Date: Sat, 26 Sep 1998 20:32:46 -0700
From: David Rice <>
Subject: _Daniel_ prophesy

I wrote the following reply to someone. Since most of my e-mail is private, I have not included the querant's address, nor his name. I was discussing the book "Who Wrote the Gospels?" by Helms.

>> used Daniel as his sourse). It adds aditional compelling evidence for
>> a second-century BCE origination of the text. (Mark, of course, being
>> 70 CE and writing as an apocalyptic who expected the Son of Man to
>> show up in 73-74 CE.)

> Oops, I forgot to ask what was the "additional compelling
> evidence" the book produces?

Three good reasons that I can think of off-hand. The first is the reason why the author of _Daniel_ wrote the book. The Temple had been defiled by having a Pagan idol (Zeus) installed circa 160 BCE, which the author appears to have taken as a sign that the "kingdon of god" (in the Jewish sense, which is, of course, quite different than the later Christian sense) was very near at hand. Daniel was therefore a apocalyptic work by an author who very much believed that he was living in the last days. While dozens of generations preceeding the author's believed that the kingdon of god was "near" (because they were occupied) the defilement of the Temple seems, to my mind (naturally I could be wrong), the greatest crisis of Judaism since The Captivity, exceeding the Roman occupation. I think it was this impetus behind the reason the author of _Daniel_ wrote the book. _Daniel_ seems to be a political critique of 2nd century political powers, with the end of the text ensuring that the Jews would eventually over-some their persecutors.

The second reason is, of course, that the pseudohistory in _Daniel_ is blatently wrong when discussing 6th century BCE, but becomes inceasingly more accurate up to circa 168 BCE. After that date the "prophesy" once again becomes historically wrong: strong evidence that the text was written around that date.

The third is that there is no such thing as "prophesy," and the correct history of _Daniel_ (circa 300-160 BCE) is extremely accurate, though couched in poetic words. The "great horn" (Alexander the Great) breaking into "four little horns," none of which were his progeny (Alexander's four generals), each taking a cardinal (compass) region to rule, is too accurate for "prophesy."

Regarding the latter, naturally one who is a believer in "prophesy" will object the argument as "anti-supernatural bias." In this I agree 100%. I am biased against all things supernatural. I also have the added benefit of supporting a "prophesy" claim by pointing out that all of the other "prophsies" in the Hebrew and Christians Testaments are false (those that can be historically checked). Why _Daniel_ should be valid "prophesy" while the other "prophesies" are not I can not imagine.

David Michael Rice
The world's second biggest glutton! (Next to Godzilla)


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