Books of Maccabees, are four books so called after the hero of the first two books, namely Judas Maccabaeus. Composed between the 2nd century BCE and the 1st century CE, they were preserved in manuscripts of the Septuagint (=the Greek translation of the Bible). Only the first two books of Maccabees seem to represent a somewhat accurate description of the dramatic historical events of the 2nd century BCE regarding the struggle between the Greek Seleucid rule and the Jews under the leadership of the Maccabees for control over the Land of Israel. The first two Books of Maccabees were partly included in the religious laws (Canon) of the Greek and Latin Church and the Apocrypha ("supplements") of the English Bible. They had a strong impact on Christian values, such as the prayers for the dead after the battle of Yavneh-Yam/Iamneia (Second Book of Maccabees 12, 43-45), which played an important part in the defense of the doctrine of Purgatory.

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