The Second Book of Maccabees, also called 2 Maccabees, is a deuterocanonical book originally in Greek which focuses on the Maccabean Revolt against Antiochus IV Epiphanes and concludes with the defeat of the Seleucid Empire general Nicanor in 161 BC by Judas Maccabeus, the "hero of the Jewish wars of independence".
|Old Testament (Christianity)|
Unlike 1 Maccabees, the style of 2 Maccabees suggests that it was written in Koine Greek, probably in Alexandria, some time between 150 and 120 BC (c. 124 BC according to Stephen L. Harris). It presents a revised version of the historical events recounted in the first seven chapters of 1 Maccabees, adding material from the Pharisaic tradition, including prayer for the dead and a resurrection on Judgment Day.
The book, like the other Books of the Maccabees, was not included in Masoretic Hebrew canon, the Tanakh. It was included in the Greek Septuagint, known as the Alexandrian canon. For this reason, Jews and Protestants reject most of the doctrinal issues present in the work, while Catholics and Eastern Orthodox consider the work to be deuterocanonical and part of the Bible. Some Protestants include 2 Maccabees as part of the biblical apocrypha, useful for reading in the church. Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England defines it as useful but not the basis of doctrine and not necessary for salvation.