Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Hanukkah as Part of Christian History

Happy Hanukkah to My Jewish brothers and sisters!

I was thinking about what this festival means in the Christian story.

"At that time the festival of the Dedication took place in Jerusalem. It was winter, and Jesus was walking in the temple, in the temple in the portico of Solomon." Jn. 10:22
 Church in Zabludow

This is a reference to Hanukkah (sometimes spelled Chanukah), the eight day Festival of Lights.

If you have a Catholic Bible*, you'll have the book of Maccabees in it and you can read about the origin of this festival. Look at 1 Mac. 4 and 2 Mac. 10. I'll just quote a bit. Here's 1 Mac. 4: 52-56. "Early in the morning on the twenty-fifth day of the ninth month, which is the month of Chis'lev, in the one hundred forty-eighth year, they rose and offered sacrifice, as the law directs, on the new altar of burnt offering that they had built. At the very season and on the very day that the Gentiles had profaned it... So they celebrated the dedication of the altar for eight days..."

The Talmud adds that they had not enough oil, yet the lamps burned for eight days.

* To learn more about why Catholics have more books than Protestant Bibles, check out this YouTube video about a book by Gary Michutacalled Why Catholic Bibles are Bigger.

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