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Encyclopedia > 2 Maccabees
Old Testament
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2 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible which focuses on the Jews' revolt against Antiochus and concludes with the defeat of the Syrian general Nicanor in 161 BC by Judas Maccabeus, the hero of the work. Catholics and Orthodox consider the work to be canonical and part of the Bible. Protestants and Jews, while not considering it to be Scripture, consider it useful as a historical supplement to 1 Maccabees, but reject most of the doctrinal innovations present in the work. Some Protestants include 2 Maccabees as part of the Apocrypha, useful for reading in the church. Note: Judaism uses the term Tanakh instead of Old Testament, because it does not recognize the New Testament as being part of the Biblical canon. ... This article is about Genesis, the first book of the Hebrew Bible (Old Testament). ... Exodus is the second book of the Torah (the Pentateuch) and also the Tanakh (the Hebrew Bible), and Christian Old Testament. ... Leviticus is the third book of the Hebrew Bible, also the third book in the Torah (five books of Moses). ... The Book of Numbers is the fourth of the books of the Pentateuch, called in the Hebrew ba-midbar במדבר, i. ... Deuteronomy is the fifth book of the Hebrew Bible. ... The Book of Joshua is the sixth book in both the Hebrew Tanakh and the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. ... Book of Judges (Hebrew: ספר שופטים) is a book of the Bible originally written in Hebrew. ... The Book of Ruth is a book in the Hebrew Bible known to Jews as the Tanakh and to Christians as the Old Testament. ... The Books of Samuel, also referred to as [The Book of] Samuel (Hebrew: שְׁמוּאֵל), are (two) books in the Hebrew Bible (Judaisms Tanakh and originally written in Hebrew) and the Old Testament of Christianity. ... The Books of Samuel, also referred to as [The Book of] Samuel (Hebrew: שְׁמוּאֵל), are (two) books in the Hebrew Bible (Judaisms Tanakh and originally written in Hebrew) and the Old Testament of Christianity. ... The Books of Kings (also known as [The Book of] Kings in Hebrew: Sefer Melachim מלכים) is a part of Judaisms Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible. ... The Books of Kings (also known as [The Book of] Kings in Hebrew: Sefer Melachim מלכים) is a part of Judaisms Tanakh, the Hebrew Bible. ... The Book of Chronicles is a book in the Hebrew Bible (also see Old Testament). ... The Book of Chronicles is a book in the Hebrew Bible (also see Old Testament). ... The Book of Ezra is a book of the Bible in the Old Testament and Hebrew Tanakh. ... The Book of Esther is a book of the Tanakh (Hebrew Bible) and of the Old Testament. ... The Book of Job (איוב, Standard Hebrew Iyyov, Tiberian Hebrew ʾIyyôḇ; Arabic أيّوب ʾAyyÅ«b) is one of the books of the Hebrew Bible, or Tanakh, and is also one of the books of the Christian Old Testament. ... Psalms (Tehilim תהילים, in Hebrew) is a book of the Hebrew Bible or Tanakh, and of the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. ... The Book of Nehemiah is a book of the Hebrew Bible, known to Jews as the Tanakh and to Christians as the Old Testament. ... The Book of Proverbs is a book of the Tanakh/Old Testament. ... Ecclesiastes, Kohelet in Hebrew, is a book of the Hebrew Bible. ... Song of Solomon is also the title of a novel by Toni Morrison. ... Isaiah (Hebrew ישׁעיהו Yeshayahu or Yəša‘ăyāhû) is a book of the Jewish Hebrew Bible as well as the Christian Old Testament, containing prophecies attributed to Isaiah. ... For jer, an alternate spelling for the reduced vowels in Common Slavic, see yer. ... The Book of Lamentations (Hebrew מגילת איכה) is a book of the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh. ... This article is about the Book of Ezekiel. ... This article is about the Biblical book. ... The Book of Hosea is a book of the Jewish Hebrew Bible, known to Christians as the Old Testament written by Hosea. ... // Overview of Contents The book of Adam Bacher is part of the Jewish Hebrew Bible, the Tanakh, and also the Old Testament of the Christian Bible. ... // Who wrote it? Amos was a prophet during the reign of Jeroboam ben Joash (Jeroboam II), ruler of Israel from 793 BCE to 753 BCE, and the reign of Uzziah, King of Judah, at a time when both kingdoms (Israel in the North and Judah in the South) were peaking... // Overview of Contents The Book of Obadiah is found in both the Hebrew Bible and the Old Testament of the Christian Bible, where it is the shortest book. ... In the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Jonah is the 5th book in a series of books called the Minor Prophets (itself a subsection of the Nevi’im or Prophets). ... // Who wrote it? Micah wrote the book in the reigns of Jotham, Ahaz, and Hezekiah, roughly 735-700 BC Few Old Testament scholars today would defend Micahs authorship of the entire book. ... The book of Nahum is a book in the Bibles Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh. ... // The Prophet There is not much biographical information on the prophet Habakkuk; in fact less is known about this prophet than any other. ... // Who wrote it? The superscription of the Book of Zephaniah attributes its authorship to “Zephaniah son of Cushi son of Gedaliah son of Amariah son of Hezekiah, in the days of King Josiah son of Amon of Judah” (1:1, NRSV). ... The Book of Haggai is a book in the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh, written by the prophet Haggai. ... Zechariah or Zecharya (זְכַרְיָה Renowned/Remembered of/is the LORD, Standard Hebrew Zəḫarya, Tiberian Hebrew Zəḵaryāh) was a person in the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh. ... Malachi (or Malachias, מַלְאָכִי, Malʾaḫi, Málakhî) is a book of the Bible Old Testament and Jewish Tanakh, written by the prophet Malachi. ... The Book of Tobit is a book of scripture that is part of the Catholic and Orthodox biblical canon, pronounced canonical by the Council of Carthage of 397 and confirmed for Roman Catholics by the Council of Trent (1546). ... Judith with the Head of Holophernes, by Christophano Allori, 1613 (Pitti Palace, Florence The Book of Judith is a parable, or perhaps the first historical novel according to Jewish authorities, who do not place it among the writings of the Tanakh or Hebrew Bible. ... 1 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible which was written by a Jewish (pre-Christian) author, probably about 100 BC, after the restoration of an independent Jewish kingdom. ... Wisdom, also known as the Wisdom of Solomon, is one of the deuterocanonical books of the Bible that are not translations of Hebrew originals. ... The Book of Baruch is a deuterocanonical book, found in the Greek Bible (LXX) and in the Vulgate Bible, but not in the Hebrew Bible, although it was included in Theodotions version¹. ... 1 Esdras is a deuterocanonical book accepted by most Orthodox, but rejected as Jews, Catholics and Protestants. ... The Biblical book 3 Maccabees is found in most Orthodox Bibles as a part of the deuterocanonical books. ... The book of 4 Maccabees is a homily or philosophic discourse praising the supremacy of pious reason over the passions. ... Odes is the title of an album of Greek Folk Songs by Vangelis and Irene Papas. ... Letter of Jeremiah is an Apocryphal book consisting of a letter ascribed to Jeremiah to the Jews in exile in Babylon warning them against idolatry by demonstrating its unreasonableness. ... The deuterocanonical books are the books that Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, Ethiopian Orthodoxy, and Oriental Orthodoxy include in the Old Testament that were not part of the Jewish Tanakh. ... The Bible (sometimes The Book, Good Book, Word of God, The Word, or Scripture), from Greek (τα) βιβλια, (ta) biblia, (the) books, is the classical name for the Hebrew Bible of Judaism or the combination of the Old Testament and New Testament of Christianity (The Bible therefore actually refers to at least... This entry incorporates text from Eastons Bible Dictionary, 1897, with some modernisation. ... Centuries: 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC - 1st century BC Decades: 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC 180s BC 170s BC - 160s BC - 150s BC 140s BC 130s BC 120s BC 110s BC Years: 166 BC 165 BC 164 BC 163 BC 162 BC - 161 BC 160 BC 159 BC... Judas Maccabeus (or Judah the Maccabee from the Hebrew יהודה המכבי transliteration: Yehudah HaMakabi) was the third son of the Jewish priest Mattathias. ... Sir Galahad, a hero of Arthurian legend From the Greek cognate ηρως, in mythology and folklore, a hero (male) or heroine (female) is an eminent character who quintessentially embodies key traits valued by its originating culture. ... Separate articles treat Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Orthodox Judaism. ... The Bible (sometimes The Book, Good Book, Word of God, The Word, or Scripture), from Greek (τα) βιβλια, (ta) biblia, (the) books, is the classical name for the Hebrew Bible of Judaism or the combination of the Old Testament and New Testament of Christianity (The Bible therefore actually refers to at least... Protestantism is a movement within Christianity, representing a split from within the Roman Catholic Church during the mid-to-late Renaissance in Europe —a period known as the Protestant Reformation. ... 1 Maccabees is a deuterocanonical book of the Bible which was written by a Jewish (pre-Christian) author, probably about 100 BC, after the restoration of an independent Jewish kingdom. ... Apocrypha is a Greek word (απόκρυφα, neuter plural of απόκρυφος), from αποκρυπτειν, to hide away. ...

Contents


Author

The author of 2 Maccabees is not identified, but he claims to be abridging a 5-volume work by Jason of Cyrene. This longer work is not preserved, and it is uncertain how much of the present text of 2 Maccabees is simply copied from that work. The author wrote in Greek, apparently, as there is no particular evidence of an earlier Hebrew version. A few sections of the book, such as the Preface, Epilogue, and some reflections on morality are generally assumed to come from the author, not from Jason. Jason's work was apparently written sometime around 160 BC and most likely ended with the defeat of Nicanor, as does the abridgement available to us. Jason of Cyrene was a Hellenistic Jew who lived about 100 BCE and wrote a history of the times of the Maccabees down to the victory over Nicanor (175-161). ... Centuries: 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC - 1st century BC Decades: 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC 180s BC 170s BC - 160s BC - 150s BC140s BC 130s BC 120s BC 110s BC Years: 165 BC 164 BC 163 BC 162 BC 161 BC - 160 BC - 159 BC 158 BC 157...


The beginning of the book includes two letters sent by Jews in Jerusalem to Jews of the Diaspora in Egypt concerning the feast day set up to celebrate the purification of the temple (See Hanukkah) and the feast to celebrate the defeat of Nicanor. If the author of the book inserted these letters, the book would have to have been written after 124 BC, the date of the second letter. Some commentators hold that these letters were a later addition, while others consider them the basis for the work. Catholic scholars tend toward a dating in the last years of the second century BC, while the consensus among Jewish scholars place it in the second half of the first century BC. Jerusalem and the Old City. ... Look up Diaspora in Wiktionary, the free dictionary The term diaspora (Ancient Greek διασπορά, a scattering or sowing of seeds) is used (without capitalization) to refer to any people or ethnic population forced or induced to leave their traditional ethnic homelands; being dispersed throughout other parts of the world, and the... Hanukkah (חנכה , or חנוכה ) is a Jewish holiday, also known as the Festival of lights. ... Centuries: 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC - 1st century BC Decades: 170s BC 160s BC 150s BC 140s BC 130s BC - 120s BC - 110s BC 100s BC 90s BC 80s BC 70s BC Years: 129 BC 128 BC 127 BC 126 BC 125 BC - 124 BC - 123 BC 122 BC... (3rd century BC - 2nd century BC - 1st century BC - other centuries) (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium AD) Events BC 168 Battle of Pydna -- Macedonian phalanx defeated by Romans BC 148 Rome conquers Macedonia BC 146 Rome destroys Carthage in the Third Punic War BC 146 Rome conquers... (2nd century BC - 1st century BC - 1st century - other centuries) The 1st century BC starts on January 1, 100 BC and ends on December 31, 1 BC. An alternative name for this century is the last century BC. (2nd millennium BC - 1st millennium BC - 1st millennium AD) Events The Roman...


It appears to be written for the benefit of the diaspora Jews in Egypt, primarily to inform them about the restoration of the temple and to encourage them to make the yearly pilgrimage to Jerusalem. It is written not from the point of view of a professional historian, but rather of a religious teacher, who draws his lessons out of history.


Contents

Unlike 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees does not attempt to provide a complete account of the events of the period, instead covering only the period from the high priest Onias III and King Seleucus IV (180 BC) to the defeat of Nicanor in 161. Centuries: 3rd century BC - 2nd century BC - 1st century BC Decades: 230s BC 220s BC 210s BC 200s BC 190s BC - 180s BC - 150s BC 140s BC 130s BC 120s BC 110s BC Years: 185 BC 184 BC 183 BC 182 BC 181 BC - 180 BC - 179 BC 178 BC...


In general, the chronology of the book coheres with that of 1 Maccabees, and it has some historical value in supplementing 1 Maccabees, principally in providing a few apparently authentic historical documents. The author seems primarily interested in providing a theological interpretation of the events; in this book God's interventions direct the course of events, punishing the wicked and restoring the Temple to his people. It's possible that some events appear to be presented out of strict chronological order in order to make theological points. Some of the numbers cited for sizes of armies may also appear exaggerated though not all of the manuscripts of this book agree. Drawing of the Second Temple in Jerusalem during the time of Herod the Great A stone (2. ...


The Greek style of the writer is very educated, and he seems well-informed about Greek customs. The action follows a very simple plan: After the death of Antiochus Epiphanes, the Feast of the Dedication of the Temple is instituted. The newly dedicated Temple is threatened by Nicanor, and after his death, the festivities for the dedication are concluded. Coin of Antiochus IV Epiphanes (reigned 175 - 163 BC). ...


Doctrine

2 Maccabees is notable for several points of advanced doctrine deriving from Pharisaic Judaism. Many have suggested that this is the primary reason for its rejection -- and following from that, the rejection of all the deuterocanonical books -- by reformers such as Martin Luther. He said: "I so hate II Maccabees and Esther that I wish that they didn't exist." The Pharisees (from the Hebrew perushim, from parash, meaning to separate) were, depending on the time, a political party, a social movement, and a school of thought among Jews that flourished during the Second Temple Era (536 BCE–70 CE). ... The deuterocanonical books are the books that Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Oriental Orthodoxy include in the Old Testament that were not part of the Jewish Tanakh. ... Luther at age 46 (Lucas Cranach the Elder, 1529) The Luther seal Martin Luther (November 10, 1483–February 18, 1546) was a German theologian, an Augustinian monk, and an ecclesiastical reformer whose teachings inspired the Reformation and deeply influenced the doctrines and culture of the Lutheran and Protestant traditions. ...


Doctrinal issues that are raised in 2 Maccabees include:

  • Resurrection of the dead
  • Prayer for the dead to free them from sin (See Purgatory.; however Orthodox churches don't see a need to teach a Purgatory to justify this practice and it's obvious that the concept of a purgatory isn't suggested in the book)
  • Merits of the martyrs
  • Intercession of the saints

Particularly the offering of prayers for the dead is not found in other contemporary Jewish sources as even the "Kaddish," a prayer Jews say when a relative or family member dies, is used to proclaim the glory of God. Sin has been a term most usually used in a religious context, and today describes any lack of conformity to the will of God; especially, any willful disregard for the norms revealed by God is a sin. ... The term purgatory in accordance with Catholic teaching is a place or condition of temporal punishment for those who, departing this life in Gods grace, are, not entirely free from venial faults, or have not fully paid the satisfaction due to their transgressions. ... Historically, a martyr is a person who dies for his or her religious faith. ... In general, the term Saint refers to someone who is exceptionally virtuous and holy. ... Kaddish (קדיש) is a collective term, used to refer to a number of different but related prayers in Judaism, although by itself, the term is often used to refer specifically to The Mourners Kaddish. When mention is made of saying Kaddish, as part of the mourning rituals (sitting shiva) or...


In particular, the long descriptions of the martyrdoms of Eleazer and of a mother with her seven sons (2 Macc 6:18–7:42) caught the imagination of medieval Christians. Several churches are dedicated to the "Maccabeean martyrs", and they are among the very few pre-Christian figures to appear on the Catholic calendar of saints' days. The book is considered the first model of the medieval stories of the martyrs. Hebrews 11:35 quotes II Maccabees 6-7. Historically, a martyr is a person who dies for his or her religious faith. ...


External links

The Book of 2 Maccabees Full text (also available in Arabic)


  Results from FactBites:
 
Mad Max & the Maccabees (2526 words)
The unnamed author of 2 Maccabees explains that his work is actually a condensed version of a five-volume history written by a certain Jason of Cyrene (2:23).
Although the idea of resurrection in 2 Maccabees differs in many ways from what we find in early Christian writings, nevertheless there is a common thread: the one who suffers righteously will be raised from the dead, and this resurrection will be his vindication.
With the stories of the Maccabees echoing in their ears, the earliest Christians could hear the divine song of salvation as sung by Jesus, whose took upon himself the sin of the world in his passion, and who was vindicated through his resurrection from the death.
Hist2 (7875 words)
The doctrine of the resurrection is repudiated in 1 Maccabees.
As already indicated, 2 Maccabees is classified in terms of its literary genre as “pathetic history,” meaning that the intention is to evoke a reaction of pathos in the reader.
In 2 Maccabees, God is clearly on the side of the Jewish martyrs and Judas, so that the reader is left little option but to assume the narrator’s point of view (unless the reader is willing to reject the narrator as authoritative).
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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