My two bob’s worth - I’ve read both Maccabees books a couple of times, and while I haven’t done much external reading about them, what did come through was a sense of constant violence and bloodiness. I’m not surprised the Jews were looking for a Messiah considering what they went through between Alexander and the time of Christ.
I also wonder precisely what they did to deserve it all, and I come up with a complete blank.
However I don’t get the same sort of “spiritual” sense reading Maccabees that I do when I read the other books of the Bible, either Old or New Testaments. I don’t know why and I can’t put my finger on it, but that’s the way I feel about it.
Actually the “exclusion” of the Deuterocanonical books didn’t actually occur, not in the way most people were taught up through most of the 20th century. The “Council of Jamnia,” where this was claimed to have occurred was not a historical event but a hypothesis. The current divisions of the Tanakh and those books which are not part of that collection are due mostly to language and era, not due to standards used in the Christian canonization process.
Jews still use and read the various Books of Maccabees to this day , especially during Chanukah (Catholics only use two of these books, by the way). The Books of Maccabees are a library unto themselves in Jewish culture which today is composed of a Judaism that developed from the Pharisees of the first century. They are not rejected just because they are not part of the Hebrew Scriptures.
The “seat of Moses” mentioned in Matthew chapter 23 is likely metaphorical. There was no such actual seat in connection with the temple. In Jewish culture to this day, a religious teacher takes a “seat” of instruction and the student takes a metaphorical seat at the “foot” of the teacher’s, but no actual chairs or literal seats of any kind need be involved. Much time after the destruction of the temple in 70 CE some synagogues actually had such “teacher seats,” but the mention of the “chair” or “seat of Moses” is much too early to indicate this practice that came much later after the apostolic age.–See the footnote to Matthew 23 in the New American Bible Revised Edition.
Again you should read the information on the Vatican’s website that I cited, in fact the entire document. It will likely take much time and effort, especially since I recommend one reads all the Scriptural citations. You may be surprised to learn that the the Holy See takes a very different view of things than what you may hold at present.
While some do see a connection or typification between the “chair of Moses” (as it is translated in the NAB) and the “chair of Peter,” there isn’t a formal teaching from the Church on this point.
It is not likely that they are the same thing as the “seat” or “chair” used in Semitic speech refers to a position of accepted leadership and recognized authority. Since Jews do not recognize the Bishop of Rome as their teacher there is not likely much more than a metaphor here.
But this doesn’t mean that the metaphor can’t be used to illustrate a type and anti-type, even though one is not necessarily inherited by the other in literal terms.
First, we must define “scholarship” Frankly, this strikes me as the revisionist scholarship that has crept into Catholic thinking in the past 50+ years. Now, the historical-critical method of scholarship is not to be dismissed out of hand, but must also be placed in the context of that which has been handed on to us by the great Saints and commentators. This point was driven home precisely by Pope Emeritus Benedict XVI in his trilogy on Jesus of Nazareth.
As to your link, I was not suggesting an inherent anti-Semitism or anything of the sort, as that would be ludicrous given our Savior’s heritage and our Christian knowledge that salvation is of the Jews. What I base my assertions on is reflective of the content of the Haydock Commentary and the Catena Aurea. There, the seat of Moses was a position of authority, yet we see that the Pharisees, who then “occupied” it, were corrupt by their hypocrisy, as well as other common failings - from which we ourselves are not exempt.
In Haydock, it is the Pharisees proper are roundly condemned by Christ, as the ultimate upbraiding for their hardness of heart and lack of repentance. We do note from the Gospels that Christ gave opportunities for repentance to all - from the Scribes, Pharisees and Sadducees, to the Samaritan woman at the well, to Judas in the garden.
I think you read far too much into my comments or I was poor at getting them across.
I have also noted that I may comment differently from others, as it has become clear to me that people tend to post things that reflect their convictions. I don’t always do so.
When I give an answer I am trying to merely being objective as I am not an authority on what is to be considered unarguably revisionist or not. I was merely giving an answer based on the best scholarship available being that I have been in the field of religion studies for the past 35 years.
I can, however, stress that the history of the Second Temple Jews of the first century is not inaccessible. A comparison with it by both the public and scholars over the past century has revealed that the pronouncements against the Pharisees in Matthew appear to be an anachronism since they don’t match the situation of early first century Judaism. The conclusions based on this comparison are what I commented on. It reflects this consensus alone.
Whether this is valid or will later be proven otherwise or is totally unacceptable today is all possible. What I’ve expressed should not be considered originating with me or reflective of my personal opinions on the matter.
Correct, and also I would like to add, most scholars believe Matthew was written in Hebrew. Logically that means it must have been written for a Jewish audience and later, possibly due to it’s popularity, was translated into the Greek version that survives today.