A LITTLE HELP OR A GREAT HELP? JESUS AND HIS TIME AGAINST THE BACKGROUND OF 1, 2 MACCABEES AND DANIEL

Sam Janse

Abstract


This article states that 1 and 2 Maccabees, along with the book of Daniel, forms a
triangle that defines the Jewish positions for at least two centuries. The books of the
Maccabees both stand in the tradition of Holy War. Contrary to 2 Maccabees, the
author of 1 Maccabees distances himself more and more from this theology moving
in the direction of power politics. Daniel is an explicitly apocalyptic book: human
resistance can offer only a little help, whereas the greater help is to be expected
from God. We encounter this spiritual heritage in Jesus’ message and deeds. The
value of apocalypticism for our time is the warning of this theology against all
efforts to realize the Heilstaat (the Kingdom of God; the ‘ideal society’). The
political task of Christians is less pretentious but all the more fruitful: to protect the
rechtsstaat (the constitutional state that respects human rights).

Keywords


Holy War, 1 Maccabees 2 Maccabees, Daniel, Rechtsstaat, Heilstaat

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DOI: https://doi.org/10.7833/102-0-602

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ISSN 2305-445X (online); ISSN 0254-1807 (print)

Attribution CC BY-NC-ND 4.0


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