The Info List - 1 Esdras

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1 Esdras (Greek: Ἔσδρας Αʹ), also Greek Esdras, Greek Ezra, or 3 Esdras, is an ancient Greek version of the biblical Book
of Ezra in use among the early church, and many modern Christians with varying degrees of canonicity. First Esdras is substantially the same as Masoretic Ezra. As part of the Septuagint
translation of the Old Testament, it is regarded as canonical in the churches of the East, but apocryphal in the West.[1] First Esdras is found in Origen's Hexapla. Greek and related versions of the Bible
include both Esdras Αʹ (English title: 1 Esdras) and Esdras Βʹ (Ezra–Nehemiah) in parallel. Overwhelmingly, citations from the scriptural ' Book
of Ezra' in early Christian writings are taken from 1 Esdras; especially from the 'Tale of the Three Guardsmen', which is interpreted as Christological prophecy.


1 Contents 2 Author and criticism 3 Use in the Christian canon 4 Nomenclature

4.1 Summary

5 See also 6 References 7 External links

Contents[edit] Further information: Book
of Ezra First Esdras contains the whole of Ezra with the addition of one section; its verses are numbered differently. Just as Ezra begins with the last two verses of 2 Chronicles, 1 Esdras begins with the last two chapters; this suggests that Chronicles and Esdras may have been read as one book at sometime in the past. Ezra 4:6 includes a reference to a King Ahasuerus. Etymologicaly, Ahasuerus
is the same as Xerxes, who reigned between Darius I
Darius I
and Artaxerxes I. Some scholars, who deemed the reference to Xerxes out of place, identify Ahasuerus
with Cambyses II[2] or with Bardiya, who both reigned before Darius I.[3] In 1 Esdras, the section is reorganized, leading up to the additional section, and the reference to Ahasuerus
is removed. The additional section begins with a story variously known as the 'Darius contest' or 'Tale of the Three Guardsmen' which was interpolated into 1 Esdras 3:4 to 4:4.[4] This section forms the core of 1 Esdras with Ezra 5, which together are arranged in a literary chiasm around the celebration in Jerusalem at the exiles’ return. This chiastic core forms 1 Esdras into a complete literary unit, allowing it to stand independently from the book of Nehemiah. Indeed some scholars, such as W. F. Albright
W. F. Albright
and Edwin M. Yamauchi, believe that Nehemiah
came back to Jerusalem before Ezra.[5][6]


Masoretic Text Septuagint Summary

Continuation of Paralipomenon (i.e., "Things Set Off" from Esdras)

(II Chr. 35) (I Esd. 1:1-33)

(II Chr. 36) (I Esd. 1:34-58)

Begin Ezra

Ezr. 1 I Esd. 2:1-14 Cyrus's edict to rebuild the Temple

Ezr. 4:7-24 I Esd. 2:15-30a Flash forward to Artaxerxes’ reign (prolepsis)

Core:  Chiasm of Celebration

— I Esd. 2:30b     Inclusio:   Work hindered until second year of Darius’s reign

— I Esd. 3         A  Feast in the court of Darius with Darius contest

— I Esd. 4             B  Darius vows to repatriate the exiles

— I Esd. 5:1-6                 X  The feast of those who returned to Jerusalem

Ezr. 2 I Esd. 5:7-46             B'  List of former exiles who returned

Ezr. 3 I Esd. 5:47-65         A'  Feast of Tabernacles

Ezr. 4:1-5[7] I Esd. 5:66-73     Inclusio:   Work hindered until second year of Darius’s reign


Ezr. 5 I Esd. 6:1-22 In the second year of Darius's reign

Ezr. 6 I Esd. 6:23 — 7 The temple is finished

Ezr. 7 I Esd. 8:1-27 In Artaxerxes’ reign

Ezr. 8 I Esd. 8:28-67 List of latter exiles who returned

Ezr. 9 I Esd. 8:68-90 Repentance from miscegenation

Ezr. 10 I Esd. 8:91-9:36      Putting away of foreign wives and children

(Neh. 7:73-8:12) (I Esd. 9:37-55)

Author and criticism[edit]

The Septuagint: A column of uncial text from 1 Esdras in the Codex Vaticanus, the basis of Sir Lancelot Charles Lee Brenton's Greek edition and English translation.

The purpose of the book seems to be the presentation of the dispute among the courtiers, the 'Tale of the Three Guardsmen', to which details from the other books are added to complete the story. Since there are various discrepancies in the account, most scholars hold that the work was written by more than one author. However, some scholars believe that this work may have been the original, or at least the more authoritative; the variances that are contained in this work are so striking that more research is being conducted.[citation needed] Furthermore, there is disagreement as to what the original language of the work was, Greek, Aramaic, or Hebrew.[citation needed] Because of similarities to the vocabulary in the Book
of Daniel, it is presumed by some that the authors came from Lower Egypt
Lower Egypt
and some or all may have even had a hand in the translation of Daniel. Assuming this theory is correct, many scholars consider the possibility that one chronicler wrote this book.[citation needed] Josephus
makes use of the book and some scholars believe that the composition is likely to have taken place in the first century BC or the first century AD. Many Protestant and Catholic scholars assign no historical value to the sections of the book not duplicated in Ezra-Nehemiah. The citations of the other books of the Bible, however, provide an early alternative to the Septuagint
for those texts, which increases its value to scholars. In the current Greek texts, the book breaks off in the middle of a sentence; that particular verse thus had to be reconstructed from an early Latin translation. However, it is generally presumed that the original work extended to the Feast of Tabernacles, as described in Nehemiah
8:13–18. An additional difficulty with the text appears to readers who are unfamiliar with chiastic structures common in Semitic literature. If the text is assumed to be a Western-style, purely linear narrative, then Artaxerxes seems to be mentioned before Darius, who is mentioned before Cyrus. (Such jumbling of the order of events, however, is also presumed by some readers to exist in the canonical Ezra and Nehemiah.) The Semitic chiasm is corrected in at least one manuscript of Josephus
in the Antiquities of the Jews, Book
11, chapter 2 where we find that the name of the above-mentioned Artaxerxes is called Cambyses. Use in the Christian canon[edit] The book was widely quoted by early Christian authors and it found a place in Origen's Hexapla. It was invariably included in canons of the Western Church as the first of the 'two books of Ezra'; but dropped out of use as Jerome
excluded it from his Vulgate
translation. Clement VIII placed it in an appendix to the Vulgate
with other apocrypha "lest they perish entirely".[8] However, the use of the book continued in the Eastern Church, and it remains a part of the Eastern Orthodox canon. In the Roman rite liturgy, the book is cited once in the Extraordinary Missal of 1962 and, prior, in the Offertory of the votive Mass for the election of a Pope. “Non participentur sancta, donec exsurgat póntifex in ostensiónem et veritátem. – Let them not take part in the holy things, until there arise a priest unto showing and truth.” (3 Esdras 5, 40). [9] Some scholars, including Joseph Blenkinsopp in his 1988 commentary on Ezra–Nehemiah, hold that the book is a late 2nd/early 1st century BC revision of Esdras and Esdras β,[10] while others such as L. L. Grabbe believe it to be independent of the Hebrew-language Ezra-Nehemiah.[11] Nomenclature[edit] Main article: Esdras The book normally called 1 Esdras is numbered differently among various versions of the Bible. In most editions of the Septuagint, the book is titled in Greek: Ἔσδρας Αʹ and is placed before the single book of Ezra–Nehemiah, which is titled in Greek: Ἔσδρας Βʹ. Summary[edit]

and its derivative translations: Ἔσδρας Αʹ = 1 Esdras King James Version
King James Version
and many[12] successive English translations: 1 Esdras Clementine Vulgate
and its derivative translations: 3 Esdras Slavonic Bible: 2 Esdras Ethiopic Bible: Ezra Kali[13]

See also[edit]

Esdras 2 Esdras Septuagint Ocidelus


^ For example, it is listed among the Apocrypha in Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles
Thirty-Nine Articles
of the Church of England. Read Article VI at episcopalian.org Archived 2007-09-28 at the Wayback Machine. ^ Gill's Exposition of the Whole Bible, as quoted by Bible.cc/ezra/4-7.htm ^ Clarke's Commentary on the Bible, as quoted by Bible.cc/ezra/4-7.htm ^ Charles C. Torrey (1910). Ezra Studies. University of Chicago Press. p. 58.  ^ W. F. Albright, "The Date and Personality of the Chronicler", JBL 40 (1921), 121. Full text. ^ Edwin Yamauchi, "The Reverse Order of Ezra/ Nehemiah
Reconsidered," Themelios
5.3 (1980), 7-13. Full text. ^ Ezra 4:6, which introduces a difficult "King Ahasuerus," is not found in I Esdras. ^ Liber Esdrae Tertius Apocrypha. ^ [1] ^ Blenkinsopp, Joseph, "Ezra-Nehemiah: A Commentary" (Eerdmans, 1988) pp.70–71 ^ Grabbe, L.L., "A history of the Jews and Judaism in the Second Temple Period, Volume 1" (T&T Clark, 2004) p.83 ^ Including RSV, NRSV, NEB, REB, and GNB ^ Ethiopian Ezra Kali means "2 Ezra".

External links[edit]

Wikiquote has quotations related to: 1 Esdras

Greek Wikisource
has original text related to this article: The complete Greek text of 1 Esdras

has original text related to this article: The complete text of Wycliffe's 1 Esdras

has original text related to this article: The complete Authorised Version of 1 Esdras

Full text of 1 Esdras from the University of Virginia's Etext Center Various translations of 1 Esdras at the World Wide Study Bible Catholic Encyclopedia: Esdras: THE BOOKS OF ESDRAS: III Esdras Jewish Encyclopedia: Esdras, Books of: I Esdras 1 Esdras 1 – NRSV 1 Esdras at Early Jewish Writings 1 Ezra: 2012 Critical Translation with Audio Drama at biblicalaudio  "Ezra, Third Book
of". Encyclopædia Britannica (11th ed.). 1911. 


Preceded by 1–2 Chronicles E. Orthodox Books of the Bible Succeeded by Ezra-Nehemiah (2 Esdras)

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