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Christian Influence on the Transmission History of 4, 5, and 6 Ezra

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Chapter Summary

4 Ezra, a highly sophisticated Jewish apocalypse, was apparently written in Hebrew, in the land of Israel, between 90 and 100 CE. 5 Ezra, also an 'Ezra' pseudepigraphon, seems most likely to be a Christian writing of the 2nd or 3rd century; its provenance and original language are uncertain. 6 Ezra is an anonymous work that seems to date from the 3rd century CE; it was probably written in Greek by a Christian living in the eastern Mediterranean region. Each of these three works has a complex history of transmission. Due to the circumstances of its composition and attestation, 4 Ezra presents an unusually useful case for evaluating the extent and character of Christian influence on the transmission of a pseudepigraphic writing. 4 and 6 Ezra presumably were translated from Greek into Latin separately and at a relatively early date. 5 Ezra is known in Latin in the 5th century.

Keywords: Christian writing; Ezra; Greek; Hebrew; Israel; Latin

10.1163/9789004275171_004
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