DANIEL, Book of. In the Greek Bible and its daughter versions, as well as in the Syriac Peshita, the Latin Vulgate and most modern translations, the book of Daniel has a position among the Prophets; but in the Hebrew Bible its place is among the Hagiographa, near the end of the collection. The earliest testi mony of the latter arrangement is found in the Babylonian Talmud
The Massoretic text differs from all early versions, with the doubtful exceptions of the Syriac Peshita and Aquila, in excluding the deutero-canonical parts, and especially from the oldest Greek version in many other respects. There is a tendency at present to assume that the prayer of Azanah, the hymn of the three friends of Daniel, the fable of Susanna and the stories of Bel and the Dragon were trans lated from an Aramaic original. But it is also widely recognized that these sections are likely to be later additions in the original, though ear lier than the Greek version. The oldest testi mony to the text is unquestionably this Greek version for which the Church substituted Theo dotion's. The latter seems to have had for its foundation a version of which traces are already found in the 1st century A.D. There is no valid reason for questioning that the old Greek trans lation was a fairly faithful, though not very elegant, rendering of the text current about 100 B.C. This text itself was not free from additions and transpositions; but its most im portant characteristic was the apparent absence in it of many later embellishments of the Mas soretic text. Thus the image of gold was 6 cubits high, and not 60 (iii, I), and the enemies who secured the edict from the king, spied upon Daniel, had him punished, and were themselves thrown to the lions together with their families (vi) were the two fellow-presidents, and not all the rulers of the empire. The only manuscript
extant of the old Greek version was published by Magistris in 1772, and by Cozza in 1877; a valuable Syriac translation of it made by Paul of Tella in 617 A.D. was published by Bugati in 1788, and by Ceriani in 1874. The Old Latin, Coptic, Ethiopic, Arabic, Georgian, Armenian and Slavonic versions were made from Theodo tion, the Syriac Peshita and the Latin Vulgate from a Hebrew-Aramaic text nearer the Mas soretic.
One part (i, 4a; viii-xii) of the proto canonical book is in Hebrew, another part (ii; 4b-vii, 28) in Aramaic. The Hebrew is of a late type; the Aramaic is not Mesopotamian or Babylonian, but the Judean dialect. Various theories have been proposed to explain this bilingual character. Some have thought that the author began his work in Hebrew, but changed into Aramaic to reproduce the words of the Chaldmans in the dialect they spoke, or he supposed that they spoke, and then returned to the Hebrew to conceal in the sacred tongue what was meant only for the wise men of his own people. Corrodi, Geschichte des Chiliasmus> (1781), suggested that the whole book was originally written in Hebrew, but that the author himself translated some parts into Aramaic; Lenormant, Bevan, Haupt, Barton, Prince, Riessler and G. Jahn thought that, a part of the original having been lost, the Ara maic translation was substituted for it. Huet, (Demonstratio evangelica> (1679), Marti, Buhl, Wright, Charles and Buttenwieser have ex pressed the view that the whole book was orig inally written in Aramaic, but that either the beginning and the end were translated into Hebrew or the original was used for certain missing parts of the Hebrew translation. Spi noza, (Tractatus theologico-politicus> supposed that the Aramaic parts were written by Chaldman chroniclers. Eichorn (Allgemeine Bibliothek, 1787), considered ii, 4b-vii as an earlier Aramaic work, while he assumed that the remainder was written in Hebrew. This view has been revived by Meinhold, Strack, Dal man, Torrey, Sellin, Kent and Schmidt. Most of these students look upon i-ii, 4a as a trans lation from the Aramaic and vii as an Aramaic version. It seems more probable that the story book was written in Aramaic, that vii was a late addition to this work in the same language, and that the author of the visions, who affected the use of Hebrew, wrote i-ii, 4a as an intro duction to take the place of some other exor dium.