In Th we appear to have the story presented to us without material interpolation; but there are omissions of some not very important matters contained in the LXX text. A. Scholz accounts for variations by supposing changes in the Hebrew original between the times of the two translations. Of Th he says, |Th ist nichts als Uebersetzer; er setzt de suo kein wort bei| (p.142) -- an exaggerated statement.
The true LXX version was long supposed to be lost; but a cursive MS. of it (9th or 10th century) was found in Cardinal Chigi's library at Rome, and was first printed in 1772. From its owner's name it has received the title of Cod. Chisianus, and is now numbered 87.
It is almost certain that Th must have had the O' text before him, since the coincidences of diction, though not so continuous as in the Song of the Three, are still far too numerous to be accidental. Bissell (p.443) says of all the three pieces, |Th simply recast the version of LXX.| This dictum, however true of the Three, must not be quite literally taken of Susanna, as he does introduce some fresh matter, particularly at the opening and the close. Prof. Rothstein in Kautzsch (pp.176-7) thinks that the two Greek versions are two independent forms of the same story, based on some common narrative material; but when the obvious idea presents itself that this last was an Hebraic original, he speaks with much guardedness (p.178), lest he should commit himself to this view.
Th's recension is rather more polished in language, less elaborate in some of its details. Fritzsche, quoted in Kautzsch (pp.176-7), says that |he worked over the LXX text, expanded the narrative, rounded it off, and, gave it a greater air of probability.| Westcott's opinion to a similar effect, however (Smith's D. B. ed.2 I.714a), is called in question by Professor Salmon (Speaker's Comm. XLVI.a), who thinks that there is quite as much to be said for the opposite views, and this opinion is reasonable.
In the LXX text there is surely something wanting at the true beginning at v.5, which, as it stands, is awkwardly abrupt. Both Bissell (and Brüll, quoted by him, p.457) approve of the idea that the beginning was suppressed because of its containing damaging reflections on the elders. Then the present opening (vv.1-5) was borrowed from Th, and is marked in both Cod. Chis. and Syro-Hex. as not part of the original work, but a foreign exordium. Rothstein (p.184, note) thinks that in place of the present borrowed commencement there stood a short introductory remark on the two judging elders. Though lacking proof, this conjecture is well within the bounds of possibility. Yet in the Syro-Hexaplar text the first five verses are obelised, indicating, according to Bugati (p.163), that they are omitted in Th, but present in O'.
There are in the LXX extra clauses, which are not in Th, scattered throughout the book; three verses between 14 and 15, one at the end, and considerable enlargements of vv.45, 52; also curious substitutions, such as that in v.39, where in the LXX the imaginary young man escaped because he was disguised; in Theodotion, because he was stronger than the Elders. These alternative reasons are of course not of necessity incompatible.
The Syriac W (=Harklensian) contains many further particulars inserted here and there, such as the Elders' names (Amid and Abid) , v.5, Daniel's age of twelve years, and some words in praise of him, v.64. But most of these added clauses may not unfairly be regarded as paddings,' put in by way of embellishment. Those in v.41 (ninth hour), v.45 (twelve years of age), v.64 (increase in favour) have a Christian look, the last two being suggestive of a knowledge of St. Luke's Gospel (cf. Style,' p.140). Also the continuation of v.43 in Lagarde's second Syriac version has rather a Christian air, |appear for me and send a Redeemer from before thee,| etc. (Hastings' D.B. art. Sus. p.631b).
An attempt has been made to account for the numerous, but not generally very important, variations in different texts and versions by supposing the story to have been a favourite oral narrative, long continuing in a fluid state. This is far from improbable.
The Vulgate, which follows Th closely, appends the first verse of Bel and the Dragon as the conclusion of this story. If this was done in order to avoid chronological difficulty there, it was at the expense of introducing it here, and that, to all appearance, very meaninglessly.
The chief uncial MS. authorities for Th's text are A, B, Q, and from v.51 onward, G. A often agrees with Q, as in vv.19, 24, and elsewhere, in substituting presbuteroi (O''s word) for presbutai; in vv.10, 11, etc., in substituting apangello for anangello; and in v.46, katharos for athoos. In the canonical part of Daniel the substitution of apangello for agangello mostly holds good also so far as A is concerned (ii.9, 16). In v.36, A has a transposition of a clause, and in v.39 another of its changes of prepositions in composition, not easily accounted for. Q (alone) has such changes in vv.4, 32, 38. The above are all changes from B. G often agrees with A and Q, or both, but has nothing of importance independently.
The genitive Sousannas (instead of es) occurs occasionally in all the above MSS. (vv.27, 28, 62; also in LXX, v.30). cf. Marthas in St. John xi.1.
Two cursive MSS. (234 Moscow, S. Synod; 235; Rome, Vat.) consist of Susanna only; but whether they are perfect, or only fragments, is not clear. Holmes and Parsons give no particulars. On the whole, the text of either version is fairly trustworthy, the average of variations being not at all above that in the canonical Daniel.