Daniel (Biblical book)

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The complete Book of Daniel [Hebrew: דניאל] of 14 chapters, translated from a Hebrew original which has been lost,[1] is found in the books of the Septuagint, the Old Testament of the apostles and the early Christian Church, accepted as inspired and canonical by the Orthodox Church in the Greek Orthodox Bible, and in the books of the Old Testament of the Vulgate 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 "with all its parts" 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.[2][3]

The shorter Masoretic Hebrew book of Daniel of 12 chapters is ranked by the Jews in that division of the Tanakh called the Ketuvim, or Writings.[4] The Book of Daniel has never been ranked among the Nevi'im, or Prophets, by the Jews. However, some Jews, such as those from Ethiopia, follow a different canon which is identical to the Catholic Old Testament and includes the seven deuterocanonical books.[5] The Christian Church has always ranked Daniel among the books of the Major Prophets of the Bible, according to its traditional placement immediately following the Book of Ezekiel in the Septuagint and in the Vulgate Old Testament.

A major portion of the 3rd chapter and the 13th and 14th chapters of Daniel were first removed from the Christian Old Testament and placed in the Apocrypha as separate books by Martin Luther in the 16th century. These separated texts are regarded as apocryphal by less than one-third of Christian believers, most of whom have never read them.[3] In printed editions of the King James Bible in the 16th through early 20th centuries these separated texts of the Apocrypha are given the following titles:[6]

Some late 20th century and early 21st century Ecumenical editions of the Bible have restored these to their original places in the Book of Daniel according to their placement by Jerome in the Vulgate Bible.[8]



Three sections constitute the divisions of the Book of Daniel:
Daniel and the Kings of Babylon (1:1–6:29)
Daniel’s Visions (7:1–12:13)
Appendix: Susanna, Bel, and the Dragon (13:1–14:42)

Masoretic Text

The Masoretic Hebrew Book of Daniel consists of two distinct parts.[4] The first part, consisting of the first six chapters, is chiefly historical; and the second part, consisting of the remaining six chapters, is chiefly prophetical.[4]

The historical part of the book treats of the period of the Captivity, written around 530 B.C.[4] Daniel is
"the historian of the Captivity, the writer who alone furnishes any series of events for that dark and dismal period during which the harp of Israel hung on the trees that grew by the Euphrates.[4] His narrative may be said in general to intervene between Kings and Chronicles on the one hand and Ezra on the other, or (more strictly) to fill out the sketch which the author of the Chronicles gives in a single verse in his last chapter: 'And them that had escaped from the sword carried he [i.e., Nebuchadnezzar] away to Babylon; where they were servants to him and his sons until the reign of the kingdom of Persia'." (2 Chronicles 36:20).[4]

The prophetical part consists of three visions and one lengthened prophetical communication.[4] Some suggest that the second part was written hundreds of years later, perhaps based on an oral tradition, but it was nevertheless certainly written well before Christ.

Septuagint and Vulgate

The Christian Old Testament Book of Daniel in both the Septuagint and the Vulgate consists of two distinct kinds of narrative, historical and prophetic, in three parts. In the Septuagint, the first part begins with the first chapter narrative of Daniel, a youth, saving Susanna from the death sentence of the two corrupt judges, with the first part of the book thus consisting of the first seven chapters, which are chiefly historical; the second part, consisting of six chapters, primarily relating visions sent to Daniel and interpreted by Gabriel, is chiefly prophetical; and the third part, consisting of one chapter, is chiefly historical. In the 5th century, the 1st chapter of Daniel in the Septuagint was moved by Jerome and placed in his Vulgate translation near the end of the book as the 13th chapter of Daniel, so that in the Vulgate the first part of Daniel consists of six chapters, the second part six chapters, and the third part two chapters. In accordance with the ancient traditional reading of the text of the Bible in the Christian Church, Jerome elected to leave in their traditional place in the text in the 3rd chapter of Daniel the 62 verses he did not find in any of the Hebrew manuscripts he had available to him; but he noted critically that they are "not in the Hebrew".

Chapter summaries

The following chapter summaries are from the Douay-Rheims Bible.

Part one, historical narratives:

(1) Daniel and his companions are taken into the palace of the king of Babylon: they abstain from his meat and wine, and succeed better with pulse and water. Their excellence and wisdom.
(2) Daniel, by divine revelation, declares the dream of Nabuchodonosor, and the interpretation of it. He is highly honoured by the king.
(3) Nabuchodonosor sets up a golden statue; which he commands all to adore: the three children for refusing to do it are cast into the fiery furnace; but are not hurt by the flames. Their prayer and canticle of praise. (the chapter is 100 verses)
(4) Nabuchodonosor's dream, by which the judgments of God are denounced against him for his pride, is interpreted by Daniel, and verified by the event.
(5) Baltasar's profane banquet: his sentence is denounced by a handwriting on the wall, which Daniel reads and interprets.
(6) Daniel is promoted by Darius: his enemies procure a law forbidding prayer; for the transgression of this law Daniel is cast into the lions' den: but miraculously delivered.

Part two, prophesies:

(7) Daniel's vision of the four beasts, signifying four kingdoms: of God sitting on his throne: and of the opposite kingdoms of Christ and Antichrist.
(8) Daniel's vision of the ram and he goat interpreted by the angel Gabriel.
(9) Daniel's confession and prayer: Gabriel informs him concerning the seventy weeks to the coming of Christ.
(10) Daniel having humbled himself by fasting and penance seeth a vision, with which he is much terrified; but he is comforted by an angel.
(11) The angel declares to Daniel many things to come, with regard to the Persian and Grecian kings: more especially with regard to Antiochus as a figure of Antichrist.
(12) Michael shall stand up for the people of God: with other things relating to Antichrist, and the end of the world.

Part three, historical narratives:

(13) The history of Susanna and the two elders. (Septuagint Chapter 1 Prologue; Vulgate Chapter 13)
(14) The history of Bel, and of the great serpent worshipped by the Babylonians.


Statue of Nebuchadnezzar's dream Daniel 2:31-47

The statue of this dream had a head of gold, body and arms of silver, thighs of brass, legs of iron, and feet of iron and clay. Daniel interpreted this to be kingdoms, with the head of gold being Neo-Babylon, and other kingdoms not as rich but stronger after. These subsequent kingdoms are often viewed as

  • (starting with the arms of silver) Medo-Persia (2 arms for 2 peoples but still connected by the upper body as 1 nation),
  • Alexander the Great's Grecian empire (bronze, or steel [9]),
  • pagan Rome (2 legs for 2 empires, western and eastern)
  • and the feet being Europe after Rome.

This particular view seems to be based on an interpretation of "the prince of the covenant" (Daniel 11:22) as being only Jesus Christ and no other.

When "the prince of the covenant" (11:22) is interpreted as Onias III the anointed high priest, "because of the piety of the high priest Onias and his hatred of wickedness" (2 Maccabees 3:1), who was treacherously murdered on the secret order of Menelaus by the assassin Andronicus under Antiochus IV Epiphanes (2 Maccabees 4:32-36), then the kingdoms foreseen by Daniel are viewed as:

  • Ancient Babylon, the head of gold, represented by Nebuchanezzar,[10]
  • the Kingdom of the Medes (silver),[11]
  • the kingdom of the Persians and Medes (bronze),[12]
  • the kingdom of the Greeks, established by Alexander the Great, which was divided (iron, iron and clay, and clay), primarily into the two kingdoms of the Ptolemies in Egypt (in the south) and the Seleucids in Syria (in the north) which fought each other for control of Judea and established alliances by marriage.

This particular view sees the two legs and feet of iron and clay as the mixed rule of the Ptolemies and Seleucids, and the toes of clay as the successors of Alexander's generals, whose Hellenistic suppression was finally removed from Judea in the time of Simon the high priest, son of Mattathias.[13]

Four Beasts Daniel 7

Daniel saw 4 beasts. They were a lion, a bear, a leopard, and a different beast. These prophecies are often viewed as the same as the vision of the statue, with the lion being Neo-Babylon, the bear being Medo-Persia, the leopard being Greece, and the Beast being Rome; or the lion as the Ancient Kingdom of Babylon, the bear as the Kingdom of the Medes,[11] the leopard as the Kingdom of Persia, and the Different Beast as the Kingdom of the Greeks, with Antiochus IV in particular as the little horn speaking great things who was suddenly broken after 2,300 evenings and mornings (8:9-14).

See Literalist Bible chronology

Ram and He-Goat Daniel 11:2-45

These visions are of a Ram, a He-Goat, and a little horn. These are viewed often as Medo-Persia, Greece, and papal Rome; or as Medo-Persia with two horns (both great, but one, Persia, greater than the subordinated other, Medea), which was conquered by the He-Goat headed by Alexander (the notable or conspicuous single horn), with Antiochus IV Epiphanes as the little horn, broken "without hand" by no human hand. 2 Maccabees 9:5 and 9:28

Greek and Persian words

The Book of Daniel contains words having either Greek or Persian origin. This has caused some continuing dispute among historians and theologians in explaining how such words, particularly the Greek ones, ended up in the predominantly Hebrew Book of Daniel. Some see this as evidence that the extant Masoretic Hebrew text of Daniel in the Palestinian canon of the Jews is an abbreviated version of the longer Hebrew original text (now lost) which underlies the rabbinical Greek translation of Daniel in the Septuagint, which predates the time of Jesus.[14][1]

Dispute on Authorship

Due to the fact that the Book of Daniel contains prophecies that were fulfilled in the 2nd century B.C., many modernist scholars have asserted that this book was not written by Daniel the 6th century B.C., but by a later person. However, both Scriptural and textual arguments support the traditional view.[4]

  1. Jesus (Matthew 24:15; 25:31; 26:64) and His apostles (1 Corinthians 6:2; 2 Thessalonians 2:3) testify that the book was written by "the prophet Daniel," and that it is authoritative.[15][4]

  2. The prophet Ezekiel testifies that Daniel was known for his wisdom and righteousness (Ezekiel 14:14, 20; 28:3).[4]

  3. The character and records of the book are also entirely in harmony with the times and circumstances in which the author lived.[4]

  4. The linguistic character of the book is, moreover, just such as might be expected.[4] Certain portions (Dan. 2:4; 7) are written in the Chaldee (Aramaic) language, and the portions written in Hebrew are in a style and form having a close affinity with the later books of the Old Testament, especially with that of Ezra.[4] The writer is familiar both with the Hebrew and the Chaldee, passing from the one to the other just as his subject required.[4] This is in strict accordance with the position of the author and of the people for whom his book was written.[4] That Daniel is the writer of this book is also testified to in the book itself (7:1, 28; 8:2; 9:2; 10:1, 2; 12:4, 5).[4]

Additionally, findings in the Dead Sea Scrolls dating to the 4th century B.C. referred to Daniel as a prophet, which supports the traditional view, as it is unlikely that Daniel would have been accepted as a prophet had the book been written only several years previously rather than several centuries (400 years) previously.[16] However, the Jews never accepted the Book of Daniel among the Nevi'im, the Prophets, but placed it among the Ketuvim, the Writings. See Palestinian canon (A.D. 4th century)

Dispute on Canonicity

See Logical fallacy

Dr. John Oakes [17] represents the view of many Christians who reject the rabbinical additions to Daniel as not inspired or reliable "for at least three reasons".

1. The Jews, the arbiters of the Old Testament canon do not include them.
2. The additions were most likely not even originally in Hebrew or Aramaic and
3. The actual content does not have the marks of inspired writing.

A fourth reason given for rejecting deuterocanonical texts is:

4. Jesus and the New Testament writers never quoted them.

First objection: The Jews do not include the rabbinical additions to Daniel

This presents a problem. If the Jews have been so entrusted with the word of God that they had therefore been given the divine authority to determine the canon of sacred scripture, then the whole New Testament is excluded from the canon of the Holy Bible because it does not meet established rabbinical criteria for what is sacred inspired scripture. Needless to say, the Church disregarded the results of Javneh. The opinion of a Jewish council rendered after the time of Christ is not binding on the followers of Christ.

See Logical fallacy of Proof by authority

According to the ordinary reading of the New Testament and the consensus of the majority of Christians from the 1st century to this day, the authority of the kingdom of God had been wholly taken away from the Jews in the 1st century and given to the leaders of the Gentiles and Jews in Christ long before the Council of Jamnia. Stephen the first martyr for Christ testified to the Sanhedrin this fact by the Holy Spirit:
"Ye stiffnecked and uncircumcised in heart and ears, ye do always resist the Holy Ghost: as your fathers did, so do ye. Which of the prophets have not your fathers persecuted? and they have slain them which shewed before of the coming of the Just One; of whom ye have been now the betrayers and murderers: Who have received the law by the disposition of angels, and have not kept it."
The Apostle Paul himself testified that the Jews are no longer the arbiters of Holy Scripture, but instead that Christian leaders are to be accounted as "the stewards of the mysteries of God". See the testimony of the following scriptures of the Bible:
Matthew 15:13-14
Matthew 16:18-19
Matthew 18:17-18
Matthew 21:43
Matthew 28:18-20
Luke 1:32-33
Luke 10:16
Luke 22:29-30
Acts 7:51-53
Romans 16:17-19
1 Corinthians 4:1
1 Corinthians 6:2-3
2 Corinthians 3:14-16
1 Timothy 3:14-15
Hebrews 13:17
1 John 4:2-6
2 John 9-ll
Jude 3
Historically, Jewish scholars since A.D. the 2nd–5th centuries (the Talmudists and the Masoretes) have considered the canon closed since the time of Malachi, and have not included the books and texts listed in the Protestant Apocrypha, which were written subsequent to his time.[18] At the same time they simultaneously excluded as condemned and false the writings of the "heretics" (the minim, including Christians, called nozrim, no§rim, "Nazarenes"), and cursed Christians in a synagogue service "benediction" against them and others. Palestinian texts of the Eighteen Benedictions from the Cairo Genizah [19] present a text of the benediction which identifies the minim:
"For the apostates may there be no hope unless they return to Your Torah. As for the no§rim and the minim, may they perish immediately. Speedily may they be erased from the Book of Life, and may they not be registered among the righteous. Blessed are You, O Lord, Who subdues the wicked."
While other specimens of the Palestinian liturgy show slight variation, the no§rim (usually translated “Christians”) and minim are included in the best texts of this benediction. The fact remains that the no§rim were included with apostates and heretics and the wicked in the Genizah documents.[20] The Jews as arbiters of the Old Testament canon have excluded everything Christian.

Second objection: The rabbinical additions might not have been written in Hebrew

Jesus ben Sira c. 150 B.C. observed that "the Hebrew words have not the same force in them when translated into another tongue. And not only these, but the law also itself, and the prophets, and the rest of the books, have no small difference, when they are spoken in their own language." See Sirach 1:1

In response to the rise of the Christian sect and the destruction of the Temple in A.D. 70, Jewish rabbis at the Council of Jamnia (some say there was no such council [21]) in A.D. 90 discussed rejecting the Septuagint which Christians were using with great effect in favor of selected Hebrew language scriptural texts, omitting certain books such as Baruch, Judith, Maccabees, Sirach, and Tobit (some of these originally written in Hebrew and/or Aramaic [7][22] which were relatively recent Jewish contributions of the 3rd through the 1st centuries before Christ) which had become part of Jewish culture. Jamnia considered 4 criteria to determine which of the Writings - such as Ecclesiastes, Esther, and Song of Songs - should be retained for the Hebrew canon for Judaism:

the book should conform to the Torah;
it was written before the time of Ezra (circa 450 BC);
it was written in Hebrew;
and it was composed in Judah or Israel.[23]

Although some books of the Old Testament were discussed in Judea at the Pharisaic Council of Jamnia in A.D. 90, the whole of the canon itself was not a topic of consideration and this group in fact had no decision-making power.[24] However, some Jews, such as those from Ethiopia, follow a different canon which is identical to the Catholic Old Testament and includes the seven deuterocanonical books.[5][5]

Third objection: The rabbinical additions do not have the "marks" of inspired writing

This is the principle of "private judgment", which is highly subjective, and can be in error.[25] With regard to what texts belong in the Bible it is a certainty that the expertise and judgment of the ancients among the Jews before the time of Christ should not be lightly dismissed.
"We attach great importance to the reading [text] of the Septuagint, because it was translated 280 years before Christ, by men who had every facility for ascertaining the real meaning of the Hebrew text, and their work was honoured by the cordial approbation of the Sanhedrim of Alexandria, at a time when Hebrew learning was at its highest state of perfection in that city."
—John Grigg Hewlett, D.D. Bible difficulties explained (1860), p. 162 –book in the public domain
The Alexandrian Jews, recognizing the Septuagint as their Bible, accepted the whole of the Apocrypha as canonical.[1]
Marcion,[26] around A.D. 140 declared that the entire Old Testament was "obviously" not of God. He dismissed the Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and John, he edited the Gospel of Luke to purify it, and he threw out four of Paul's 14 Epistles as writings contrary to the Gospel.[27] He was condemned as a heretic for his views about the nature of God and salvation.
The Deuterocanonicals were disputed from the 1st century to the 16th century, and include 7 books of the New Testament which many Christians and some individual scholars of those centuries confidently asserted were not authentic, but were clearly perceived by them as spurious writings.
The deuterocanonical (disputed) Old Testament scriptural texts are:
The deuterocanonical (disputed) New Testament scriptural texts are: The meaning of the term "deuterocanonical" is therefore not identical with "apocryphal".
In 1539 Martin Luther declared that four of the New Testament deuterocanonicals are clearly hostile to the Gospel because they do not have "the marks of inspired scripture" and do not clearly "preach Christ": Hebrews, James, Jude and Revelation—he held that they were not on the same level as the pure scriptures.[28] He found several books of the Bible to be clearly lacking the "marks of inspired writing".[29]
"The history of Jonah is so monstrous that it is absolutely incredible." [30]
"The book of Esther I toss into the Elbe. I am such an enemy to the book of Esther that I wish it did not exist, for it Judaizes too much and has in it a great deal of heathenish foolishness."
"Of very little worth is the Book of Baruch, whoever the worthy Baruch might be." [30]
"...the epistle of St. James is an epistle full of straw, because it contains nothing evangelical."[31] "If nonsense is spoken anywhere, this is the very place. I pass over the fact that many have maintained, with much probability, that this epistle was not written by the apostle James, and is not worthy of the spirit of the apostle." [32]
"John records but few of the works of Christ, but a great deal of his preaching, whereas the other three evangelists record many of His works, but few of His words. It follows that the gospel of John is unique in loveliness, and of a truth the principal gospel, far, far superior to the other three, and St. Paul and St. Peter are far in advance of the three gospels of Matthew, Mark and Luke." [33]
Luther complained about the Book of Revelation:
"to my mind it bears upon it no marks of an apostolic or prophetic character... Everyone may form his own judgment of this book; as for myself, I feel an aversion to it, and to me this is sufficient reason for rejecting it." [34]
Luther admitted adding the word 'alone' to Rom. 3:28 of his own volition:
"If your Papist annoys you with the word ('alone'), tell him straightway, Dr. Martin Luther will have it so: Papist and ass are one and the same thing. Whoever will not have my translation, let him give it the go-by: the devil's thanks to him who censures it without my will and knowledge. Luther will have it so, and he is a doctor above all the doctors in Popedom." [35]
In 1546 at the Council of Trent the bishops of the Catholic Church dogmatically "added" the Deuterocanonicals, the 7 disputed New Testament books along with the 7 disputed books and parts of 2 other books of the Old Testament "with all their parts", to the canon of the Bible. The leaders of the Roman Catholic Church had definitively found all 73 books of the Catholic Bible to be "certainly" inspired scripture, given by God himself. Writers who point out that the Apocrypha were added to the Bible by the Catholic Church do not include the fact that the disputed New Testament books of Hebrews, James, 2 Peter, 2 John, 3 John, Jude and Revelation were added to the Bible by the Catholic Church at the same time.
The Friends (Quakers) do not define any writing as canonical but what each person, "led by the spirit and light of Christ", has determined to be scripture or recognizes as inspired.[36]
"Now the Lord's power was so mighty upon me, and so strong in me, that I could not hold, but was made to cry out and say, "Oh! no; it is not the scriptures;" and told them it was the Holy Spirit, by which the holy men of God gave forth the scriptures, whereby opinions, religions, and judgments were to be tried; for it led into all Truth, and so gave the knowledge of all Truth." —from the Journal of George Fox.[37]
Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints have taken a form of "private judgment" as an infallible guide. They quote Moroni 10:4 [38]
"And when ye shall receive these things, I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father in the name of Christ, if these things are not true; and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent, having faith in Christ, he will manifest the truth of it unto you, by the power of the Holy Ghost. And by the power of the Holy Ghost ye may know the truth of all things."
Some individuals, whom Mormon missionaries have instructed to use this test as a form of certain discernment, have experienced a kind of negative affirmation in the form of an intuitive insight or feeling that indicates, "Yes, these things are not so". But others have interpreted the affirmative feeling that they experienced in response to the prayer as meaning instead, "Yes, these things are so".

Every person who approaches Bible study, usually to learn about the historical events it relates, is heavily influenced by the hermeneutical theory, or interpretive understandings, he or she brings to the text, consciously or unconsciously. According to Dr. J. Philip Hyatt, very little of the Bible relates history for its own sake, or for the purposes that a modern historian would adopt. It is, therefore, history of a special order, designed not simply to inform the reader, but to awaken in the reader a response to what the Lord of history has done.[39][40]

Historical-critical researchers who use the literary methods of Higher Criticism seek to find out all they can with regard to the portion of the Bible they are studying; the author, the date, the circumstances, and purpose of its writing. The Higher Criticism means nothing more than the study of the literary structure of the various books of the Bible, and more especially of the Old Testament. Historical criticism assumes the time-conditions; the historical character of the Scriptures. This does not necessarily mean that the individual historical critic conceives of God revealing Himself objectively within history, but that he conceives the production of Scripture to have taken place within historical causes. What one scholar holds to be very probable another considers to be very unlikely. The regular majority of intelligent higher critical scholars who take the Bible seriously have found the Bible to be historically reliable and truthful and unique as a very credible witness to what the Lord of history has actually done in history, and as documents in character superior to all the ethical rationalism of the writings of secular humanists. This includes those deuterocanonicals called "apocrypha".
"The more conservative theologians who employ the historical-critical method believe that the Scriptures are 'more than the writings of mortal men'..." —(Siegbert W. Becker, "The Historical-Critical Method of Bible Interpretation", page 4. bold-face emphasis added.)
They have found that the Scriptures are unique among world literature, and that the Bible is of a wholly different order from the pagan mythologies of the nations.[41][42]

The highly educated scholars who have elected to participate in the Jesus Seminar are fully persuaded from reading all of the varied translations and early extant manuscripts of the Gospels and discussions with other Biblical scholars that it is "obviously evident" to them, and a "virtual certainty", that almost none of the words and teachings attributed to Jesus are authentic, but are instead fabrications by unknown individuals in the Christian Church who were promoting their own slanted theological points of view. In striking contrast to these, other highly educated scholars are firmly convinced by their studies and reading of the Bible that the entire canon of the Orthodox Bible is authentic and inspired.

Those who have adopted the views of Liberal Christianity tend to see religious knowledge emerging from research and the use of reason, as superior to Biblical revelation. Thus the liberal idea of religion as a personal relationship with God is one which is not necessarily bound to a Biblical doctrinal basis. This stands in in contrast to salvation resulting from faith in the Biblically substantiated gospel of grace, and in conformity with orthodox theological beliefs. They see the controversy over canonicity of any part of the Bible as pointless and somewhat irrelevant. Reading the texts of scripture does not indicate to them personally that one part is superior to another, or that any of it is inspired by God, although many of them acknowledge that some of it tends to be "inspiring" as a classic of world literature.

It is evident from the facts cited above that those portions of the Book of Daniel called The Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children, Story of Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon, cannot be evaluated solely on the basis of Jewish rejection, apparent lack of evidence of an original Hebrew text, and subjective assessment of content according to what seems to the reader to be marks of inspired writing.

Fourth objection: Jesus and the New Testament writers never quoted the rabbinical additions to Daniel

Jesus and the New Testament writers also never quoted from Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther, Ecclesiastes, and Song of Songs (Song of Solomon).[43] This does not mean they are not inspired.

There are a number of places where there appears to be a similarity of thought, and sometimes of the actual words used, between New Testament passages and verses in the Apocrypha.[44]

The majority of quotations of the Old Testament are not from the Masoretic Hebrew version in the Tanakh, but are according to the Septuagint version of the Bible (LXX) which contains the books and texts which have been rejected as Apocrypha and are in the Greek Bible of the early Church.[45] The entire New Testament was written in Greek, addressed to the people and to individual Christians (such as Philemon, Timothy and Titus), and there appears to be no evidence that the assemblies of worshiping Christians in the ancient early Church read the Old Testament in Hebrew but in the language of the people, from the Septuagint.

The consensus of the majority of Christian believers regarding the Book of Daniel

Liberalist scholars who reject the authority of the Bible and abuse the legitimate tools of Historical-critical method insist that each book and text of the Bible should be divorced from the whole, taken out of context, and analyzed separately and independently to determine its particular reliability and authenticity, for comparison to other parts of the Bible also taken as individual and separate writings. They are often represented as having no common theme or apparent unity of purpose. These are set in opposition to each other for comparison, emphasizing what appears as contradictions and discrepancies, which appears to invalidate their message and their authority as parts of the revealed word of God. This tactic dismisses the unity of the mind of the primary Author of the Bible, the Holy Spirit himself, and makes a lie of the promise of Jesus that the Spirit of the Father would lead us into all truth forever.[46]

Many highly educated and imminently qualified radical liberalist scholars appear to have set themselves up as judges of the Bible, determining for themselves and for others which parts are to be considered good or bad, reliable or unreliable, genuine or spurious, inspired or uninspired. See Romans 16:17-19 and James 4:11-12. However, these do not represent the majority view. See Logical fallacy of Proof by authority

In contrast to these are those other equally highly educated and imminently qualified conservative Biblical scholars who accept the authority of the Bible and use rightly and objectively the legitimate tools of Historical-critical method, who analyze the scriptures individually and also within the context of the whole, and have found instead a unity which seems to them to affirm the authenticity and canonicity of each text traditionally included in the Bible.

When read within the whole context of the Bible, and as the received and preserved sacred heritage of the whole Christian Church, the portions rejected as Apocrypha read instead to most Christians as inspired Holy Scripture and as legitimate parts of the whole Bible. The majority of Christian believers in the United States and throughout the world who have carefully heard and read and compared these texts believe that the complete Book of Daniel "with all its parts" is obviously canonical and inspired by God, and that those portions of the Book of Daniel which have been rejected as Apocrypha are actually canonical scriptures of the Holy Bible inspired by God.[2] Less than one-third of Christian believers in the United States and throughout the world believe they are apocryphal.[3]

Liberal Christians normally disregard the claim of special inspiration of the whole Book of Daniel itself in either form, 12 chapters or 14 chapters, yet believe, for the most part, that it still "has something to say" to them.

Judge for yourself

The appeal to readers to "read for themselves" to see if the deuterocanonical portions of Daniel "seem to them" to be inspired is a example of the logical fallacy of "Appeal to personal interest", which appeals to the individual reader's sense of personal integrity and self-reliance, and erroneously implies that the personal judgment of the reader can be relied upon as infallibly correct.[36] It dismisses all possibility of an informed and authentic external authority established and preserved by God that can truly be trusted as more reliable than personal judgment. It sets the reader apart from and above the whole of the Christian community, and it makes the individual reader the final arbiter and judge of the books of the Bible. This is a seductive appeal to individual pride and vanity. Proverbs 3:5 Isaiah 5:21 Sirach 3:24 Jude 19

Eisegesis occurs when a reader imposes his or her interpretation into and onto the text, saying that it means what it does not mean (reader-response Biblical interpretation).[47] Eisegesis is severely condemned according to many literalist readings of the text of the Book of Deuteronomy and the Book of Revelation [48]

"Ye shall not add unto the word which I command you, neither shall ye diminish aught from it, that ye may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you." KJV —Deuteronomy 4:2[49][50]
"For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophesy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book: And if any man shall take away from the words of the book of this prophesy, God shall take away his part out of the book of life, and out of the holy city, and from the things which are written in this book." KJV —Revelation 22:18-19 [51]

Churches in Apostolic succession see in their doctrine and practice a sure and biblical means of receiving and perpetuating the Faith from one generation to another. Apostolic Succession requires a "tactile," person to person, conferring of authority from the Apostles onward. The practice originated in the late first century (Acts 13:2-3; 2 Timothy 1:6-7). It requires the most heightened responsibility in the giving and receiving. It is believed that the grace of the Holy Spirit is transmitted by the laying on of hands at the time of ordination, but not all Christians have the gift of discernment. Romans 13:1 Hebrews 13:17 2 Timothy 1:14 2 Peter 1:19, also Jude 3 and 17-19. See also 1 Corinthians 12:4-11 and 28-30

Historical-grammatical analysis: Historical setting

The Book of Daniel takes its name not from the author, who is actually unknown, but from its principal character, who in 606 B.C. the 3rd year of Jehoiakim (Daniel 1:1-5) was among the first Jews deported to Babylon with King Jehoiakim, where he lived at least until 538 B.C., perhaps later. The first six chapters are chiefly historical, and the remainder prophetical. The unknown author completed it about 4 years later in 534 B.C..

The Prophet Daniel

Almost that is known about the Prophet Daniel is from the Book of Daniel.

He was a member of the tribe of Judah (1:6), and of noble, perhaps royal, descent (1:3 [52]) In his youth, about fourteen years old, he together with three other youths of equal rank named Ananiah, Mishael and Azariah, was carried captive to Babylon by Nebuchadnezzar/Nabuchodonosor, in the third/fourth year of the reign of Jehoiakim (606/605 B.C.). There, Daniel and Ananiah, Mishael and Azariah were entrusted to the care of Ashpenez, the king's chief eunuch, to be educated in the language and learning of the "Chaldeans", the professors of divination, magic, and astrology in Babylon (1:3-4). Jewish tradition has inferred from this passage that Daniel and his companions were made eunuchs; but this cannot be proved; the chief of the eunuchs was charged with training these Jewish youths, among others, to prepare them to enter the king's service (1:5). Daniel was given the new name of Belteshazzar/Baltassar (Babylonian Balâtsu-usur, "Bel protect his life"), and Ananiah, Mishael, and Azariah similarly were given the new names of Shadrach/Sidrach, Meshach/Misach, and Abednego/Abdenago. Daniel/Belteshazzar in agreement with them, asked for and obtained permission to not use the special food and wines from the royal table provided for all those in training, but to be limited to a vegetable diet and water only. After 10 days they appeared better fed and healthier than the other youths. At the end of three years (1:5) Daniel and his three companions appeared before the king, who found they excelled all the others who had been educated with them, and he promoted them to a place in his court. Whenever the prince tested them, they proved superior to "all the diviners, and wise men, that were in all his kingdom" (1:7-20).

After this—in the twelfth year of King Nebuchadnezzar/Nabuchodonosor, in the second year of his reign over King Zedekiah of Judah—Daniel manifested his gift of wisdom. After the failure of all the other wise men, he prayed, and then described and interpreted the king's dream of a colossal statue made of gold, silver, bronze, iron and clay, which, when struck by a stone shaped without hands, was broken into pieces and blown away, and the stone grew into a mountain that filled the whole earth. The king was satisfied, and Daniel in Babylon, as Joseph of old in Egypt, rose into high favour with him. Nebuchadnezzar/Nabuchodonosor bestowed on him numerous gifts, and in addition made him ruler of "the whole province of Babylon" and chief governor of "all the wise men". At Daniel's request, his three friends also received important promotions (chapter 2).

Further evidence of his wisdom was another dream of Nebuchadnezzar/Nabuchodonosor which he alone was able to interpret. The dream of a mighty tree, and the king heard the command given to cut it down, and that "seven times" should "pass over" its stump, which had been left standing. Daniel explained that this portended that in punishment of his pride the monarch would for a while lose his throne, be deprived of his reason, imagine himself an ox (bo-anthropy [53]), and live in the open fields, but be again restored to his power, finally convinced of the supreme might and goodness of the Most High. The Prophet exhorted the king to forestall such punishment by atoning for his sins with deeds of mercy (atoning for his sins with works [54]); but he did not listen to the word of God taught by the Prophet, and Daniel's prediction was fulfilled to the letter (chapter 4). For a parallel to this, see Abydenus' account (second century B.C.) quoted in Eusebius (Præp. Evang. IX, xl).[55]

After the death of Nebuchadnezzar/Nabuchodonosor (561 B.C.), the book simply intimates in Daniel, 5:11 and following, that he lost his high position at the court and lived long in retirement. But afterward, at the scene of revelry in Belshazzar/Baltasar's palace, on the eve of Cyrus's conquest of Babylon (538 B.C.), while Baltasar (Hebrew Belsh’aççar, corresponding to Babylonian Balâtsu-usur, "Bel protect the king") and his lords feasted, impiously drinking their wine from precious vessels which had been taken from the Temple at Jerusalem, there appeared the fingers of a man writing on the wall: "Mane, Thecel, Phares". None of the king's wise men was able to interpret these mysterious words, which Daniel, who at length had been summoned, translated and explained. For his reward Belshazzar, the second in the kingdom (Nabonidus was first in rank), made Daniel the third ruler in the kingdom Daniel 5:29. The prophet, now at least eighty years of age, remained in that exalted position under Darius the Mede, possibly to be identified with Darius Hystaspes (485 B.C.) though some disagree. When Darius thought of setting Daniel over all the kingdom (6:4), Daniel's fellow-ministers of state, fearing such an elevation, sought his ruin by convicting him of disloyalty to the Crown. They secured from the king a decree forbidding anyone to ask any petition of either god or man, except the monarch, for thirty days, under penalty of being cast into the lions' den. Daniel nevertheless prayed, three times a day, at his open window, towards Jerusalem. They reported this to the king, and coerced him into applying the threatened punishment for violation of the decree. When Darius saw Daniel's miraculous preservation in the lions' den, he published a decree that all in his realm should honour and revere the God of Daniel, proclaiming that He is "the living and eternal God". Daniel continued to prosper through the rest of the reign of Darius, and in that of his successor, Cyrus the Persian (chapter 6).

These are the only facts which may be gathered for a biography of the Prophet Daniel from the narrative portion of his book (1–6). Few other facts can be drawn from the second, distinctly apocalyptic, portion of the book (7–12), written in the first-person by Daniel. The visions there represent him chiefly as a seer favored with Divine communications about the future punishment of the Gentile powers and the ultimate setting up of the Messianic Kingdom. These revelations are given in the reigns of Darius, Belshazzar/Baltasar, and Cyrus, and are explained to him by the Angel Gabriel in increasingly clearer disclosures of what is to happen in "the time of the end". In the deuterocanonical appendix to his book (13–14), Daniel reappears in the same general character as in the first part of his work (1–6). Chapter 13 sets him forth as an inspired youth whose superior wisdom puts to shame and secures the punishment of the false accusers of the chaste Susanna. The concluding chapter (14) represents Daniel as a fearless and most successful champion of the true and living God, telling the history of the destruction of two Babylonian idols, Bel and the dragon. Outside of the Book of Daniel, the Bible has few references to the prophet of that name. Ezechiel (14:14) speaks of Daniel, together with Noah and Job, as a pattern of righteousness and, in chapter 28:3, as the representative of perfect wisdom. The writer of the First Book of Maccabees (2:60) refers to his deliverance out of the mouth of the lions, and St. Matthew (24:15) to "the abomination of desolation, which was spoken of by Daniel the prophet". Jewish tradition had been attempting to complete the meagre account of Daniel's life as supplied by the Sacred Scriptures. The tradition of the Jews, accepted by many Fathers of the Church, states that he was made a eunuch in Babylon. Other Jewish traditions represent him as refusing divine honors proffered to him by Nebuchadnezzar/Nabuchodonosor; they explain the reason why he was not forced with his three friends to worship that prince's statue in the plain of Dura (Daniel 3), was that he had been sent away by the king, who wanted to spare Daniel's life, for he knew full well that the prophet would never agree to commit such an act of idolatry; they also give many fanciful details, as for instance concerning what happened to Daniel in the lions' den. Others endeavour to account for what they assume to be a fact, that Yahweh's devout prophet apparently did not return to God's land and city after the decree of restoration issued by Cyrus; while others again assert that he actually went back to Judea and died there. Equally incredible and conflicting legends concerning Daniel's life and place of burial are found in Arabic literature, although his name is not mentioned in the Koran. During the Middle Ages a widespread and persistent tradition held that Daniel was buried at Susa, the modern Shuster, in the Persian province of Khuzistan. In the account of his visit to Susa in A.D. 1165, Rabbi Benjamin of Tudela narrates that Daniel's tomb was shown him in the façade of one of the synagogues of that city; and it is shown there to the present day.

The text

The author of chapters 1:1–7:1 (according to their numbering in the Vulgate Bible) is unknown. He may have been a disciple of the Prophet. Chapters 7:2–12:13 are presented as first-person narratives written by Daniel himself.

Theories abound about the date of writing but most of these entangle themselves in the liberalist scholarly dating of the book of Daniel into the 2nd Century B.C. rather than its stated dating as being from the hand of Daniel himself, in 534 B.C..

Scholars with a liberal bias do not acknowledge the supernatural foreknowledge of any written prophecy, presumptively dating each book as having been written after the prophecy was fulfilled. Conservative responses to these pointed dating theories take Proverbs 26:4 above Proverbs 26:5 in the case of such outspoken one-sided opinions [56] In Hill and Waltons Survey of the Old Testament Introduction to the book of Daniel (and throughout their whole survey) excessive weight is given the 'scholars' who support the latest possible speculative dating of Bible books.[57] When extensive argument is given to refute their dating and critical treatment of the Bible it seems to lend them more credence than they are due.[58] Many modern scholars have a preconceived notion of a bible that evolved from man. As evolution of a species requires the fabrication of millions of years of evolution, so the premise of evolution of a bible requires that the scholars similarly manufacture and collect hundreds of years of folklore and legend as being prior to the written Biblical record. In support of their opinions they stretch out dates and propose compounded multiple authorship. The proposed conclusions constructed from abuse of legitimate historical-critical dating methods by some "modern scholars" on any manuscript can be treated as suspect, as subjective and as having little substantive credibility, based on a long history of evidential findings of slanted scholarship by peer-reviewed journals of biblical studies.[59] (See Historical-critical method: "illegitimate historical-critical findings") It is quite logical that the book was composed and written during the captivity, and that no cheating trick was made to make it look ancient. The major contention is not when the Book of Daniel was written, even if it was written the day Daniel got out of the lions den. The problem with the account for the scholar is its authenticity, and/or its authority: was it written by Daniel, was it written by one in the know, and was it written by one in the control of God?

Critics of the Book of Daniel who base their datings of the time of writing on extant 2nd century B.C. hand-copied manuscripts almost entirely ignore the fact that after Daniel wrote it, the book was sealed and kept hidden "until the time of the end". Daniel 12:4 and 12:9 This is why no textual manuscript evidence for the book predates the 2nd century B.C.. We know about the book and its inspired content only because it had finally been unsealed; then immediately handwritten manuscript copies were made and distributed to be read to the assemblies of the people beginning the 2nd century B.C. as proof that all that had happened had been prophesied. (A parallel example is found in Isaiah 44:24-45:7.) The Book of Daniel is an extreme historical example of handwritten posthumous publication.

The Prayer of the Three Holy Children is a segment of a larger component called The Prayer of Azariah and the Prayer of the Three Holy Children which, although part of the Septuagint text, is considered by Protestants as part of the Apocrypha rather than a fully canonical part of Scripture, and so appears in most English-language bibles as a separate section. When included within the larger text of Daniel, it appears in the third chapter of between verses 23 and 24.

The song constitutes a hymn of thanksgiving to God for deliverence from the fiery furnace into which the three young men, Ananias, Azarias and Misael (also known as Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego) had been cast by the Persian king Nebuchadnezzar. They were cast into the furnace for refusing to worship a golden idol that Nebuchadnezzar had created. However, an Angel of the Lord entered the furnace and protected the three young men. In liturgical practice, the event is seen to presage the Resurrection of Christ, thus its inclusion in the canon.

The Abingdon Bible Handbook (ISBN 0687001692) suggests that the Prayer was based on an earlier composition and was added to the existing text of Daniel sometime in the second or first century B.C.

There is the strongest evidence respecting the genuineness and authenticity of the book, both internal and external. We have the testimony of Christ himself, Matthew 24:15; of St. John and St. Paul, who have copied his prophecies; of the Jewish synagogue and nation, who have constantly received this book as canonical but have never ranked it among the Prophets; of Josephus, who recommends him as the greatest of the prophets; and of the Jewish tannaim and amoraim, which frequently in the Talmud cite his authority. As to the internal evidence, the style, language, and manner of writing perfectly agree with the historical period represented from Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon into the reigns of Cyrus and Darius of Persia; and especially, Daniel is proved to have been a prophet by the exact fulfilment of his predictions. This book, like that of Ezra, is written partly in Hebrew, and partly in Chaldee, the prevailing language of the Babylonians, and was translated in its entirety for the Jews of the Diaspora into Greek, the prevailing language of the entire Levant and middle east from the 2nd century B.C. through the 1st century of Christianity.

Date of the Book

The date the book of Daniel was written is controversial. For conservative Christians, the earliest date is about 530 B.C.. For liberal scholars (Naturalists), the latest data is about 165 B.C..

Foretold Events after 165 B.C.

Using 165 B.C. as the date of authorship, any prophecy before that date is considered to be writing after the fact about past events. However, events foretold to occur after 165 B.C. are truly prophetic. Objective evidence to confirm each event is all that is required.

Daniel’s prophecy recorded in chapter 9 has frequently been called the Prophecy of the 70-weeks. The Hebrew word for "weeks" means a period of 7-years ([see Strong's Concordance Number 7620). The 70-weeks is a multiplication of 70 times 7-years, equaling 490 years. During this period, at various stages, specific human events are expected, relating to the Jewish people, to Jerusalem, and to the coming Messiah. Christians logically accept this prophecy of an everlasting kingdom as being fulfilled by Jesus.

Conservative Christian scholars do not accept the proposed 165 B.C. as the date when the Book of Daniel was written. Verification of the individual prophecies in the 70-weeks period as corresponding to historical events does offer an explanation of why conservative scholars hold to the position that Daniel was authored as early as 530 B.C.. Although modern scholars (Naturalist) may not agree with the conservative dating, evidence exists to support the traditional conservative Christian view. The 165 B.C. date proposed by most Biblical scholars can substantiate the conservative view that the Book of Daniel is genuine prophesy.

What does the 70-weeks prophecy foretell?

The prophecy including future events is based on a prayer made by Daniel. He prays for the Jewish people, their sin, and he begs that God will permit them to return from Babylon to Jerusalem. Daniel's precedent for his petition is another Jewish prophet, Jeremiah (Jeremiah 29:10-12), who had already foretold that the Jewish people would return to Jerusalem (Daniel 9:2-3). Daniel only asks when the Jewish people will be allowed to return to Jerusalem.

The Archangel Gabriel brings an answer to Daniel from God that foretells the future. Gabriel gives Daniel a prophecy about the future of the Jewish people and Jerusalem. However, according to Christian reading of the scripture, Gabriel links the Jewish people and their return to the coming of the Messiah.

Most Christians accept that the prophetic events of Daniel’s prophecy of the 70-weeks fit Jesus’ life and ministry, generally understanding the 70-weeks prophecy to be a literally foretelling of the Messiah. Three primary reasons are usually presented as to why Christians take the view that Jesus literally fulfilled this prophecy, though some disagree.

First and foremost, according to this view, the prophecy reveals that the Messiah (an anointed one) would be killed at Jerusalem.

Second, according to this view, the prophecy reveals that the Messiah (an anointed one) had to appear at Jerusalem before its destruction. Jerusalem was destroyed in the year A.D. 70, which fits Jesus’ lifetime.

Third, many Christians take the view that Daniel 11:20-22 is a summary of the gospel story, based on the interpretation that the purpose of the Messiah’s death is foretold in the 70-weeks prophecy as described by verses 31-35 which mirrors the basic teachings of the New Testament. There is purpose in the Messiah’s death based on what Gabriel foretold Daniel 12:1-3.

Fundamentalist textual evaluation

God used the Jewish teachers/rabbis as the arbiters of what is to be considered an approved text. They said no to the additions to Daniel. Many fundamentalists agree with their assessment by looking at these additional texts. If one were to ask their opinion, these texts to do not appear to them to be inspired. The Jews, by consensus, accepted Genesis-Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges,?..,Ecclesiastes,?. But they did not accept 2 Maccabees, Jubilees, 3 Enoch, additions to Daniel, etc into their canon. They admit that they accept by faith that God influenced the final canon of the OT as selected by the consensus of the Jews after the time of Christ, which may not be a very useful instrument to "one who does not have faith" (a variation of the logical fallacy of No true Scotsman. The MT does not include these texts (from the 8th century). The fundamentalist will say the LXX did not either, and yet admit that although it is true that when Jerome translated the OT he was forced (against his will, they add) to include the "Apocrypha" in the Vulgate translation. The Masoretic text is clear on this. But what is to be included in the LXX is not clear to them. Some who oppose their view say that anything which was translated into Greek B.C. which eventually made it into the Vulgate is, by definition, part of the LXX. But fundamentalist Christians do not agree at all, pointing out that this is proof by definition, which is not a good form of proof. They insist that the parts of the Greek/Jewish literature which are to be accepted are the parts of the Greek Bible (and therefore the LXX) which were accepted by the Jews, for example, at the Council of Jamnia, after the establishment of the Christian Church. There is no absolutely clear cut list or canon that all Jews accepted, but the consensus of A.D. the first centuries among the Jews is that Ecclesiasticus, Bel and the Dragon etc. are not inspired. Fundamentalists point out that neither Jesus nor the NT writers ever quoted even a single time from Ecclesiasticus, 1 Maccabees, Tobit, Bel and the Dragon, yet they quoted extensively from virtually every OT book. They insist that the only exception is a possible quote or at least a direct reference to Enoch in Jude. Yet the books quoted by Jesus and the New Testament writers do not include Ezra, Nehemiah, Esther and Song of Songs (Song of Solomon). But this does not mean they are not inspired scripture.

Fundamentalists consistently affirm that there is ample evidence to justify the omission of these writings from the Christian Bible despite the adoption of them by the Roman Catholic Church. Their position is that despite the "misjudgment" of those who made versions of the Old Testament and included the apocryphal books in the same collection with the Holy Scriptures; despite the "error" made by the students of these versions who began to interpret these apocryphal books on a plane which approached the Holy Scriptures; the apocryphal books are "clearly not on the plane of the Holy Scriptures". They maintain that examination of the content of the book Bel and the Dragon (Daniel chapter 14) and the examination of the external evidences surrounding that book (that chapter) boldly justify exclusion of this work from the collection of books that have been and are today regarded as verbally inspired, genuinely preserved Holy Scriptures. They point out that this apocryphal book was considered by some as an addition to the book of Daniel but that it was not included after the time of Christ in the Hebrew Holy Scriptures by the rabbinical Jewish school at Jamnia and the Masoretic scholars among the Jews.[5] The writing itself does not appear to fundamentalist Protestants to have the authoritative style of Daniel, for the accounts in these texts according to their reading contradict details accredited to Daniel himself, and they see that the third person style of a prophet's transport across time and space all makes the writing clearly non-Daniel in authorship, and non-inspired of God. They see the questionable authorship, the date of writing, the language and preservation as clearly indicating that those who collected the writings from Daniel himself, had no access or at least no regard for the book (the 14th chapter of Daniel) now called Bel and the Dragon. These simple evidences which fundamentalists present clearly justify to them "the conclusion made 2400 years ago", that Bel and the Dragon is not Holy Scripture. Yet it was included and preserved as an integral part of the Greek Bible of the early Christian Church from the 1st century.

The argument that the dragon in this account must have been an idol of a serpent is contested by R.H. Charles in his introduction to Bel and the Dragon.[60] Such an argument is wholly without measure since plainly from the text the creature is a living creature, and from the text it is not just a large serpent. These clear distinctions are brought into controversy by those 'scholars' who believe that any dragon type creature would have been extinct millions of years before this writing. Such a long road of presuppositions paved with an evolutionary theory often cloud simple facts from the 'scholar's' view. There is ample evidence that dragon like creatures (today given the name dinosaur, meaning 'terrible lizard') were prevalent in the Babylonian era.[61]

Fundamentalists have pointed out that although scholars often say we know more now than we ever have about the transmittal of the Bible. This is not necessarily true. The scholars and scribes of the 1st through the 3rd century A.D. knew far more than any modern scholar is willing to credit them, since they were closer in time to the origin of the writings than we are. After the turn of the century Biblical scholars have been seen as overtly influenced by the philosophy of evolution to where they consider these early scholars as ignorant cave men, and themselves as highly evolved intellectuals. There is still an inbred reluctance in modern scholarship to acknowledge that these were holy men of God writing as they were moved by the Holy Spirit of God, and not bumbling editors collecting and evolving and editing writings over thousands of years that developed into a book now called a Bible. The 19th century German Biblical scholars began the over-developed and prejudiced theory embraced by radical liberalist scholars over the past 150 years.

In the view of fundamentalist Biblical scholars the accounts in Daniel 13 and 14 emphasize the craftiness of Daniel above the provision, protection and wisdom of God. They acknowledge that this in itself is permissible, since it often occurs in other accounts of canonical Bible characters. Their concern here is that it appears to come as a third person account, and that it appears to them to contain a flavor of a story told and passed on by those outside the king's palace, and as certainly not authored by Daniel, although they admit that it is true that scripture writers sometimes wrote portions in third person. The story has as its theme what appears to them to be the craftiness of Daniel to expose false idol worship, which others accept as the expression of divine wisdom. Fundamentalists point out that there is no need here to reject these events as fable or fiction, that indeed it is very likely that many instances of Daniel's wisdom, wit and ability were not recorded by Daniel himself, but were told and retold outside the palaces of the Babylonian kingdom and likely recorded in writing. Daniel did not likely exist day to day with a tremendous miracle of deliverance to account or relate in his personal journal each week. However the passing on of what they regard as his "less miraculous, more crafty" daily existence, as interpreted by them, was not passed on as inspired and preserved scripture from the pen of a prophet. They maintain that if the Jewish scribes that collected and preserved the sacred writings of that era after the time of Christ thought these accounts unfit for addition to what was accepted as Daniel's writing, they certainly find nothing substantive within these accounts to warrant overriding their decision.

Again, fundamentalist Christians insist that it is not necessary to dismiss these accounts as false, only to recognize they lack the authority of first person accounts, and therefore may be stories that were passed on without Godly inspiration or preservation of truth and detail. They maintain that indeed every part of the account of Bel is conceivable and believable, but that the account of the dragon is only conceivable and believable up to the point of the lion's den account. They say that given the credibility of these accounts, their one drawback is the perceived degree of authority with which they present and support some revelation from God, and of God, saying that they fit better into a category of story that was passed outside the palaces emphasizing the craftiness of Daniel. They do not seem to them to present revelation from God, as preserved by God, to record His sovereign dealings with his prophet Daniel. Thus according to this view there is not any internal evidence that Bel and the Dragon should have been included at the end of the writings of Daniel, even if they were part of the Septuagint Old Testament of the Christian Greek Bible. As far as the internal evidences are concerned, according to fundamentalist Christians, the Jewish scribes who left them out of the Jewish canon were certainly justified.

Lion's Den Contradictions

The account of the lion's den in Daniel 14 is examined by fundamentalists as a contradiction of the account in Daniel 6, although it is presented in the book as a separate and much later event. Inclusion of this detail first causes these accounts to be seen by fundamentalist scholars as stories passed on outside the palace walls. They point out that either the account of Daniel 6 is accurate or the account of Bel and the Dragon is accurate, but that both cannot fit together into the same account, and that the idea that Daniel was cast twice into a lion's den with such similar timing and circumstance cannot be supported. So they conclude that one account is false or at best highly speculative in detail. They emphasize that Jewish scribes who knew the sources of their manuscripts chose Daniel 6 as accurate. Fundamentalist Christian scholars find here no evidence to override such a decision, but instead that a brief examination "in fact" supports the Jews' suspicions toward the Bel and the Dragon account, and they contrast some of the differences in these accounts. In the fundamentalist view, within Bel and the Dragon the miraculous is presented as more of a fanciful fairy tale, as a fable, rather than as an authoritative depiction of a miracle. This accusation is made because of the portrayal of Habbacuc's transportation from Judah to the Babylonian lion's den and then back.

The miraculous transport of the Prophet Habakkuk to the lions den with a "sack lunch" for Daniel is for them so beyond belief that some of them contend it is "certainly a later piece having no necessary connection with the rest of the story" and that it is a "far more fanciful thing" than found elsewhere in the scriptures. Of course, this overlooks the fact that Daniel had been without food and water for six days, and such a consolation, brought so miraculously by his fellow Prophet from Judea, would be an overwhelming encouragement and additional proof of God's power and providential care. However, they acknowledge that just being different does not warrant its exclusion, else they would eliminate the translation of Elijah (2 Kings 2), the snatching away of Enoch (Genesis 5:24) or the other irregular miracles accounted in the scripture. They maintain that there are no other similar accounts of such a transport of one prophet to assist or encourage another in any other Old Testament scripture. Thus the miraculous "zapping" of one person across time or space is not lightly regarded here. But on this basis every account of a miraculous occurrance having no similar parallel account elsewhere in the Old Testament would also be disqualified. So they emphasize that the downfall of the credibility of the transport of Habakkuk is what they see as its "total lack of authority, necessity, and significance". However, see Acts 8:26-40 where Philip was suddenly transported more than 40 miles from where he had baptized the Ethiopian eunuch, and was suddenly found at Azotus.

Examination of the book Bel and the Dragon reveals to fundamentalist scholars and commentators that this writing "does not follow the pattern and authority of Daniel's hand to emphasize the power of God over the craftiness of man", dismissing the fact that Daniel's exercise of "craftiness" in defeating pagan superstition is an expression of divine wisdom. The writing "even contradicts the Daniel-given account of the lion's den", and the miraculous transport of Habakkuk to the den's mouth "is not in the first person nor authoritative", and is thus "fanciful" and "more a presentation of legend than a historical event". They state that the Book of Daniel interweaves history with spiritual revelation and does this with supernatural skill and authority. Catholic and Orthodox Bible scholars agree. But fundamentalists insist that to include such a narration as Bel and the Dragon at the end of God's masterpiece through Daniel would be "certain folly", folly that was "avoided by the scribes who collected the scriptures at the end of the Babylonian Captivity". This examination of the internal evidences of Bel and the Dragon reveals to them little credibility for overriding what they see as the initial Jewish decision to "hide" this section from the temple books they considered as Holy Scripture and classify this chapter of Daniel as an apocryphal book, even while Jewish scribes included it in their translation of the Holy Scriptures into Greek.[5]

External Evidences

Fundamentalists also look at external evidences for the rejection of Bel and the Dragon as Holy Scripture. The external evidences against this chapter include its language, its authenticity, assurance of its author, and date of writing, and manuscript evidence that would include evidence of how it was treated by early collectors of the scriptures. These evidences primarily give indications of how it was treated by those closest to the author who wrote the accounts, and its earliest acceptance or rejection. They honestly acknowledge that the problem of looking at these external evidences is generally a subjective evaluation. Some of these evidences, however subjective, appear to them to clearly support the Jewish suspicions that this writing has been subjected to ever since the scriptures of the captivity period were first collected and considered holy, similar to the suspicions cast on the books of Esther, Ecclesiastes and the Song of Solomon.

The Language of the Manuscripts.

A fundamentalist argument against all the portions called additions to Daniel being considered Scripture is found in the language of the manuscripts. The shorter more abbreviated Daniel written in both Hebrew and Aramaic is distinct from the fuller text including the parts that are not found in either Hebrew nor Aramaic and thus appear as clearly separate entities. The original language of the additions has been in dispute. There are no extant Hebrew or Aramaic 'versions'. Only Greek 'versions' were ever found.[62] Although it has been strongly attested by eminent scholars in the Catholic Church that the original book was Hebrew,[1] fundamentalists assert that they attest to this largely because it supported their doctrine that the apocryphal books are Scripture, rather than for any manuscript reasons. They point out that in fact "some word plays in the Greek make it very unlikely that the additions to Daniel were translated from Hebrew".[63] R.H. Charles contends that the additions were "written originally almost certainly in Hebrew" [63] but fundamentalists say this is a subjective view with little evidence, and that should an argument be proven for a Hebrew original, it still stands clear the text for the Bel and the Dragon was not preserved in the Temple with the book of Daniel as were the Holy Scriptures, and this fanciful account was not considered scripture by the 5th century B.C. Hebrew Scribes. Regardless of whether it was originally written in Hebrew or not, the lack of any extant Hebrew manuscript of Bel and the Dragon is for fundamentalists a strong indication that it never was regarded as scripture, even if it was a part of the Greek Bible of the early Christian Church in the 1st through 5th centuries.

Its Treatment in Ancient Versions

In the Latin Vulgate, a translation of the Septuagint (Greek Version of the OT), Bel and the Dragon is positioned as chapter 14 of Daniel. There are however, no extant early manuscripts that support this addition to the book. It is obvious to fundamentalists that the Hebrew scribes in charge of keeping the Holy Scriptures preserved within the Temple did not safeguard Bel and the Dragon as Scripture, (i.e no Hebrew version of the book is in existence, it simply was not included nor kept by the scribes.)

It is clear that Origen, the Alexandrine 2nd century biblical scholar (c. A.D. 185-254 ) clearly made a separation between the protocanonical books of the OT and the deuterocanonical books,[64] however he does defend the Septuagint additions to Daniel, i.e. Susanna.[65] In this defense he infers that these additions were kept out because of embarrassment of the scholars (elders) who determined which books were to be canonical. This defense is seen by fundamentalists as clearly unjust and plainly opposed to the great care and careful selection of writings considered to be Holy Scriptures. Fundamentalists say this process of canonization is greatly exaggerated and misused by scholars who are bent on defaming the Bible, that they make as though it were a council that convened, debated and voted about whether a book was acceptable, discarding some and including others. But they assert instead that in actuality the acceptance and authenticity of a writing was done by the actual author who wrote, then turned the work over to the scribes for preservation as the Word of the LORD.[66] They assume without question that the shorter version of the Book of Daniel is the original composition and not a later abbreviated form of a longer text written originally by Daniel, which he sealed and turned over to the scribes for preservation, but now lost, whose full message and contents after it was unsealed were originally copied in Aramaic, and have been divinely preserved in Greek translation by rabbinical scholars before the time of Christ, and transmitted in the Septuagint Old Testament text of the Greek Bible preserved from the 1st century to the present day, which the Jews rejected.

External Evidence Summary

Although some manuscript versions of the Old Testament clearly treated the apocryphal books on a parallel plane with Holy Scripture, it is clear to fundamentalists that their predecessors did not. They see the external evidences apparent around Bel and the Dragon clearly, yet subjectively, point to a conclusion that this work was not highly regarded by those who were close to the prophets and scribes of the exile. The questions and suspicions about its authorship, date and original language indicate to them that those who wanted Bel included with the book of Daniel were acting more on other motivations than on the evidences on hand. They conclude that this error was swallowed by a whole universal (Catholic) church including all of its trained Biblical scholars who were experts in Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek, but that the evidence to support this addition to the book of Daniel is just not there.

The fundamentalist view is that despite the "misjudgment" of those who made versions of the Old Testament and included the apocryphal books in the same collection with the Holy Scriptures; despite what they see as the "error" made by the students of these versions who obviously began to interpret these apocryphal books on a plane which approached the Holy Scriptures; the apocryphal books are seen as clearly not on that plane. Their examination of the content of the book Bel and the Dragon and their examination of the external evidences surrounding the book boldly justifies to them the exclusion of this work from the collection of books which have been and are today regarded as verbally inspired, genuinely preserved Holy Scriptures. The writing itself does not appear to them to have the authoritative style of Daniel, the accounts appear to contradict details accredited to Daniel himself, and the third person style of a prophet's transport across time and space all appears to make the writing clearly non-Daniel in authorship, and non-inspired of God. The "questionable" authorship, date of writing, language and preservation by the Jews clearly indicates to fundamentalist Christian scholars that those who collected the writings from Daniel himself, had no access to or at least no regard for the book now called Bel and the Dragon, even if rabbinical Greek copies included that chapter of Daniel. They maintain that the simple evidences presented in this work clearly justify "the conclusion that was made 2400 years ago", that Bel and the Dragon is not Holy Scripture, but "an account of events in Daniel's life, made by those outside the inner circle of God". Fundamentalists acknowledge without hesitation that the chosen prophets who recorded God's word, did so with the authority and supernatural protection of God. This supernatural protection followed their written words as supernatural preservation for the truths that God intended us to have in the 21st century. Orthodox and Catholic scholars heartily agree, and point to their preservation in the Septuagint and Vulgate as authoritative Holy Scripture. For fundamentalists this authority and preservation are clearly missing from the account of Bel and the Dragon.

Historical-critical textual analysis


The Book of Daniel may be divided into two parts: chapters 1–6, recounting the earlier events of Daniel's life; chapters 7–12, containing his prophecies, and an appendix containing the Prologue of his youth and the events of his last years under Darius. "While the first part proves that it is impossible for the world-empire to belong to the heathen forever, the second part shows that Israel is destined to found this world empire through the son of man, who has long since existed in heaven" (J. Böhmer, "Reich Gottes und Menschensohnim Buche Daniel," 1899, p. 60).

The rabbinically added episodes of Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon, found today only in the Greek version, are edifying short stories with a didactic purpose (chaps. 13–14). The Greek version also includes a prayer and a hymn of praise, numbered in The New American Bible, Revised Edition NABRE and the Greek Bible as 3:24–90, between 3:23 and 3:24 in the shorter "Hebrew" (Aramaic) text.

The book is a mixture of history and prophecy. The wonders related have a peculiar and striking character, designed to show the people of God that, amid their degradation, the Lord's hand is not so shortened that it cannot save; also to exhibit to their enemies that there is an essential difference between יהוה LORD and idols, between the people of God and the world. The prophecies of the latter part of the book extend from the days of Daniel to the general resurrection. The Assyrian, the Persian, the Grecian, and the Roman empires, or the Babylonian, the Medan, the Persian and the Grecian empires (the "little horn" as Antiochus IV) are described under appropriate imagery. The precise time of Christ's coming is told; the rise and the fall of antichrist, and the duration of his power, are accurately determined; the victory of Christ over his enemies, and the universal prevalence of his religion are clearly pointed out. The book is filled with the most exalted sentiments of piety and devout gratitude. Its style is simple, clear, and concise, and many of the prophecies are delivered in language so plain and circumstantial, that some radical scholars have asserted that they were written after the events they described had taken place, since it is obvious to them that no one can accurately predict the future (the fallacy of exclusion, also called "cherry picking" [67]). Sir Isaac Newton regards Daniel as the most distinct and plain of all the prophets, and most easy to be understood; and therefore considers that in things relating to the last times, he is to be regarded as the key to the other prophets.

The book does not belong strictly to the prophetic writings but is rather an early specimen of a distinctive type of literature called "apocalyptic". Apocalyptic literature first appeared about 200 B.C. and flourished among Jews and Christians down to the Middle Ages, especially in times of persecution. The genre has its roots in the older teaching of the prophets, who often pointed ahead to the consummation of history, the Day of the Lord. Both prophet and apocalyptist testify to one Lord of history, who will repeatedly and also ultimately vindicate his chosen people. Apocalyptic also has roots in the wisdom tradition. Daniel's gift of discerning wisdom is from God alone. By contrast the pagan wisdom of the gentiles (represented by the Babylonian "magicians and enchanters") is worthy of ridicule (see especially chapters 2 and 5), whereas God reveals hidden things to his faithful servants that cannot be known by reason alone.

Chapters 7–12 present a series of visions promising deliverance and glory to the Jews in the days to come. The great nations of the ancient world have risen in vain against the Lord; his kingdom shall overthrow existing powers and last forever; in the end the dead will be raised for reward or punishment. Under this apocalyptic imagery some of the best elements of prophetic and sapiential teaching are synthesized: insistence on right conduct (works), divine control over events, certainty that the kingdom of God will ultimately triumph and humanity will attain the fullness of the destiny intended for it at the beginning of creation. The arrival of the kingdom is a central theme of the Christian Gospel. Jesus is identified as the human figure ("Son of Man") who appears in Daniel’s vision in chapter 7 (John 9:35-38). The message in both parts of the first twelve chapters (1–6 and 7–12) is that history unfolds under the sovereign rule of God, who never abandons those who trust in him and will finally deliver and re-establish them. Chapters 2 and 7 present the same teaching in different symbolic forms; 2:31 also describes the dream of the king himself as a "vision", as Pharaoh's dream in the Book of Genesis (41) was a vision Genesis 41:8.


In its form the book shows striking differences, for while 2:4 to 7:28 is written in Aramaic, the immediately preceding and following portions are written in Hebrew. It is not easy to discover the reason for this peculiarity; it suggests, however, that the "Chaldeans" in this book are the Arameans or Syrians. A similar instance occurs in the Seder 'Olam Zuṭa (ed. Joh. Meyer), where the author gradually lapses into Aramaic in talking of personages of the Babylonian exile, but on page 117 returns to Hebrew. The author of Daniel may have meant to introduce the "Chaldeans" in their own language, and then inadvertently continued in the language that was familiar to him (Driver, "Daniel", page xxii [68] J. Böhmer p. 150 [68] maintains that the Aramaic portion was so written because its contents concerned all peoples; Prince and others suggest that the whole book was written originally in Hebrew, and translated into Aramaic; and that a part of the Hebrew book was lost, and replaced by the Aramaic translation. This opinion, however, does not weigh the fact that the Aramaic begins with the speech of the "Chaldeans." Other scholars think that the whole book was originally written in Aramaic, while the beginning and end were translated into Hebrew so that the book might be incorporated into the canon.[69] But if its inclusion in the canon had depended on its Hebrew form, it would have been necessary to translate the whole into Hebrew, unless the censor was satisfied with looking only at the first part and the last part of the scroll. In any case the linguistic diversity in parts of this book is no reason for assuming two sources for it, as Meinhold does in his Commentary (p. 262); for the Aramaic Book of Daniel could not have begun with 2:4.

Another difference in form is found in the fact that the political history forming the background of the first six chapters is absent in 7–12. The author probably thought his initial task was to recount without a break the historical facts of Daniel's life; his second task being to record the revelations vouchsafed to Daniel which were not connected with the experiences of other people. In the first six chapters Daniel is introduced in the third person, while in the others he appears as the speaker. This is explicable on the ground that the second part of the book is concerned only with the presentation of Daniel's inner experiences to the exclusion of all objective relations. Such transitions are found in other books—compare, for example, Hosea 1 and 3. The change of person therefore does not necessarily affect the unity of the book. (For other opinions on the composite character of the Book of Daniel, see Eduard König, "Einleitung ins Alte Testament," p. 384; Von Gall, "Die Einheitlichkeit des Buches Daniel," 1895; G. A. Barton, "The Composition of the Book of Daniel," in "Jour. Bib. Lit." 1898, pp. 62-86). Barton finds a contradiction between 1:1, 5, 18, and 2:1; for Nebuchadnezzar is designated as "king" in 1:1, and, according to 1:5, 18, Daniel and his friends were to be prepared three years prior to appearing before the king, while in 2:1 it is stated that this happened as early as the second year of Nebuchadnezzar. Still it was not an unnatural prolepsis (anticipatory introduction) on first mentioning Nebuchadnezzar, who subsequently became king, to give him the title by which he was commonly known at the time of writing. Barton also finds a contradiction between the words "And Daniel continued even unto the first year of King Cyrus" (1:21) and the words "In the third year of Cyrus, king of Persia, a thing was revealed unto Daniel" (10:1). But 1:21 does not mean that Daniel lived "even unto the first year of Cyrus," but that Daniel survived even the fall of Nebuchadnezzar's kingdom and that of his successor. The other contradictions mentioned by Barton are discussed by Eduard König in "Theologisches Litteraturblatt," 1898, columns 539 and following. His conclusion that nine different and complete episodes follow the first chapter is therefore untenable. The book, however, may have included originally only 1–7, an assumption that would explain the following three circumstances: the dropping of the Aramaic; the formula "Hitherto is the end of the matter" (7:28); and the juxtaposition of two materially identical narratives as found in 7 and 8. As events unfolded themselves, amplifications of the prophecy in the form of pamphlets, pointing even more clearly to the day of liberation, may have been added.


Genesis of the Book of Daniel: The hero and traditional author of the book which bears his name.

Stories undoubtedly existed of a person by the name of Daniel, who was known to Ezekiel as a wise man. Tradition then ascribed to this wise man all the traits which Israel could attribute to its heroes. He was exalted as the pattern of piety and faithfulness; and it may also have been said that he interpreted dreams, read cryptograms, and foreshadowed the beginning of the Messianic kingdom. In any case his name may have played the same rôle in literature as that of Solomon or that of Enoch; and as one author ascribed his book, "Koheleth," to Solomon, so another author may have made Daniel responsible for his. As to the origin of his prophecies, it would probably be unjust to say that they were inventions. They may have been suggested by the author's enthusiastic study of the past history of God's people. He utilized the past to unlock the future. This is evident from 9:2, where the author says that he had paid attention to the prophecy of Jeremiah concerning the seventy years, which earlier prophecy became the basis for a new prophecy. This shows that the author was merely a disciple of the Prophets, one who reproduced the prophecies of his masters. His book, indeed, is not included in the section Nebiim.

This name (Hebrew dnyal or dnal; Septuagint Daniél), which is also that of two other persons in the Old Testament [cf. 1 Paralipomenon (1 Chronicles) 3:1; 1 Esdras 8:2, and 2 Esdras (Nehemiah) 10:6], means "God is my judge", and is thus a fitting appellation for the writer of the Book of Daniel, wherein God's judgments are repeatedly pronounced upon the Gentile powers.

W. Sibley Towner writes (Harper's Bible Commentary, p. 696): "Daniel is one of the few OT books that can be given a fairly firm date. In the form in which we have it (perhaps without the additions of 12:11, 12), the book must have been given its final form some time in the years 167-164 B.C. This dating is based upon two assumptions: first, that the authors lived at the later end of the historical surveys that characterize Daniel 7-12; and second, that prophecy is accurate only when it is given after the fact, whereas predictions about the future tend to run astray. Based upon these assumptions, the references to the desecration of the Temple and the 'abomination that makes desolate' in 8:9-12; 9:27; and 11:31 must refer to events known to the author. The best candidates for the historical referents of these events are the desecration of the Temple in Jerusalem and the erection in it of a pagan altar in the autumn of 167 B.C. by Antiochus IV Epiphanes. The inaccurate description of the end of Antiochus' reign and his death in 11:40-45, on the other hand, suggests that the author did not know of those events, which occurred late in 164 or early in 163 B.C. The roots of the hagiographa (idealizing stories) about Daniel and his friends in chaps. 1-6 may date to an earlier time, but the entire work was given its final shape in 164 B.C."

Louis F. Hartman writes (The Jerome Biblical Commentary, vol. 1, p. 448): "Having lost sight of these ancient modes of writing, until relatively recent years Jews and Christians have considered Dn to be true history, containing genuine prophecy. Inasmuch as chs. 7-12 are written in the first person, it was natural to assume that Daniel in chs. 1-6 was a truly historical character and that he was the author of the whole book. There would be few modern biblical scholars, however, who would now seriously defend such an opinion. The arguments for a date shortly before the death of Antiochus IV Epiphanes in 164 are overwhelming. An author living in the 6th century could hardly have written the late Hebrew used in Daniel, and its Aramaic is certainly later than the Aramaic of the Elephantine papyri, which date from the end of the 5th century. The theological outlook of the author, with his interest in angelology, his apocalyptic rather than prophetic vision, and especially his belief in the resurrection of the dead, points unescapably to a period long after the Babylonian Exile. His historical perspective, often hazy for events in the time of the Babylonian and Persian kings but much clearer for the events during the Seleucid Dynasty, indicates the Hellenistic age. Finally, his detailed description of the profanation of the Temple of Jerusalem by Antiochus IV Epiphanes in 167 and the following persecution (9:27; 11:30-35) contrasted with his merely general reference to the evil end that would surely come to such a wicked man (11:45), indicates a composition date shortly before the death of this king in 164, therefore probably in 165."

Hartman writes of Daniel 14:1-22 (The Jerome Biblical Commentary, vol. 1, p. 460): "This little 'detective story' is another folk tale of the 'Daniel Cycle.' It is a Jewish satire on the crudities of idolatry, although actually it is a caricature of pagan worship. The offering of food and drink in sacrifice to pagan gods did not differ substantially from similar offerings made to Yahweh in the Temple. In both cases, a certain amount of the sacrificial offerings went quite legitimately to the priests and their families. However, the Jews of the last pre-Christian centuries were so convinced of the folly of idolatry (cf. Wisdom 13:1-15:17) that this unfair ridicule of pagan worship is understandable."

Hartman writes of Daniel 14:23-42 (The Jerome Biblical Commentary, vol. 1, p. 460): "Another short story of the 'Daniel Cycle,' it is basically a variant of the story told in Dn 6 (Daniel in the lions' den). Here is included another satire on pagan worship—Daniel's blowing up of the Babylonians' divine serpent. Although once an independent story, in its present form it is edited to follow the preceding tale (cf. v. 28); in all the Gk manuscripts, the two stories are together, and the LXX even prefixes to the former the note, 'From the prophecy of Habakkuk, son of Jesus, of the tribe of Levi.'"

J. Alberto Soggin writes (Introduction to the Old Testament, p. 408): "The first difficulties in the historical classification of the book begin with the deportation of Daniel and his companions. We do not in fact know anything of a deportation which took place in the third year of Jehoiakim, i.e. in 607 BC. If we allow its basic historicity, the event might be connected with the conquest of Syria and Palestine by Nebuchadnezzar II a little later, after the battle of Carchemish in 605-4 and the victory over Egypt; it was on this occasion that Jehoiakim moved out of the sphere of Egyptian influence and into that of Babylon (cf. 2 Chronicles 36:5). Complex problems of foreign policy followed, to which we alluded in our discussion of Jeremiah. Until recently the note in Chronicles was considered spurious, since there was no point of comparison, but discoveries during the 1950s of various unedited fragments of the Babylonian Chronicle have unexpectedly made sense of both this passage and 2 Kings 24:1ff. But even admitting the substantial historicity of the events narrated, there remains the problem of chronology, which is evidently some years out. Other elements are no less perplexing: in 5:11 Belshazzar is implicitly called the son of Nebuchadnezzar and in 7:1 he appears as king of Babylon. However, he was neither one nor the other, but the son of Nabonidus, one of Nebuchadnezzar's successors who came to the throne as the result of a plot. (The only other possibility is that "son of..." is intended in a generic sense, as "descendant of...", a usage which is attested in Akkadian.) On the other hand, the statement that Belshazzar was king may simply be imprecise wording: towards 553 he was resident in Babylon as a kind of lieutenant-general for the king during his numerous absences, and could therefore have been called king, at least by the people. Again, in 5:31, as we have seen, a certain Darius the Mede appears, who is considered to be king of Persia after the fall of Babylon. In 9:1 he appears as son of Xerxes, whereas in 6:29 Cyrus succeeds a Darius. If we are to be precise, the question arises what Daniel is doing at the court of the Medes before the Babylonian empire has fallen, always assuming that we take the term "Mede" seriously. This question has never been answered. We must therefore accept that Media is in reality Persia. But the genealogy of the kings of Persia is well known: Cyrus, Cambyses, Darius I Hystaspes, Xerxes. If the Darius mentioned here was Darius I from the last quarter of the sixth century, how old would Daniel be? These are features which were already pointed out by the anti-Christian polemicist Celsus at the end of the second century A.D."

James King West writes (Introduction to the Old Testament, pages 417-418): "The same persecutions that provoked the Maccabean uprising also stimulated the development within Jewish circles of a new literary and theological form known as the apocalypse. The name itself (Greek apokalypsis) means 'revelation' or 'unveiling,' in reference to the revealed truths which such writings purport to convey. The book of Daniel, which comes from this period, is the only true apocalypse in the old Testament, though some portions of other books share close affinities with its style (Isaiah 24-27; Ezekiel 38-39; Zechariah 1:7-6:8; Joel 2:1-11; 4:1-21). Between the second century B.C. and the end of A.D. the first century, other books of this genre, both Jewish and Christian, became popular; the Revelation of John in the New Testament is one of its best-known representatives. The characteristic theology of the apocalypse is an eschatological dualism which depicts the present age of world history as about to give way to God's final age—a climactic intervention by God himself for judgment and deliverance. This message is couched in a literary form marked by visions, bizarre imagery, cryptic numbers, and angelic interpreters. Authorship is generally pseudonymous, the works being consigned to some authoritative figure of the distant past, such as Enoch, Moses, Daniel, or Ezra."

West writes of Daniel 14:1-22 (Introduction to the Old Testament, page 458): "The second story is a satire on pagan divinities in the vein of Isaiah 44:9-20 and the Letter of Jeremiah (Baruch 6). In a discussion with King Cyrus of Babylon as to why he does not worship Cyrus' idol called Bel, Daniel denies the king's claim that Bel eats the food offered to him daily. When Bel's priests are challenged to prove it, they allow the king to place the food in the temple and seal the door. In the meantime Daniel has ashes sifted over the floor. The next day Daniel and the king find the food gone but the floor is covered with footprints. Discovering the secret doors by which he had been deceived, Cyrus is enraged and orders the execution of the priests and their families, while Daniel is permitted to destroy the temple and the idol."

West writes of Daniel 14:23-42 (Introduction to the Old Testament, pp. 458-459): "In the companion story the same motive of lampooning pagan deities is apparent. The issue is approached, however, from the opposite angle. Whereas Bel is nothing more than a man-made statue, a fact which is easily demonstrated by its inability to eat, the dragon is manifestly a living creature and does eat. To prove that the dragon also is no god, therefore, Daniel must somehow show that merely being alive and able to eat is not sufficient evidence to establish divinity. This he does by offering to perform the apparently impossible feat of slaying the dragon 'without sword or club' (14:26). The king's acceptance of Daniel's challenge is a tacit admission of the premise that if Daniel succeeds the dragon is no god. Having concocted some cakes of pitch, fat, and hair, he feeds them to the witless beast which promptly explodes."

Daniel J. Harrington writes of Daniel 14:23-42 (Invitation to the Apocrypha, p. 118): "This addition is a combination of three episodes: Daniel and the dragon (vv. 23-28), Daniel in the lions' den (vv. 29-32, 40-42), and Habakkuk's magical journey (vv. 33-39). The three episodes are loosely joined in a plot that vindicates Daniel and the God whom he worships, and are linked to the Story of Bel by verse 28 ('he has destroyed Bel, and killed the dragon')."

David A. deSilva writes (Introducing the Apocrypha, pp. 239-240): While the author remains anonymous, some scholars have ventured to posit a very specific time and circumstance of composition. Davies (1913: 656), for example, suggests composition in a time of serious religious persecution, as under Antiochus VII Sidetes. The assertion that 'the general character of this tract' suggests authorship during a time of bitter persecution is without foundation, arising no doubt from the unwarranted reading of the actions against Daniel in the second part of the story as a reflection of the author's own time. Moreover, the picture of Antiochus VII painted by Josephus (Jewish Antiquities 13.236-248) does not support the claim that he was an enemy of the Jewish religion per se. Although he retaliated against Simon's anti-Seleucid actions by invading Judea and even besieging Jerusalem, and although he pressed the seige so hard that many died of famine, he showed himself quite favorably disposed toward Jewish piety, allowing a truce for the week of the Pentecost celebration at John Hyrcanus's request and even providing bulls for sacrifices, winning himself the epithet 'Antiochus the Pious.' This display of reverence toward Jewish piety led to a resolution of the dispute shortly thereafter.

The composition of Bel and the Dragon was inspired not by persecution but by the perennial problem of living as a minority, monolatrous culture in an idol-worshipping world. The attack on both idolatry and zoolatry makes Egypt the place where the stories would be most on target with regard to the religious alternatives encountered by God-fearing Jews (see the Egyptian Jewish texts Wis. 11:15-16; 15:18-19; Letter of Aristeas 138) (Roth 1975: 43), who could profit from some reinforcement of the unique truth of their own religious heritage despite the lavish expenditures and apparent devotion of their neighbors toward their gods. The main obstacle to this provenance is the fact that no known Egyptian Jewish text was composed in Aramaic or Hebrew (Collins 1993: 419). Thus, while this provenance is not impossible, since not all Egyptian Jews need to be supposed to have forgotten their ancestral language, it is more likely that the story originates in Palestine and that idolatry and zoolatry simply are attacked as two well-known forms of Gentile impiety.

Jay G. Williams writes (Understanding the Old Testament, page 316): "When the author of Daniel himself attempted to predict the future specifically, he, on the whole, proved to be incorrect. Antiochus did not die as he said nor did his kingdom come to a sudden end. The world still awaits the full manifestation of God's righteous rule upon earth. Still, he was right about one thing. Antiochus did not destroy Israel. On the contrary, the Maccabees (the "little help" mentioned in 11:34) even led the people to a few moments of glory before the Roman armies put an end to their semi-independent nation. Perhaps our author was wrong in attempting to predict so precisely what was to occur, for the course of history is never easily determined in advance, even by a visionary prophet. He knew, however, that what his people needed was not general platitudes but a specific hope to which to cling. This he provided even at the risk of being wrong. Furthermore, his central, motivating thesis is one which faithful men can hardly reject. Essentially the book of Daniel is an affirmation of the faith that the God of Israel has dominion over the world and that in the end he will save his people. Daniel teaches that the faithful man must live expectantly, with the hope that the Kingdom of God is indeed at hand."

Robert Doran writes (Harper's Bible Commentary, p. 868): "The narrative has been nicely welded together into a single plot. The LXX and Theodotion use different connectives, but in both versions the narrative coheres. The major actors remain the same throughout—Daniel, the king, and the Babylonians. Both Bel and the snake are characterized as objects that the Babylonians worship (vv. 3, 23). After the snake is destroyed, all those from the region (LXX v. 23; Theodotion: 'the Babylonians') came against Daniel to complain that the king had become a Jew, had overthrown Bel, and had killed the snake. The story of the threat to Daniel's life is thus strongly connected with the preceding narrative. The king's first confession of Bel's greatness (v. 18) and his final confession of Daniel's God (v. 41) use almost exactly the same formulas, even though LXX and Theodotion offer minor differences. This repitition is highly significant and helps unite the narrative. The LXX further connects the two episodes by the phrase 'in that place' in v. 23, but also by developing the motif of eating. This motif dominates the Bel episode (vv. 7, 8, 9, 11, 15, 17, 21). In the snake episode the king claims, 'You cannot say he is bronze. Look, he lives and eats and drinks.' Daniel then destroys the snake by offering it fatal food (v. 23). In the Theodotionic version the connection is made through the notion of life: Daniel worships the living God (v. 5), while Bel is not a living God (v. 6); the king asserts that Daniel cannot say that the snake is not a living God (v. 24), but Daniel insists that it is his God who lives (v. 25). The links between all the episodes in both versions are so pervasive that the narrative must be seen to be a whole. Such stories, of course, could theoretically have existed independently, but there is no evidence that they did."

Historical-critical opinion: Antiochus Epiphanes

According to current historical-critical opinion, the book of Daniel originated in its present form in the Antiochus Epiphanes crisis, that is, between 168/167–165/164 B.C.. It seems very difficult to perceive that one single desert community (Qumran) should have preserved such a significant number of Daniel manuscripts if this book had really been produced at so late a date. The large number of manuscripts in this community can be much better explained if one accepts an earlier origin of Daniel than the one proposed by the Maccabean hypothesis of historical-critical scholarship, which dates it to the second century B.C..


The date of the writing of the book may be inferred from the following considerations: It was not written by one of the exiles, for many portions of the text could not have been composed by a contemporary of the second king of the Babylonian empire and his immediate successors. This is proved even by the form of that king's name as given in the book. His Assyrian name was "Nabu-kudurriuẓur" (Friedrich Delitzsch, "Assyrische Lesestücke," 1900, p. 192), which the Hebrews at first pronounced "Nebu-kadr-eẓẓar" (Jer. 21:2 et seq. [26 times]; Ezek. 26:7, 29:18 et seq., 30:10). The middle "r" was then dissimilated from the final "r," giving "Nebu-kadn-eẓẓar," a form which is found in Jeremiah only in 27:6-29:3, but which is the usual form in all later writings (2 Kings 24:1 et seq.; 2 Chronicles 36:6 et seq.; Ezra 1:7; Esther 2:6; Daniel 1:18 et seq.; Soferim 14:7; Seder 'Olam R. 24 et seq.; and Septuagint, Ναβουχοδονόσορ).

Anonymous author: the historical milieu

The Book of Daniel was not written immediately after the Exile. The post-exilic prophets did not know it, for the four horns to which Israel's enemies are compared in Zechariah 1:21, have a local meaning, representing the four points of the compass, and do not refer to the successive kingdoms, as in Daniel 2:29 and following. The same is the case with the four chariots in Zechariah 6:1 et seq. These passages are not exactly parallel with the predictions in Daniel, but it is also stated in Haggai 2:6-9 et seq., that within "a little while" the Messianic time will come. And even Ben Sira says expressly (Ecclesiasticus [Sirach] 49:15) that he has never found a man who resembled Joseph, a statement he could not have made had he known the extant Book of Daniel, since Daniel is there drawn as a man who, like Joseph, rose to be prime minister by virtue of his ability to interpret dreams.

This work was composed during the bitter persecution carried on by Antiochus IV Epiphanes (167–164 B.C.) and was written to strengthen and comfort the Jewish people in their ordeal. The persecution was occasioned by Antiochus’s efforts to unify his kingdom, in face of the rising power of Rome, by continuing the hellenization begun by Alexander the Great; Antiochus tried to force Jews to adopt Greek ways, including religious practices. Severe penalties, including death, were exacted against those who refused (cf., e.g., 1 Maccabees 1:41–63). The stories bristle with historical problems and have the character of historical novels rather than factual records. What is more important than the question of historicity, and closer to the intention of the author, is the fact that persecuted Jews of the second century B.C. would quickly see the application of these stories to their own plight.

Nor would a contemporary of Nebuchadnezzar and his successors have written the stories of the Book of Daniel in the form in which they exist, since they contain many details that can not be harmonized with the data furnished in other historical sources. The first verse, for instance, contradicts other passages of the O. T. in saying that King Nebuchadnezzar came to Jerusalem in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim, and besieged it. For the verb means here, as elsewhere, "come," "arrive," and can not be equivalent to "break up"; this is also proved by the context of 1:1. But Jeremiah announced the coming of the Chaldeans only in the fourth year of Jehoiakim, a year that is expressly designated, in Jeremiah 25:1, 46:2, as the first year of King Nebuchadnezzar. The date, "in the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim" (Daniel 1:1), is probably derived from 2 Kings 24:1 et seq., where it is said that Jehoiakim, after having been subject to Nebuchadnezzar three years, turned and rebelled, and was attacked by predatory bands of the Chaldeans and their vassals. As no date is given for the beginning of this period of three years, it might be supposed that it began with the accession of Jehoiakim. The supposition being made, it could be said that the Chaldeans besieged Jerusalem in the third year of Jehoiakim, when Nebuchadnezzar would naturally be their leader. But these statements in Daniel 1:1 are erroneously drawn from 2 Kings 24:1 et seq., and contradict those found in Jeremiah 25:1, 9, and 46:2. Such discrepancies are not unparalleled in the O. T. (compare Eduard König, "Einleitung ins Alte Testament," pages 172 et seq.). Nor can Nebuchadnezzar's madness (Daniel 4:12 et seq.) during seven years be taken literally. Belshazzar's father, Nebuchadnezzar, is mentioned again (5:11, 13, 18, 22) in a way which compels the inference that he really was such. This may be explained on the ground that during the long period of oral tradition the unimportant kings of Babylon might easily have been forgotten, and the last king, who was vanquished by Cyrus, would have been taken as the successor of the well-known Nebuchadnezzar. The same thing occurred in Baruch 1:11, and Sennacherib is mentioned as the son of Enemessar (i.e. Shalmaneser) in Tobit 1:15, Sargon (Isaiah 20:1) being passed over. It is also well known that the period 516-331 B.C., of which only a few events are recorded, was contracted to thirty-four years in computing the time elapsed since the Creation (Seder 'Olam R. 30).

The Book of Daniel was written during the persecutions of Israel by the Syrian king Antiochus Epiphanes. This assertion is supported by the following data: The kingdom which is symbolized by the he goat (8:5 et seq.) is expressly named as the "kingdom of Yawan"—that is, the Grecian kingdom (8:21) the great horn being its first king, Alexander the Great (definitely stated in Seder "Olam R. 30), and the little horn Antiochus Epiphanes (175-164 B.C.). This kingdom was to persecute the host of the saints "unto two thousand and three hundred evenings and mornings" (8:14, R. V.); that is, "half-days," or 1,150 days; and Epiphanes did, in fact, profane the sanctuary in Jerusalem for about that length of time, from Kislew 15, 168, to Kislew 25,165 (I Maccabees 1:57, 4:52). The little horn described in Daniel 8:9-12, 23-25 has the same general characteristics as the little horn in 7:8, 20; hence the same ruler is designated in both passages. The well-known passage 9:23-27 also points to the same period. The first and imperative rule in interpreting it is to begin the period of the seventy times seven units (A. V. "seventy weeks") with the first period of seven (9:25), and to let the second period, the "sixty-two times seven units," follow this; for if this second period (the sixty-two weeks) be reckoned as beginning again from the very beginning, the third period, the "one week," must be carried back in the same way. The context demands, furthermore, that the origin of the prediction concerning the rebuilding of Jerusalem be sought in Jeremiah 25:11-13 and the parallel passage, ib. 29:10. The "anointed," the "prince," mentioned after the first seven times seven units, must be Cyrus, who is called the anointed of the Lord in Isaiah 45:1 also. He concluded the first seven weeks of years by issuing the decree of liberation, and the time that elapsed between the Chaldean destruction of Jerusalem (586) and the year 538 was just about forty-nine years. The duration of the sixty-two times seven units (434 years) does not correspond with the time 538-171 (367 years); but the chronological knowledge of that age was not very exact. The Seder 'Olam Zuṭa (ed. Meyer, p. 104) computed the Persian rule to have lasted fifty-two years. This is all the more evident as the last period of seven units must include the seven years 171-165 (see "Rev. Et. Juives," xix. 202 et seq.). This week of years began with the murder of an anointed one (compare Leviticus 4:3 et seq. on the anointing of the priest)—namely, the legitimate high priest Onias III.—and it was in the second half of this week of years that the Temple of the Lord was desecrated by an abomination—the silver altar erected by Antiochus Epiphanes in place of the Lord's altar for burnt offering (see 1 Maccabees 1:54).

Qumran manuscripts: Dead Sea Scrolls and the Original Hebrew/Aramaic Text of Daniel

Before the discovery of the Dead Sea scrolls, many scholars questioned the faithfulness of the Hebrew text and took great freedom in amending, changing, and adjusting the Hebrew text. This freedom has been significantly curtailed by the Qumran findings.

With regard to Daniel, many scholars have regarded the Hebrew and Aramaic text as of no greater authority than other ancient translations such as the Septuagint (the oldest Greek translation of the Old Testament) and the version attributed to Theodotion.[1] Among the reasons given is that the Septuagint treatment of Daniel is less literal, less closely related to the MT, than the treatment given to the rest of the Old Testament. This fact has led some to assume that the MT of Daniel is of relatively little value.

Moreover, the Septuagint version of the book of Daniel, available in only two ancient manuscripts, is said to be periphrastic [use of many words] and expansionistic, containing considerably more material than the MT, aside from such deuterocanonical additions as the Story of Susanna, the Prayer of Azariah, and the Song of the Three Young Men (Moore 1977).

The official Greek translation of Daniel used in ancient times was that of Theodotion, an Ephesian (ca. 180 AD). His translation, which has antecedents (Schmitt 1966), has "the distinction of having supplanted the current version of the book of Daniel" (Jellicoe 1968:84). Further, around 400 AD Jerome ventured the opinion that the Septuagint "differs widely from the original [Hebrew], and is rightly rejected."

Thus we have two ancient Greek versions of Daniel, and only the one by Theodotion has a close affinity with the MT. These, along with some other considerations, have caused leading modern scholars to have little confidence in the MT. Professor Klaus Koch is a supporter of the hypothesis that there is no authoritative, original text for the book of Daniel available. He suggests that while we have a Hebrew/Aramaic text and two Greek versions, none of these three is original, and that an original text is to be reconstructed with the best tools available (Koch et al. 1980:22, 23; Koch 1986:16–21). This essentially is also the view of L. Hartman and A.A. Di Lella, who point out that there are “no iron rules or golden rules” in this process of textual reconstruction (Hartman and Di Lella 1978:75). These and other scholars assume that the book of Daniel in its entirety was written originally in the Aramaic language and that the Hebrew parts of the book are translations from Aramaic into Hebrew.

Other scholars, however, oppose this hypothesis.

Evidently this is a complex picture. The newly published Daniel materials from Qumran appear to throw important new light on the issue of the original text of Daniel. We say this because there is great harmony between the MT and the Cave 4 finds of the book of Daniel. Thus it no longer seems permissible to dismiss the Hebrew-Aramaic text as unreliable.

We need to note the following:

1. When it comes to variants, the eight Dead Sea scroll Daniel manuscripts, for the most part, are very close to each other.

2. There is no significant abbreviation and no lengthy expansion in any of the manuscript fragments. “The text of Daniel in these [Cave 4] Daniel scrolls conforms closely to later Masoretic tradition; there are to be found, however, some rare variants which side with the Alexandrian Greek [Septuagint] against the MT and Theodotion” (Cross 1956:86).

3. These manuscript fragments do not contain any of the additions that are in all the Greek manuscripts, such as the Prayer of Azariah, the Song of the Three Young Men, and the Story of Susanna.

4. The change from Hebrew into Aramaic is preserved for Daniel 2:4b in 4QDana as it was previously in 1QDana. Thus two different manuscripts give evidence to this change. The change from Aramaic into Hebrew in Daniel 8:1 is clearly manifested in both 4QDana and 4QDanb, just as in the MT.

Based on the overwhelming conformity of these Qumran Daniel manuscripts with each other and with the MT, despite the few insignificant variants that agree with the Septuagint, it is evident that the MT is the well-preserved key text for the book of Daniel. An eclectic approach, using the Hebrew/Aramaic text, the Greek, and other versions as if they were all on the same level without giving priority to the Hebrew text is no longer supportable, if it ever was previously. The Hebrew/Aramaic Masoretic text of the book of Daniel now has stronger support than at any other time in the history of the interpretation of the book of Daniel.

The Daniel Dead Sea Scrolls and the Protocanonical Book of Daniel

When Professor D. Barthélemy published in 1955 the first fragmentary Daniel manuscripts from Cave 1 of Qumran, that is, 1QDana and 1QDanb, he ventured the opinion that “certain indications permit the thought that Daniel had perhaps not yet been considered at Qumran as a canonical book” (Barthélemy and Milik 1955:250). This idea perpetuated itself for years afterward. In 1964, however, F.F. Bruce stated that the book of Daniel “may well have enjoyed canonical status among them [the Qumran sectaries]” (Bruce 1964:57). In his 1989 Daniel commentary, written before the newest publications of the Qumran Daniel manuscripts were accessible, John Goldingay stated, “There are no real grounds for suggesting that the form of the Qumran manuscripts of Daniel indicates that the book was not regarded as canonical there, though neither for affirming that it was (Goldingay 1989:xxvii).

These doubts and uncertainties about the canonicity of Daniel among the Qumran people can now be laid aside for good. They have been based largely on the “roughly square proportions of the columns of 1QDana and because Pap6QDan is written on papyrus” (Ulrich 1987:19). But professor Ulrich now says,

From Cave 4 we now have overriding evidence on both points from manuscripts of books indisputably authoritative or ‘canonical,’ including Deuteronomy, Kings, Isaiah, and Psalms.. .. However one uses in relation to Qumran the category of what is later explicitly termed ‘canonical,’ the book of Daniel was certainly in that category (Ulrich 1987:19).

Canonicity is supported also by the so called 4QFlorilegium, a fragment that employs the quotation formula “which written in the book of Daniel the prophet.” Such a formula is typical of quotations from canonical Scripture at Qumran. It is similar also to Matthew 24:15, where Jesus refers to "Daniel the prophet."

Inasmuch as Daniel was already canonical at Qumran at about 100 BC, how could it have become so quickly canonical if it had just been produced a mere half century before? While we do not know exactly how long it took for books to become canonical, it may be surmised that insofar as Daniel was reckoned to belong to the canonical books, it had a longer existence than a mere five decades, as the Maccabean dating hypothesis suggests. Both the canonical status and the fact that Daniel was considered a “prophet” speak for the antiquity of the book of Daniel. An existence of a mere five decades between the production of a Biblical book in its final form and canonization does not seem reasonable.

Thus the canonical acceptance of the book of Daniel at Qumran suggests an earlier origin of the book than the second century BC. In 1969, based on the evidence available at that time regarding the Qumran Daniel texts, Roland K. Harrison had already concluded that the second century dating of the book of Daniel was "absolutely precluded by the evidence from Qumran, partly because there are no indications whatever that the sectaries compiled any of the Biblical manuscripts recovered from the site, and partly because there would, in the latter event, have been insufficient time for Maccabean compositions to be circulated, venerated, and accepted as canonical Scripture by a Maccabean sect" (Harrison 1969:1127).

Subsequent to this, he stated that based on the Qumran manuscripts, "there can no longer be any possible reason for considering the book as a Maccabean product" (Harrison 1979:862). The most recent publications of Daniel manuscripts confirm this conclusion.

This study uses the late date of 165 BCE as the time stamp for when the book of Daniel was written. By taking this position, bias based on this study is removed. It is the "worst case" position to be taken.

Physical evidence supporting the 165 B.C. date comes from the Dead Sea Scrolls. Eight copies of Daniel were found at the Dead Sea Scrolls site. The oldest copy has been scientifically dated to 125 B.C. using carbon dating techniques. Since it is a copy, the original was written long before 125 B.C. But how do we know that the Dead Sea Scrolls are credible?

Four trustworthy methods have been used to unerringly date when the Dead Sea Scrolls were written. These methods are:

Carbon dating techniques using two independent systems that agree. These are the AMS Laboratory at the University of Arizona and the ETH laboratory in Zurich, Switzerland. [AMS means Accelerator Mass Spectrometry]

The carbon dating techniques were verified to be accurate based on dating three scrolls with known dates {the known written dates are from the post Dead Sea Scrolls era of Bar Kokhba, dated A.D. April 16, 128, A.D. Sept 11, 130, and A.D. 135}. (If you want to learn about the methods and supporting evidence, you will have to download the pdf file at the referenced site).

The style of the text (think of various FONTs you can use on a computer) used by Scribes to copy the scrolls permits Paleographers to date when the scrolls were copied. Carbon dating techniques agreed with the paleographic dates.

Silver coins found at the Dead Sea Scrolls Community were minted between 136 B.C. to 9 B.C..

Carbon Dating Techniques from Two Systems Agree

The University of Arizona used advanced methods to carbon date various Dead Sea Scrolls. For example, researchers concluded at the 95% confidence level that the Habakkuk scroll was written between 150 B.C. to 5 B.C.. Other Dead Sea Scrolls manuscripts analyzed by the University of Arizona agree with the dating done at a lab in Zurich, Switzerland.

Before doing any tests, the University of Arizona lab was given a scroll piece that had previously been dated by the Zurich lab. The University of Arizona lab arrived at the same date as the Zurich lab without knowing the date achieved at the Zurich lab. So independent verification corroborates the age of the scrolls.

In support of the carbon dating done by independent labs, the Israel Antiquities Authority stated in a news release that "Some of the papyrus samples bear exact written dates within the text itself. These dates match those determined by the carbon-14 measurements. The reliability of paleography as a dating method is thus confirmed.

Dates from Coins at the Dead Sea Scrolls

More than 550 silver coins were found at the Dead Sea Scrolls site. The coins were used to date when people lived at the site. The silver coins were minted between 136 B.C. to 9 B.C..

In the 1980's, two articles of vital interest on the Hebrew and Aramaic texts of the book of Daniel were published from among the Dead Sea scroll textual finds made originally in 1952 in Cave 4 at Qumran. The publication by Professor Eugene Ulrich, “Daniel Manuscripts from Qumran” (1989), gives us full insight into these pivotal textual finds and follows the one published two years earlier on other parts of these finds (Ulrich 1987).

Biblical Archaeology Review (BAR) has played a major role in pushing for publication in a number of articles over the past few years, especially in 1989 and 1990 (Shanks 1989a, 1989b, 1989c, 1989d, 1990). There have been charges of a scandal because there are about "400 separate unpublished texts arranged on 1,200 different [photographic] plates" hidden for some 40 years from the scrutiny of the scholars. Hershel Shanks, the editor of BAR, says that "a reasonable guess is that 100 of these [unpublished texts] are Biblical texts on 200 plates" (1989c:20).

The charges regarding the non-publication of these Dead Sea scroll texts were taken up in the summer of 1989 by the public press. For example, the New York Times in a July 9, 1989, editorial, "The Vanity of Scholars", complained that "the scrolls were discovered in 1947, but many that are in fragments remain unpublished. More than 40 years later a coterie of dawdling scholars is still spinning out the work while the world waits and the precious pieces lapse into dust."

Fortunately, various encouraging developments have taken place since the summer of 1991, and we can look forward to a speedy publication of the remaining scroll fragments and texts.

The significance of the Daniel fragments of the Dead Sea scrolls was voiced first in 1958 when professor Frank M. Cross of Harvard University published The Ancient Library of Qumran, a comprehensive survey of the scrolls. In the second edition of the book (1961), Professor Cross refers to the fragments of the Daniel scrolls: "One copy of Daniel is inscribed in the script of the late second century BC; in some ways it is more striking than that of the oldest manuscripts from Qumran" (43).

This was fantastic news from a scholarly point of view, for the text of Daniel has long been considered suspect by many scholars on various grounds we’ll be discussing below. The question now was: How much of the book of Daniel is on this scroll, and precisely what sections are preserved and how does it compare with the rest of the Hebrew text of the book of Daniel?

In November 1989, more than 35 years after its discovery and more than 25 years after Cross made his astounding declaration, this text, along with others from Cave 4 on the book of Daniel, were finally published. Only a few scraps of fragments from Cave 4, which contain but “five tiny fragments, all from the prayer in chapter 9 but none with more than one complete word” (Ulrich 1989:3), remain to be published (i.e., the fragments of the scroll designated 4QDane).

The fragments of the Daniel scrolls from Cave 4 were assigned for publication to Cross (Cross 1956:86) as long ago as 1951 (Benoit 1956:76). He was a member of the original group of editors of the Dead Sea scrolls appointed in 1953 (Shanks 1989c:18). But some time ago Cross entrusted the Daniel materials from Cave 4 to Eugene Ulrich of the University of Notre Dame (Shanks 1989a:57), a former student of his. In 1987 Ulrich published the materials from one scroll of Cave 4, namely, 4QDana. Now he has published the materials of the two other major scrolls, 4QDanb and 4QDanc.

In 1955 D. Barthélemy published two scroll fragments: 1QDana and 1QDanb (Barthélemy and Milik 1955:150–52). These contain parts of 22 verses from Daniel 1–3, that is, Daniel 1:10–17; 2:2–6 (1QDana) and 3:22–30 (1QDanb).

In 1962 Maurice Baillet published a papyrus fragment from Cave 6, containing possibly parts of Daniel 8:16, 17, 21, 22; and clearly 10:8–16; 11:33–36, 38 (Baillet and Milik 1962:114, 115; pl. 23).

The most extensively preserved scroll of the book of Daniel from Qumran is one from Cave 4: 4QDana, which contains large portions of Daniel. Preserved are parts of Daniel 1:16–20; 2:9–11, 19–49; 3:1, 2; 4:29, 30; 5:5–7, 12–14, 16–19; 7:5–7, 25–28; 8:1–5; 10:16–20; 11:13–16. Scroll 4QDanb contains Daniel 5:10–12, 14–16, 19–22; 6:8–22, 27–29; 7:1–6, 11(?), 26–28; 8:1–8, 13–16; and 4QDanc has Daniel 10:5–9, 11–16, 21; 11:1, 2, 13–17, 25–29 (Ulrich 1987:18). This means that we have at our disposal from the Dead Sea scrolls parts of all chapters, except Daniel 9 and 12. Of course, the unpublished 4QDane is to have a few words of various parts of Daniel 9. There is also an overlap of a number of passages in Daniel 1, 5, 7, 8, 10, and 11. Reference to Daniel 12 is made in 4QFlorilegium, an anthology of midrashic materials [rabbinical commentaries] on 2 Samuel and Psalms 1, 2.

It is a highly surprising phenomenon that no fewer than eight manuscripts of Daniel have been identified among the materials discovered in three of the 11 caves of Qumran. In order to appreciate the significance of this fact, we need to compare it with the manuscript finds of other Biblical books from the same caves.

To my knowledge, the most recent listing of published materials (as of 1992) from the Dead Sea scrolls appeared in 1977. The listing speaks of 13 fragments of scrolls from the Psalms; nine from Exodus; eight from Deuteronomy; five from Leviticus; four each from Genesis and Isaiah (Fitzmyer 1977:11–39); and no fewer than eight scrolls representing Daniel. Although we have no sure knowledge yet of the total scrolls that have been preserved from the Bible at Qumran, it is evident from this comparison that the book of Daniel was a favorite book among the Qumran covenantors.

Dates for the Daniel scrolls, published in 1955, were given by John C. Trever as the Herodian period for 1QDana and late Herodian period for 1QDanb (1964-1966:323–36). In other words, these manuscripts could come from about 60 A.D. or earlier (Hartman and Di Lella 1978:72).

This date is still very significant because the Masoretic text (MT) from which our Bibles are translated comes from a major manuscript that is dated to 1008 AD (Wurthwein 1979:35). In other words, we are able to compare for the first time in history the Hebrew and Aramaic of the book of Daniel with manuscripts of the same book that are about 1,000 years older. A comparison between the MT and the earlier manuscripts contained in 1QDana, 1QDanb, and 6QDan, based upon a careful study of the variants and relationships with the MT, reveals that "the Daniel fragments from Caves 1 and 6 reveal, on the whole, that the later Masoretic text is preserved in a good, hardly changed form. They are thus a valuable witness to the great faithfulness with which the sacred text has been transmitted" (Mertens 1971:31).

These textual witnesses demonstrate that the MT was faithfully preserved and confirm that the Hebrew and Aramaic text of Daniel is reliable.

The date for the three Daniel manuscripts published by 1989 is also of great importance, along with those of the earlier publications. Some of the recently published scrolls on Daniel are even older than the previously published ones. The date of 4QDana is assigned to about 60 BC and 4QDanb to about 60 AD (Ulrich 1987:17). The oldest manuscript of Daniel by far is 4QDanc, which Cross dated in 1961 to the “late second century BC” (Cross 1961:43). Scholars who support a date for the writing of the book of Daniel in the Maccabean crisis at about the middle of the second century BC will be able to say that 4QDanc is “only a half century later than the composition of the book of Daniel” (Ulrich 1987:17). This means for supporters of this dating that the manuscript evidence for Daniel is as close to the autograph as the Rylands Papyrus is to the Gospel of John. I quote: “It is thus, for the Hebrew Bible, comparable to the Rylands manuscript of the Johannine Gospel for the New Testament” (Ulrich 1989:3). The latter comparison means that the papyrus fragment of the Gospel of John, published in 1935, that is, Rylands 457, which was dated in the first half of the second century AD, effectively refuted claims of scholars who had attempted to date the Gospel of John to the latter part of the second century AD. The Rylands papyrus was within 25 to 50 years of the writing of the Gospel of John.

A reconstruction of 4QDanc., the oldest manuscript of the book of Daniel (second half of the second century BC). Shown are the positions of the fragments of 4QDanc across four columns of the original scroll (reading was from right to left). Linda Manies

For those supporting the historical-critical date of the book of Daniel new issues are being raised. Since there is a manuscript of Daniel that supposedly dates within 50 years of the autograph, is there enough time for the supposed traditio-historical and redaction-critical developments allegedly needed for the growth of the book? Supporters of the Maccabean dating hypothesis of Daniel will be hard put to explain all of this in their reconstructions. To express it differently, do the early dates of the fragments from Cave 4 leave enough room for the developments, editorial and redactional as well as others, that are so often proposed (e.g., Koch 1986:20–24)? The verdict seems to be negative, and an earlier date for Daniel than the second century is unavoidable.


The book contains traditional stories (chapters 1–6), which tell of the trials and triumphs of the wise Daniel and his three companions. The moral is that people of faith can resist temptation and conquer adversity.

Church traditions

The Roman martyrology assigns Daniel's feast as a holy prophet to 21 July, and apparently treats Babylon as his burial-place.

The Prayer of the Three Holy Children is a component of the biblical Book of Daniel. In Orthodox Christian worship, the prayer is the basis of the seventh and eighth biblical canticles sung at Orthros. Although the text of the canticles are generally not read in contemporary practice, the hymns sung as part of the canon reference the theme of the Three Holy Children. At Vespers of Holy Saturday, the text of the prayer is heard as part of one of the fifteen Old Testament readings prescribed for that day. In Byzantine practice, the closing refrains to each verse "bless ye the Lord: praise and exalt him above all for ever" are chanted elaborately. The Roman Catholic Church considers this text to be part of the deuterocanonical collection which was defined at the Council of Trent in 1546 as "sacred" and "canonical." The Book of Common Prayer of the Church of England includes the text as the canticle Benedicite omnia Opera.

Classic Commentaries on Daniel online

à Lapede Great Commentary on the Bible 1681 Online

The Great Commentary of Cornelius à Lapide (8 vols.) by Cornelius à Lapide • John Hodges, John Grant 1887–1908[70]

Cornelius à Lapide wrote commentaries on all the books of the Canon of Scripture (including the Deuterocanon), with the exception only of the Book of Job and the Psalms. The complete series, with Job and the Psalms added by other hands, appeared at Antwerp, 1681, 1714; at Venice, 1717, 1740, 1798; at Cologne, 1732; at Turin, 1838; at Lyons, 1839-42, 1865 and 1866; at Malta, 1843-46; at Naples, 1854; at Lyons and Paris, 1855 and 1856; at Milan, 1857; at Paris, 1859-63. The best-mentioned edition has been enriched by Crampon and Péronne with annotations from more recent interpreters. All these commentaries are on a very large scale. They explain not only the literal, but also the allegorical, tropological, and anagogical sense of the sacred text, and furnish a large number of quotations from the Fathers and the later interpreters of Holy Writ during the Middle Ages.

See Guide to Cornelius à Lapide’s Great Commentary, by Dr Taylor Marshall (guide with links to entire à Lapede Commentary)

Cornelius à Lapide’s Great Commentary, Volume 13 (Daniel & Hosea to Amos). Tomo XIII Commentarius In Danielum Prophetum. pdf
("Caput Decimum Tertium, Caput Decimum Quartum" is chapter 13, chapter 14.)

Matthew Henry Complete Bible Commentary 1706 Online

Matthew Henry Complete Bible Commentary. Daniel chapters 1 through 12.

Originally written in 1706, Matthew Henry's six volume Complete Commentary provides an exhaustive look at every verse in the Protestant Bible.

Adam Clarke Commentary on the Whole Bible 1832 Online

Adam Clarke Commentary on the Whole Bible. Daniel chapters 1 through 12.

Adam Clarke (1760 or 1762 - 1832) was a British Methodist theologian and Biblical scholar. He is chiefly remembered for writing a commentary on the Bible which took him 40 years to complete and which was a primary Methodist theological resource for two centuries.

Contained in 6 volumes, consisting of nearly 1,000 pages each, it was considered the most comprehensive commentary on the Bible ever prepared by one man. His commentary, particularly that on Revelation, identified the Catholic Church with the antichrist and bordered on antisemitic.

Haydock Bible Commentary 1859 Online

Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary, 1859 edition. Daniel

A Catholic Bible commentary compiled by the late Rev. Fr. George Leo Haydock, following the Douay-Rheims Bible.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible 1871 Online

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible. Daniel

The one volume Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible was prepared by Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown and published in 1871.

Scofield Reference Bible 1917 Online

Scofield Reference Bible. Daniel chapters 1 through 12.

The Scofield Reference Bible is a widely circulated study Bible edited and annotated by the American Bible student Cyrus I. Scofield, which popularized dispensationalism at the beginning of the 20th century. Published by Oxford University Press and containing the entire text of the traditional, Protestant King James Version, it first appeared in 1909 and was revised by the author in 1917.

New Oxford Annotated Bible 2010 Online

New Oxford Annotated Bible pdf. (Daniel is page 1260)

New American Bible, Revised Edition 2010 Online

New American Bible, Revised Edition. Book of Daniel [71]

See also



Biblical Canon


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 1.4 The Theta, or Version of Theodotion, Greek version of Daniel with all its parts including chapters 3 and 13 and 14 appears to be a revision of the Septuagint text, with the help of a Hebrew (or Aramaic) original, now lost. Catholic scholars in general and several Protestants (Eichhorn, Einleit., in das Altes Testament, IV, 24 f; Einleit. in die apok. Schriften, 419; Vatke; Delitzsch, De Habacuci, 50; Zockler, Bissell, Ball, Rothstein, etc.) hold that Hebrew was the original language of Prayer of Azariah and Song of the Three Holy Children, the History of Susanna, and Bel and the Dragon. See the following:
    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online: S: Song of the Three Children
    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online: S: Susanna, the History of (T. Witton Davies)
    International Standard Bible Encyclopedia Online: B: Bel and the Dragon (T. Witton Davies)
    See also (page 572) Professor Eugene Ulrich, 1989, Daniel Manuscripts from Qumran
  2. 2.0 2.1 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. about.com. Retrieved on 22 May 2014.
    Christianity. Major Branches of Religions Ranked by Number of Adherents. adherents.com. Retrieved on 22 May 2014.
  3. 3.0 3.1 3.2 See Percentage of Christians in Protestant Denominations (29.5%).
  4. 4.00 4.01 4.02 4.03 4.04 4.05 4.06 4.07 4.08 4.09 4.10 4.11 4.12 4.13 4.14 4.15 Easton's Bible Dictionary, article on Daniel originally published in 1897.
  5. 5.0 5.1 5.2 5.3 5.4 Encyclopedia Judaica, vol. 6, p. 1147. Source cited in:
  6. A. D. 1611 King James Version and Revised Version of A. D. 1881 arranged in parallel columns, O. A. Browning & Co., Toledo, Ohio, Potter, Chase & Co., Kansas City, MO, J. H. Buckmaster, Toledo, Ohio, 1881.
  7. 7.0 7.1 7.2 "not in the Hebrew"
    —A major portion of the canonical Book of Daniel—which is accepted as inspired and canonical in the Protestant Bible—is also not in the Hebrew, but in Aramaic: Daniel 2:4–7:28.
    —Major portions of the canonical Book of Ezra—which are accepted as inspired and canonical in the Protestant Bible—are also not in the Hebrew, but in Aramaic: Ezra 4:7–6:18; 7:12-26.
    —Other minor portions of the Old Testament—which are accepted as inspired and canonical in the Protestant Bible—were penned in Aramaic, not Hebrew: Jeremiah 10:11; and two words in Genesis 31:47.
    See the following:
  8. See Parallel Bibles: English translations in parallel columns
  9. Some modern commentators have substituted "steel" for bronze and iron. Daniel: A Christian Interpretation, by James E. Smith, Ph.D. Lulu.com, 2008. 420 pages. 5: God of Revelation, page 99, footnote 117: a citation of David Flusser, "The Four Empires in the Fourth Sybyl and in the Book of Daniel", IOS, 2 (1972): 162–71 "gold, silver, steel, mixed iron".
    See Daniel 2:33 multiple translations.
  10. See List of Rulers of Mesopotamia (metmuseum.org)
  11. 11.0 11.1 Kingdom of the Medes. See the following articles:
  12. See History of the Kings of Media and Persia (mcadams.posc.mu.edu)
  13. See the following:
  14. L. Hartman and A.A. Di Lella point out that there are "no iron rules or golden rules" in the process of textual reconstruction (Hartman and Di Lella 1978:75). These and other scholars assume that the book of Daniel in its entirety was written originally in the Aramaic language and that the Hebrew parts of the book are translations from Aramaic into Hebrew.
  15. Septuagint Quotes in the New Testament
  16. When was Daniel Written? Evidence Supporting 6th Century BCE Authorship Date After Removing Naturalist Bias
  17. See About Dr. Oakes. PhD in chemical physics.
  18. BibleStudyTools.com. Bible, Canon of
  19. The New Yorker: Page-Turner. March 1, 2013 Treasures in the Wall, by Emily Greenhouse (newyorker.com)
    Jewish Virtual Library: Modern Jewish History: The Cairo Genizah, by Alden Oreck
  20. Professor Lawrence H. Schiffman: The Benediction Against the Minim (lawrenceschiffman.com)
    Defending the Bride. The Curse Against Christians at Jamnia about 90 AD (defendingthebride.com)
  21. Westminster Theological Journal 38.4 (Spring 1976) 319-348. Copyright © 1976 by Westminster Theological Seminary. THE COUNCIL OF JAMNIA AND THE OLD TESTAMENT CANON, by Robert C. Newman (faculty.gordon.edu)
  22. "some of these originally written in Hebrew and/or Aramaic". Discoveries of Hebrew and Aramaic manucripts of Tobit, ben Sira (Sirach, or Ecclesiasticus), Epistle of Jeremiah in the caves at Qumran near the Dead Sea, the "Dead Sea Scrolls", demonstrate that a Hebrew or Aramaic origin of a text included in the Greek translation of the Jewish scriptures in the Septuagint and accepted by Christians was not the sole criterion for its inclusion or exclusion in the Hebrew canon. Additional factors also included consideration of evidence of content which supported Christian doctrine. Linguistic evidence shows that other Septuagint books which were excluded by rabbinical authority after A.D. 90 most certainly had an original Hebrew or Aramaic text. See
  23. The Canon of the Old Testament
    The Old Testament Canon, by Peter Reed (biblicalstudies.org.uk)
  24. The Jewish “Council” of Jamnia and Its Impact on the Old Testament Canon and New Testament Studies, Tim Gordon October 20, 2007 —(academia.edu/6811953) —at the page site (which looks empty) scroll down to see the text.
    Jack P. Lewis, "What Do We Mean By Jabneh?" The Journal of Bible and Religion XXXII, no. 2 (April 1964): 125-132
    Can Protestants Rely Upon the "Council of Jamnia" for Their Bible? (catholicdefense.blogspot.com)
    Jewish Encyclopedia. Academies in Palestine (jewishencyclopedia.com)
  25. See the essay Private Judgment [British Critic, July 1841] (newmanreader.org)
  26. Marcion of Sinope (84 - c.160 A.D.). See Theopedia: Marcionism and [Theopedia: Marcion]
    See also Catholic Encyclopedia: Marcionites (newadvent.org)
  27. See the Canon of Marcion
  28. Luther's Treatment of the 'Disputed Books' of the New Testament (bible-researcher.com/antilegomena)
    Luther And "New Testament Apocrypha", A. Wikgren, in R. H. Fischer's A Tribute To Arthur Vööbus: Studies In Early Christian Literature, 1977, pp. 379-390. © University of Chicago Press
  29. The Table Talk of Martin Luther (1599), By Martin Luther, translated Alexander Chalmers, editor William Hazlitt. Bell & Daldy, 1872. 390 pages ISBN-10: 0486443590 ISBN-13: 978-0486443591.
    The Truth About Martin Luther (jesus-is-savior.com)
  30. 30.0 30.1 'The Facts About Luther, O'Hare, TAN Books, 1987, p. 202.
  31. 'Preface to the New Testament,' ed. Dillenberger, p. 19.
  32. 'Pagan Servitude of the Church,' ed. Dillenberger, p. 352.
  33. 'Preface to Romans,' ed. Dillenberger, pp. 18-19.
  34. Sammtliche Werke, 63, pp. 169-170, 'The Facts About Luther,' O'Hare, TAN Books, 1987, p. 203.
  35. Amic. Discussion, 1, 127,'The Facts About Luther,' O'Hare, TAN Books, 1987, p. 201.
  36. 36.0 36.1 See the essay Private Judgment [British Critic, July 1841] (newmanreader.org)
  37. George Fox's Teaching on the Place of Scripture (qis.net)
  38. Original Book of Mormon Text, page 575 (originalbookofmormonrestored.com)
  39. John Grigg Hewlett, D.D. Bible difficulties explained (1860), p. 162 –book in the public domain
  40. "Bible hermeneutics", Steve Bond, Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, pp. 203–207.
  41. St. John's Abbey: The Bible’s message is both ‘divine’ and ‘human’. Friday, January 17th, 2014, Benedictine Father Michael Kwatera, a monk of St. John’s Abbey in Collegeville, MN. A discussion of the meaning of historical-critical methodology.
  42. The Bible as Literature: The Bible ~ A Literary Work and an Artistic Presentation of Human Experience
  43. A list of Old Testament books quoted by Jesus and other New Testament writers.
  44. Church Society: For Bible, Church and Nation. Issues | The Apocrypha | New Testament References — New Testament similarities to the Apocrypha (churchsociety.org)
  45. Septuagint Quotes in the New Testament
  46. John 14:15-17; John 14:24; John 16:13;
  47. See four articles
  48. See Literalist commentaries on Revelation 22:18 and Literalist commentaries on Deuteronomy 4:2 (biblehub.com).
  49. see also Deuteronomy 5:32; Deuteronomy 17:11 and Deuteronomy 17:20; Deuteronomy 27:26
  50. The Samaritan Pentateuch text has Mount Gerizim as the place to build the Temple of the LORD. Because the text of Deuteronomy 17:20 says "You shall not add to the word which I command you..." the Samaritans do not accept the rest of the books of the Bible as the inspired word of God, but according to their letterist reading of this text see them as the false additions of men. Their community has remained small (withered) according to the words of Jesus John 15:6.
  51. Many conservative Christians see "the words of the prophesy of this book" as referring not solely to the Book of Revelation alone but to the whole canon of the books of the Bible as the one book of the words of prophesy spoken by the Holy Spirit, God. On the basis of this interpretation, and after formulating a Reformation-defined canon of 66 books, the Protestant Reformers accused the Catholic Church and the Orthodox Church of having added books to the Bible in the 4th century, and Catholic and Orthodox leaders accused Protestants of taking away whole books and parts of other books from the Bible of the Apostles and the Ancient Christian Church. In response to the controversy, in the Catholic Council of Trent, the Catholic Church declared an end to all debate in the Church regarding the canonical status of particular books of Scripture, by dogmatically listing the canon of the Bible "as read in the Church". See Apocrypha and Apocrypha Books - King James Bible Online.
  52. see also Josephus, Antiquities of the Jews, Book 10, chapter 10, § 1 (186-189).
  53. Boanthropy is a type of insanity or psychological disorder in which a human being believes himself to be a Bovine (a cow and/or an ox).
    "boanthropy" (bō·an′thrə·pē) noun [<NL <Gk. boanthrōpos <bous bull, ox + anthrōpos man]
    What Does That Mean? English Dictionary. B. boanthropy.
    Charles Talbut Onions (ed) The Shorter Oxford English Dictionary On Historical Principles Vol.1 Oxford University Press 1933 page 195
  54. "deeds of mercy/works"—Compare Daniel 4:27, Ezekiel 18:21, Tobit 12:9a, 1 John 3:17-22, James 2:14-26 and Matthew 25:31-46. The Book of Tobit is rejected as obviously apocryphal in part because of the text: "For almsgiving delivers from death, and it will purge away every sin". This counsel, the same counsel the Prophet Daniel gave to the king, is condemned as false Catholic doctrine by Protestant teaching, yet the book of Daniel 1–12, which includes chapter 4, is fully accepted by Protestant Christians as the inspired word of God in the Protestant Bible, along with the books of Ezekiel and James, 1 John and Matthew. Jesus himself in Matthew teaches the absolute necessity of good works. See
  55. Eusebius of Caesarea: Praeparatio Evangelica (Preparation for the Gospel). Tr. E.H. Gifford (1903) -- Book 6
  56. Proverbs 26:4 "Answer not a fool according to his folly, lest thou also be like unto him." Proverbs 26:5 "Answer a fool according to his folly, lest he be wise in his own conceit.
  57. Hill, Andrew E. and Walton, John H. A Survey of the Old Testament page 349.
  58. See TheFreeDicionary: idioms: protest too much (thefreedictionary.com), Urban Dictionary: "thou doth protest too much", wiktionary: the lady doth protest too much (wiktionary.org)
  59. Documented evidence of a long history of biased scholarly research findings—see the following:
  60. Charles, R.H., The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English, 1983, Introduction to Bel and the Dragon Pg. 653
  61. Ham, Snelling, Wieland, The Answers Book, Pg. 21-39.
  62. Charles, R.H., The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English, with introductions and critical explanatory notes to the several books, 1983, Introduction to Bel and the Dragon Pg. 655
  63. 63.0 63.1 These Greek word plays show up in Susanna rather than in Bel and the Dragon, but the argument follows for all the additions to Daniel, Charles, R.H., The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English, Page 655 Footnote #3
  64. Ellis, E.Earle, Mikra, The Old Testament Canon in the Early Church, Chapter 18, pg.. 661 "While still at Alexandria, and therefore before A.D. 231, the eminent biblical scholar Origen (c. A.D. 185-254) wrote an exposition of Psalm 1 in which he included 'a catalogue of the sacred scriptures of the Old Testament'. He comments that 'there are twenty-two canonical books as the Hebrews tradition them, the same as the number of the letters of their alphabet'. He proceeds to give the titles in Greek, followed by a transliteration of the Hebrew names:" This, however, is evidence only of the usage of the Jews after the time of Christ, and after the beginning of the 3rd century. Origen did not here list the Holy Scriptures of the Christian Bible.
  65. Origen, Ad Africanum 9: The Hebrew copies lack the Septuagint readings because the elders "hid from the knowledge of the people" passages that might bring discredit on them, e.g. The story of Susanna. Some of the passages "have been preserved in their non-canonical writings". For an ET of Ad Africanum cf. Roberts-Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers 4, 386-392.
  66. Exodus 17:14 And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven. Isaiah 8:1 Moreover the LORD said unto me, Take thee a great roll, and write in it with a man's pen concerning Mahershalalhashbaz. Isaiah 30:8 Now go, write it before them in a table, and note it in a book, that it may be for the time to come for ever and ever: Jeremiah 30:2 Thus speaketh the LORD God of Israel, saying, Write thee all the words that I have spoken unto thee in a book. Ezekiel 43:11 And if they be ashamed of all that they have done, shew them the form of the house,... and write it in their sight, that they may keep the whole form thereof, and all the ordinances thereof, and do them.
  67. Logical Fallacies: cherry picking (logicallyfallacious.com)
  68. 68.0 68.1 "Cambridge Bible for Schools".
  69. Marti, in his Commentary, 1901, p. ix.
  70. Cornelius a Lapide and Catholic Hebrew studies after Trent. An Essay Presented at the Renaissance Society of American Annual Meeting, March 27, 2014. New York, NY.
  71. Preface to the Revised New American Bible Old Testament (bible.com)


Behrmann, Handkommentar zum Buche Daniel, 1894.

Bullock, C. Hassell, An Introduction to the Old Testament Prophetic Books, Pg. 279.

Charles, R.H., The Apocrypha and Pseudepigrapha of the Old Testament in English, 1983, Introduction to Bel and the Dragon Pg. 657 contends that vr. 33-39 is "certainly introduced by an editor ab extra".

Charlesworth, James H., The Old Testament Pseudepigrapha Volume 2, Introduction, Pg. xxv.

Driver, Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges: Daniel, 1900.

Ellis, E.Earle, Mikra, The Old Testament Canon in the Early Church.

Ham, Snelling, Wieland, The Answers Book, Nov 91, Master Books El Cajon Ca.

Hill, Andrew E. and Walton, John H. A Survey of the Old Testament Pg. 349.

Marti, Kurzer Handkommentar zum Buche Daniel, 1901.

Origen, Ad Africanum For an ET of Ad Africanum cf. Roberts-Donaldson, Ante-Nicene Fathers 4, 386-392.

J. D. Prince, Critical Commentary on the Book of Daniel, 1899.

External links

The Book of Daniel

Introduction to the Book of Daniel (usccb.org)

Jewish Encyclopedia. Daniel, book of

Early Jewish Writings. Daniel (earlyjewishwritings.com)

Catholic Encyclopedia. Daniel (newadvent.org)

Topical Bible: Book of Daniel (biblehub.com)

Jerome's Commentary on Daniel

Wisconsin Lutheran. Fourth Century Christianity. Jerome – Commentary on Daniel (fourthcentury.com) This commentary was largely aimed at the criticisms of Porphyry, who took the Book of Daniel as relating to the time of Antiochus Epiphanes.

Associates for Biblical Research. New Light on the Book of Daniel from the Dead Sea Scrolls Technical - Jul 31, 2012 - by Gerhard Hasel PhD (biblearchaeology.org)

Time-Stamp for the Book of Daniel. Worst Case view of the Book of Daniel. Evidence of the Dead Sea Scrolls. When was the book of Daniel written? (harvardhouse.com)

A Letter to Origen from Africanus About the History of Susanna. (forerunner.com) Sextus Julius Africanus (c. 160 – c. 240) was a Christian traveller and historian of A.D. the late 2nd and early 3rd century

Catholic Encyclopedia. Letter to Africanus (newadvent.org) Origen Adamantius (Ὠριγένης Ἀδαμάντιος, Ōrigénēs Adamántios; 184/185 – 253/254) was a scholar and early Christian theologian who was born and spent the first half of his career in Alexandria. He was a prolific writer in multiple branches of theology, including textual criticism, biblical exegesis and hermeneutics, philosophical theology, preaching, and spirituality.

OrthodoxWiki. Prayer of the Three Holy Children (orthodoxwiki.org)

Evidence for Christianity. Are the additions to Daniel (Prayer of Azariah, Suzannah, Bel and Dragon) inspired and reliable? Posted on March 18, 2013 by John Oakes PhD (evidenceforchristianity.org)

Early Jewish Writings. Bel and the Dragon (earlyjewishwritings.com)

The Apocrypha Book 'Bel and the Dragon' Justifiably not Considered Scripture. By Edward G. Rice 13 Sep 1998. Submitted in partial fulfillment of requirements for the course Old Testament Introduction #208 Video Studies Program (based on fall semester 94), Professor Charles E. McLain, Calvary Baptist Theological Seminary (gsbaptistchurch.com)

Old Testament Canon

The Old Testament Text. (wmcarey.edu/browning/Classes)

  • Jerome on the Canon translation of Jerome's Prologus Galeatus to 1 Kings (bible-researcher.com)

Access to Septuagint, Vulgate, and the King James Apocrypha

Greek and English Septuagint
Latin and English Vulgate
Kings James Apocrypha Online

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