Greek Apocalypse of Ezra

The Greek Apocalypse of Ezra is an ancient font Jewish or Christian origin.


The Greek Ezra Apocalypse is so far in two manuscripts known: Handwriting Paris gr 929 from the 15th century formed the basis for the edition by Konstantin von Tischendorf, however, is the text of the manuscript in many places corrupt, so that numerous conjectures are necessary. The new edition of the text by Otto Wahl considered next to the signature Paris gr 390


The Ezra Apocalypse is about a journey of Ezra, which is referred to as a prophet and lover of God, through heaven and the underworld. Deeply moved by the suffering of sinners and their punishments Ezra begins a legal battle with God for his mercy. Here, the question of the justice of God become the basic theme of Scripture.

In addition, however, the Ezra Apocalypse contains sections that leave the main theme and only descriptions of the eschatological contractions (III 0.11 to 15 ) and the underworld, and the punishment of sinners in it (IV 0.5 - V, 5). The question of theodicy does not matter in them. However, these sections are recognizable both because of the content, as well as linguistic and formal criteria as additions to an original font. In these additions, the Christian character of Scripture is clearly protruding eg in reference to Herod's Massacre of the Innocents in Bethlehem in IV, 12 More Christian glosses concerning the mention of Paul and John (I, 19) and of Peter, Paul, Luke and Matthew (V, 22).

Towards the end of the work call the angels of Ezra whose soul back. That, however, refuses to die. Finally, God calls himself Ezra to die. Following a brief controversy and the assurance of God to commemorate Ezra's prayer for the readers of the book of Ezra is on his mind.

Relations with other writings

The largest nearby points to the Ezra Apocalypse 4th Book of Ezra. In both documents, Ezra argues with God for the purpose of creation: If the sinners are in any case over to the court in which they can not exist, why were they then created? Ezra's function is in both cases in the intercession for the transgressors. A direct literary dependence is practically impossible to prove, even if the Ezra Apocalypse was probably written on the basis of 4 Ezra. However, the issue of the dispute with God for his justice already has its biblical parallels in the Book of Job.

Large similarities manifest themselves on the Apocalypse of Sedrach. However, here too it is unclear whether and to what extent both literary writings on one another or go back to a common source.

The above-described Christian IV Additional 0.5 -V, 5 is similar to the description of the Antichrist another Christian Scripture from the 5th century, which bears the title Apocalypse of John.

Origin and age

Although some sites can definitely prove to be later additions of Christian origin, the reconstruction of a Jewish elementary text remains fraught with difficulties. For an originally Jewish origin of Scripture argues, inter alia, Ulrich B. Mueller while numerous other authors already hold, the basic font for Christian. Such a Jewish elementary typeface would be the earliest to accept for the 2nd century, the major Christian revisions hardly before the 5th century.