[b-hebrew] Dating Daniel - Response
furuli at online.no
Fri Jul 8 04:39:47 EDT 2005
See my comments below.
> Believing that Daniel is wholly or partially 2nd century
> does not automatically make one an atheist. Believing that
> Daniel is wholly or partially 6th century does mean one is
> automatically a believer.
> As I stated originally, if one is interested in dating the
> composition of the Book of Daniel, examining the faith of
> the investigator serves no useful purpose. It is far more
> useful to examine the text and historical records.
You are perfectly right, the faith of a scholar is not necessarily linked
with his or her dating of Daniel. But the faith of scholars working with the
book of Daniel regarding the existence of God is not the primry issue.
The real issue is: Why do scholars date the book of Daniel to the second
century B.C.E.? Or put differently: Why do modern scholars reject the claims
in the book of Daniel of a sixth century writing? These are important
questions, because few people are able to work with the original text of
Daniel and original archaeological and historical findings. Most people,
therefore, must build on the experts. And because of this it is important to
understand the paradigms/models that the experts use as axioms.
A dating of the book of Daniel on the basis if its Hebrew and Aramaic text
is impossible. Some traits suggest an early dating and others a late one. As
for the prophecies/"prophecies" ex eventu, they tell us nothing definite
regarding the date of their writing. And I am not aware of any other trait
that can be used for dating purposes. So the question remains: Why do
scholars reject the claims of the book itself and use a second century
dating? The answer is that they do so because of their axiom that prophecies
regarding future events do not exist. Daniel chapter 11, therefore, must
have been written after the events (save the last few verses, which are real
predictions that were not fulfilled). And this brings them to the middle of
the second century B.C.E.
People relying on the experts will benefit from an understanding of the
primary role played by the mentioned axiom. This will help them to be more
critical to the dating arguments used, ascertaining that these often are
secondary arguments, and that they without the mentioned axiom as their
foundation are very weak indeed. If someone thinks that I am overstating the
case, I repeat the simple test for showing this: Just point to one or two
scholars who date Daniel to the middle of the second century B.C.E., and who
accept the *possibility* that the history/"history" of Daniel chapter 11 was
written by a Daniel before the events happened.
> Jack Tladatsi
University of Oslo
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