2 Maccabees (Commentaries on Early Jewish Literature) by Daniel R. Schwartz

By Daniel R. Schwartz

2 Maccabees is a Jewish paintings composed in the course of the 2d century BCE and preserved by means of the Church. Written in Hellenistic Greek and informed from a Jewish-Hellenistic viewpoint, 2 Maccabees narrates and translates the ups and downs of occasions that came about in Jerusalem sooner than and through the Maccabean rebel: institutionalized Hellenization and the root of Jerusalem as a polis; the persecution of Jews by means of Antiochus Epiphanes, observed by way of well-known martyrdoms; and the uprising opposed to Seleucid rule through Judas Maccabaeus. 2 Maccabees is a crucial resource either for the occasions it describes and for the values and pursuits of the Judaism of the Hellenistic diaspora that it displays - that are usually rather assorted from these represented via its competitor, I Maccabees.

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2 Maccabees (Commentaries on Early Jewish Literature)

2 Maccabees is a Jewish paintings composed in the course of the 2d century BCE and preserved by way of the Church. Written in Hellenistic Greek and instructed from a Jewish-Hellenistic standpoint, 2 Maccabees narrates and translates the ups and downs of occasions that happened in Jerusalem ahead of and through the Maccabean rebellion: institutionalized Hellenization and the basis of Jerusalem as a polis; the persecution of Jews by way of Antiochus Epiphanes, observed via recognized martyrdoms; and the uprising opposed to Seleucid rule via Judas Maccabaeus.

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It seems that this was the price he paid in return for the valuable material he picked up somewhere and turned into Chapters 10–11. The seventh and final problem listed above was posed by the fact that 13:10 picks up and flows easily from 13:2,74 but the material on Menelaus’ death, in 13:3–8, not only interrupts the narrative but also requires the introduction, in v. 9, of a sudden and unexplained turnabout in the king’s disposition. This seems so artificial that it is hard to avoid the notion that the material on Menelaus was introduced secondarily into an extant narrative.

Thus, the tradition that underlies 10:10ff. plainly assumed that Antiochus Eupator’s reign and activities came after those of Antiochus IV, thus diametrically contradicting 1 Maccabees and our reconstruction of the original order of 2 Maccabees 13–12–9. But there are also differences of another type between these two sets of chapters. Even if we ignore the fact that Chapters 10 and 11 each have words which appear nowhere else in the book, something which is not so surprising for a book with so rich a vocabulary (see below, pp.

9–13) that Chs. 6–7 were added to our book only after the appearance of Christianity, a suggestion required by his main thesis that Christian martyrdom derives from Roman precedents, not from Jewish ones. Indeed, most of Bowersock’s considerations pertain not to the date of these chapters, but, rather, to differences between them and the rest of the book; as we have seen, such considerations can point to the use of a source and not only to interpolation. His only consideration which, at first glance, might pertain to the dating of our book’s martyrologies is the fact that they do not at all mention the Temple, which suggests they were composed after its destruction in 70 CE.

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