Thursday, December 22, 2011

Happy Hanukkah! (& the Apocrypha)


Our brothers and sisters of the Jewish faith are celebrating Hanukkah.  You can read a nice article at Wikipedia:

As the article tells us, one of the ancient sources for the festival:

The story of Hanukkah is alluded to in the book of 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees. The eight day rededication of the temple is described in 1 Maccabees 4:36 et seq, though the name of the festival and the miracle of the lights do not appear here. A story similar in character, and obviously older in date, is the one alluded to in 2 Maccabees 1:18 et seq according to which the relighting of the altar fire by Nehemiah was due to a miracle which occurred on the 25th of Kislev, and which appears to be given as the reason for the selection of the same date for the rededication of the altar by Judah Maccabee.
1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees is found in the Apocrypha and is available in the Common English Bible.  You can look up passages including the Apocrypha here (choose the CEB).

As an Episcopalian, I believe the Apocrypha should always be a part of our bible.  The Biblical Apocrypha is accepted by Roman Catholics and Orthodox as fully part (canonical) of the Bible.  Episcopalians also receive these books but without determining their canonicity.

In the new year, I will write more about why I like the Biblical Apocrypha.

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