First Maccabees


The book of First Maccabees is included since it fills in some important events in the history of Israel between the time of Malachi and the New Testament. 

However, in reviewing the text, it appears that some parts of First Maccabees were likely to have been added at a later time. The following factors were evaluated in excluding text that was not likely to be original: 

1) Sections of text which were introduced by a suspect style of writing. This includes evaluating the way subjects were referred to at the beginning of new context. 

2) The pattern of vocabulary, grammar, and/or style of writing do not appear to be from the original author based on comparison to the rest of his writing. 

3) The text does not appear to parallel the account given by Josephus, the ancient historian. A significant portion of First Maccabees appears to have been used by Josephus. However some parts were not. This could be since he did not want to use them, or because these parts were not in the copy which he had at the time. 

4) The context and/or flow of thought seem unusually abrupt or out of place. 

This process resulted in retaining about 75% of the text of First Maccabees. The sections of text which are not included are: 1:1-9 (partial), Chapter 8, 9:34, 12:1-23, and 13:43-16:24. There is additional information in the footnotes at these texts. 

The book’s historical chapter and verse numbering has generally been followed. This allows easier comparison to other versions and use of reference works. There is no present intention of including in this Bible any of the books commonly known as Second, Third, or Fourth Maccabees. However, the name of First Maccabees was retained since that is what it is commonly known as today. 

First Maccabees was not included in the ASV which was the starting point for the rest of the UPDV Bible (except Sirach). The following text was used as the starting point in the UPDV Bible for First Maccabees: The Holy Bible Translated, from the Latin Vulgate; Diligently Compared with the Hebrew, Greek, and other Editions in Divers Languages. Baltimore: John Murphy Company, 1914.