Isn't it ironic how Hanukkah can be found in a Christian bible but not in a modern Jewish one?

I think it’s ironic how Hanukkah can’t be found in a modern Jewish bible, but it can be found in a Christian one. Catholic bibles have an Old Testament reference to it in Maccabees as well as a reference to it in the New Testament in the gospel of John. While it can be found in a Protestant bible, they only have a reference to it in the New Testament because they follow the Pharisee canon of scripture which excludes 7 books of the Old Testament, of which are 1 and 2 Maccabees.

Hanukkah or the Feast of the Dedication (Scriptural)

“Also called the Feast of the Machabees and Feast of Lights (Josephus and Talmudic writings), mentioned in the Old Testament (1 Maccabees 4:56), and in the New (John 10:22).” (Catholic Source

“The story of how Hanukkah came to be is contained in the books of 1 and 2 Maccabees, which are not part of the Jewish canon of the Hebrew Bible.” (Jewish Source)

“Chanukah is not mentioned in Jewish scripture; the story is related in the book of the Maccabbees, which Jews do not accept as scripture.”
(Jewish Source)

Its not like Jews deny the credibility of the books of the maccabees or the jewish war by Josephus on this Holy day.

It’s an minor holiday for those Jews not living in a historically Christian culture. About on par with St. Blaise’s feast day for catholics. (Now that I mention it, I haven’t had my throat blessed in years!)

It rose in prominence in Western countries so Jewish kids didn’t feel left out while the societies around them went through Advent and Christmas.

I think that it’s still ironic since even if it’s not supposed to be a big deal to Jews it has become so.

The Jews don’t consider Maccabees as the Word of God. It is only history so it isn’t in scripture.

I agree. Most people outside of the Catholic Church have never read Maccabees. It isn’t in the Protestent Bibles nor in the Torah. It definitely has to do with Jews being left out at Christmas, that is why it is so popular today. It was not one of the holidays prescribed by God for Jewish people to celebrate. It was always considered a secondary holy day until relatively modern times in America. All that gift giving is totally about imitating Christmas.

Here’s some quotes from:

“Hanukkah enjoyed a resurgence in America after WWII, although this is due mainly to its close proximity to Christmas rather than to appreciation of Hanukkah’s significance. In a spirit of fairness, public schools often added Hanukkah to their holiday season celebrations, and that reminded families to light menorot at home. Popular with assimilated Jews as well as the observant, for many it has come to be seen as “a Jewish Christmas.” Consequently, although celebrated out of proportion to its place on the Jewish calendar (especially when compared to the overshadowed biblically ordained holidays Shavuot and Sukkot), it is too often diminished by the very culture-borrowing the holiday’s founders fought.”

Chanuka Gelt has been given all over the centuries long before x-mas was “big”.
Menorot have always been lit throughout the centuries.
And just because some people might commemorate and celebrate some Jewish holidays quietly in their Jewish homes doesn’t mean they don’t mean the world to them.
The books of maccabees is of course in the Tanach, the Jewish bible. Together with the books of Judith, commemorating Purim, they’re missing in the x-tian bible probably because they aren’t “biblical” enough or anything in the x-tian sense. They don’t appear in the Torah, the five books of Moses, which is of course because this situation happened long after Moses had concluded his last book.

You’re obviously getting more for your money with your copy of Tanakh. :smiley:

you bet :smiley:

What do you mean they are included in the Jewish Bible?

"The First and Second Books of Maccabees contain the most detailed accounts of the battles of Judah Maccabee and his brothers for the liberation of Judea from foreign domination.

These books include within them the earliest references to the story of Hanukkah and the rededication of the Temple, in addition to the famous story of the mother and her seven sons. And yet, these two books are missing from the Hebrew Bible."


What do you mean they aren’t X-tian enough? The Protestants copied the Jewish Bible! Catholics are the only ones who include the Apocrypha in their Bible. Personally, I think the Apocrypha is some of the most interesting reading in the Bible.

Side note:
Minor quibble then: don’t call them Apocrypha. Catholics call them “dueterocanonicals” (I spell like an engineer…). The word Apocrypha implies a non-canonical status.

Back to the thread…

I know, and solely refering to this point now which I saw coming in order to get away from the other thing I said doesn’t help you refute everything else I said, because, you seem you got that right, I addressed you above all and you know what I’m talking about. Your earlier post about Chanuka was condescending and insulting, and wrong. And I will leave it at that. You can private message me if you wish.

No thanks.

The First and Second Books of Maccabees, being included in the LXX, shows that they were indeed considered religiously important to Jews from antiquity.

As to why they are not in the Jewish “Bible,” one must not impose the Christian view of canon with how Jews have built up the Tanakh. Traditionally the Tanakh is a collection of works written in the Hebrew script. The idea of “canon” is actually a Catholic one, and the guidelines used by Christians (i.e., only those books within the canon are considered inspired and thus the only books which are the written Word of God) are not necessarily applicable in the same manner in regards to how the Jews consider the Scriptures.

The long-passed stories of a “Council of Jamnia” which stated that Jews developed a “canon” in 90 CE in response to the growing Christian movement is no longer accepted as an historical event by scholars (it was a hypothesis developed by Heinrich Graetz that many Christians and others mistook as an actual event until recently). The Tanakh as Jews have today was shaped by factors not limited to those of the Jamnia hypothesis or used in developing the Christian Bible.

That being the case, the fact that these books do not appear in the Tanakh (Jewish collection of “Old Testament” books) doesn’t mean that these writings are not important, lack authority, or cannot be viewed as authoritative. For Jews the Word of God extends beyond the Tanakh.

The irony may be how we Christians often mistakenly judge Judaism and the Jews by standards which we use but do not apply or exist in Jewish thought. The fact that writings are not part of the Tanakh does not mean that authentic history has been left out of the Jewish collection of religious books or that the Jews believe that God does not speak through other writings which are not part of the Tanakh. A book need not be of the Torah, the rest of the Tanakh, the Talmud, etc for Jews to consider them important or holy or of God. Jews generally do not consider “inspiration” as a rule for inclusion or even a facet of the Holy Scriptures in the way Christians understand and use the term.

Be assured that Maccabees is often referred to and used by Jews not only in reference to Chanukah but at other times.

Thank you for your post, Delson.

You mean the Pharisees, since it was the Pharisee party that set the 39 book canon which the reformers later adopted.

But, I thought our Lord condemned the Pharisees seven fold in Matthew 23? :confused:

Catholic scholarship teaches that the condemnations in Matthew likely represent the situation during the final editing and composition of the Gospel in its Greek form. They are to be read as reflective of the ongoing debates between the Pharisees and the Judeo-Christians. The author, like with most of the text in Matthew, often placed Jesus’ sayings in a context for practical use by the first-century audience to whom that particular gospel was written. They are not meant to reflect the Jews as a whole or even the entire Pharisees, many of which came to believe in Christ.

For more information, [consult “The Jewish People and their Sacred Scriptures in the Christian Bible” from the Pontifical Biblical Commission, Section III, B, 1: “The Gospel According to Matthew.”](“ The Gospel according to Matthew”)


Agreed. Yet, those Pharisees who converted were no longer Pharisees, correct? As well, those who remained Pharisees and continued their rejection of Christ were ultimately responsible for the exclusion of the Deuterocanonical books, which, as you mentioned, were in the Septuagint. Is it also true that they no longer sat in the seat of Moses, as that “seat” was destroyed along with the temple, and by the kingship of our Lord Jesus Christ?

The figurative “seat of Moses” of teaching authority became the chair of Peter.

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