Sorting by


A Resurrection for Tortured Jews (2 Maccabees)

I have pointed out that the notion of “resurrection” first appears in Jewish writings in the book of Daniel, and I am arguing that this notion is intrinsically connected with the apocalyptic view of the world that developed at the time.  In this view of the world, as I’ve laid it out on the blog before (e.g.: the people of God suffer *not* necessarily because God is punishing them for their sins but because there are forces of evil in the world aligned against God and his people who are wreaking havoc among the faithful.  But after this life, God will raise his faithful from the dead and reward them for their fidelity to his law. This view can be found in the apocalypses that began to be written around the time of Daniel and then for the next several centuries first among Jews and then among Christians, such books as 1 Enoch, 4 Ezra, 2 Baruch and the New Testament book of Revelation (see further: But aspects of this view could be [...]

The Books of 1 and 2 Maccabees

In yesterday’s post I discussed the Maccabean revolt, and in today’s I need to summarize our principal sources of information about the revolt, the books of 1 and 2 Maccabees.  My reason for doing so has to do with my topic of the afterlife.  It is in 2 Maccabees that we find a very different view from what can be seen in the Hebrew Bible itself, as I will show in a subsequent post, a view that became popular later among the early Christians. These two books are not in the Hebrew Bible, and as a result are not accepted as canonical by Jews or Protestants.  They are, however, found in the ancient Greek translation of the Hebrew Bible called the Septuagint, and are accepted as “Deutero-canonical” by both the Roman Orthodox and the Eastern Orthodox traditions.  Protestants consider them to be among the “Apocrypha.” Like the other Deutero-canonical books, they are Jewish writings that date from the period after the Hebrew Bible.  Here is the brief introduction I give to them in my textbook, [...]

2020-04-03T02:07:05-04:00July 28th, 2017|Early Judaism, Hebrew Bible/Old Testament, Public Forum|
Go to Top