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Suffering in Ancient Worldview: Luke, Seneca, and 4 Maccabees in Dialogue by
"Tabb shows that, despite their different religious and cultural positions, these ancient authors each expect and accept suffering as a present reality that is governed by divine providence, however defined. Luke, Seneca and the author of 4 Maccabees each affirm that suffering is not humanity’s fundamental problem. Rather, suffering functions as a cipher for other things to be displayed. For Seneca, suffering provides an opportunity for one to learn and show virtue. The author of 4 Maccabees presents the nation’s suffering as retribution for sin, while the martyrs’ virtuous suffering leads to Israel’s salvation. For Luke, the Lord Jesus suffers to accomplish salvation and restoration for the world marred by sin and suffering, and the suffering of his followers is instrumental for Christian mission." - T&T Clark
4 Maccabees: Introduction and Commentary on the Greek Text in Codex Sinaiticus by
"This commentary examines 4 Maccabees as a contribution to the ongoing reformulation of Jewish identity and practice in the Greek-speaking Diaspora. It analyzes the Jewish author’s interaction with, and facility in, Greek rhetorical conventions, ethical philosophy, and literary culture, giving attention also to his use and interpretation of texts and traditions from the Jewish Scriptures and other Hellenistic Jewish writings. The commentary exhibits the author’s skillful weaving together of all these resources to create a text that interprets the Torah-observant life as the fullest embodiment of the best Greek ethical ideals. A distinctive feature is the examination of how the experience of reading 4 Maccabees in Codex Sinaiticus differs from the experience of reading the eclectic text." - Brill
4 Maccabees: Guides to the Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha by
"Hellenistic Greek society offered many advantages to the Jew who was willing to relax Torah for the sake of easier relations with the dominant culture. 4 Maccabees was written to reassure Jewish readers that Torah was in fact the sole path to the perfection of the virtues honoured in Greek culture, as it freed the diligent devotee from slavery to the desire, emotion and the domination of pain and pleasure. In brief compass, deSilva provides a detailed look at the rhetorical and philosophical strategy of the author of 4 Maccabees, who redirects the hearers' desire for honour and advancement toward those commitments that will preserve his Jewish subculture from assimilation. This often neglected text becomes an engaging window into Hellenistic Judaism and into some of the concerns that were formative influences on the early church." - Sheffield Academic Press