Why the Maccabees aren't in the Bible

 

December 16, 2022

Depiction of the Maccabees at the Or Torah Synagogue in Acre, Israel.

The First and Second Books of Maccabees contain the most detailed accounts of the battles of Judah Maccabee and his brothers for the liberation of Judea from foreign domination. These books include within them the earliest references to the story of Chanukah and the rededication of the Temple, in addition to the famous story of the mother and her seven sons. And yet, these two books are missing from the Hebrew Bible.

In order to begin addressing the question of this omission, it is important to understand the formation of the Hebrew biblical canon. The word "canon" originally comes from the Gr...



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