Item description for II Maccabees (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries) by Jonathan a. Goldstein...
II Maccabees continues the chronicle of the 'Time of the Troubles' (167-64 BCE) begun in I Maccabees. It recounts stories of conflict between militant Jews, led by Judas Maccabaeus, and their Hellenistic oppressors.
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Studio: Yale University Press
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 9.02" Width: 6.12" Height: 1.46" Weight: 1.96 lbs.
Release Date Mar 24, 1995
Publisher Yale University Press
Series Anchor Bible Commentary
ISBN 0300139977 ISBN13 9780300139976
Availability 89 units. Availability accurate as of Oct 26, 2016 02:08.
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More About Jonathan a. Goldstein
Jonathan a. Goldstein has published or released items in the following series...
Reviews - What do customers think about II Maccabees (The Anchor Yale Bible Commentaries)?
An exercise in Textual Criticism with some uninspiring commentary Mar 7, 2009
Well, how can I say this in a nice way? If I had seen a review on this commentary explaining it in detail, I would not have purchased it.
Let me give my perspective, because I'm sure there are some buyers who might be interested in this type of commentary, but I am a pastor who is working on sermons for preaching in a local Church. I look for commentaries that avoid the endless speculations about who might have originally written what part of the text, and how it might have been modified by someone who might have existed a long time ago.
This commentary never seems to leave that subject behind. The author seems endlessly enamored with textual criticism. So if you love TC, buy this commentary. If it seems irrelevant to you, don't get this one.
Let me focus on the martyrdom of Eleazar in II Mac 6. At first I was really excited. I thought, "Wow-he gives a page of original translation of the martyrdom. Then he gives seven pages of notes!!" His translation is at times easy to understand, but at other times it is difficult to comprehend. One phrase was so unclear I had no idea what it meant. In contrast, my other translations of II Macc were able to help me grasp the meaning the first time through. So that wasn't good, but by the time I finished his notes on a section, I felt I discovered something that would be best for a research paper on redaction theories or something.
On Eleazar's martyrdom, this author seems to have a strong grasp of Ancient Near Eastern background to the Old Testament, with speculative theories about Mardukist Martyrdom texts providing illumination to the Jewish martyrdom texts (I found that implausible). His breadth of interaction reaches in every direction, except into the N.T. It's clear to my mind that Eleazar's martyrdom is a spectacular example of what Peter has in mind when he suggests adding 'Aretes' 'Virtue' to ones faith. Since 'aretes' is the key point of the story, setting up the inspiration of the seven martyred brothers in the next chapter, it seems odd to me that the author would find ties to Marduk, but nothing in common with Peter's writings!! And also given that Maccabees is one of keys sources for the study of Jewish backgrounds of the NT, I was disappointed with Goldstein's failure to tie into New Testament material.
Another thing that I found disappointing was that this commentary does not provide life transforming application of any kind, nor does it focus in an organized way on theological implications from the text.
All that aside, it has value. There are grammatical comments sprinkled throughout dealing with Greek issues that may help the reader grasp nuances more clearly. He also has extensive indexes in the back and ten pencil maps of various scenarios related to Maccabees. He has appendixes with titles like:
How the writers counted time. The Petition of the Samaritans and Antiochus IV's reply. Why it is unlikely that epistle 2 was composed between 67 BCE and 73 CE. (I would say between 67 BC and 73 AD)
His scripture index has a few references to the NT, but not much at all.
Basically, for pastors and Bible teachers who have to bring real life inspiration and transformation into peoples lives on a regular basis, you will not want to purchase this book. If you are into research and are looking for interesting theories to round out a paper for a school project, then this commentary might be your ticket.
BTW-the price printed on the back of this book is $35. I really did not appreciate being charged $10 over list by this site. I think if anything this commentary should sell for well below list. I would value it at about $19.95