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Susanna is a narrative about a beautiful Jewish wife living in Babylon who becomes the object of the lustful schemes of two perverse Jewish elders. Because she refuses their advances, they falsely accuse her of an adulterous affair. She is condemned to death. But in answer to her prayer, God sends the young Daniel to defend her. His cross-examination exposes their deceit; Susanna is spared; and they are executed. The moral: God vindicates virtue.


Canonical Status:

Among the Deuterocanonical books of Roman Catholic, Greek Orthodox, and Russian Orthodox Churches Among the Old Testament Apocrypha of Protestants Not included in the Hebrew Scriptures - Tanak Daniel 13 in the Septuagint (Greek) and Vulgate (Latin) translations


Author: anonymous Jewish author of the diaspora


Date: 2nd century BC


Original Language:

Two quite different Greek versions of the story survive in the Septuagint and Theodotion, both marked by semitisms. Some scholars argue for an Aramaic or Hebrew Vorlage, although no Semitic original survives.

Notes prepared by George Lyons (Professor of Biblical Literature)

for the Wesley Center for Applied Theology at Northwest Nazarene University

Copyright 2000 by the Wesley Center for Applied Theology

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