The author himself, it is generally acknowledged, must have been an Egyptian Jew, probably from Alexandria.2 Establishing the date of his writing, however, is no simple matter, and is the subject of keen debate. Since Josephus used the work in writing Ant. XII. 12-118, it must have been composed before the end of the first century AD. This much is agreed; but thereafter students of the work sharply diverge in their opinions. Jellicoe summarizes four quite different proposed datings for the letter.3 One group of scholars dates the work early, between 250 and 200 BC. A second group argues for a date of writing around 150-100 BC, while a third minority group suggests the first century BC as the most likely time of composition. Finally, there are a few scholars who argue that the composite nature of the work suggests that its final compilation, on the basis of older materials, took place as late as the first century AD.