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Alison Rowan, Understanding authentia in 3 Maccabees 2, 29

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It appears that in this text of ca. 100 BCE, authentia carries a more forceful meaning than right, self-determination, permission, authority, word, writ, decree, command or edict. I would propose that the alternative cognates, auto and entea, confer the correct nuance to the word as one of violence and death, rather than auto and hentes, which was assumed. There is no justifiable support for the use of those cognates, since meanings derived from them are inconsistent with the context of this passage. I suggest that here, authentia, should be understood to be derived from auto and entea and that it is likely to have the meaning:

“permission to sacrifice”

I would therefore propose that the translation of verses 28 and 29 could be justifiably amended to the following”

“Absolutely no persons are to enter their own Temple in order to make burnt offerings; moreover all the Jews are to be registered as slaves; that all who are reported resisting shall be forcibly seized and put to death. Furthermore, those who are thus registered, are to be branded with the ivy leaf symbol of Dionysus, and to be separated for this conditional permission to sacrifice.”

Might this be worth consideration?



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