The Book of Daniel
by Glenn Smith
The Biblical book if Daniel is particularly attacked by skeptics and critics, both inside and outside the church. The attacks are due to the very detailed prophesies found in the book, telling precise things about four major world kingdoms. Liberals inside the church attack Daniel by denying miracles before they get to the text, and skeptics outside the church tell us historical details are incorrect — they tell us Darius the Mede was not emperor when Daniel says he was.
As background, Daniel makes clear prophecies about kingdoms which will follow Babylon. These prophecies are quite detailed, and the predictions align with Medo-Persia, Greece, and Rome.
I happen to trust the good scholarship that holds to the early date and inerrancy of Daniel. But if we were to take the minimal facts method of defending Daniel, we can accept merely the most undisputed facts about the book and still have Daniel as a valid book.
The dead sea scrolls have parts of Daniel that date to at least 150 BC, possibly a bit earlier. With that date, even if we take the most skeptical approach, Daniel predicts the disintegration of Rome and the rise of Christianity. Such a prediction given hundreds of years before the event supports the divine origin of Daniel.
As to details such as Darius, several responses can be given. First, whenever the skeptics see the slightest disagreement between the Bible and secular historians, they are quick to blame the Bible. Why not hold the Bible true and the other historians false? Given that the Bible is demonstrated true in so many other places, it is reasonable to consider that there might be an explanation, rather than being quick to blame the Bible. At the very least, it does not follow that we should automatically dismiss Daniel and accept other accounts without carefully balancing the rest of the evidence…
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