(a) AB, the text of the Alexandrian (fifth century) and Vatican (fourth century) codices.
This recension is found in many other codices of the Greek text, has been used for centuries by the Greek Church, is incorporated into the Sixtine edition of the Septuagint, and has been translated into Armenian as the authentic text of that rite.
We shall first enumerate the various Biblical persons and then treat the book of this name. The name is omitted in the Vatican and Alexandrian codices, but given in the other important Greek manuscripts and the Vulgate. It agrees with the Vulgate in that from the outset the tale of Tobias is told in the third person; otherwise it is closer to Codex Vaticanus and closer still to Codex Sinaiticus . Hebrew tobyyahu " Yahweh is good "; Septuagint Tobias — one of the Levites whom Josaphat sent to teach in the cities of Juda. Hebrew tobyyahu , qeri tobyyah which is the reading also of verse 14 ; Septuagint chresimon ( verse 10 ), tois chresimois autes ( verse 14 ), which infers the reading tobeha ; Vulgate Tobia — one of the party of Jews who came from Babylon to Jerusalem, in the time of Zorobabel, with silver and gold wherewith to make a crown for the head of Jesus, son of Josedec. Cheyne (Encyclopedia Biblica, s.v.) thinks that haebed , servant, is a mistake for ha arbi , the Arab. He thinks that it is a briefer form of Jerome's Aramaic text. The language is at times a transliteration of Greek and gives evidence of being a transliteration of one or other of the Greek texts.(2) Among Christians Despite the rejection of Tobias from the Protestant Canon, its place in the Christian Canon of Holy Writ is undoubted.The Catholic Church has ever esteemed it as inspired. Hebrew tobyyah , " Jah is my good "; Septuagint Tobeia ( Vatican ), Tobias ( Alexandrian ), the same name occurring in Nehemiah , as Tobia and in the apocryphal III Esdras as baenan ( Vatican ) or ban ( Alexandrian ) — one of the families that, on their return from exile, could show no written proof of their genealogy. He is called "the servant"; we can only conjecture what that means. Neubauer edited the text, "The Book of Tobit, a Chaldee Text from a unique manuscript in the Bodleian Library" (Oxford, 1878).
An Ammonite who together with Sanaballat the Horonite opposed the fortification of Jerusalem by Nehemias ( Nehemiah ; 4:3 ; ; 13:4, 8 ). The writing of this midrash is fifteenth-century work; it contains the Book of Tobias as a haggada on the promise Jacob makes to give tithes to God ( Genesis ).
(6) Hebrew Versions There are four Hebrew versions of this deuterocanonical story: (a) HL, Hebrew Londinii, a thirteenth-century manuscript, found by Gaster in the British Museum, and translated by him in the "Proceedings of the Soc. (c) HG, Hebrew Gasteri, a text copied by Gaster from a midrash on the Pentateuch and published in the "Proc. (d) HM, Hebrew Munsteri, published by Munster in Basle A. It is, according to Ginsburg, of fifth-century origin.
The Hebrew versions together with the Aramaic omit reference to the dog, which plays a prominent part in the other versions.
AB is preferred to the Sinaitic recension by Nöldeke, Grumm, and others, and yet rated by Nestle, Ewald, and Haris as a compendium rather than as a version of the entire original text.
It condenses Edna's Prayer (x, 13), omits the blessing of Gabael ( 9:6 ), and has three or four unique readings ( ; 14:8-10 ; 11:8 ).
Against the canonicity of Tobias are urged several rather trivial objections which would at first sight seem to impugn the inspiration of the narrative.