Passing a Peace Pipe on the Canon

I am willing to consider 1 Maccabees canonical if those High traditions concede the very point of 1 Maccabees:  the complete destruction of Hellenization, which would mean, among other things, the removal of the LXX, and the eliminating of overly-allegorical hermeneutics (Paul used it for illustration, not doctrine, and certainly not the negation of the “earthiness” of the Old Testament, which is precisely how it was employed; and this also applies to some Reformed folks today.  Typology only works if your audience already agrees with you on type and anti-type).

I really can’t consider 2 Macc. as canonical.  It’s okay as far as literature goes, but there are some problems (like sacrificing for dead idolaters).  3rd Macc is one of the worst books in human history.

2 comments on “Passing a Peace Pipe on the Canon

  1. John* says:


    Broadly agreed – especially re 2 & 3 Macc, but . . .

    We have to deal with the matter of Judas Maccabeus’ closure of the Canon with its 331BCE Terminus ad Quem (the year of the rise of the Macedonian Alexander the Great) for the date of writing of Canonical Literature for what now constitutes the Tanak so as to forever exclude anything originally written in Greek from the status of “Canonical Literature”.

    This mandates the exclusion of 1Macc by definition.

    A helpful way around this conundrum to accommodate your desires would be to recognize a secondary category of quality Jewish Literature and call it “Deuterocanonical” This would observe the same standards that Judas Maccabeus used to determine “Canonical” quality, but allow some or all of this literature to be written in Greek, but forever excluding a Hellenistic mindset (“phronema”). This would include your 1 Macc. within with the list as hereunder. However, it MUST be kept separate from the Tanak,even to the extent of not including it within the same covers as did Jerome so as not to have it confused with or included as “Canonical Literature”. List as follows:

    Book of Jasher
    Community Rule -( from the Qumran Community)
    *Wisdom of Solomon.
    *First Esdras.
    *First Maccabees.
    *Second Esdras.
    *Additions to Esther.
    *Song of the Three Holy Children (inserted in Dan ch3 vv23 & 24)
    * Susanna (Dan, Ch 13)
    *Bel and the Dragon. (Dan Ch 14, Latin, added to Ch 12, Greek).

    * these are used as “Canonical” within the LXX.

    I trust that this assists.

    AS a matter of Interest, how much of my ideas have you “borrowed” in your post above?

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