Bel and the Dragon

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Bel and the Dragon is a portion of the Book of Daniel as found in the books of the Septuagint, the Old Testament accepted as inspired and canonical by the Orthodox Church in the Greek Orthodox Bible, and found in the books of the Old Testament of the Vulgate as Daniel chapter 14 and included in the canon of inspired scripture by the Third Council of Carthage (397). It is included in the canon of the Ethiopian Orthodox Bible. Since the Council of Trent it is dogmatically accepted as inspired and canonical by the Catholic Church in the Catholic Bible—books of the Bible accepted as divinely inspired by the majority of Christian believers in the United States and throughout the world.[1][2]

The 14th chapter of Daniel is regarded by the majority of Christians as inspired, originally composed in Hebrew or Aramaic, which has not been preserved, and translated from the Greek form of the Book of Daniel in the Septuagint. This chapter, detailing Daniel's victories over Bel and the Dragon, was first removed from the Old Testament and placed in the Apocrypha by Martin Luther in the 16th century. This separated chapter, cut off from the end of the Book of Daniel, is regarded as an apocryphal addition to the Old Testament by less than one-third of Christian believers.[2]

In the King James Version of the Bible, in the Apocrypha, this separated 14th chapter of Daniel is titled

The History of the Destruction of Bel and the Dragon, cut off from the end of Daniel

In Ecumenical Bibles this portion of Daniel has been restored by the editors according to its original place in the book, as chapter 14.

See Apocrypha.


  1. The Catholic Church is the world's largest Christian body comprised of several distinct "Rites". The Catholic Church (Latin Rite) is the largest religious body in the United States, with over 60 million adherents (4 times as large as the second largest church, the Orthodox).
    “The Global Catholic Population,” © 2011, Pew Research Center.
    The Largest Catholic Communities
    The Eastern Orthodox Church, officially called the Orthodox Catholic Church, and also referred to as the Orthodox Church and Orthodoxy, is the second largest Christian church in the world, with an estimated 225–300 million adherents, most of whom live in Eastern Europe, the Middle East, and Russia.
    The Greek (Eastern) Orthodox Church. Greek Orthodox Archdiocese Of America (1983). Retrieved on 7 May 2014.
    Christianity:Basics:Eastern Orthodox Church Denomination. Retrieved on 22 May 2014.
    Christianity. Major Branches of Religions Ranked by Number of Adherents. Retrieved on 22 May 2014.
  2. 2.0 2.1 See Percentage of Christians in Protestant Denominations (29.5%).

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