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Cambridge Bible Commentaries: The First and Second Books of the Maccabees (Cambridge Bible Commentaries on the Apocrypha) Paperback – 19 Jul 1973

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Book Description

Mr Bartlett's volume, like the others in the series, contains the text in the New English Bible. After a general introduction to the book as a whole, the text is given in short passages, with a commentary directly following each. These Jewish historical works, the two books of the Maccabees, were written to describe the struggles of the Jews in the second century BC against encroachment of the Greek way of life and against the political domination of the Syrians.

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Front Cover | Copyright | Table of Contents | Excerpt | Index | Back Cover
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 3 reviews
14 of 14 people found the following review helpful
A short paperback commentary on 1 & 2 Maccabees 7 Mar. 2009
By David A. Bielby - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
As a pastor who sees Maccabees as Apocryphal, and extremely interesting background material for the Jewish culture and heritage backdrop of the New Testament, I was excited to start reading this translation of Maccabees. Just like my trusty NEB, this follows in the same tradition of what I would label as a 'startlingly fresh' translation. When compared to the Anchor Bible's translation by Jonathan Goldstein, this is far superior.

Just for the translation of the text alone, this is worth acquiring.

In the comments, which are about two pages for every page of text, the author, John Bartlett gives some technical information (usually it is helpful and crucial to understanding the text). He avoids enumerating endless textual critical theories (I'm very grateful for that). He sometimes gives inspiring links to similar accounts.

Let me illustrate what I mean.

Take 2 Maccabees 6 on Eleazar's martyrdom as an example: This famous story of the Jewish elderly man has the NEB translation (I just love it). Then he starts in with two pages of comments. In his notes he mentions that the Greek behind the NEB's 'clemency' vs.22 is the Greek word philanthropia and ties this to royal privileges given to the Jews by the Syrian King. It's just enough to stir the thinking reader onward. He ties into Daniel 12 and the Wisd of Sol 3.1 pm torment. He also discusses how this links into chapter 7.

His comments are helpful.

Unlike my other commentaries on Eleazar, Bartlett makes a helpful comparison to Polycarp's martrydom, drawing a link to the Apostolic Fathers and Maccabees. I found that stimulating and inspiring.

The indexes in the back are weak with no scripture index at all!!!! There is a defense of reading apocryphal books in the back, designed for protestants like myself.

Honestly this book is way over priced. If I found it in a bookstore, I would not pay over $8 or $10 for it. It's an inexpensive paperback binding from the 1970s. Fonts are just ok and there is little footnote/cross referencing for further study.

So, in short, this is one of my favorite commentaries on Maccabees 1 & 2, especially because of the translation of the text and some of the inspiring elements in the comments. I recommend it for pastors, bible teachers and students working on papers. If you are into textual criticism, look to Goldstein's Anchor Bible Commentary on II Maccabees instead.
Commentay that I decided to buy because I lacked knowledge about the Maccabees period. 12 Feb. 2015
By Marvin Miller - Published on
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I have not studied this book yet. I am now on the Deuteronomy commentary that I bought some time ago. I have liked the other commentaries in this series so will be looking forawrd to this one since it will deal with the Maccabees period of Jewish History.
This edition and commentary are excellent. I recommend highly it for those who are ... 31 Oct. 2014
By J. B. - Published on
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This edition and commentary are excellent. I recommend highly it for those who are studying the period between the Old and New Testaments. One could not ask for more learned notes.
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