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Maccabees, Books of the

(1,868 words)

Author(s): van Henten, Jan Willem
[German Version] In his commentary on Dan 4:3, Hippolytus of Rome mentions 1 Maccabees, the first mention of a numbering of the books of Maccabees. Codex Alexandrinus (5th cent.; Biblical manuscripts: II, 2) contains all four; it and other manuscripts show that they were transmitted as part of the Septuagint (Bible translations). 4 Maccabees also circulated as a work by Flavius Josephus under the title On the Superiority of Reason and in menologies. The Roman Catholic Church includes 1 and 2 Maccabees among the deuterocanonical books; the Protestant tradition inc…


(1,097 words)

Author(s): van Henten, Jan Willem
[German Version] The name Maccabees denotes primarily a family of Jewish freedom fighters and leaders, also called the Hasmoneans (see below). It can also refer to a collection of postcanonical Jewish writings (Maccabees, Books of the), and in Christian traditions to a group of Jewish martyrs during the persecution under the Seleucid Antiochus IV. This persecution triggered the Maccabean revolt under the priest Mattathias ¶ and his five sons. Mattathias, who belonged to the priestly division of Jehoiarib (1 Chr 24:7), was ordered by Antiochus to offer sacrifi…


(2,991 words)

Author(s): Otto, Eckart | Doering, Lutz | Hollender, Elisabeth | van Henten, Jan Willem | Volp, Ulrich | Et al.
[German Version] I. Old Testament In the preexilic period, Sabbath (שַׁבָּת/ šabbāt) meant the day of the full moon; from the Exile on, it denoted a weekly day of rest. The origins of this day of rest go back to the early days of Exile. The earliest laws regarding the preexilic day of rest appear in the Book of the Covenant (Exod 23:10) and the cultic code in Exod 34:18–23, 25f. (v. 21) (Law and legislation: III). In the Book of the Covenant, the commandment to ¶ observe a day of rest is part of the privilege law of YHWH that deals with setting apart the firstfruits and firstborn …


(258 words)

Author(s): van Henten, Jan Willem
[German Version] Whether and how the reference to God-fearers in the NT and in (Jewish) inscriptions can be linked with the concept of the fear of God in the Hebrew Bible and in Jewish literature of the Second Temple period, has been the subject of controversy. The various references to God-fearers in Acts (10:2, 22; 13:16, 26, 43, 50; 16:13f.; 17:4, 17; 18:6f.) are often adduced to justify the assumption that Luke located the starting-point for Paul's mission to the Gentiles in the circle of Gentiles who revered the God of the Jews. The often expressed doubt as to whether there were ever ¶ such c…