Thursday, December 21, 2006

The Scroll of Antiochus

Interesting discussion of the history of the Scroll of Antiochus by R. Benjamin Zvieli on the Bar Ilan website (link):

The scroll could have been written anywhere from the first century C.E. until the eleventh century, and may have come from Babylonia, Syria, or even Europe. Kaddari asserts, however, that there is reason to narrow the dating the Scroll of Antiochus to somewhere between the second and fifth century C.E., most likely in the second century itself...

The scroll differs in certain details from what is told in the apocryphal works and in the books of Josephus Flavius. A marked difference of great importance is that Judah the Maccabee was killed in front of his father at the beginning of the battle waged by Mattathias’ sons against the Greek forces, whereas according to other sources Mattathias himself died before the war broke out. It should further be stressed that the miracle of the oil is given prominence in the scroll as the primary miracle commemorated by the commandment to kindle lights on Hanukkah, whereas in other sources this detail is not stressed at all.

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