It took a year to read the Bible, then almost 9 months to read the Apocrypha. Now, I'm going to try to offer reflections on the Narrative Lectionary. But, I won't be posting daily--at least, for a while.

Monday, June 1, 2015

Onset of Persecution, a reflection on 1 Maccabees 1:1-28

In the Old Testament, we read that Babylon (587 BCE), then Persia (520 BCE) ruled Judah.

There's a gap in history between the Old Testament and the New of about four centuries. Some of that period is discussed in the material we call the Apocrypha. The Greeks conquer Palestine in 332 BCE but are ousted by Egypt (301 BCE).

Although the Jews had been allowed to return from exile, they were not in charge of their land. Some of the Jews were ready to accept that situation as inevitable and suggested that they seek some kind of accommodation with the Gentiles surrounding them.

So, they approached the king who allowed them to construct a gymnasium (a Gentile kind of place, so Gentile, that in order to use it, they uncircumcised themselves).

Meanwhile, the king, Antiochus IV, decided to overtake Egypt. Having that success (198 BCE), he led a strong army into Jerusalem and looted the sanctuary.

How much accommodation to civic life is appropriate?

No comments: