Pseudepigrapha / 4 Maccabees

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Summary of 4 Maccabees

Date: 50-100 C.E.

Description: 4 Maccabees is a homily or philosophic discourse praising the supremacy of pious reason over passion. It advances a philosophical thesis with points made using examples drawn from 2 Maccabees: the martyrdom of Eleazar and the woman with seven sons under Antiochus IV Epiphanes. The last chapters concern the author's impressions drawn from these martyrdoms. Unlike 2 Maccabees, which was written with appeals to emotion, sentiment, and drama, 4 Maccabees is considerably more intellectual about the matter.

Bartlett, John R. The Books of the Maccabees, Oxford University Press, 1993

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