Author: Robert Doran
ISBN: 978 0 8006 6050 5
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Publisher: Augsburg Fortress Press / Alban Books
Robert Doran of Amherst College, Mass., is very much an authority on 2 Maccabees: in 1981 he published Temple Propaganda: the Purpose of 2 Maccabees, and in 1996 he wrote a brief commentary for the New Interpreter’s Bible. This new, full-length commentary, is a fine work of scholarship, which takes account of inscriptional evidence that has come to light in recent decades. If I have a reservation it is that the subject index could usefully have been made more extensive. Exegetical and historical questions are discussed in a balanced and well-researched way. For example, on the priesthood of Jason (2 Macc. 4), Doran discusses whether in 4.9 Antiochus IV is represented as furnishing Jerusalem with a gymnasium and a programme of physical education (so Codex A) or as permitting it (other MSS); the latter reading is judged to be the more likely: the Greek verb for permit is found in an inscription granting a city constitution and a gymnasium to Tyriaion of Phrygia.