Over the next couple of weeks, we’ll be concluding the part of our study that covers the Old Testament. This week we finish the period of “The Return,” looking at the end of the book of Nehemiah. Here we will not only hear about the ways in which Jerusalem has been restored on the outside, but the attempts of Nehemiah to reform and restore hearts, too.
Then, we will turn to the 1 book of Maccabees and a time period that lasts from 167 BC – AD 1. The wave through which Alexander the Great conquers the near east will have dramatic consequences on God’s chosen people. As the Greeks attempt to spread their culture, religion, and language throughout the empire – a process called Hellenization – their methods and means become more aggressive. Both books of Maccabees tell of the Jewish response to the Greeks. Where 2 Maccabees narrate to us the heroic virtue of various Jews who are martyred for the practice of their faith, 1 Maccabees tells us of those who fight violence with violence.
As a side note, the first five and a half minutes of the introductory video for the Maccabean revolt explains the 7 book disparity between the Old Testament found in Catholic Bibles and that found in many other Christian Bibles.
Here are the readings for this week: