of the few books of the canonical apocrypha
not found in the Septuagint.
While it probably was composed in Greek, it has survived only in
translations [Latin, Syriac, etc.], except for a small Greek papyrus
fragment of ch. 15 [pOxy 1010]. The core of the work [ch. 3-14] is a
composite Jewish apocalypse composed in the last 3rd of the 1st. c CE. The anti-Jewish preface & epilogue to the visions credited
to the scribe Ezra [ch. 1-2, 15-16] were composed by later Christian
scribes. Since early Greek & Latin translations of Nehemiah were
entitled 2 Esdras, this book is often identified by the
Vulgate title: 4 Esdras (or 4 Ezra).
Other resources on line:
Esdras - RSV translation [posted by U of Michigan Library].
to 4 Ezra - John W. Taylor's paper for a 2002 seminar for
PhD students [posted by Tyndale House, Cambridge U, UK].
Book of 4 Ezra - handout for 2002 lecture by James Davila
highlights basic features & issues of scholarly debate [U of
St. Andrews, Scotland].
Perspective on the World of Jesus
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Mahlon H. Smith
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an American Theological
Library Association Selected Religion Website
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