[b-hebrew] Dating Daniel

tladatsi at charter.net tladatsi at charter.net
Thu Jul 7 01:52:37 EDT 2005


Dr. Furuli et al.

I do not have an opinion on the actual dating of cthe 
omposition of Daniel.  However I do have an opinion on the 
relevant 
methodology.

1) There is an assumption that there was single author of 
Daniel who wrote the entire work at one time. This 
assumption may not be accurate. Parts of Daniel may have 
been written by different authors at different times and 
places.  So portions may be 6th century BCE and others 2nd 
century BCE, or indeed some time between.  The assumption 
of an *either / or* approach to assigning a specific period 
of composition of the entire work needs to demonstrated and 
not assumed.

2) The proposal that Daniel was composed mid-2nd century 
mainly lies in the fact that apocalyptic literature was in 
not produced much in the 6th century BCE but was produced 
much more extensively in the centuries following the 3rd 
century BCE.  This argument may be wrong, but it is not 
circular.

3) Just as there is not textual claim in the book of Job 
that Job wrote the book of Job, nowhere in Daniel is it 
claimed that Daniel wrote to book of Daniel, or even that 
there was a single author.  This of course contrasted with 
Jeremiah were it is explicitly stated that the text is the 
?words of Jeremiah?, although there is no claim it was he 
who wrote them down or that they were written down by one 
individual.

4) Dating Daniel to either the 6th century or 2nd century 
does not in any way depend on the objective existence of 
God, the subjective acknowledgement of the existence of 
God, the acceptance of divine inspiration of the Biblical 
authors, or even the belief in prophecy.  It is quite 
possible to believe that Daniel was divinely inspired and 
prophetic and that it was written in the 2nd century BCE, 
the 6th century BCE, both, in some other century, or in 
more than one century.  

One?s personal principles of faith are not diagnostic as to 
the dating Daniel.


Jack Tladatsi



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