Paul probably thought he could bring the Jews out of their isolationism, but ultimately became bitter and vindictive toward them. As a Herodian he also had the ability to play God and inflict his wrath upon them.
As far as Philo, he emerges as a political figure also from a political family, and may have had a stint as High Priest in Jerusalem (under the name Theophilus. As you say, that far from being a hermit! Paul was familiar with Gnostic ideas as well. Have you seen Elaine Pagels "Gnostic Paul"?
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