will see the signs of the times and explore the future. When we finish
with Daniel, we will continue into Revelation, Lord willing, to understand
the events in our future.
Daniel has been a battle ground between those who do not believe in
God and those who do. Those who do not believe in God cannot accept
miracles and biblical prophecies, including Daniel. So they have attacked
the date and authorship of Daniel. They say that the book was written
after the historical events occurred.
What has occurred is that they have ignored
the facts and have refused to answer questions that point to their
error. Here are some of the facts.
When was Daniel written? The Dead Sea Scrolls provide the first proof
that the book of Daniel existed before 165 BC, since Daniel was found
among the manuscripts at Qumran. This early date is the result of
radiocarbon dating of the Dead Sea manuscripts of Daniel. They imply
that earlier copies of the book with older dates already existed.
This is important because Daniel predicted the fall of Babylon (605-539
B.C.), Media-Persia (539-331 B.C.), Greece (331-146 B.C.) and then
Rome (331-146 B.C.). Daniel also predicts the time of Jesus
death (33 A.D.). The Dead Sea Scrolls prove that at least one prophecy,
the prophecy about Jesus existence on earth to be real.
There is another proof that the book of Daniel existed before Jesus
was alive on this earth. This proof involves the Septuagint, which
is also known as the LXX. The LXX is a Greek translation of the Old
Testament. Jewish tradition says that seventy scribes translated the
Hebrew Bible into Greek between 285 BC and 247 BC. Since the Septuagint
contains the book of Daniel, we know that the book of Daniel existed
even earlier in time.
Josephus states that the book of Daniel was shown to Alexander the
Great when he approached the city of Jerusalem (Josephus, Antiquities
of the Jews, Book XI, chapter VIII, section 5). History says that
Alexander the Great approached Jerusalem around 331 BC. This means
that the book of Daniel existed before this event. It predicted that
Jerusalem would be conquered by Greece. Some critics will accept Josephus
other accounts as being accurate, yet dispute this fact.
Long standing Jewish tradition says that the book of Daniel existed
before 450 BC. While this is not solid proof, it is consistent with
the next fact.
Reference. Most critics widely accept the book of Ezekiel
as being written between 586 BC and 538 BC. What is fascinating is
that the author, Ezekiel, refers to Daniel in Ezekiel 14:14, 20. This
implies that Daniel was alive during his time. Daniel claims to be
the author (Daniel 12:4) of the book which bears his name and to have
lived during the life of Nebuchadnezzar (Daniel 1-2) and Darius (Dan.
9:1). This implies that Daniel was a contemporary of Ezekiel and lived
to see the fall of Babylon (Dan. 5:30-31).
Evidence. For decades, the critics said the proof that
Daniel was written near Christs time is found in the Greek
names of musical instruments recorded in the book and in the fact
portion of Daniel was written in Aramaic. After excavations in Babylonia
and Assyria, it has become clear that the musical instruments
sackbut, and trigon) mentioned in Daniel 3 do not have Greek names
(which would argue for a later date for Daniel), but Babylonian
from the seventh century (600 B.C.). These instruments originated
in Old Persia and were then assimilated by the Greeks.