Hasmonean Bible

Jonathan D. Safren yonsaf at beitberl.beitberl.ac.il
Mon Jun 21 06:45:49 EDT 1999

I haven't been following the argument, but isn't the argument for the late
dating of Daniel based, inter alia, on the use of Aramaic, the use of Greek
words (sumponia, psalterion, etc.), the inaccuracies in the Judaean and
Persian chronology in the text?
Jonathan D. Safren

> From: peter_kirk at sil.org
> To: Biblical Hebrew <b-hebrew at franklin.oit.unc.edu>
> Subject: Re[2]: Hasmonean Bible
> Date: éåí ùðé, éåðé 21, 1999 07:26
> Dear Ian,
> Thank you for your response. I have not yet had time to look at your 
> web pages, but if the argument for the dating of Daniel (I didn't 
> mention any particular books, by the way) is based (as have been most 
> of the arguments I have seen) on the impossibility of genuine 
> predictive prophecy, and silence in the lack of early citations, don't 
> expect me to be convinced by it.
> You asked: "While I don't exclude the possibility, could you tell me 
> some way of ever testing the genuineness of such "prophecy"?"
> Your question was posed and answered by the author of the book of 
> Deuteronomy (18:21-22), a passage which incidentally shows that 
> prophecy was expected to have a predictive element. If we find a 
> manuscript or inscription with a firm date containing a prophecy of an 
> event which is known to have taken place after that date, that is a 
> good test of the genuineness of that prophecy. We find a possible 
> example of this in the Qumran Isaiah scroll which apparently contains 
> (especially in chapter 53) prophecies of the life and death of Jesus 
> Christ.
> Meanwhile, if all we have to go on for the dating of Daniel, Ezra etc 
> is silence, e.g. the absence of citations in Josephus, we can say 
> nothing more than "we don't know" in support of the late dating of 
> those books. But I, unlike you, take into account the internal 
> evidence of the books, as a priori evidence that the events described 
> in them actually took place unless demonstrated otherwise. I think 
> this would be the normal historian's approach to a historical 
> document; I suspect that if it were not our history books would be 
> very thin. But then this is going back over old arguments which I 
> don't want to restart.
> Peter Kirk
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