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July 23, 1981
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v2.1 Reference

Temple Propaganda

The Purpose and Character of 2 Maccabees

This work first addresses the unity of 2 Maccabees, arguing that the epitome is a unified piece, separate from the prefixed letters. The author then explores the syntax and style of the epitome, noting rhetorical features and arguing that the work uses a nicety of syntax associated with classical, literary writers. The analysis of the narrative reveals a three-fold structure: a) 2 Maccabees 3 – the attack of Heliodorus; b) 2 Macc 4:1 – 10:9 – the profanation of the temple and its purification; c) 2 Macc 10:10 – 15:36 – the defense of the temple. Besides the theme of the defense of the temple, this analysis also revealed the theme defending the Jews against attacks that they are anti-social. Finally, the author explores the epitome in relation to Hellenistic historiography. He argues against the notion that the epitome of 2 Maccabees belongs to the genre of 'pathetic history,' and instead demonstrates that the work belongs to the sub-genre of the defense of a temple by its god.

About the Author

Robert Doran is Samuel Williston Professor of Greek and Hebrew, Amherst College.

9780915170111 : temple-propaganda-doran
Paperback / softback
126 Pages
$39.95 USD

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The Fiction of Narrative

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