Jay Dyer has been attempting to make a case for the Orthodox canonization of the Apocrypha. One of Dyer’s many delinquencies in this respect is his failure to interact with critical scholarship. Consider, for example, some of what the author of the standard commentary on the apocryphal interpolations to Daniel, Esther, and Jeremiah has to say:
“The Additions to Daniel, Esther, and Jeremiah consist of those eleven extended passages in the Septuagint which have no counterpart in the Hebrew Bible…On one point virtually all modern scholars agree, namely, all the Additions with one possible exception, are secondary and intrusive, that is, each of them was added after the particular book in question had attained its final form. In other words, with the possible exception of one passage in Daniel, none of these Additions is a ‘survivor’ or witness to a passage that was in the Semitic text of Daniel, Esther, or Jeremiah when that particular book *was first written*,” C. Moore, Daniel, Esther and Jeremiah: The Additions (Doubleday 1977), 3-4.
“How do we know this? Sometimes, as with the Additions to Esther, inconsistencies and contradictions between the canonical and the deuterocanonical portions prove that the Additions had not been had integral part of the book but were added later. Sometimes, as with ‘Susanna,’ ‘Bel and the Snake,’ and, especially ‘The Prayer of Azariah and the Hymn of the Three Young Men,’ the Septuagint (the LXX), in contrast with the later ‘Theodotion’ version, shows what the particular Addition in question was originally separate and circulated quite independently of the biblical book in which it is now found. Other times, such as I Baruch, the presence of certain religious teachings and historical errors argue against the authenticity of the material in question,” ibid. 4-5.
“…the external evidence supports and reinforces the impression drawn from the internal evidence, i.e. there are no ancient Hebrew or Aramaic texts containing any of these additions, no indisputable instances of their being quoted in the Talmud, and no extant Greek translation of them by Aquila, the Jewish convert of the second century AD, who translated the then-current Masoretic text (MT) into slavishly literal Greek,” ibid. 7.
“Perhaps the one incontestable generalization that can be made concerning these Greek Additions [to Daniel] is that, with the possible exception of one passage within the first Addition (i.e. the Prose Narrative [see pp63-65]), all the Additions to Daniel are clearly intrusive and secondary, that is, they were added at various times after what we call canonical Daniel had taken its’ final’ form. Both the external and internal evidence clearly support this conclusion,” ibid. 24.
As for the external evidence, not only are these Additions lacking in the present MT, but there is no manuscript evidence for their existence among the Jews of antiquity. No Jewish writer in the Talmud either quotes or alludes to these specific Additions; nor does Josephus, even though in his Jewish Antiquities (ca. AD 93-94) he provides his readers with other apocryphal stories about the prophet Daniel (Ant. x 11.6-7). Nor has any evidence of them been found among the Dead Sea scrolls, this in spite of the fact that at least seven copies of Daniel, some of them admittedly quite fragmentary, have been found at Qumran, as well as three heretofore unknown stories about Daniel in Aramaic fragments (see p120). Nor do scholars know of any Greek translation of these Additions by Aquila, the second-century Jewish convert to translated the then-current rabbinic text into ridiculously literal Greek (on Aquila, see Roberts, OTTV, 120-1232). All ancient Semitic versions of Daniel, including the Syriac, the Syro-Hexaplar, the Arabic, and the Aramaic, as well as other versions such as the Old Latin, the Vulgate, the Ethiopic, Bohiaric, and Sahidic, are clearly based upon the Greek versions, i.e. upon either the Septuagint or “Theodotion”. Finally, Jerome himself (340-420) expressly stated that he knew of no current Semitic text of the additions,” ibid. 24.
The internal evidence certainly corroborates the case made by the external evidence…these generalizations and assertions will be discussed in detail later on at the appropriate places,” ibid. 24.
Beyond these considerations, I’d like to hear Dyer explain and defend which text of Daniel—with special reference to the apocryphal interpolations—represents the authentic text or the official text of the Orthodox church. This is why I ask:
“The longer version of Daniel is known primarily from the Greek, surviving in two rather different editions. The older edition, the ‘Septuagint’ proper, survives in its entirety only in a single manuscript, Codex Chisianus from the ninth century (Codes 87; Papyrus 967 contains chs. 5-14), and in the Syriac translation of Origen’s edition of the Septuagint (Pfeiffer 1949; 4:33,441; Moore 1977: 33). The more recent edition, called 'Theodotion,' displaced the older 'Septuagint' edition in the usage of the Christian church by the late third century, so that all the major codices of what we call the Septuagint actually contain the Theodotion edition Daniel…Theodotion prepared his version in the early second century CE, but appears to have utilized an earlier Greek text of Daniel that differed markedly from the Septuagint (Grelot 1966),” D. deSilva, Introducing the Apocrypha (Baker 2004), 222-223.
“Also debated is the question of Daniel-Theodotion in particular. Some argue that the characteristics of this translation do not fit those found in materials otherwise attributed to Theodotion,” K. Jobes & M. Silva, Invitation to the Septuagint (Baker 2005), 42.