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The Structure and Composition of 5 Ezra

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image of Vigiliae Christianae

5 Ezra (2 Esdras 1-2), an early Christian pseudepigraphical writing, describes God’s decision to abandon his originally chosen people and transfer his patrimony to a new, “coming” people. This paper argues that 5 Ezra represents a radically revisionist, Christian supersessionist reading of the apocryphal book of Baruch (1 Baruch). This reading was influenced by a number of other biblical sources, most notably Psalm 78, the synoptic gospels, Galatians 4:21-31, and the book of Revelation. The author of 5 Ezra drew overarching structural frameworks for his book from both the book of Baruch and Galatians 4:21-31, melding these two sets of structural principles into an integrated literary whole.

Affiliations: 1: Department of Religion, University of Richmond 28 Westhampton Way, Richmond, VA 23173, USA, Email:


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