In This Article Expand or collapse the "in this article" section Additions to Daniel

  • Introduction
  • General Overviews
  • Language and Historical Background

Biblical Studies Additions to Daniel
Amanda Davis Bledsoe
  • LAST MODIFIED: 26 July 2017
  • DOI: 10.1093/obo/9780195393361-0241


The Additions to Daniel comprise three additional literary texts that are not found in the Hebrew-Aramaic version of the book. These are all set in Babylon with Susanna and Bel and the Dragon featuring Daniel, while in the Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Jews the three friends—Azariah, Hananiah, and Mishael–appear. The Additions include two additional stand-alone narratives about Daniel—Susanna; Bel and the Dragon—as well as a prayer and song that have been integrated within the story of the three Jews in the furnace (Dan 3)–Prayer of Azariah; Song of the Three Jews. It is possible that each of these texts derives from an underlying Semitic original, perhaps an oral rather than a written tradition, although some scholars argue for their original composition in Greek. They are preserved now only in the Greek versions of Daniel and in the later translations. It may be that these were included within the book of Daniel only at the time it was translated into Greek, c. 100 BCE, or that they were composed at that time. The Greek Additions to Daniel, along with several “Pseudo-Daniel” texts found among the Dead Sea Scrolls, attest to the existence of a broader body of Danielic literature in the late Second Temple period. Today, the Additions are considered canonical in Orthodox tradition, deuterocanonical in Roman Catholic tradition, and “apocryphal” in Protestant tradition.

General Overviews

Brooke 2012 provides an excellent starting point for study. Moore 1977, though dated, is still the best and most detailed English-language resource available. The primary benefit of Collins 1993 is its translation of both Greek versions in parallel with detailed textual notes. Koch 1987 provides the most detailed discussion of the textual history and development of the Additions. Kottsieper 1998 argues for a redaction-critical model of the development of the Additions. Lahey 2015 gives a brief introduction to the Additions and offers an alternative argument that they were composed in Greek.

  • Brooke, George. “Additions to Daniel: The Prayer of Azariah, the Song of the Three Jews, Susanna, Bel and the Dragon.” In The Apocrypha. Edited by Martin Goodman, John Barton, and John Muddiman, 120–128. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2012.

    The most recent introduction to the Additions including a discussion of the main scholarly issues: their text, language, genre, and composition. Brooke also offers a brief commentary on each of the Additions.

  • Collins, John J. Daniel: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel. Hermeneia. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993.

    Commentary on the book of Daniel including the Additions. Provides parallel English translations of both Greek versions along with textual notes and academic review.

  • Koch, Klaus. Deuterokanonische Zusätze zum Danielbuch: Entstehung und Textgeschichte. I: Forschungsstand, Programm, Polyglottensynopse; II: Exegetische Erläuterungen. 2 vols. Alter Orient und Altes Testament 38.1–2. Neukirchen-Vluyn, Germany: Neukirchener Verlag, 1987.

    German-language commentary on the Additions. The first volume focuses on the textual development and history of the Additions, while the second volume discusses their exegetical and theological function.

  • Kottsieper, Ingo. “Zusätze zu Daniel.” In Das Buch Baruch, der Brief des Jeremia, Zusätze zu Ester und Daniel. Edited by Odil H. Steck, Reinhard G. Kratz, and Ingo Kottsieper, 211–329. Das Alte Testament Deutsch, Apokryphen 5. Göttingen, Germany: Vandenhoeck & Ruprecht, 1998.

    Focuses on the textual, literary, and historical development of the Additions and their integration within the larger book of Daniel, particularly outlining the compositional and redactional layers of the Additions.

  • Lahey, Lawrence. “The Additions to Daniel.” In T&T Clark Companion to the Septuagint. Edited by James K. Aitken, 555–567. London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015.

    Argues that the Additions were composed in Greek as part of the original Old Greek version, and they are based on exegesis of MT Daniel, originating in a Pharisaic school in Judea. Discusses composition, translation, text-critical issues, ideology, and reception history of each of the Additions to Daniel.

  • Moore, Carey A. Daniel, Esther and Jeremiah: The Additions. Anchor Bible 44. Garden City, NY: Doubleday, 1977.

    Probably still the best English-language commentary on the Additions. Moore discusses their language, origin, literary effect, theology, and history, with a particular focus on their place in the canon. Further provides a comparison between the different versions of the Additions found in the Old Greek and Theodotion.

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