The end of tribalism?

A Thorn in the Flesh

At out most recent bible study at GPC we were having a conversation about tribalism, no doubt sparked by the rise in nationalistic and populist movements in the world. We came across the conversation as we have been reviewing the 1 Maccabees, which is not a common text for bible study but we wanted to look at a book that might closely resemble the world of Jesus Christ and Maccabees comes pretty close.

If the world, or at least the Ancient Near East, resembles, even remotely close, to the way portrayed in Maccabees, we see a tribalism par excel lance! While the Greek overlords try and keep the Seleucid Empire together, they find rebellions everywhere as local warriors rise up against them, the Maccabees are no different. It would seem as soon as one revolt is put down, another arises and all the while the Judeans find ways of exert…

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