Esdras ( _el. Εσδρας) is a Greco-Latin variation of the name of the scribe Ezra. It is still often used to refer to several books of
Bibleassociated with the scribe.
Differences in names
The books associated with the scribe Ezra are titled differently in different versions of the Bible. The following table summarizes the various names:
Thirty-nine Articlesfollow the naming convention of the Vulgate. Likewise, the Vulgate enumeration is often used by modern scholars, who nevertheless use the name Ezra to avoid confusion with the Greek and Slavonic enumerations: 1 Ezra, 2 Ezra, 3 Ezra, 4 Ezra, 5 Ezraand 6 Ezra.
The two books universally considered canonical (line 1 and 2 above) were originally one book titled "Ezra" or "Esdras". In the early
middle ages, the Hebrew and Latin bibles began to divide it into two books, which were titled "Ezra" and "Nehemiah" in Hebrew and "1 Esdras" and "2 Esdras" (and sometimes "Nehemias") in Latin, respectively. Later on, most English translations followed the Hebrew titles while the Douay Rheimsversion followed the Vulgate. The Greek canon retained Ezra/Nehemia as a single book and called it "Esdras B" to distinguish it from "Esdras A".
The latter book (line 3 above) does not form part of either the Hebrew or the Latin canon though it was often included in Latin manuscripts and editions of the Bible under the title "3 Esdras". The Douay Rheims version followed this title, while other English versions chose a separate numbering for apocryphical books and called it "
1 Esdras" (using the Greek form to differentiate the apocryphical book from the canonical "Ezra"). The Greek bible, which included the book placed it before "Esdras B" and thefore called it "Esdras A".
Another non-canonical book (line 4 above) is contained in some Latin bibles as 4 Esdras and some Slavonic manuscripts as 3 Esdras. Except for the Douay Rheims version (which follows the Vulgate), most English versions containing this book call it
2 Esdras(again using the Greek form for the apocryphical book). The book is not included in the Greek Septuagint and complete copy of the Greek text has not survived, though it is quoted by the Church fathers. [ [http://126.96.36.199/search?q=cache:IOABJPDdNUAJ:www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp%3Fletter%3DE%26artid%3D463+%22Greek+Fathers+quote+it+as%22+%22The+most+common+modern+name+is%22&hl=de&ct=clnk&cd=6&gl=de Jewish Encyclopedia: Esdras, Books of] .] Due to its apocalypticcontent, the book also has been called "Esdras the Prophet", "Apocalyptic Esdras" or "Jewish Apocalypse of Ezra". Because the most complete extant text is in Latin, the book is also called "Latin Esdras". [ [http://net.bible.org/dictionary.php?word=Apocalyptic%20Esdras NETBible: Apocalyptic Esdras ] ]
The Latin version differs from other versions in that it contains additional opening and closing chapters, which are also called 5 Ezra and 6 Ezra by scholars.
Other books associated with Ezra are the Greek
Greek Apocalypse of Ezraand the Vision of Ezra.
All Christians and Jews consider Ezra and Nehemiah to be canonical. Jews, Roman Catholics, and Protestants do not generally recognize
1 Esdrasand 2 Esdrasas being canonical. Eastern Orthodox generally consider 1 Esdrasto be canonical, but not 2 Esdras.
* [http://www.newadvent.org/cathen/05535a.htm Catholic Encyclopedia: Esdras II. The Books of Esdras]
* [http://188.8.131.52/search?q=cache:IOABJPDdNUAJ:www.jewishencyclopedia.com/view.jsp%3Fletter%3DE%26artid%3D463+%22Greek+Fathers+quote+it+as%22+%22The+most+common+modern+name+is%22&hl=de&ct=clnk&cd=6&gl=de Jewish Encyclopedia: Esdras, Books of]
*bibleverse|1|Esdras|1|NRSV - NRSV
*bibleverse|2|Esdras|1|NRSV - NRSV
* [http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/1esdras.html 1 Esdras at earlyjewishwritings.com]
* [http://www.earlyjewishwritings.com/2esdras.html 2 Esdras at earlyjewishwritings.com]
Wikimedia Foundation. 2010.