Record Details

Counting half-shekels – Redeeming souls? in 2 Maccabees 12:38–45

HTS Teologiese Studies/Theological Studies

Field Value
Title Counting half-shekels – Redeeming souls? in 2 Maccabees 12:38–45
Creator Allen, Nicholas P.L. Jordaan, Pierre J.
Subject History; Cultural Studies; Textual Studies half-shekels; Non-Jewish; Pharasees; Sadducees; afterlife; purgatory; interpretist/constructivist epistemology; teshuvah; atonement
Description This article deals with a highly debated text, namely 2 Maccabees 12, specifically the problematic verses (38–45) which contain a theology that is distinctly non-Jewish in import. Indeed, most recent scholars concerned with this passage do not seem to be unanimous apropos the best interpretation of the events that are described, resulting in a range of different opinions concerning, inter alia, the afterlife, purgatory and/or doctrinal disputes between Pharisees and Sadducees. By means of an interpretivist or constructivist epistemology, the authors advocate that normally, traditional Judaism emphasises personal, individual responsibility and accountability, whereas in this text God is portrayed as requiring material, financial payment for wrongdoing and not individual תשובה [teshuvah]. This is in contradistinction to, inter alia, Exodus 30:11–16 and theologically Jewish ‘transgression’ has clearly metamorphosed into Christian ‘sin’. In addition, Judas Maccabeus seems to have retained a half-shekel methodology (employed for Jewish men of military age – soldiers) whilst emphasising the ‘atonement for your lives’ from Exodus 30:11–16 in a more literalistic, materialistic, non-Jewish sense whilst de-emphasising the real need to maintain the Temple as well as the proper, traditional rules of תשובה.
Publisher AOSIS
Contributor NWUniversity and the SANRF
Date 2018-11-12
Type info:eu-repo/semantics/article info:eu-repo/semantics/publishedVersion — Literary analysis
Format text/html application/epub+zip application/xml application/pdf
Identifier 10.4102/hts.v74i3.5011
Source HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies; Vol 74, No 3 (2018); 10 pages 2072-8050 0259-9422
Language eng
Coverage Middle East; mediterranean Hellenistic and Roman era Criteria for literary analysis
Rights Copyright (c) 2018 Pierre Johan Jordaan