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Three Reasons to Celebrate Channukah

By James Scott Trimm

 

1. Yeshua observed Channukah. 

 

John 7:1 tells us that starting at that time, Yeshua avoided going to Judea and taught only in Galil because the Judeans wanted to kill him:

 

 After these things, Yeshua was walking in Galil,

for He did not want to walk in Y’hudah,

because the Judeans wanted to kill Him.

(John 7:1 HRV)

 

The next few verses tell us that when Sukkot came, Yeshua felt compelled to go to the Temple in Jerusalem, but came there secretly, not even letting his family know, and traveling apart from them:

 

2 And the Feast of Tabernacles of the Judeans was near.

3 And His brothers said to Yeshua, Depart from here and go into Y’hudah, that Your

talmidim might see the works that You do:

4 For there is no one who does anything in secret, and desires that he be [known] in

public. If you do these things, show your nefesh to the world:

5 For not even His brothers had trust in Yeshua.

6 Yeshua said to them: My time has not yet come, but your time is always ready.

7 The world is not able to hate you, but it hates Me because I testify against it; that its

works are evil.

8 Go up to this feast: I will not go up now to this feast, because My time is not yet

fulfilled.

9 He said these things, and He stayed in Galil.

10 And after His brothers had gone up to the feast, then He also went up: not in the open,

but in a secret manner.

(John 7:2-10 HRV)

 

Yochanan then goes on to cover the events which transpired during this Sukkot visit (John 7:11-10:21).

 

John 10:22 then opens with:

 

Now the Feast of Chanukkah was held in Yerushalayim,

and it was winter.  And Yeshua was walking in the Temple,

in the porch of Shlomo.

(John 10:22-23 HRV)

 

Clearly Yeshua had returned to Jerusalem, something he normally avoided doing at this point in time, just as he had come for Sukkot, now he had come for Channukah.  In context John 10:22 is not simply incidental, it is intended to be read in context with John 7:1-10 to indicate that Yeshua risked his life to come to Jerusalem to be there for Channukah, juts as he had done so for Sukkot.  Normally in this time he avoided Judah and taught only in Galil.  Clearly Yeshua had come to observe Channukah just as he had come to observe Sukkot, despite the fat that many Judeans wished to kill him, because he thought it urgently important to observe the feast.

 

He who says, I am in Him,

ought to conduct himself

according to His conduct.

(1Jn. 2:6 HRV)

 

 

2.  The Scripture instructs us to observe Channukah.

 

Moreover Judas and his brethren with the whole congregation of Israel ordained, that the days of the dedication of the altar should be kept in their season from year to year by the space of eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, with mirth and gladness.

(1Macc. 4:59 KJV)

 

And now see that ye keep the feast of tabernacles in the month Casleu.

(2Macc. 1:9 KJV)

 

Therefore whereas we are now purposed to keep the purification of the temple upon the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, we thought it necessary to certify you thereof, that ye also might keep it, as the feast of the tabernacles, …

(2Macc. 1:18a KJV)

 

Whereas we then are about to celebrate the purification, we have written unto you, and ye shall do well, if ye keep the same days.

(2Macc. 2:16 KJV)

 

5  Now upon the same day that the strangers profaned the temple, on the very same day it was cleansed again, even the five and twentieth day of the same month, which is Casleu.

6  And they kept the eight days with gladness, as in the feast of the tabernacles, remembering that not long afore they had held the feast of the tabernacles, when as they wandered in the mountains and dens like beasts.

7  Therefore they bare branches, and fair boughs, and palms also, and sang psalms unto him that had given them good success in cleansing his place.

8  They ordained also by a common statute and decree, That every year those days should be kept of the whole nation of the Jews.

(2Macc. 10:5-8 KJV)

 

1st and 2nd Maccabees were originally part of the Canon.

(see: http://nazarenespace.com/profiles/blog/show?id=2182335%3ABlogPost%3... )

 

All English-language Protestant Bibles in the 16th Century included the books of the Apocrypha—generally in a separate section between the Old and New Testaments; However, Puritan theologians were inclined to reject books which owed their inclusion in the Biblical canon to ecclesiastical authority. Starting in 1630, volumes of the Geneva Bible were occasionally bound with the pages of the Apocrypha section excluded. After the Restoration in 1660, Dissenters tended to discourage the reading of the Apocrypha in both public services and in private devotion.

The 1611 KJV included the Apocrypha but many publishers sought to satisfy a demand for cheaper and less bulky Bibles. In 1615 public notice was made that no Bibles were to be bound and sold without the Apocrypha with a penalty of one year in prison. None the less publishers continued seeking to increase their profit margin and soon it became difficult to find an ordinary edition of the KJV which contained the Apocrypha. (Today publishers are doing the same thing with the rest of the Tanak, simply printing the New Testament alone).

 

 

3.  The Beit Din as Empowered by the Torah Established Channukah as Halachah.

 

 We read in the Torah:

 

9: And thou shalt come unto the priests the Levites, and unto the judge that shall be in those days, and inquire; and they shall shew thee the sentence of judgment:

10: And thou shalt do according to the sentence, which they of that place which the LORD shall choose shall shew thee; and thou shalt observe to do according to all that they inform thee:

11: According to the sentence of the law which they shall teach thee, and according to the judgment which they shall tell thee, thou shalt do: thou shalt not decline from the sentence which they shall shew thee, to the right hand, nor to the left.

(Deut. 17:9-11 KJV)

 

2nd Maccabees opens with two attached letters from the Jerusalem Council, the first is addressed to the Jews in Egypt in general (1:1-9) and the second is to Aristobulus, a teacher of King Ptolemy and to the Jews in Egypt (1:10-2:32). The two letters are from “the people that were at Jerusalem and in Judea, and the council, and Judas” (1:10). 2nd Maccabees is very much like the letter from the Jerusalem Council in Acts 15:23-29 relaying an official decree from the Council to Jews in the Diaspora. That which we find written in 2Maccabees chapters 1-2 is “the sentence of judgment” of “the judge that shall be in those days” (Deut. 17:9) and we are therefore directed by Torah to “observe to do according to all that they inform you” (Deut. 17:10) and not “decline… to the right hand, nor to the left” (Deut. 17:11).

 

And now see that ye keep the feast of tabernacles in the month Casleu.

(2Macc. 1:9 KJV)

 

Therefore whereas we are now purposed to keep the purification of the temple upon the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, we thought it necessary to certify you thereof, that ye also might keep it, as the feast of the tabernacles, …

(2Macc. 1:18a KJV)

 

Whereas we then are about to celebrate the purification, we have written unto you, and ye shall do well, if ye keep the same days.

(2Macc. 2:16 KJV)

 

And as we see also recorded in 1st and 2nd Maccabees:

 

Moreover Judas and his brethren with the whole congregation of Israel ordained, that the days of the dedication of the altar should be kept in their season from year to year by the space of eight days, from the five and twentieth day of the month Casleu, with mirth and gladness.

(1Macc. 4:59 KJV)

 

5  Now upon the same day that the strangers profaned the temple, on the very same day it was cleansed again, even the five and twentieth day of the same month, which is Casleu.

6  And they kept the eight days with gladness, as in the feast of the tabernacles, remembering that not long afore they had held the feast of the tabernacles, when as they wandered in the mountains and dens like beasts.

7  Therefore they bare branches, and fair boughs, and palms also, and sang psalms unto him that had given them good success in cleansing his place.

8  They ordained also by a common statute and decree, That every year those days should be kept of the whole nation of the Jews.

(2Macc. 10:5-8 KJV)

 

And as we also read in the Talmud:

 

What is the reason for Channukah? For our Rabbis taught: On
the 25th of Kislev begin the days of Channukah, which are
eight, during which lamentation for the dead and fasting are
forbidden. For when the Greeks entered the Temple, they
defiled all the oils in it, and when the Hasmonean dynasty
prevailed against and defeated them, they [the Maccabees]
searched and found only one cruse of oil which possessed the
seal of the High Priest, but which contained sufficient oil for
only one day's lighting; yet a miracle occurred there and they
lit [the lamp] for eight days. The following year these days
were appointed a Festival with the recitation of Hallel and
thanksgiving.
(b.Shabbat 21b)


It was also recounted in the Megillat Antiochus (c. 200 CE):

The Hasmoneans entered the Sanctuary, rebuilt the gates,
closed the breaches, and cleansed the Temple court from the
slain and the impurities. They looked for pure olive oil to light
the Menorah, and found only one bottle with the seal of the
Kohen Gadol so that they were sure of its purity. Though its
quantity seemed sufficient only for one day’s lighting, it lasted
for eight days owing to the blessing of the Elohim of heaven
who had established His Name there. Hence, the Hasmoneans
and all the Jews alike instituted these eight days as a time of
feasting and rejoicing, like any festival prescribed in the Torah,
and of kindling lights to commemorate the victories Elohim
had given them.
(Megillat Antiochus)

 

The Torah commands us to “observe and to do” according to what the “judges that be in those days” direct us to do, and the Jerusalem Council at the time of Judas Maccabee officially directed us to observe Channukah.

 

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Hi grouch,

 

I think you are correct. If you include the the followers of Messiah, I believe that brings the total to eight major theocratic parties. But like I said before, it was the scribes and P'rushim that He called out. It is also helpful to remember that He did so in the context of their leadership. Have you noticed that everytime the children of Israel rejected their true King, He would turn them over to another king as a consequence? This was one of those times. To get a better understanding of these principles, look at the seven Seals. These are the judgements on those that have a covenant relationship with Him - but have broken it. The very first one is about being turned over to another king.

 

Blessings

Oops, correction: Point 1 should have been that he was a king but not of the line of David. Sorry about that.

>"He never quoted from Maccabees"

 

Not so sure about that.  1Macc. 3:60 in the Hebrew has:

 

60  And as his will is in heaven, it will be.

 

And that sure reminds me of Matt. 7:10

 

Your will be done; as in heaven, so on earth.
(Matt. 6:10b HRV)

 

Of course the books of Ezra, Ester and Lamentations are never quoted in the NT, and an argument that proves to much, proves nothing at all.

 

 

 


Shalom Brother James,

You said:

Of course the books of Ezra, Ester and Lamentations are never quoted in the NT, and an argument that proves to[o] much, proves nothing at all.

Of course, you are correct on both counts. But I wasn't trying to prove anything, much less too much (pun intended). I was simply stating what history and scripture seems to provide. Let the reader decide.

 

All of the 'Old Testament' was quoted in the 'New Testament' except for Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon. But they were always included in the 'Writings' and therefore condoned and validated by those that quoted the Writings including the Master. Not so with the Apocrypha.  

 

Many scholars agree that the 'Jewish cannon' was formulated to include the Apocrypha under the Maccabees and that the Apocrypha came at a time when, for the first time since the exodus from Egypt, not a single prophet was given to the children of Israel for over 400 years. I find all these things significant, if subjective. You may not.

 

Concerning 1 Macc 3:60, perhaps this is just a common sentiment of the members of a theocratic society, expressed in Judah's speech to his compatriots. I certainly seems that way when taken in context:

1 Macc 3:58 And Judas said, arm yourselves, and be valiant men, and see that ye be in readiness against the morning, that ye may fight with these nations, that are assembled together against us to destroy us and our sanctuary:
1 Macc 3:59 For it is better for us to die in battle, than to behold the calamities of our people and our sanctuary.
1 Macc 3:60 Nevertheless, as the will of God is in heaven, so let him do.

Even using complementary translations where the grammatical structure is much more similar in form than what is shown here - it still doesn’t help much. When read in context, the similarity to the Messiah teaching His talmidim to pray seems a very remote possibility indeed. Ther is a similarity of sentiment, but considering it a 'quote' of Judah by Yahshua seems more than a stretch. Compare:

Mat 6:9 After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.
Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven.
Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread.
Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.
Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen.

Does this really seem like the Messiah is quoting 1 Maccabee 3:60? If the bar is lowered this far, I could make a pretty good case for the Messiah quoting the Code of Hamurrappi or the Book of the Dead too. Brother James, I remain unconvinced.

 

My opinion notwithstanding, the majority of scriptural scholars of which I am aware agree that Messiah and His talmidim didn't quote any of the Apocrypha - including 1 Maccabees. Aside from certain Roman Catholic Apocrypha apologists, are you aware of any that support your position? I'm not saying that it couldn't have happened. I just don't see it.

 

Blessings,

Phillip

 

 

Its similar, but not a quote or even a paraphrase.

James Trimm said:

>"He never quoted from Maccabees"

 

Not so sure about that.  1Macc. 3:60 in the Hebrew has:

 

60  And as his will is in heaven, it will be.

 

And that sure reminds me of Matt. 7:10

 

Your will be done; as in heaven, so on earth.
(Matt. 6:10b HRV)

 

 

 

One critic of the Apocrypha wrote “These books existed before New Testament times, yet there is not one single quotation from the Apocrypha is in the New Testament.”

This is at the very least misleading, and at the very most, false. These books were clearly used by the earliest believers in Messiah. While they are never quoted outright in the “New Testament”, they are often strongly alluded to. The following comparisons are all taken from the KJV version for consistency.

 


 

"For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse: Because that, when they knew God, they glorified him not as God, neither were thankful; but became vain in their imaginations, and their foolish heart was darkened. Professing themselves to be wise, they became fools, And changed the glory of the uncorruptible God into an image made like to corruptible man, and to birds, and fourfooted beasts, and creeping things. Wherefore God also gave them up to uncleanness through the lusts of their own hearts, to dishonour their own bodies between themselves: Who changed the truth of God into a lie, and worshipped and served the creature more than the Creator, who is blessed for ever. Amen.
For this cause God gave them up unto vile affections: for even their women did change the natural use into that which is against nature: And likewise also the men, leaving the natural use of the woman, burned in their lust one toward another; men with men working that which is unseemly, and receiving in themselves that recompence of their error which was meet. And even as they did not like to retain God in their knowledge, God gave them over to a reprobate mind, to do those things which are not convenient; Being filled with all unrighteousness, fornication, wickedness, covetousness, maliciousness; full of envy, murder, debate, deceit, malignity; whisperers,"

(Romans 1:20-29)

Clearly alluding to:

"For by the greatness and beauty of the creatures proportionably the maker of them is seen. ... Howbeit neither are they to be pardoned. ...They kept neither lives nor marriages any longer undefiled: but either one slew another traiterously, or grieved him by adultery.... For the worshipping of idols not to be named is the beginning, the cause, and the end, of all evil."
(Wisdom 13:5, 8; 14:24,27)

 


 

"Nay but, O man, who art thou that repliest against God? Shall the thing formed say to him that formed it, Why hast thou made me thus? Hath not the potter power over the clay, of the same lump to make one vessel unto honour, and another unto dishonour. What if God, willing to shew his wrath, and to make his power known, endured with much longsuffering the vessels of wrath fitted to destruction: And that he might make known the riches of his glory on the vessels of mercy, which he had afore prepared unto glory,"
(Romans 9:20-23)

Certainly alluding to:

"For who shall say, What hast thou done? or who shall withstand thy judgment? or who shall accuse thee for the nations that perish, whom thou made? or who shall come to stand against thee, to be revenged for the unrighteous men?... For if thou didst punish the enemies of thy children, and the condemned to death, with such deliberation, giving them time and place, whereby they might be delivered from their malice:... For the potter, tempering soft earth, fashioneth every vessel with much labour for our service: yea, of the same clay he maketh both the vessels that serve for clean uses, and likewise also all such as serve to the contrary: but what is the use of either sort, the potter himself is the judge."
(Wisdom 12:12, 20; 15:7)

 


 

"For we know that if our earthly house of this tabernacle were dissolved, we have a building of God, an house not made with hands, eternal in the heavens.... For we that are in this tabernacle do groan, being burdened: not for that we would be unclothed, but clothed upon, that mortality might be swallowed up of life."
(2 Corinthians 5:1, 4)

No doubt Paul is alluding to:

"For the corruptible body presseth down the soul, and the earthy tabernacle weigheth down the mind that museth upon many things."
(Wisdom 9:15)

 


 

"Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:"
(Ephesians 6:11-17)

Well it does not take much to figure out that Paul did not invent the "full/complete armour" of Elohim , but drew the idea from:

"He shall take to him his jealousy for complete armour, and make the creature his weapon for the revenge of his enemies. He shall put on righteousness as a breastplate, and true judgment instead of an helmet. He shall take holiness for an invincible shield. His severe wrath shall he sharpen for a sword, and the world shall fight with him against the unwise."
(Wisdom 5:17-20)

"...he [Eleazar] conqured the besiegers with the shield of his devout reason. ... Therefore let us put on the full armour of self-control. .."
(4 Maccabees 7:4; 13:16 RSV)

 


 

"Which sometime were disobedient, when once the longsuffering of God waited in the days of Noah, while the ark was a preparing, wherein few, that is, eight souls were saved by water.: The like figure whereunto even baptism doth also now save us (not the putting away of the filth of the flesh, but the answer of a good conscience toward God,) by the resurrection of Jesus Christ"
(1 Peter 3:20-21)

Kefa is alluding to the allegory in 4Maccabees:

"For like a most skilful pilot, the reason of our father Eleazar steered the ship of religion over the sea of the emotions, and though buffeted by the stormings of the tyrant and overwhelmed by the mighty waves of tortures, in no way did he turn the rudder of religion until he sailed into the haven of immortal victory....
Just as Noah's ark, carrying the world in the universal flood, stoutly endured the waves, so you, O guardian of the law, overwhelmed from every side by the flood of your emotions and the violent winds, the torture of your sons, endured nobly and withstood the wintry storms that assail religion."

(4 Maccabees 7:1-3 15:31-32 RSV)

 


 

"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:"
(James 1:19)

A near quote from Sirach:

"Be swift to hear; and let thy life be sincere; and with patience give answer."
(Sirach 5:11)

 


 

"Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth he any man:"
(James 1:13)

Again Ya'akov (James) draws from Sirach:

"Say not thou, It is through the Lord that I fell away: for thou oughtest not to do the things that he hateth. Say not thou, He hath caused me to err: for he hath no need of the sinful man."
(Sirach 15:11-12)

 


 

"Behold, the hire of the labourers who have reaped down your fields, which is of you kept back by fraud, crieth: and the cries of them which have reaped are entered into the ears of the Lord of sabaoth."
(James 5:4)

Seems to allude to Tobit:

"Let not the wages of any man, which hath wrought for thee, tarry with thee, but give him it out of hand: for if thou serve God, he will also repay thee: be circumspect my son, in all things thou doest, and be wise in all thy conversation."
(Tobit 4:14)

 


 

"And I saw the seven angels which stood before God; and to them were given seven trumpets."
(Revelation 8:2)

This concept draws from Tobit:

"I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels, which present the prayers of the saints, and which go in and out before the glory of the Holy One."
(Tobit 12:15)

 


 

"And after these things I heard a great voice of much people in heaven, saying, Alleluia; Salvation, and glory, and honour, and power, unto the Lord our God:... And the foundations of the wall of the city were garnished with all manner of precious stones. The first foundation was jasper; the second, sapphire; the third, a chalcedony; the fourth, an emerald;: The fifth, sardonyx; the sixth, sardius; the seventh, chrysolite; the eighth, beryl; the ninth, a topaz; the tenth, a chrysoprasus; the eleventh, a jacinth; the twelfth, an amethyst.: And the twelve gates were twelve pearls; every several gate was of one pearl: and the street of the city was pure gold, as it were transparent glass."
(Revelation 19:1; 21:19-21)

Again the idea draws from Tobit:

"And the streets of Jerusalem shall be paved with beryl and carbuncle and stones of Ophir. And all her streets shall say, Alleluia; and they shall praise him, saying, Blessed be God, which hath extolled it for ever."
(Tobit 13:17-18)

 


 

Another case if found in comparing Jude 1:6-7 and 2 Peter 2:4-6 with 3 Maccabees 2:4-5:

"And the angels which kept not their first estate, but left their own habitation, he hath reserved in everlasting chains under darkness unto the judgment of the great day. Even as Sodom and Gomorrha, and the cities about them in like manner, giving themselves over to fornication, and going after strange flesh, are set forth for an example, suffering the vengeance of eternal fire."
(Jude 1:6-7 KJV)

"For if God spared not the angels that sinned, but cast them down to hell, and delivered them into chains of darkness, to be reserved unto judgment; And spared not the old world, but saved Noah the eighth person, a preacher of righteousness, bringing in the flood upon the world of the ungodly; And turning the cities of Sodom and Gomorrha into ashes condemned them with an overthrow, making them an ensample unto those that after should live ungodly;"
(2 Peter 2:4-6 KJV)

This reference to the fallen angels event of Gen. 6 which brought the birth of “giants” wiped out by the flood immediately followed by a reference to the judgment of Sodom certainly alludes to:

"It was thou who didst destroy the former workers of unrighteousness, among whom were the giants, who trusted in their strength and hardihood, by covering them with a measureless flood. It was thou who didst make the Sodomites, those workers of exceeding iniquity, men notorious for their vices, an example to after generations, when thou didst cover them with fire and brimstone."
(3 Maccabees 2:4-5)

(Notice also the common phrase “an example to after generations/those after”)

Correct.

James Trimm said:

One critic of the Apocrypha wrote “These books existed before New Testament times, yet there is not one single quotation from the Apocrypha is in the New Testament.”

.... they are never quoted outright in the “New Testament”...

Also, it means nothing if they were quoted. Paul quoted pagan poetry extolling Zeus, that doesn't mean he considered it canonical.

Then why do Christian apologists appeal to the NT quotations of the OT as a testimony to the canon?

Shalom Brother James,

You offered as a TOPIC STATEMENT:

One critic of the Apocrypha wrote “These books existed before New Testament times, yet there is not one single quotation from the Apocrypha [that] is in the New Testament.”

You offered as your POSITION STATEMENT:

This is at the very least misleading, and at the very most, false.

You offered as a QUALIFYING STATEMENT:

While they are never quoted outright in the “New Testament”, they are often strongly alluded to.

SUMMARY: Your POSITION STATEMENT that the TOPIC STATEMENT is misleading ‘at the very least’ and perhaps an outright falsehood, is directly contradicted by your QUALIFYING STATEMENT. Please Note:

  • The TOPIC STATEMENT, “These books existed before New Testament times, yet there is not one single quotation from the Apocrypha is in the New Testament.” is contradicted where emphasized by the QUALIFYING STATEMENT: “While they are never quoted outright in the “New Testament”, they are often strongly alluded to.” [emphasis mine].
  • The primary context of the TOPIC STATEMENT has to do with quotes in the New Testament. Following the statement [paraphrased here] that there are no quotes from the Apocrypha in the New Testament, you state that the TOPIC STATEMENT is misleading, possibly false, and in the next breath concede that it is instead, true. You state, ’they are never quoted outright in the New Testament’. This is exactly what the 'critic' said.
  • This in turn makes your POSITION STATEMENT: “This is at the very least misleading, and at the very most, false.” very ironic, as your POSITION STATEMENT is both misleading and false on its face. You have agreed with the critic you intended to disprove and disagreed with yourself. Either there are direct quotes of Apocryphal passages in the Brit Chadasha or there are not. You cannot have it both ways. By your own admission, 'there are no direct quotes'.
  • The QUALIFYING STATEMENT includes a further twist: “they are often strongly alluded to.” Your offered proof (as opposed to your position) is that, ‘they [the Apocrypha books] are often strongly alluded to [in the New Testament]. However, a quote and an allusion are two distinctly different things. In this case, they are offered by you as if similar or identical in nature. Characterizing a 'quote' (read direct reference) as an 'allusion' is an 'illusion'.

NOTE: An allusion is something whose origin is ambiguous by nature and is never considered a direct reference. According to Merriam-Webster’s, an allusion is by definition;

Allusion: 1) an implied or indirect reference especially in literature; and 2) the act of making an indirect reference to something. [emphasis mine]

The use of allusion obscures a direct relationship by nature and often obscures a direct relationship on purpose. Therefore, the proof sets that you offer in your post, are an implied or indirect reference at best. They neither indicate nor prove a direct or causal relationship. You use phrases like; ‘Clearly alluding’ when alluding is by intent, unclear. You say, ‘Certainly alluding’ when alluding precludes any certainty. You declare a, ‘near quote’ in one place. What is that, a ‘near quote’? I cannot tell. But I can tell what it is not: a direct reference.

CONCLUSION: On the other hand, these similarities that you offer as ‘strongly adding to’ the non-existant Apocrypha, Brit Chadasha link, might best be explained as simple thematic similarities and redundant idiomatic references that can be found in any discipline or field of communication, from theology to physics, to politics, to sports broadcasting. Further, the poetic constructs that you cite as 'proofs' can be found in any language and culture. They can be indicators of something. But they are hardly considered conclusive. Especially when direct references indicate other sources.

Is He not my shield and exceedingly great reward? Is He not the strong tower that I run into? Do not poetic references to the accouterments of battle abound in Torah? So how can their origin be attributed to Apocrypha?

Elsewhere you state:

This reference to the fallen angels event of Gen. 6 which brought the birth of “giants” wiped out by the flood immediately followed by a reference to the judgment of Sodom certainly alludes to: [3 Maccabees 2:4-5]

Which is it? Brit Chadasha drawing on Maccabees or Maccabees and Brit Chadasha drawing on Torah? Direct quotes strongly indicate the latter. Again, if the type of similarities you offer as proof are the new standard and if the bar is lowered this far, I could make a pretty good case for the Ayatollah drawing from Talmud in defense of Israel. On one hand it is possible. On the other, it is highly unlikely. So again, I remain unconvinced. Judging by your opening remarks, you do too.

Blessings,

Phillip

Phillip,

Apparently the king jimmy translators felt it authoritative enough to include it as part of their cannon. Are you stating even they were mislead in doing so? I strongly disagree with your dismissal of the books in question. To dismiss the texts without ever reading them fully would be a travesty on your part. What else does your family read at Channukah if not the 4 books in question? What reasoning might you have to maintain the tradition without the historically verifiable facts presented in them? Certainty your not advocating X-mess instead?



Phillip Hawley said:

Shalom Brother James,


Which is it? Brit Chadasha drawing on Maccabees or Maccabees and Brit Chadasha drawing on Torah? Direct quotes strongly indicate the latter. Again, if the type of similarities you offer as proof are the new standard and if the bar is lowered this far, I could make a pretty good case for the Ayatollah drawing from Talmud in defense of Israel. On one hand it is possible. On the other, it is highly unlikely. So again, I remain unconvinced. Judging by your opening remarks, you do too.

Blessings,

Phillip

Phil,

The issue you point out is really the ambiguity of just what is or is not a "quote". 

If I say "Bill said 'those dogs are small'" then it is clear I am quoting Bill.

If I say "those dogs are small" (and it was well known Bill had said it first) it could also be said that I was quoting Bill, though there is a slight chance I was not really doing so, it would reasonable to conclude that I was.

If I say "those dogs are little" then it could still be said that I was quoting bill in the form of paraphrase (we call this in the english idiom a "loosely quoting" Bill.)  This can be even more obscured when the originals may have been in different languages, or where scribal transmission is an issue, in which case the original may have been "those dogs are small" in both cases.

Now lets look at an example from the Apocrypha:

"Wherefore, my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath:"
(James 1:19)

A near quote from Sirach:

"Be swift to hear; and let thy life be sincere; and with patience give answer."
(Sirach 5:11)

Is it an allusion or a quote?  Its in the grey area.  It could be called a loose quote but another man might argue its just an allusion.  A "loose quote" would be not be an "outright quote" but a "loose quote" but it would still be misleading to say that the NT never quoted the Apocrypha.  So my statement is correct.

As for 3Maccabees the placement of the fall of angels as a clearly sexual sin IMMEDIATELY followed by the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah is not found in the Torah but only in 3Maccabees, so 3Maccabees is clearly the source.

My reference to "clearly" in the above examples is that the parallels are beyond statistical probabliity of a coincidence, thus the allusion is "clearly" made.

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