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From Alexander to the Maccabees

Coin of Antigonus
By November 16, 2015 Read More →

Coin of Antigonus

A Greek name meaning “comparable to his father” or “worthy of his father”. In this context, we are referring to Antigonus (died 37 BC), the last ruler of the Hasmonean kingdom of Judea. This is known as the, “Coin of Antigonus”.

Josephus, War I, 110-12: The Pharisees in Power
By April 8, 2008 0 Comments Read More →

Josephus, War I, 110-12: The Pharisees in Power

Excerpted from Lawrence H. Schiffman, Texts and Traditions, Ktav, Hoboken 1998, p.512. Josephus here gives his opinion about how the Pharisees came to be the dominant party in the time of the Hasmonean queen, Salome Alexandra (76-67 B.C.E.). Again we see the Pharisaic role in political affairs. (110) And now the Pharisees joined themselves to […]

Josephus, War II, 119-66: Three Philosophical Schools
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Josephus, War II, 119-66: Three Philosophical Schools

Excerpted from Lawrence H. Schiffman, Texts and Traditions, Ktav, Hoboken 1998, p.267-268. Here Josephus elaborates on the three sects which he identifies amongst the Jews. We include here only the material on the Pharisees and the Sadducees, reserving his extensive discussion of the Essenes to be discussed below. In regard to the Pharisees and Sadducees, […]

1 Maccabees 4-6: The Rededication of the Temple
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1 Maccabees 4-6: The Rededication of the Temple

1 Maccabees describes the rededication of the Temple, which took place after Judah (Judas) the Maccabee and his men conquered Jerusalem, and the institution of the holiday of Hanukkah. Thereafter, Judah undertook a policy of fighting against Israel’s neighbors who had supported the Hellenists and the Seleucids. But after the death of Antiochus IV in […]

1 Maccabees 1-4: The Maccabean Uprising
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1 Maccabees 1-4: The Maccabean Uprising

Excerpted from Lawrence H. Schiffman, Texts and Traditions, Ktav, Hoboken 1998, p.156-160 and Revised Standard Version of the Bible, Apocrypha, copyright 1957 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Image courtesy of Avi Deror, Wikimedia […]

Overview: Jews and Judaism from Alexander to the Maccabees (332-63 BCE)
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Overview: Jews and Judaism from Alexander to the Maccabees (332-63 BCE)

After Alexander the Macedonian, Philip’s son, who came from the land of Kittim [Greece], had defeated Darius, king of the Persians and Medes, he became king in his place, having first ruled in Greece. –I Maccabees 1 Alexander the Great changed the fortunes of the Jews forever. For centuries a quiet province at the edge […]