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Fourth Maccabees Intro


THE FORGOTTEN BOOKS OF EDEN

Translated in the late 1800's

by

Dr. S. C. Malan and Dr. E. Trumpp.

Translated into King James English from both the Arabic version and the Ethiopic version which was then published in The Forgotten Books of Eden in 1927 by The World Publishing Company.


FOURTH BOOK OF MACCABEES

part of the "Forgotten" books of Eden

THIS book is like a fearful peal of thunder echoing out of the dim horrors of ancient tyranny. It is a chapter based on persecution by Antiochus, the tyrant of Syria, whom some called Epiphanes, The Madman. Roman history of the first centuries records two such tyrants--the other, Caligula, the Second Brilliant Madman.

The form of this writing is that of an oration. So carefully timed are the risings and fallings of the speech; so devastating are its arguments; so unfaltering is its logic; so deep its thrusts; so cool its reasoning--that it takes its place as a sample of the sheerest eloquence.

The keynote is Courage. The writer begins with an impassioned statement of the Philosophy of Inspired Reason. We like to think of this twentieth Century as the Age of Reason and contrast it with the Age of Myths--yet a writing such as this is a challenge to such an assumption. We find a writer who probably belonged to the first century before the Christian Era stating a clear-cut philosophy of Reason that is just as potent today as it was two thousand years ago.

The setting of the observations in the torture chambers is unrelenting. On our modern ears attuned to gentler things it strikes appallingly. The detail's of the successive tortures (suggesting the instruments of the Spanish Inquisition centuries later) are elaborated in a way shocking to our taste. Even the emergence of the stoical characters of the Old man, the Seven Brothers, and the Mother, does nothing to soften the ferocity with which this orator conjures Courage.

The ancient Fathers of the Christian Church carefully preserved this book (we have it from a Syrian translation) as a work of high moral value and teaching, and it was undoubtedly familiar to many of the early Christian martyrs, who were aroused to the pitch of martyrdom by reading it.

There are two versions of the book :

Dr. S. C. Malan and Dr. E. Trumpp. short version

The old RSV version, long version

both are published here


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Main Index

Introduction Contents Preface Apocalypse of Adam Apocalypse of Moses Illustrations Fourth Maccabees Intro Fourth book of Maccabees Fourth Maccabees, Short The Story of Ahikar Intro The Story of Ahikar Adam and Eve Intro Book 1 Adam and Eve Book 2 Adam and Eve Secrets of Enoch Intro The Secrets of Enoch Psalms of Solomon Intro The Psalms of Solomon Odes of Solomon Intro The Odes of Solomon The Letter of Aristeas Intro The Letter of Aristeas Testaments 12 Patriarchs Testament of Reuben Testament of Simeon Testament of Levi Testament of Judah Testament of Dan Testament of Gad Testament of Issaschar Testament of Asher Testament of Zebulun Testament of Naphtali Testament of Joseph Testament of Benjamin


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