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"The Apocryphal book of I Maccabees (Volume 41 in the acclaimed Anchor Bible Series) is an inspirational thriller." With the help of God, the aged priest Mattathias and his sons--Judas Maccabaeus, Jonathan, and Simon--dramatically lead the Jews of Judaea first to victory and then to freedom against the formidable successors of Alexander the Great. Their struggles begin in guerilla warfare, responding to the terrible persecutions decreed by King Antiochus IV, and courageously accomplish their first great triumph--still celebrated in the festival of Hanukkah.
The introduction to this volume considers not only I Maccabees, but also the parallel accounts found in II Maccabees and shows that the two authors of I & II Maccabees wrote with passionate conviction to teach two sharply opposed points of view. In some cases their convictions blinded them to the truth, but Professor Goldstein renders their teachings accessible to the modern reader and reconstructs what really happened, making valuable contributions to Greek and Roman as well as to Jewish history. Nineteen maps and diagrams set the scene of the dramatic struggle and the troubled times described in I Maccabees.
Jonathan A. Goldstein, author of I Maccabees, is Professor of History and Classics at the University of Iowa. He earned bachelor's and master's degrees at Harvard, and a doctorate at Columbia University.
THE ANCHOR YALE BIBLE COMMENTARY SERIES is a project of international and interfaith scope in which Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish scholars from many countries contribute individual volumes. The project is not sponsored by any ecclesiastical organization and is not intended to reflect any particular theological doctrine.
The Anchor Yale Bible is committed to producing commentaries in the tradition established half a century ago by the founders of the series, William Foxwell Albright and David Noel Freedman. It aims to present the best contemporary scholarship in a way that is accessible not only to scholars but also to the educated nonspecialist. Its approach is grounded in exact translation of the ancient languages and an appreciation of the historical and cultural context in which the biblical books were written supplemented by insights from modern methods, such as sociological and literary criticism.