2 Esdras (also called 4 Esdras, Latin Esdras, or Latin Ezra) is the name of an apocalyptic book in many English versions of the Bible. Its authorship is ascribed to Ezra, a scribe and priest of the 5th century BCE, although modern scholarship places its composition between 70 and 218 CE. It is reckoned among the apocrypha by Roman Catholics, Protestants, and most Eastern Orthodox Christians. 2 Esdras was excluded by Jerome from his Vulgate version of the Old Testament, but from the 9th century onwards the Latin text is sporadically found as an appendix to the Vulgate, inclusion becoming more general after the 13th century.
As with 1 Esdras, there is some confusion about the numbering of this book. The Vulgate of Jerome includes only a single book of Ezra, but in the Clementine Vulgate 1, 2, 3 and 4 Esdras are separate books. Protestant writers, after the Geneva Bible, called 1 and 2 Esdras of the Vulgate, Ezra and Nehemiah; and called 3 and 4 Esdras of the Vulgate, 1 Esdras and 2 Esdras respectively. These then became the common names for these books in English Bibles.
Medieval Latin manuscripts denoted it 4 Esdras, which to this day is the name used for chapters 3-14 in modern critical editions, which are typically in Latin, the language of its most complete exemplars.
It appears in the Appendix to the Old Testament in the Slavonic Bible, where it is called 3 Esdras, and the Georgian Orthodox Bible numbers it 3 Ezra. This text is sometimes also known as Apocalypse of Ezra (chapters 3-14 known as the Jewish Apocalypse of Ezra or 4 Ezra. In modern critical editions, chapters 1-2 are named as 5 Ezra, and chapters 15-16 as 6 Ezra). Bogaert speculates that the 'fourth book of Ezra' referred to by Jerome most likely corresponds to modern 5 Ezra and 6 Ezra combined together - and notes a number of Latin manuscripts where these chapters are together in an appendix.
View the Chapters of 2 Esdras:
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16