Books of the Maccabees

Books of the Maccabees

by King James Bible, Douay Rheims
     
 

"Apocrypha ... books which are not regarded as equal to the holy Scriptures, and yet are profitable and good to read."

- Martin Luther.

The word "apocryphal" was first applied to writings which were kept secret because they were the vehicles of esoteric knowledge considered too profound or too sacred to be disclosed to anyone other than

Overview


"Apocrypha ... books which are not regarded as equal to the holy Scriptures, and yet are profitable and good to read."

- Martin Luther.

The word "apocryphal" was first applied to writings which were kept secret because they were the vehicles of esoteric knowledge considered too profound or too sacred to be disclosed to anyone other than the initiated. All King James Bibles published before 1666 included the Apocrypha. Many reprintings of older versions of the Bible now omit the apocrypha and many newer translations and revisions have never included them at all.

The name Maccabee in Hebrew, means "hammer". This is properly applied to the first leader of the revolt, Judas, third son of Mattathias, whose attacks were "hammer-like". The name came to be used for his brothers as well, which accounts for the title of the book.

The text comes to us in three codices of the Septuagint: the Codex Sinaiticus, Codex Alexandrinus and Codex Venetus, as well as some cursives. The two Books of Maccabees contain independent accounts of events (in part identical) that accompanied the attempted suppression of Judaism in Palestine in the second century B.C. The vigorous reaction to this attempt established for a time the religious and political independence of the Jews.

I Maccabees was written about 100 B.C., in Hebrew, but the original has not come down to us. Instead, we have an early, pre-Christian, Greek translation full of Hebrew idioms. The author, probably a Palestinian Jew, is unknown. He was familiar with the traditions and sacred books of his people and had access to much reliable information on their recent history (from 175 to 134 B.C.).

The author may well have played some part in it himself in his youth. His purpose in writing is to record the deliverance of Israel that God worked through the family of Mattathias (5:62)-especially through his three sons, Judas, Jonathan, and Simon, and his grandson, John Hyrcanus. The writer compares their virtues and their exploits with those of Israel's ancient heroes, the Judges, Samuel, and David.

Product Details

ISBN-13:
9781499101430
Publisher:
CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date:
04/09/2014
Pages:
192
Sales rank:
254,455
Product dimensions:
6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.41(d)

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