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VII. Jesus' Death for Others and the Death of the Maccabean Martyrs

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Chapter Summary

Maccabees ll 2 and 4 help us to understand the conception of Jesus' 'death for others' found in early Christian confessional formulas and developed in various ways by early Christian writers. The model of interpretation reflected in the accounts of the Maccabean martyrs elucidates only certain aspects of Jesus' mission culminating in his death and resurrection. In his solidarity with others, Jesus died for their sins, and not for his own. He was not just a martyr bringing about reconciliation with God and peace for Israel on earth. He appeared as a unique servant of God, God's final envoy. Further study of the ideas about martyrdom in 2 and 4 Maccabees will prove to be of great importance for a renewed scrutiny of the ideas expressed and implied in early and later passages in Christian writings which try to explain Jesus' death.

Keywords: Jesus' death; Maccabean martyrs



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