Dating The Book Of Daniel


Another short video from the awesome Digital Hammurabi channel on YouTube, outlining some of the reasons why most scholars think the book of Daniel was written and composed much later than the 6th century BCE. It's a great, high-level introduction to this topic, for anyone interested in learning why most of the so-called "prophecies" in the book of Daniel were not predictions at all, and the few that were (regarding the death of Antiochus IV Epiphanes), failed.

And another thing

When you take in all of the details we know from scholars about the book of Daniel and how it maps onto history, including the inaccuracies in its accounts of earlier events and the later/longer history of composition, you start to see a rather different story emerging than the one we were taught in Sunday School and in Christadelphian public lectures. That is, the book is actually portraying a very different message than the one traditionally ascribed to it.

For example, if it was written after the 4th century BCE, and especially into the 2nd century BCE, why did the author(s) pretend to be writing on behalf of a prophet who lived in the 6th century BCE? The answer to that question completely changes the whole point of the book.

The book wasn't written to impress readers in the 21st century CE about an ancient prophet's apparent clairvoyant abilities. Rather it was to encourage contemporary readers in the 2nd century to remain faithful in the fight against Antiochus IV Epiphanes, who was clearly the central focus of the latter chapters of the book.

When placed in its actual historical context (4th - 2nd century BCE), the book actually comes alive with meaning and can tell us a lot about the views and experiences of those living at the time. It's a valuable human artifact - a collection of documents written, edited, read, and preserved by real people who lived in the late centuries BCE. Those who insist on applying a simplistic prophetic interpretation do it a great disservice, and in fact often miss the whole point of the book.

Any claims that an ancient book was written "for us" in the 21st century simply so that we could be bamboozled by some clever fortune-telling tricks, should be met with extreme skepticism. As many scholars agree, there is a far more compelling option, and it's a lot more interesting.

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