The Scripture Reading Plan I'm following moves 2 Maccabees 2 today, which focuses on the story of Judas Maccabeus, one of the great warrior heroes of Judaism who led the revolt against the Seleucids between 167 and 160 BC.
Accordingly, it basically covers the same ground as the first part of 1 Maccabees. It is the last of the historical books of the Old Testament, but was probably actually written before 1 Maccabees.
Whereas 1 Maccabees is more historical in focus, covering the lives of all the Maccabee brothers up to the point at which the Jews attain political and religious independence, 2 Maccabees is more explicitly theological.
2 Maccabees is particularly important from a Christian perspective in emphasising the value of suffering and martyrdom, its firm belief in the resurrection of the dead, and particularly in its articulation of the links between the Church Militant, Suffering and Triumphant. The text points out that the living can help the dead by their prayers and sacrifices, and that the saints in heaven can intercede for the living.
Aim to finish it by the 21st....