The nickname “Maccabeus” probably meant “the hammerer.” Judas is also sometimes called Judah Maccabee… The Maccabees, also known as Hasmoneans, included Mattathias and several generations of descendants, starting with Judas and his brothers, John, Simon, Eleazar and Jonathan. Their story is told in G.F. Handel‘s popular operatic oratorio, “Judas Maccabeus” (1746)… For complex reasons, the books 1 and 2 Maccabees appear in Catholic and Orthodox Christian bibles and the “Apocrypha” appended to some Protestant Christian bibles, but not in Jewish ones… Filmmaker Mel Gibson was rumored in 2004 to be considering a Maccabee movie in the wake of his successful The Passion of the Christ, but his next project turned out to be Apocalypto, set in the ancient Mayan civilization (scheduled release: December 2006).
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