Maccabees, the Fourth Book of (B)

Maccabees, The Fourth Book Of (B)

Though it is certain that the foregoing book is that which old writers described, Sixtus Senensis (Biblia Sancta, p. 37, ed. 1575) gives a very interesting account of another fourth book of Maccabees which he saw in a library at Lyons, which was afterwards burnt. It was in Greek, and contained the history of John Hyrcanus, continuing the narrative directly after the close of the first book. Sixtus quotes the first words: Καὶ μετὰ τὸ ἀποκτανθῆναι τὸν Σίμωνα ἐγενήθη Ι᾿ωάνης υἱὸς αὐ τοῦ ἀρχιερεύς ἀντ αὐτοῦ, but this is the only fragment which remains of it. The history, he says, was nearly the same as that in Josephus, Ant. 13, though the style was very different from his, abounding in Hebrew idioms. The testimony is so exact and explicit that we can see no reason for questioning its accuracy, and still less for supposing (with Calmet) that Sixtus saw only the socalled fifth book, which is at present preserved in Arabic. SEE MACCABEES, FIFTH BOOK OF.

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