Original Research

Investigating the communicative strategy in 2 Maccabees 3: Six scenes which influence the reader throughout the narrative

Eugene Coetzer, Pierre Jordaan
HTS Teologiese Studies / Theological Studies | Vol 72, No 3 | a3047 | DOI: https://doi.org/10.4102/hts.v72i3.3047 | © 2016 Eugene Coetzer, Pierre Jordaan | This work is licensed under CC Attribution 4.0
Submitted: 19 May 2015 | Published: 08 April 2016

About the author(s)

Eugene Coetzer, Faculty of Ancient Language and Text Studies, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa
Pierre Jordaan, Faculty of Ancient Language and Text Studies, North-West University, Potchefstroom Campus, South Africa, South Africa


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Abstract

The events in the introduction to 2 Maccabees (2 Macc 3:1–39) undoubtedly centre round the Jerusalem Temple. It is depicted as world-renowned, holy and just. Many scholars have therefore highlighted the theme of the Temple in 2 Maccabees, introduced by 2 Maccabees 3. Yet, the reason for the Temple’s centrality is not traditionally seen as more than a mere link to the rest of the narrative. This article, however, asks the question: Why is the author incorporating the Temple in such a specific manner? What is the impact on the implicit reader of this specific depiction of the Temple? In other words, how is the implicit reader’s experience throughout the rest of the narrative influenced by the events in this introduction? To answer these questions, the article identifies six scenes in 2 Maccabees 3 and applies a rhetorical analysis in order to establish the communicative strategy and its possible impact on the implicit reader.

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