The Alpha-Text of Esther: Exploration of Themes from Selected Passages in the Greek Versions of Esther.
The book of Esther has elicited a lot of scholarly activity in the recent past, especially with the extant Greek versions of Esther. Apart from the Hebrew version of Esther based on the Masoretic Text (MT), there are two more Greek versions of Esther that are longer and contain significant variations compared with the MT. The six additional chapters (A-F) in the Greek versions of Esther and not found in MT add up to 107 verses (in other words, they increase the Hebrew Esther by more than two-thirds). The first Greek text of Esther, also known as the B text, became part of the Septuagint (LXX), while the second Greek text is commonly known as the Alpha-Text, or the Lucianic text (L). This paper, through some textual comparisons, explores themes that emerge from the selected sections of the Addition A, C, and D. The study argues that the translator or redactor who included the additional material (AT) to the Hebrew book of Esther wanted to give the book of Esther a bold Jewish outlook, incorporate into the text some sociopolitical concerns of post-exilic Jewish communities, and to enhance the characterization of the two prominent Jewish characters (Esther and Mordecai) to their diaspora audience.