What About Daniel and Esther?
The discussion of the text that is not found in all Bibles concludes by addressing the books of Daniel and Esther.
In some versions of the Bible, the book of Daniel contains 12 chapters, while in others there are 14. These two chapters are both interesting and insightful.
Daniel 13 is the story of upright Suzanna, who is falsely accused of adultery and sentenced to death. God intervenes by revealing to a young Daniel the duplicity of her accusers; Daniel is able to expose their false testimony and save Suzanna.
Daniel 14 contains two stories of Daniel later in his life. First, he shows that the Babylonian god Bel is not living; he then kills Bel’s prophets and destroys the temple. Second, he proceeds to kill a dragon that the people worship. His detractors throw him in a pit of lions for a week; God again intervenes to save Daniel.
As far as Esther, the two accounts seem like a condensed version and an unabridged version. The longer version contains a prelude and a postscript, along with helpful insertions throughout, including the edicts that where issued and the prayers of Mordecai and Esther. The result is a fuller and more detailed understanding of what took place.
These additional passages are found in The Jerusalem Bible, as well as other versions.
Peter DeHaan writes about biblical spirituality, often with a postmodern slant. He seeks a fresh approach to faith and following God through the lens of scripture, without the baggage of made-up traditions and meaningless practices. Read more in his books, blog, and weekly email updates.