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Stories of Biblical and Early Post-Biblical Times

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Chapter Summary

This chapter discusses an older type of narrative, which is only loosely connected with biblical traditions about Israel's past. The Book of Tobit and quite possibly an early stratum in Judith are older than the final form of the canonical Book of Daniel. Daniel 1-6 is a cycle of stories about Jewish courtiers in Babylon and their dealings with Mesopotamian kings. Two factors indicate that the Prayer of Nabonidus represents a stage of the tradition that is earlier than the story in Daniel 4. Susanna story is one of several additions to the Book of Daniel, found only in the Greek translations of the book. The stories in Bel and the Dragon make use of traditional motifs. 3 Maccabees was composed in a florid, bombastic style of Greek. Its concentration on the problems of Alexandrian Judaism strongly suggests that it was, in fact written in Egypt.

Keywords: 3 Maccabees; biblical traditions; Book of Daniel; Book of Tobit; Judith; Prayer of Nabonidus; Susanna story

10.1163/9789004275119_003
/content/books/b9789004275119s003
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