Some versions of the Bible include additional text for the book of Daniel, which isn’t found in most Protestant versions of the Bible. This additional text rounds out the story of Daniel and gives deeper insight into his life and faith.
This complete text of Daniel includes three additional sections inserted into the book:
Prayers in the Fiery Furnace: Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah (better known as Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego) are thrown into an inferno after refusing to bow down to the king’s statue.
The intent is their execution, but God protects them. Much to the king’s astonishment, they walk around in the furnace, unharmed.
As they do, they sing (or pray). We find their words inserted into the text after Daniel 3:24. First we read Azariah’s confident prayer, followed by a bold refrain from all three.
Amazed, the king calls them to come out of the furnace and then, he, too, affirms God, which is tacked on after Daniel 3:30.
Susanna: Listed as Daniel 13, this chapter focuses on the life and trials of the righteous Susanna, wrongly accused of adultery and sentenced to death. The young Daniel plays a pivotal role in her story, which is likely why this account is often included in the book of Daniel.
As the people march Susanna off to her execution, Daniel receives a revelation from God. Then Daniel boldly interrupts the procession and loudly proclaims her innocence.
Now having the people’s attention, Daniel then proceeds to discredit the accuracy of the two corrupt judges who gave false testimony against Susanna.
In the end, the men are executed, Susanna is saved, and Daniel is celebrated.
Bel and the Dragon: Listed as Daniel 14, this account takes place much later in Daniel’s life. Having risen to a position of power, and gaining many enemies due to his faith and his success, King Cyrus and Daniel discuss his beliefs.
First the king asserts that Bel is a living god, but Daniel proves this not to be true. This results in the execution of the prophets of Bel, along with their families, and the razing of the temple of Bel.
Then Cyrus shifts attention to a great dragon that the people worship as a living god. Daniel also dismisses the dragon and brings about the dragon’s death.
Incensed, Daniel’s enemies pressure the king to throw Daniel into a pit of lions. This time he stays there for six days. Again God keeps him safe. On the seventh day, the king frees Daniel and executes his detractors.
The expanded version of Daniel is an Apocrypha text and not included in all versions of the Bible. The New Jerusalem Bible, New American Bible (NABRE), Douay-Rheims (DRA), and Eastern Orthodox Bibles all include the expanded version of Daniel.
The Septuagint, an ancient Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures, which was widely used in Jesus’s day, also contains the expanded text of Daniel.
A few versions of the Bible, such as the original Authorized King James Version (KJV), the Revised Standard Version (RSV), Common English Bible (CEB), and the Ethiopian Bible all pull out these three sections and include them as separate one-chapter books: The Song of the Three Holy Children, Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon.
For more information, see why “Christians Should Consider the Entire Bible.”
A lifelong student of the Bible, Peter DeHaan, PhD, wrote the 700-page website ABibleADay.com to encourage people to explore the Bible. His main blog and numerous books urge Christians to push past the status quo and reconsider how they practice their faith in every area of their lives.