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Is the Book of Daniel a Forgery?

Is the Book of Daniel a Forgery?
By Dr. David Bowen

Critics of Scripture say Daniel is a forgery that was written during the Maccabean period—the four hundred years between the Old and New Testaments. Why do they incorrectly assert this? Because the content of Daniel is so accurate, but also so far ahead of his time, that those who do not have a high view of inspiration and inerrancy believe God could not have given Daniel these words to write.

Twice, Daniel claimed to be the author—in Daniel 7:12 and 12:4. He wrote in the third person until chapter 7; however, from chapters 7 to 12, he wrote in the first person. Also, Ezekiel 14:14 speaks of Daniel’s obedience and Ezekiel 28:3 speaks of Daniel’s character. The ultimate confirmation that Daniel wrote this book is found in the words of Jesus in Matthew 24:15 and Mark 13:14.

Divine Interpretation

A key to understanding prophetic books, such as Daniel, Ezekiel, Zechariah, and Revelation, is understanding prophecy will have visions, symbols, and, most importantly, some divine interpretation. In Daniel’s case, we see several times where an angel explains the vision that Daniel is seeing. This is important because, in Chapters 2, 7, 8, 10, 11, and 12, Daniel records truth that only God could reveal.

When a prophet sees the vision, he records them exactly as he sees them. Often he does not understand them himself, which is why an interpreter, often an angel, explains the meaning of the vision.

The Theme of Daniel

The structure of Daniel is not chronological thematic. The same can be said for the book of Jeremiah. Jeremiah’s theme explains the reason for the divine punishment of Judah. Daniel records from the perspective of those in captivity. The overall theme of Daniel is “The time of the Gentiles.” Besides the prophetic aspect of Daniel, this work also details how Jews can live in a Gentile world and be faithful to the law of Moses. Also, this book teaches Gentile nations the nature of the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

The Timing of Daniel

Lastly, let’s look at the timing of the book of Daniel. Three times, Babylonian King Nebuchadnezzar seized Jerusalem and took Jewish exiles back to Babylon. This happened over nineteen years. The first seize occurred in 605 B.C., when a young Daniel was taken to Babylon. The second seize occurred when Ezekiel and his wife were among the 10,000 Jews taken captive to Babylon in 597 B.C. — when Ezekiel was about 25 years old. The third and final seize occurred in 586 B.C. 2 Kings 25:8 records the date very specifically: “On the seventh day of the fifth month, which was the nineteenth year of King Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon.”

With the destruction of Jerusalem, the Babylonians took all the silver and gold articles from the Temple and carried many Jews off to Babylon. This poses an important question: Was the God of Israel defeated? See, in ancient times, when a nation was defeated, their gods were also defeated. Their God also goes into captivity! But there was no idol of God in the Jewish temple for the Babylonians to take and conquer. The God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob could not be captured and defeated. They looted all the vessels used for worship, but that decision would eventually lead to Babylon’s downfall.

Original Article

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