2 Esdras

One 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:

  • 2 Esdras - RSV translation [posted by U of Michigan Library].
  • Introduction to 4 Ezra - John W. Taylor's paper for a 2002 seminar for PhD students [posted by Tyndale House, Cambridge U, UK].
  • The Book of 4 Ezra - handout for 2002 lecture by James Davila highlights basic features & issues of scholarly debate [U of St. Andrews, Scotland].

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