Greek triptych c. 1550, with the Three Holy Children in the left panel.

The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children, abbreviated Pr Azar,[1] is a passage which appears after Daniel 3:23 in some translations of the Bible, including the ancient Greek Septuagint translation.

The passage is accepted by some Christian denominations as canonical.

The passage includes three main components. The first is the penitential prayer of Daniel's friend Azariah (called Abednego in Babylonian, according to Daniel 1:6–7) while the three youths were in the fiery furnace. The second component is a brief account of a radiant figure who met them in the furnace yet who was unburned. The third component is the hymn of praise they sang when they realized their deliverance. The hymn includes the refrain, "Praise and exalt Him above all forever...", repeated many times, each naming a feature of the world.

Texts and origin

External audio
audio icon Singing in Russian Orthodox Church

The Prayer and accompanying Song are not found in the Hebrew and Aramaic text of the Book of Daniel, nor are they cited in any extant early Jewish writings.[citation needed]

The origins of these writings are obscure. Whether the accounts were originally composed in Hebrew (or Aramaic) or in Greek is uncertain, although many modern scholars conclude on the basis of textual evidence that there was probably an original Semitic edition. The date of composition of these documents is also uncertain, although many scholars favor a date either in the second or first century B.C.[2]

Canonicity

It is accepted as canonical scripture by Catholic and Eastern Orthodox Christians, but rejected by most Protestants as being non-canonical.[3] The passage is included in 80-book Protestant Bibles in the section of the Apocrypha, however.[4] To this end, Article VI of the Thirty-Nine Articles of the Church of England has it listed as non-canonical (but still, with the other Apocryphal texts, "the Church doth read for example of life and instruction of manners").[5] The Belgic Confession of the Reformed Churches teaches that "The church may certainly read these [Apocryphal] books and learn from them as far as they agree with the canonical books."[3]

See also

References

  1. ^ The Holy Bible containing The Old and New Testaments with The Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books, New Revised Standard Version, Anglicized edition, Cambridge University Press, 2008, p vii
  2. ^ Charles, C.H. (1913). The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha. Oxford: Clarendon Press.
  3. ^ a b "Westminster Theological Seminary - The Belgic Confession". students.wts.edu. Retrieved 2023-07-15.
  4. ^ Apocrypha-KJV-Reader's. Hendrickson Publishers. 2009. ISBN 978-1-59856-464-8.
  5. ^ Wilson, W. G.; Templeton, J. H. (1962). "Chapter II – The Scriptures And Creeds". Anglican Teaching: An Exposition of The Thirty-Nine Articles. Association For Promoting Christian Knowledge.