When was the book of Daniel written?

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R.J. Furuli
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When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby R.J. Furuli » Sat Nov 11, 2017 3:13 am

Dear listmembers,

I would like to introduce a book of mine, that may be of interest for some of you: "When Was the Book of Daniel Written? A Philological, Linguistic, and Historical Appraoch." Paperback in colors, 331 pages, Larvik, Norway: Awatu Publishers (awatu-publishers@sf-nett.no) Price 350 Norwegian kroner.

The philological part consists of a comparison between the eight DSS fragments of Daniel and the MT. The texts of the fragments are very close to the MT. But in the 1.395 words there are 10,1% of minute variations, mostly copying errors. These variations suggest a long copying history of the book before the second century BCE.

The linguistic part consists of three chapters. One chapter deals with the Hebrew text and another with the Aramaic text from the view of time. The arguments of different scholars such as S.R. Driver, H.H. Rowley, J.J. Collins, R.D. Wilson, D. Boutflower, K, Kitchen, G.L. Archer Jr., J.J. Choi, J.A. Fitzmyer, and Z. Stefanovic for an early and late date are analyzed in detail. The third linguistic part is a new translation and an analysis of five Akkadian tablets that are believed to contain history in prophetic disguise. These are compared with the book of Daniel.

The historical part consists of two chapters. One chapter discusses all the accounts that claim to be historical. These are analyzed in the light of archeology and history. The other chapter is of particular importance, because it deals with the history of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. The parts of chapters 7, 8, and 11 that are applied to Antiochus are analyzed in detail, and new translations of all analyzed texts are given. It is shown that some modern Bible translations manipulate some texts so they fit the history of Antiochus. It is also shown that much of the history of Antiochus is poorly known, and that several things that the commentaries present as data, are uncertain. Contrary to the view of most scholars, the conclusion is that Antiochus is not referred to at all in the book of Daniel.

The last chapter deals with the use of Daniel in the New Testament, and how the readers can benefit from the book of Daniel

The conclusion of the book is that there is strong philological and linguistic evidence against a writing in the second century BCE, and some Hebrew and Aramaic evidence in favor of a writing in the early Persian Empire.


Best regards,

Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway

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SteveMiller
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby SteveMiller » Sat Nov 11, 2017 9:07 pm

Rolf,
Thanks for the brief and content-rich summary.
Does the LXX translation of Daniel give any insight?
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

R.J. Furuli
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby R.J. Furuli » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:10 am

Dear Steve,

Of the two Greek versions of Daniel, The Theodotion version is closer to the Hebrew text and is a better text than the LXX. I have used both versions in the book. In the last chapter I compare quotations from Daniel in the NT, word by word, and it is clear that in all instances, save possibly one, the Theodotion translation is used in the NT. I have given a new translation of all the verses in Daniel that I have analyzed. I have used the Hebrew text for this. But in some cases I refer to the two Greek versions as well.

In the discussion of whether Antiochus IV Epiphanes is referred to or not, the translation of 9: 24-27 is of particular importance. In this case I have used the Hebrew text which I have found to be the best one, and I have tried to convey all the nuances of this text. To convey these nuances is important in connection with the 70 weeks and their application, and also in connection with שִׁקּוּצִים֙ מְשֹׁמֵ֔ם and the references of this expression. Table 6.4 compares the Hebrew text of שִׁקּוּצִים֙ מְשֹׁמֵ֔ם with the texts of the LXX and Theodotion in the four instances when this expression occurs. I have also compared the Hebrew and Aramaic texts in Daniel with the Syriac text, and this text is rather close the the Hebrew and Aramaic texts. In some cases I have also used the Latin and the Ethiopic texts.

The conclusion is that in no instance of importance have I found that the text of the LXX or Theodotion is better than MT. Interestingly, the very close correspondence between the eight DSS Daniel fragments, which represent about 58% of the text of Daniel, and the MT, suggests that MT is an old and reliable text.

Best regards,

Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway

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SteveMiller
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby SteveMiller » Sun Nov 12, 2017 4:30 pm

Thanks very much Rolf.
Could you share some about why you find Antiochus IV Epiphanes is not referred to in Daniel?
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

R.J. Furuli
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby R.J. Furuli » Mon Nov 13, 2017 4:36 am

Dear Steve,

Your question is a good one. It is not possible to give a detailed answer in a short post. But I will draw an outline.

The Greek philosopher Porphyry was the first to claim that the prophecies of Daniel were history in prophetic disguise, because Daniel described the historical actions of Antiochus IV Epiphanes. Most scholars today accept this view.

When we study a subject, we cannot start from scratch, but we must use auxiliary hypotheses as axioms. This means that we have to assume that conclusions made by different scholars are correct, and we build on these conclusions in our study. This can be a strength or a serious weakness. In connection with Daniel and Antiochus, commentators today build on conclusions made by previous commentators without critically scrutinizing these conclusions. In addition, many, or most scholars, reject the view that a book written by a human being can foresee the future. Thus, there is a strong motive behind the view that Daniel MUST contain prophecy ex eventu.

The most thorough study of the history of Antiochus IV Epiphanes was made by O. Mørkholm, “Antiochis IV of Syria” (1966). The author shows that the sources of the history of Antiochus are few and often contradictory, and that scholars studying these sources have reached very different conclusions as to the life and nature of Antiochus. For example, 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabes often contradict one another. Authors who write commentaries to show how the life of Antiochus fit perfectly the accounts in Daniel 7, 8, and 11 often present data as certain that are questionalbe. Moreover, translators have manipulated different verses in Daniel in order to fit what they believe is the history of Antiochus. To mention two examples, the translations in Daniel 11:20, and 26 in the NIV and other translations do not have a support in the Hebrew text.

Antiochus built a pagan altar upon the temple altar and forbid the daily offerings in the temple. 1 Maccabees 1:54, 59 say that this represents the abomination causing desolation. This abomination is mentioned in Daniel 9:27, 11:31, and 12:11, as well as in 8:12 together with “taking away the constant feature (offerings).” The words about the abomination and taking away the offerings COULD be an historic reference to the actions of Antiochus. However, a detailed study of the actions of the little horn in chapters 8 and 9, as well as the actions associated with the abomination in chapters 9, 11, and 12, shows that most of the actions do not fit the life of Antiochus, as we know it. Moreover, there is a time setting in these chapters that excludes that Antiochus is referred to. I also present a detailed study of 11:21-45, which argues that the details do not fit the life of Antiochus.

Interstingly, in contrast with the author of 1 Maccabees, the references to Daniel by the Qumran community suggest that the people of Qumran did not believe that Antiochus was not referred to in the book of Daniel.


Best regards,

Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway

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SteveMiller
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby SteveMiller » Mon Nov 13, 2017 9:53 pm

Thanks Rolf. If we were to take 1 Maccabees as accurate, would any of Daniel's prophesies then fit Antiochus?
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

R.J. Furuli
Posts: 63
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby R.J. Furuli » Tue Nov 14, 2017 3:47 am

Dear Steve,

J.A. Goldstein is the author of two monumental works on 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees (in The Anchor Bible series) with translations of the books and about 1,000 pages of comments. In his book on 2. Maccabees, pp. 63, 64 he wrote:

"I have argued that the author of First Maccabees, wherever possible, wrote to expose the falsity of Daniel 7–11, whereas Jason of Cyrene, wherever possible, wrote to defend the veracity of those chapters. . . .
Jason knew enough of the facts of history to understand that some of them could be used to challenge the truth of Daniel, but he could not always meet his opponent’s arguments head on. The facts sometimes all too obviously contradicted the seer’s predictions. . . . By Jason’s time some of the predictions had to be taken as predictions of the ultimate future rather than as predictions for the reign of Antiochus IV and Antiochus V. It was by no means clear which predictions had to be put off to the ultimate future. Jason’s first task was to see to it that his own narrative should leave it possible that Daniel told the truth.
Jason dealt with the difficulties of 11:25–39 by making his narrative vague and by applying key words to show that the seer’s prophecies were at least partly fulfilled. Thus, Jason spoke of the “second” expedition against Egypt of Antiochus IV in order to bear out the implication of Dan 11:25–30 that the king twice came to Jerusalem, each time after a campaign against Egypt."

Jason of Cyrene was the author of 2 Maccabees. We need to understand Godlstein's perspective. He believed that there were some refernces to Antiochus IV Epiphanes in Daniel, so when he uses the words "the truth of Daniel" and "the veracity of these chapters" these words relate to how well Daniel's words fit the history of Antiochus. The quote correctly shows that the authors of 1. Maccabees and 2 Maccabees each had an agenda, Jason (2 Maccabees) tried to show that Daniel's words fitted the history of Antiochus, and the author of 1 Maccabees did the opposite.

Then to your question: The approach I have used in my book in connection with the different chapters that have been applied to Antiochus, is to list each "prophecy" that may fit the history of Antiochus, those "prophecies" that do not fit, and the data in the chapters that exclude an application to Antiochus. Then I have drawn my conclusion.

For example, the desecration of the temple and the abomination of desolation MAY fit the history of Antiochus. However, the words also MAY fit the actions of the roman armies toward the temple in 70 CE. However, the words of 8:11 that "the place of his sanctuary was thrown down" does not fit Antiochus. But the words fit the actions of the Roman armies in 70 CE. Moreover, the abomination is connected with the destruction of the temple and of Jerusalem in 9:26, 27. And before these events, 70 weeks (sevens) should pass. These 70 weeks exclude the possibility that the words about the abomination referred to the actions of Antiochus. There are also words about time in chapters 7 and 8 that effectively exclude any reference to Antiochus in the second century BCE.

So, my direct answer is that you can find some some events both in 1 Maccabees and 2 Maccabees that CAN be applied to the history of Antiochus. But most events CANNOT be applied to this king. And some vents effectively exclude this king. However, as Goldstein pointed out, the tone of 1 Maccabees is that Daniel did not speak of Antiochus, while Jason, in 2 Maccabees, tried to manipulate some events and to be vague about others, in order to show that Daniel was speaking about Antiochus.


Best regards,

Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway

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SteveMiller
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby SteveMiller » Thu Nov 16, 2017 9:50 pm

Thanks very much, Rolf. I did not know hardly any of this. I need to read 1 & 2 Maccabees.
Sincerely yours,
Steve Miller
Detroit
http://www.voiceInWilderness.info
Honesty is the best policy. - George Washington (1732-99)

kwrandolph
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Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby kwrandolph » Fri Nov 17, 2017 1:09 pm

Is not part of the confusion due to insistence that Daniel’s predictions ended before the modern era?

For example, the seventy sevens (490 years) ended with a seven year war, in which it took the victors seven years to impose their covenant on the land. Midway through that seven years the temple was destroyed, stopping sacrifices. Both the general who started in the war, and the one who ended it, later became emperor. In short, that’s a quick, outline description of the Jewish revolt of 66 AD. Counting backwards from that date means that Nehemiah got his orders to rebuild Jerusalem at 417 ±2 years BC.

Yet there seem to be references to Antiochus IV among the prophecies. For example, even secular histories mention that he invaded Egypt twice, the second time he was publicly humiliated by a Roman official who drew a circle around him. While he appears to be the little horn in Daniel 8, he’s definitely not the little horn in Daniel 7. Those are two different prophecies.

Daniel was given different prophecies, concerning different events. We should not mix them up.

We also need to be careful on word meanings. For example, מקדש means anything—objects and practices—that’s set apart (holy), not only to the temple. Later Hebrews may have limited that word to the temple, but Biblical Hebrew had a wider meaning. Antiochus IV fits the wider meaning of Biblical Hebrew.

So when was Daniel written? That it correctly predicted events that happened in AD means that we can expect that prophecies contained in the book that have yet to be fulfilled, are yet to come. That also means that there’s no reason to claim that it was written later than its internal claims.

My 2¢.

Karl W. Randolph.

R.J. Furuli
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Joined: Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:51 am

Re: When was the book of Daniel written?

Postby R.J. Furuli » Sun Nov 19, 2017 10:02 am

Dear Karl.

For example, the seventy sevens (490 years) ended with a seven year war, in which it took the victors seven years to impose their covenant on the land. Midway through that seven years the temple was destroyed, stopping sacrifices. Both the general who started in the war, and the one who ended it, later became emperor. In short, that’s a quick, outline description of the Jewish revolt of 66 AD. Counting backwards from that date means that Nehemiah got his orders to rebuild Jerusalem at 417 ±2 years BC.


Sixty-nine of the 70 weeks would last until Messiah the leader (9:25). One problem that has destroyed many good attempts to calculate the 69 weeks, is the use of an erroneous chronology. The accepted chronology for the Persian, Neo-Babylonian, and Neo-Assyrian empires is the chronology of the astronomer/astrologer Claudius Ptolemy from the second century CE. As we see in so many scientific disciplines, an idea is accepted by the majority, and this idea is then, through the generations, presented as a fact without ever being tested. I have tested this chronology by studying several thousand cuneiform business tablets from Persepolis and Babylonia, and I have calculated all the positions of the moon and the planets on 10 astronomical tablets from the Persian Empire (this material has been published). The most important conclusion that has a bearing on the 70 weeks is that Artaxerxes I became king in 475/74 BCE, which is ten years before the date given by the traditional chronology. This means that the 20th year of Artaxerxes I, which is a good starting point of the 70 weeks is 455/54 BCE and not 445/44 BCE, which is the traditional year. If you calculate 69 weeks from 455 BCE, you get a very interesting result.

Yet there seem to be references to Antiochus IV among the prophecies. For example, even secular histories mention that he invaded Egypt twice, the second time he was publicly humiliated by a Roman official who drew a circle around him. While he appears to be the little horn in Daniel 8, he’s definitely not the little horn in Daniel 7. Those are two different prophecies.


It is true there is evidence that Antiochus IV Epiphanes invaded Egypt two times. However, the words in Daniel 11, do not fit either of these campaigns of Antiochus. The first campaign of Antiochus against Egypt occurred in 170/69 BCE. The supposed “king of the south" was the boy Ptolemy VI Philometor. But Daniel 11:26 contradicts that. Please compare my translation with NIV

RJF: “Those eating his delicate food will crush him יִשְׁבְּר֖וּהוּ, and his army will overflow יִשְׁט֑וֹף, and many will fall down slain.”

NIV: “Those who eat from his from the king’s provisions will try to destroy him יִשְׁבְּר֖וּהוּ; his army will be swept away יִשְׁט֑וֹף, and many will fall in battle.”

The werb “crush” is Qal imperfect. In order to let Daniel’s words fit Ptolemy VI, NIV has a conative rendering. An imperfect can in rare instances have this sense. But to use it when the context does not clearly show that the action is not carried out is pure manipulation. The verb “overflow” is also Qal imperfect, which has an active meaning. However, NIV uses a passive rendering, which is the opposite of what the text says. This is also pure manipulation. Ptolemy the VI was not killed, and his army did not overflow the army of Antiochus IV Epiphanes.

In order to have a good foundation to conclude whether the book of Daniel contains prophecies or history in prophetic disguise, two thinga are necessary, 1) a careful and detailed study of the original text, and 2) a careful and detailed study of the ancient sources that write about Antiochus IV. The first point wil help us to see what the text really says, and the second point will help us to distinguish between clear historical data and the manipulated data.


Best regards,

Rolf J. Furuli
Stavern
Norway


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