Abstract: Considered authoritative and useful by the sixteenth-century Anabaptists, 1 and 2 Maccabees played an important role in scripting the performance of defenseless resistance to their Protestant and Catholic persecutors.
Confronted with arguments about Purgatory, based in part on 2 Maccabees 12:43-45, D'Auchy denied that the authority of 2 Maccabees was equal to that of the rest of the Bible on the grounds that it was an apocryphal text.
That arguments for the existence of Purgatory often drew on 2 Maccabees 12:38-46 did prove problematic for some Anabaptists--not because the Anabaptists were drawn into debates with Catholics on this point, but because they were drawn into debates with Protestants who objected to their valuing of the Apocrypha.
For 2 Maccabees, Johnson explores both how the narrative constructs the character of Onias III to promote irenic relations between Jews and Gentiles and how it suggests that increasing Hellenization among the Hasmoneans is not, as is sometimes argued, a sign of corruption but an indication of political acumen.
Johnson makes an excellent case for dating the work in the late Ptolemaic rather than early Roman period and connecting it to 2 Maccabees, Aristeas, and Esther.
The Catholic Church regards as part of the Bible the books of Tobit, Judith, Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus (Sirach), Baruch, 1 and 2 Maccabees
, as well as some additional stories and verses in the books of Daniel and Esther.
Two books from the period, I Maccabees and 2 Maccabees, provide historical details of military campaigns and dramatic battle actions.
This lore about oil is not recorded in any of the classic histories from the times, not in 1, 2 Maccabees, nor in the writings of Josephus.
The Hasmoneans came to power as defenders of the Temple and its purity from foreign cults, and this achievement played a central role in their court propaganda, as indicated by 2 Maccabees and the letters prefacing that book.
Even a book as hostile to the Jewish Hellenizers and their reforms as 2 Maccabees - written towards the end of the second century B.
Praying for the dead, one of several Catholic traditions that dance like angels on the head of a single scriptural pin, evolved from 2 Maccabees
Luther, in addition to translating the Bible, also dropped some of the Old Testament books from his canon of scripture: Tobit, Judges, Wisdom, Sirach (Ecclesiasticus), Baruch (including the Letter of Jeremiah), 1 Maccabees, 2 Maccabees
, and parts of Esther and Daniel.