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The Oxford Bible Commentary Line-by-line commentary for the New Revised Standard Version Bible.

1 Esdras - Introduction

1.

Biblical and apocryphal ‘Ezra literature’ consists of three works: the Hebrew Ezra-Nehemiah, regarded by early Jewish tradition as one book; the Greek apocryphal book of the Septuagint; and the Ezra Apocalypse, found first in Latin in the Vulgate. The book discussed here is the apocryphal book found in the LXX. There it is called Esdras A (or 1 Esdras). The Latin translation of the book, found in the Vulgate, is there designated 3 Ezra. 1 Esdras has a complex relation to the Hebrew Ezra-Nehemiah and its Greek translation (known in the LXX as Esdras B).

2.

1 Esdras holds a peculiar position in the canon. Common to other works of the Apocrypha, its existence is not attested to by early Jewish sources, but its extensive use by Josephus, next to Ezra-Nehemiah (Ant. 11.3), suggests that it was known and appreciated. 1 Esdras was quoted and referred to by early Greek and Latin Christian fathers (Myers 1974: 17–18). However, its position in the Western church was greatly affected by Jerome's harsh criticism (with the Ezra Apocalypse). Its canonicity was rejected by the Council of Trent (1546 CE), although it was printed, in small type, as an appendix to the Tridentine Vulgate (Cook 1913: 3). It thus remained in a unique marginal position within large parts of the Christian world.

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