Talk:1 Maccabees

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[Untitled #1][edit]

The photo is a picture of the first verse of the Book of Joshua. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:09, 4 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

[Untitled #2][edit]

I Maccabees is a member of Category:Old Testament Apocrypha. Category:Old Testament Apocrypha is a member of Category:Jewish texts. There is therefore no need for I Maccabees to be a member of Category:Jewish texts directly. (It's also a document, and a religious text, but it doesn't need to belong to Category:Documents or Category:Religious texts directly either.) Quadell (talk) 14:01, Jun 10, 2004 (UTC)

"Old Testament" not a Not a Jewish name[edit]

It is offensive to Jews to refer to those books as the "Old Testament" (that is a category for Christians maybe), to Jews and to many others they are known as the Hebrew Bible or the Torah and Tanakh. Thus they can go DIRECTLY into Jewish texts as well.IZAK 07:58, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

IZAK, most readers are unaware of Tanakh but understand Old Testament. At any rate, the whole concept of apocrypha is foreign to Judaism anyway. JFW | T@lk 08:52, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

JFW: I realize what you say very well. However, since Wiki itself goes out of its way to point out that Jews prefer Hebrew Bible over "Old anything" why not try to bring the point home. As I see it that for the sake of clarity, all articles will have to be re-created so that they make clear the way different religions see things, the problem of course is that Christianity sits on so much Category:Jewish texts yet nevertheless ways must be found to point to the differences so that people know that we are dealing with different religions completely. IZAK 10:20, 11 Jun 2004 (UTC)

As far as I know, there is no unbiased way to refer to the Old Testament/Tanakh. Christians don't like to use the term "Tanakh", and Jews don't like the term "Old Testament". But it's the same collection of books. There are a couple of different ways of dealing with this problem.

  1. We could have a Category:Tanakh books separate from a Category:Old Testament books. Both categories would have the same articles in them, and each book (e.g. Genesis) would belong to both categories. Category:Old Testament books would belong to Category:Biblical books, which would belong to Category:Christian texts. Category:Tanakh books would belong to Category:Jewish texts. The advantage is that it would be accurate and inoffensive. The disadvantage is that it would be redundant.
  2. We could have a single category, either called Category:Tanakh books or Category:Old Testament books, and the category itself would explain that the collection can be called by either name. Each book would only belong to that single category. That category would be a member of both Category:Biblical books and Category:Jewish texts. The advantage is that this is simpler and more concise. The disadvantage is that Christians generally aren't familiar with the term Tanakh, and Jews (understandably) don't like the implication that their law is outdated.

This would all be simpler if there were a NPOV way of refering to the collection, but I don't know of one. I would prefer option 2, but I would be okay with option 1. Is this a debate that should be somewhere else? Perhaps Talk:Categorization? Quadell (talk) 13:42, Jun 11, 2004 (UTC)

  • Quadell: By the way, with regards to your comment above that "But it's the same collection of books", you should note that, that statement is NOT true. For those Jews who are fluent in the Hebrew language the word Tanakh perfectly describes how they are reading and understanding the texts in the Hebrew original with all its shades and nuances. Whereas the vast majority of Christians are reading a work in translation full of errors and inadequate transmission of the notions and concepts contained within the original Hebrew words of the Bible which cannot be "captured" or "conveyed" and thus lose their true meaning/s for those reading the words in translation. So "the same collection of books" it is NOT. IZAK 09:04, 30 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Its rather irrelevant if Jews find it offensive or not. The Christians believe it to be an "Old Testament" and they are perfectly within their rights to call it that if they wish. In the English language that has typically been the name for these books, therefore the term "Old Testament" is generally more in use. Lastly, that is all beyond the point, since Maccabees is not part of the Tanakh in the first place, so there is no reason to use the term Tanakh in the article. 1 & 2 Maccabees are part of the Catholic and Orthodox Bible; Judaism rejects these books. And your point about translations of the Tanakh are, again, irrelevant; one could probably say the same of any translation of any text, including translations of the Gospels from Greek into other languages. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:18, 5 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Since the text of First Maccabees derives from a Hebrew original, and since the story remains a major part of Jewish history and culture, the appropriate way to begin the article would be by referencing traditional Jewish interpretations and applications of the story. The article should also mention that this text is not included in the Hebrew Bible (Tanakh), and why. References to subsequent Christian appropriations of the narrative ̶ including even the appellation "Old Testament," which makes an implicit comparison to the so-called "New Testament" ̶ should be scrupulously avoided at the initial stage. Later, to be sure, Christian appropriations of First Maccabees can certainly come in as the discussion of the book's historical influence develops. For a good example of a properly neutral approach to First Maccabees, see Wikipedia's umbrella article on this topic at, especially the brief section titled "Mention in the Bible." There one finds several references to how First and Second Maccabees have been included in the Roman Catholic and Eastern Orthodox versions of the "Old Testament," though omitted from most Protestant Bibles. The reader of that article comes away with a balanced understanding of the role that these texts have assumed in both the Jewish and Christian traditions. Unfortunately, the present article lacks that balance and approaches the story of the Maccabees from a distinctly Christian perspective. Edward Beach (talk) 04:42, 13 December 2018 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Interlinear translations?[edit]

Are there any works in print that reproduce Hebrew text with a literal English translation? If not, what are my options for reading 1 and 2 Maccabees in their entirety in a form as close to the original as possible?--StAkAr Karnak 03:55, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Sadly, the original text of 1 Maccabees hasn't survived till our times, we have only the Septuagint version. 2 Maccabees has been written in Greek. If you don't mind reading Greek rather than Hebrew, there is a number of interlinear translations of the Septuagint available (also online). -- Naive cynic 23:08, Nov 11, 2004 (UTC)

Megillat Antiochus[edit]

Hi all. Nice article. Please place a wiki-ref to Megillat Antiochus as you see fit: (subsection, preceding main header, etc...) - I would have done so but was unsure where was best. Fintor 11:22, 7 May 2007 (UTC)Reply[reply]


In Jewish tradition, his name is Judah Maccabee, not Judah. Is it Judas in Christian tradition? -- Avocado (talk) 22:01, 15 March 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Judas was the standard ancient Greek and Latin rendering of the Hebrew name "Judah" (including Judah the Israelite tribal ancestor). "Judah" didn't start to become commonly used in the English language until ca. 1600, when English Bible translators started going back to the original Hebrew... AnonMoos (talk) 16:58, 29 July 2008 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Spartans as descendants of Abraham[edit]

In Maccabees 12:21 it states that the Spartans are descendants of Abraham. I find this very unusual, is there any background into this claim? Didn't the Spartans consider themselves descendants of Herakles? Did the Spartans ever write such a letter, or is this a fabrication in the book of Maccabees? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:23, 5 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

All I could find was the footnote to the New Oxford edition of the NRSV, which says "This assertion has no historical basis, but served the interests of diplomacy." So it would seem the Spartans wrote it, but made it up, just to be chummy with the Maccabeeans. Carl.bunderson (talk) 08:43, 8 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]
On the other hand, there may be some kind of connection between the names of Japheth and Iapetus... AnonMoos (talk) 15:10, 8 January 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

"deuterocanonical", "apocrypha", Christian community[edit]

I corrected the previous introduction for 3 reasons:

  • there are many more Christian communities in the world than just Orthodox, Protestants and Catholics. For instance: Chaldeans (formerly called "Nestorians"), Copts, Armenians, Anglicans. As far as I know, all Christians except the vast majority of Protestants accept the Greek part of the New Testament that the Catholic Church accept, including 1 Mac. Some of them accept more, the largest canon being the Copt one. Dampinograaf seems to think (User_talk:Henri_de_Solages) some Orthodoxes reject 1 Mac, but gives no proof so far.
  • Even a few Protestant communities accept the Catholic canon.
  • "deuterocanonical" means it's a "second" canon, suggesting it's less important than or posterior to a first canon. I thought it was a Protestant word, though I'm aware it's also used by some Catholics, but rejected by others.

Dampinograaf pointed there I'm wrong. This word has been coined by a Catholic converted from judaism, and is recommended by some to be used in academic works in place of "Apocrypha". But, as far as I know, it's not an official Catholic word. I mean I don't think it has ever been used in any official document from the Holy See or an Ecumenical council. And it's not a very good word, except in Luther's perspective where these books would not be part of what he had decided the Word of God should be, but would be worth publishing with the Holy Scripture, as Luther used to do. So I think we should rephrase again this introduction. I'll try something to correct my mistake. But is it so important to write all this in the introduction? --Henri de Solages (talk) 10:41, 1 May 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

The deuterocanonical/apocrypha issue is very confused. To my understanding the Orthodox use the word apocrypha to describe books of the old testament that are not accepted by the Catholics or the protestants (in a sense, false apocrypha), but also books which claim to be a part of the old testament but are not (some apocrypha are not really apocrypha but some really are). Really orthodox wiki explains this better than I can, however it's up to you if Orthodox wiki is a reliable source though (I haven't yet read the page about reliable/unreliable sources). Fema5 (talk) 20:37, 29 December 2009 (UTC)Reply[reply]

  • Someone with some scholarly research abilities should find out why it was removed from the Authorized or KJV in 1885. I personally own an 1820 version with it and the rest of the Apocrypha. Why was it removed, who removed it and why is it hard to find out? -- Preceding unsigned comment added by Jiohdi (talk o contribs) 16:06, 29 December 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]
  • The earliest reference given to a canon listing is Origen. However if you follow the footnote you'll see that Origen's wording suggests that it might be in a separate category from the main list. There should be a comment to that effect. Hedrick (talk) 16:32, 20 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]
According to some definitions, any pre-Christian work not in the Hebrew Bible and/or not originally written in the Hebrew language is "apocryphal". AnonMoos (talk) 11:36, 22 February 2021 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Badly needed citations[edit]

While I avoided tagging anything, the opening/intro requires lots of references. I think there needs to be a primary citation that confirms some Christian denominations consider the Books of Macabbees canonical, while others do not. My New King James Version, for example, has no Books of Macabbees, but neither does my English-Hebrew Tanakh. So the whole question of whose Bibles contain the Books ought to be referenced.


"So Ptol′emy set out from Egypt, he and Cleopatra his daughter, and came to Ptolema′is in the one hundred and 62nd year. Alexander the king met him, and Ptol′emy gave him Cleopatra his daughter in marriage, and celebrated her wedding at Ptolema′is with great pomp, as kings do." -- (1 Maccabees 10:57-58)

Does anyone know which Cleopatra this would have been, and should her mention be included in the article? --Willthacheerleader18 (talk) 04:30, 2 March 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Nicanor (Seleucid general). A general under Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Dimadick (talk) 23:12, 17 June 2016 (UTC)Reply[reply]


Unless I am mistaken, the two items here should be moved here.

Likewise, unless I am mistaken, the item here should be moved here.

allixpeeke (talk) 07:46, 25 February 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Dating the composition[edit]

Unless I am missing something, the article appears to give dates for the events that take place within the composition, but no date range for when researchers think the composition itself was written.  When do researchers think this work was composed?  allixpeeke (talk) 21:20, 3 March 2017 (UTC)Reply[reply]

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@Furius: Glad to see someone else is paying attention to the page. This isn't a huge deal, but per the edit summary, I'm not sure that the 1922 Church of England lectionary is that relevant. Presumably every "read the full Bible including Apocrypha" reading list will have 1 Maccabees in it somewhere, but that isn't really a fact about 1 Maccabees. I did some minor Googling, and apparently the "real" lectionary is the Sunday readings (as those are what get read by default at Sunday church services), with the weekday readings mostly there for the hardcore Anglicans doing a read-the-full-Bible resolution or the like. Presumably there are lots of such lists out there, across time and Christian denominations. Now, I did comment it out rather than remove it outright, because maybe there'll be a future secondary source discussing the use of 1 Maccabees in the modern CoE, but I'm not really a fan of keeping it solely referenced to the primary source of the Lectionary itself, which merely just lists it without comment. Do you think there are secondary sources out there that cover this in more detail? Happy to try & give 'em a look if so... SnowFire (talk) 18:50, 26 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]

Thanks for the comment! I was tentative about this, since my interest in this page is primarily related to ancient history rather than comparatively contemporary religious practice. You're right that it is weird to refer to the 1922 lectionary, rather than the contemporary one ([1]), which shows a fair amount of usage, but apparently always with an alternative.
I think it is acceptable to use a primary source for the simple facts of what the current lectionary says, but there must be more detail on this (since the Anglican lectionary is the product of debate...). However, the discussions that I find are really part of broader discussions of the role of the apocrypha in Anglican liturgy (e.g. Reginald H. Fuller The Study of Anglicanism p. 93). But perhaps these sources have references to more detailed discussions?
Maybe it would also be good to drop Wikipedia:WikiProject Christianity a line? At the moment that section also says nothing on the use of 1 Maccabees by other protestants or Orthodox groups and bases the claim about Catholicism solely on a primary source. Furius (talk) 19:21, 26 February 2023 (UTC)Reply[reply]