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By Joseph Sievers / Pontifical Biblical Institute / 2001
This volume offers a synopsis of 1 and 2 Maccabees in Greek. It includes not only all parallel sections of these two books but also Books 12-14 of Josephus’ Jewish Antiquities to the extent that they are paralleled in 1 Maccabees or in the Jewish War. Thus, the major sources for the history of Palestine from 175 to 37 BCE are made available here together for the first time in electronic form.
The synopsis aims primarily to serve as a basic tool for the literary and historical analysis and comparison of the texts included. It shows, in most cases unequivocally, how the texts, arranged here in parallel columns, deal in different fashion with the same or similar events. It also makes transparent where they follow the same or similar outline, share words and phrases – sometimes even entire sentences.
Synopsis of the Greek Sources for the Hasmonean Period assists the researcher in identifying and comparing different types of relations between various sections of these texts. Additions and omissions stand out immediately, but also passages rewritten in a more or less biased fashion are more easily identified than if one had to use each text separately. Furthermore, the synopsis may be useful as a tool for comparing the similarities and differences not only of content but also of style between the War and Antiquities, especially in passages where the parallels are particularly close.
This synopsis will be a valuable tool for scholars and students working with the Books of Maccabees and/or with Josephus, and for those interested in various forms of intertextuality.
Joseph Sievers was born in Germany in 1948. He began his studies at the University of Vienna and at the Hebrew University. He holds a Ph. D. in Ancient History/Hebrew Studies from Columbia University and a Lic. Theol. from the Gregorian University. He has taught Ancient History at the City University in New York, Jewish History at Seton Hall University, and New Testament Greek at the Pontificio Ateneo S. Anselmo. Since 1991, he has taught Jewish history and literature of the Hellenistic period at the Pontifical Biblical Institute. Among his publications are The Hasmoneans and Their Supporters: From Mattathias to the Death of John Hyrcanus I, and Josephus and the History of the Greco-Roman Period: Essays in Memory of Morton Smith which he co-edited with Fausto Parente.