature Before Origen: Chapter Three: The Alexandrian Tradition: Philo, Barnabas, Clement." Christian Sacrifice: The Judaeo-Christian Background Before Origen. Washington, D.C.: The Catholic University of America Press, 1978, 389-490.
Daly sees the Jewish movement in Alexandria, from about 260 B.C. to be unique in its ability to bring a completely different faith into the Greek philosophy of Alexandria (Daly 1978, 389). Of note for our analysis is the fact that the Jews would take Greek terminology over to express Hebrew ideas, as evidenced by the Septuagint. Daly illustrates this move using Philo, near the end of the Jewish Alexandrian Hellenistic movement (Daly 1978, 390).
Philo discusses sacrifice specifically in De specialibus legibus I.66-298, though he makes mention of the ideas incidentally in many other places. Daly fnds in Philo a rich, deep, and fairly consistent view of sacrifice (Daly 1978, 391). In the main, Philo takes an allegorical view of sacrifice which spiritualizes and internalizes the meaning of biblical statements. He does normally preface his allegorical statements with a relatively literal explanation of a text (Daly 1978, 392). While the sacrifice is a literal offering, it reflects the intention of the one who offers it. It also remains God's creation and possession, though it has come into the care of the one who makes the offering (Daly 1978, 394).
Daly observes that Philo sees sacrifice as an allegory of the Godward progress of the soul (Daly 1978, 395). As the worshiper engages in sacrifice it moves the soul and its affections into greater unity with God. From the Passover as a foundation, Philo describes the worshiper leaving something behind to progressively move away from the place of bondage (Daly 1978, 396). Other offerings also symbolize laying something aside. This process continues as we increasingly learn what attitude of the worshiper makes the sacrifice acceptable to God (Daly 1978, 399). Daly continues by describing Philo's view of the purpose of sacrifice, first, to honor God and second, to receive blessing from God (Daly 1978, 401). Daly describes this purpose step by step in some detail in the pages which follow. In essence, Philo describes both the individual soul and the cosmos as the true temple and altar of God, where we are perfected in sacrifice (Daly 1978, 422).
Daly next turns to the Epistle of Barnabas, from the early second century (Daly 1978, 422). Daly considers Barnabas to have originated in Alexandria and to be dependent on Philo's methods of interpretation. He also observes that it shows more hostility to Jewish thought than other early Christian writings. Scripture is to be interpreted allegorically, not literally. The covenant of God is intended only for Christian (Daly 1978, 428). The sacrifices of the temple are discarded in Barnabas. However, the true sacrifice is an offering of oneself (Daly 1978, 426). This offering of oneself is an emulation of Jesus, who offered himself for our sins (Daly 1978, 428). Brnabas does see Jesus as the pre-existent Lord of all and unique in that role. Therefore, all the Old Testament sacrifices are to be interpreted in terms of their fulfillment in Christ, as Daly illustrates using various passages from Barnabas. The temple, in Barnabas, is built in the hearts of Christians, rather than as the building in Jerusalem (Daly 1978, 434-435). Daly concludes that Barnabas saw all the Old Testament as directing our attention to Christ, and that he interpreted the Old Testament in light of the New Testament (Daly 1978, 440).
Clement of Alexandria was another who showed a close connection with Philo's thought when it came to an allegorical exegetical style (Daly 1978, 440). As with Philo, Daly finds Clement challenging to interpret due to his relatively unsystematic way of approching topics. Daly runs the risk of systematizing Clement by reviewing ideas "under five headings" (1) the interpretation of Scripture; (2) cult criticism and the idea of spiritual sacrifice; (3) the scrifice of Christ; (4) the sacrifice of the Christian; (5) the temple and the altar" (Daly 1978, 443).
While holding to a unity of thought between the Old and New Testments, Clement also engaged in the kind of "flamboyant allegorizing exegesis which was developed by Philo" (Daly 1978, 444). Daly continues with examples. He finds Clement to consider the events of Scripture symbols of other events, to be interpreted in an essential Gnostic manner (Daly 1978, 447).
Clement, like Philo and Barnabas, takes the Old Testament as symbolic in nature. Unlike Barnabas, he does not consider the Old Testaent sacrifices to be idolatrous (Daly 1978, 448). Clement also makes his allegorical, philosophical arguments with little reference to specific passages of Scripture even when the ideas can be readily tied to Scripture (Daly 1978, 449).
Clement, as consistent with Christian orthodoxy, sees Christ as the one who is incarnate so as to serve as the Passover sacrifice (Daly 1978, 452ff). Daly fids that Clement also considers Christ as the fulfillment of the typology involved in the offering of Isaac. This serves Daly as evidence that the motif of the binding of Isaac had been broadly adopted in Christian thought (Daly 1978, 455). Christ further serves as the high priest whose person and garments are all symbolic of the work of God in our world (Daly 1978, 459ff).
Clement's view of the sacrifice of the Christian is also generally consistent with early Christian tradition, though his Gnostic view of a deeply internal spirituality maes worship and the Christian life less focused on the concrete and physical than it might be (Daly 1978, 466ff). As in many authors, the Christian is seen both as one offering sacrifice and as the sacrifice itself. Together, the church at worship makes a sort of communal sacrifice as well (Daly 1978, 470). These sacrifices are primarily seen as embodied in our acts of prayer, as it creates a fellowship with God. To Clement, this is to be a lifelong habit (Daly 1978, 472). Furthermore, the life of prayr identifies anybody as part of a universal priesthood. All are able to partake of this priesthood through their sacrifice offrings of prayer (Daly 1978, 473). Daly describes the priesthood using several passages from Clement.
Daly finds that in Clement the true temple of God is both the individual Christian and the collective church. At the time of Clement this was a view which already had a long tradition (Daly 1978, 481). Clement is not greatly innovative as regards these views. The Christian does remain both temple and sacrifice in some mystical way (Daly 1978, 483). With this in mind, Daly then describes Clement's view of the eucharist. By participation, the Christian inwardly becomes the home for the presence of God, the true temple (Daly 1978, 484).
Daly concludes that Clement built on the precedents of Philo and Barnabas to allegorize Scripture and develop a highly internal Christian spirituality in which the Gnostic was able to offer sacrifices of prayer which are acceptable to God (Daly 1978, 488). His ideas are rooted in Christ's incarnation but lead him to a picture of the role of the Christian.