The librarian is doing his best to enter into a field that he doesn’t understand. He rarely gets anything right, but like a blind monkey in the dark, eventually, the poo will be fling in the right direction.
He is attempting to follow someone who is following Burton Mack. I’ve not read Mack, but I intend too. He suggests, it seems, that Philo’s Life of Moses could have been a source for Mark. This is not out of the question, actually. Granted, Godless seems to have a better angle on the connections to Life than Mack’s student does (shocking, I know, and I cannot actually believe I just wrote that), but they are somewhat muted by the need to connect Philo to Mark’s cognitive environment and show how Philo could have taken the place of Scripture for Mark, not to mention the need to show why Philo was used in a theological crisis. Whereas the scholar’s connections are severely strained, fried by God has presented a series of connections that are much, much better, but he is unable to show why or how Mark could have used Philo instead of the LXX, the same mistake Dennis MacDonald makes.
Philo died in 50. While he was a Jew, he was not a mainstream Jew. He was a great one for allegory and was a neo-Platonist. To top that off, Philo was well connected to the Roman elite and so was his family. None of this puts Philo in view of Mark.
The first rule of mimetic criticism is that you talk about mimetic criticism, and you do so at the very start. Moses is not mentioned in Mark’s Gospel until after the healing of the leper and only as the lawmaker. Neither is there an allusion to Philo in any way. Throughout Mark’s Gospel, Moses is only a dead author except for the Transfiguration where he serves still as the lawmaker who gives obedience to Christ. Mark is not neo-Platonist but has Stoic tendencies. Further, he doesn’t move to allegory for Scripture.
Now, if any of the Gospel writers would have used Philo’s Life of Moses, it could have been Matthew who pictures Jesus as the new Moses. For Mark, Jesus is the new Elijah/Elisha who is facing a theological crisis of a bad king.
But, the connections are interesting…