Research Paper Daniel

2791 words - 12 pages

LIBERTY BAPTIST THEOLOGICAL SEMINARY

Historical Problems in the Book of Daniel

A paper submitted to

Dr. Michael Heiser

In partial fulfillment of the requirements

For completion of the course

OBST 520

Old Testament Orientation II

Lynchburg, Virginia

March 2, 2014
TABLE OF CONTENTS

INTRODUCTION………………….……………………………………………………………..3

BACKGROUND AND MESSAGE….…….……………….…...……………………………….3

PROBLEM #1……………………………………………………..……………………………...4

PROBLEM #2……...…………………………………………………..………………………...5

PROBLEM #3………………………………………………………………….…...……………5

PROBLEM #4…………...…………………………………………..……………...……………6

PROBLEM #5……………………………………………………………..………..……………7

...view middle of the document...

In the first two chapters of Daniel, there is a heavy emphasis on the sovereignty of God. It is classified as apocalyptic literature because it contains prophecy regarding the end times.
This is what we have gathered from Daniel’s life. Nebuchadnezzar took Daniel from Jerusalem to Babylon when he was a youth. There is no information given about Daniel’s life and lineage except those found in the book of Daniel. Daniel is believed to be a youth around 603 BC. This was the time it was estimated that he was taken to Babylon by King Nebuchadnezzar. From that we gathered that he was around seventy-five years old in 536 BC. Therefore, the dating on the book of Daniel is placed at the end of the sixth century BC. Some scholars have argued that this dating cannot be correct based on the materials in the book of Daniel. These issues with dating are mainly in the apocalyptic prophecy sections of the book. Scholars claim that Daniel could not have predicted the events he did. Therefore, they claim a later dating than what has been commonly accepted. We will be looking at these historical problem during our study of Daniel.
PROBLEM #1:
The first historical problem we see in the book of Daniel can be found in the first verse of the first chapter. Daniel 1:1 says, “In the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim king of Judah, Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon came to Jerusalem and besieged it.” At first glance, it seems pretty straightforward. Critical scholars, however, have a problem with this verse. They contend that the problem lie with the dating of the reign of King Jehoiakim. That is because Jeremiah chapters 25 and 46 tell of this event happening in the fourth year of Jehoiakim’s reign. This appears to be a very blatant contradiction of scriptures. On the contrary, it is simply a difference in dating methods.
Daniel appears to be using the Babylonian method. This method does not count the partial of the king’s accession to the throne. That would make it appear to have happened a year earlier than it actually did. The text then should read, “In the third full year of the reign of Jehoiakim.” Jeremiah uses the Judahite method, which does count the accession year. This essentially follows true to the dates of the event. We know from looking at other historical documents and comparing the dating to other events that the dating here is correct. The Babylonian Chronicle tells us that Nebuchadnezzar besieged Jerusalem after his victory at Carchemish. Daniel and the first set of exiles were taken into captivity in this year. From all this information we can gather that this is no error, but simply a cultural difference.
In addition to the issue with the dating, there is another issue within this verse. The Babylonia Chronicle precludes any action by Nebuchadnezzar in Judah in 606 BC. It also does not mention the siege of Jerusalem anytime before 597 BC, which was Nebuchadnezzar’s seventh year and Jehoiakim’s eleventh year. ...

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