We use cookies to enhance your experience on our website. By continuing to use our website, you are agreeing to our use of cookies. You can change your cookie settings at any time. Find out more
Select Bible Use this Lookup to open a specific Bible and passage. Start here to select a Bible.
Make selected Bible the default for Lookup tool.
Book: Ch.V. Select book from A-Z list, enter chapter and verse number, and click "Go."
:
OR
  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result

The Oxford Handbook of Biblical Studies Provides a comprehensive survey of Biblical scholarship in a variety of disciplines.

Other Texts Probably Composed in Hebrew or Aramaic

The presence of Semitisms in the Greek texts of the books not so far discussed (Judith, the additions to Esther (except for additions B and E), Baruch, the Letter of Jeremiah, the additions to the Greek Book of Daniel, 1 Maccabees, 1 Esdras) has led to the view that each of these was also composed in Hebrew or Aramaic, even though we lack textual proof of this of the kind available, for example, in the case of Tobit. However, apart from very brief comment on three of these writings, it must suffice here to refer to the Bibliography for references to text editions and studies.

The Additions to the Book of Esther

The Greek translation of Esther differs from the Hebrew in a number of respects, including the addition of six passages that are not present in the Hebrew. These additions were placed by Jerome at the end of his Latin translation of the book (cf. Weber 1969: i. 724–30) and were included as a block in the Apocrypha of the AV and RV without the rest of the text. The NRSV, like other recent translations, gives a translation of the complete Greek text of Esther with the additions included in their correct place in the narrative. The presence of Semitisms in the Greek text of additions A, C, D, and F has led to the view that these additions were composed in Hebrew or Aramaic (cf. Moore 1973; 1977: 155), but in view of their florid and rhetorical style it seems clear that additions B and E were composed in Greek.

The Additions to the Greek Book of Daniel

The Greek translation of Daniel, in a way similar to that of Esther, differs from the Hebrew and Aramaic text in a number of respects, including the addition of three passages that are not in the Hebrew or Aramaic: the Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Jews; Susanna; and Bel and the Dragon. The Greek text of the additions, like that of the canonical book itself, exists in two forms: the Old Greek, or Septuagint, represented by papyrus 967, from the beginning of the third century, miniscule 88, and the Syrohexaplar; and the version attributed to Theodotion, represented by virtually all the other manuscripts and witnesses; for an overview of the textual evidence, see Moore 1977: 30–4, 52–3, 92, 129; Collins 1993: 2–12. Papyrus 967, as a pre-Hexaplaric witness to the Old Greek, represents a very important addition to the evidence of 88 and Syh, which were both subject to Hexaplaric influence, and for this reason the revised edition of Ziegler's original 1954 Göttingen edition by Munnich (1999), which takes full account of 967, is indispensable for the study of the Book of Daniel and the additions. In the revised edition the Old Greek and the Theodotionic text are given on facing pages. However, it was the Theodotonic text that was adopted by the Church, and it is this text that forms the basis of the NRSV translation of the additions.

In all the witnesses the Prayer of Azariah and the Song of the Three Jews are inserted in chapter 3 after verse 23, but the position of Susanna and of Bel and the Dragon varies: in 967 the order is Daniel, Bel and the Dragon, Susanna; in 88 and Syh, Daniel, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon; in the Theodotionic version, Susanna, Daniel, Bel and the Dragon. The story of Susanna in both the Old Greek and in Theodotion serves to explain how Daniel came to prominence and was thus an appropriate figure to be trained at the court of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 1), and the placing of the story before the book in Theodotion is in accordance with this understanding (Knibb 2001: i. 27–8). The Vulgate largely follows the Theodotionic version, but adopts the order Daniel, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon, and it is this order that is followed in the NRSV and in other English translations.

It is widely accepted that the additions, with the possible exception of the prose material in 3: 24–5, 46–50, were composed in a Semitic language, probably Hebrew (cf. e.g. Moore 1977: 5–6, 25–6, 44–9, 81–4, 119–20; Collins 1993: 199, 202–5, 410–11, 427–8).

1 Esdras

The difficulty with 1 Esdras is to know whether it is a fragment of a translation of a more original form of the biblical account of the restoration under Ezra, in which the story of the three young men has been interpolated, perhaps at the Greek stage, or whether it should be regarded as a new compilation or composition based on Chronicles, Ezra, and Nehemiah; for representatives of the two views, see, for example, Pohlmann (1970, 1980) and Williamson (1977: 12–36; 1996). However, it seems most likely that 1 Esdras should be regarded as a new composition, and thus Talshir, for example, has recently argued that 1 Esdras was based on a section of Chronicles–Ezra–Nehemiah, and that the book ‘was created for the purpose of retelling the history of the Restoration in such a way that it revolved around the Story of the Three Youths and its hero Zerubbabel’ (1999: 106). Talshir has argued that the story of the three young men was composed in Aramaic, and in any case it seems likely that the whole book is a translation of a Semitic original.

  • Previous Result
  • Results
  • Look It Up Highlight any word or phrase, then click the button to begin a new search.
  • Highlight On / Off
  • Next Result
Oxford University Press

© 2020. All Rights Reserved. Cookie Policy | Privacy Policy | Legal Notice