I have noticed that some versions of Daniel 3 end at verse 30, while other versions continue after that point for many more verses. Which version is correct?
The answer depends on whether you have a Catholic Bible or a Protestant Bible. The extra verses in the Catholic Bible are part of what is called the Deuterocanonical works - part of the "second canon" of Scripture.
The extension in Daniel 3 consists of the Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children as part of the story of the fiery furnace. It is part of three additions to Daniel found in most Catholic Bible but not in Protestant Bibles. See appendix below.
In the case of the extension to Dan 3 found in the Septuagint, I observe the following facts:
- the extended text is not in the Hebrew and Aramaic Bible and is found only in the Greek and Latin texts
- It thus appears to be of later origin than the main part of Daniel 3.
APPENDIX - Additions to Daniel found in Catholic Bibles
The following is taken from Wikipedia, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Additions_to_Daniel
The three additions are as follows.
- The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children: Daniel 3:24–90 inserted between verses 23 and 24 in the Protestant canon (v. 24 becomes v. 91), incorporated within the Fiery Furnace episode. When Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego are thrown into a furnace for declining to worship an idol, they are rescued by an angel and sing a song of worship. In some Greek Bibles, the Prayer and the Song appear in an appendix to the book of Psalms.
- Susanna and the Elders: before Daniel 1:1, a prologue in early Greek manuscripts; chapter 13 in the Vulgate. This episode, along with Bel and the Dragon, is one of "the two earliest examples" of a detective story, according to Christopher Booker. In it, two men attempt to coerce a young woman into having sexual relations with them through blackmail, but are foiled under close questioning by Daniel.
- Bel and the Dragon: after Daniel 12:13 in Greek, an epilogue; chapter 14 in the Vulgate. In this tale, Daniel's detective work reveals that a brass idol believed to miraculously consume sacrifices is in fact a front for a corrupt priesthood which is stealing the offerings.