In this thread I wish to address some of the key arguments raised against the book.
- That Daniel was not considered canonical by the Jews
- That the language in the book necessitates a date well into the Greek era
- That the book contains historical inaccuracies and anachronisms
- That the book contains evidence of redaction by several hands over the centuries
Of the modern works I have used, I rely most heavily on David Conklin's excellent paper 'Evidences Relating to the Date of the Book of Daniel' (2000), which is the single most thorough, well reseached, and convincing work on the subject which I have ever read. It is freely available online, and runs to some 54 A4 pages, including the extensive bibliography.
The other modern works which I am using extensively (both available online), are WD Jeffcoat's 'The Linguistic Argument For The Date Of Daniel' (2004), which deals specifically with the linguistic issues of the book, and Daniel B Wallace's paper 'Who is Ezekiel's Daniel?' (1997), which is a well written and very readable introduction to key criticisms and answers.
Of the older works, I use in particular material from the superb work by Pusey (E Pusey, 'Daniel The Prophet', 1886), which cotains a formidable array of counter-arguments in reply to the claims of 'Higher Criticism', as well as an analysis of the linguistic issues which is probably still unparalleled in its detail.
Incredibly, Pusey's work is never referred to by modern critics, despite the fact that it addresses directly the most common contemporary arguments against the book of Daniel. This cannot be because the work is obscure (it is frequently cited in the best contemporary defenses of Daniel), nor because it is considered out of date or irrelevant (even now, in the 21st century, Pusey's key arguments still stand, and his textual, linguistic and historical analysis has been verified repeatedly by the latest secular research).
Indeed, the International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia, written almost 100 years later (1973), commends Pusey highly. In a list of nine books which it refers to as 'the best defenses of Daniel's authenticity and genuineness', Pusey's work is described simply as 'still the best of all'.
It is probable that the unavailability of this book (which ran to at least 9 editions, but which has been out of print for decades), together with its date of authorship (late 19th century), both contribute to it being ignored as inconvenient or outdated by contemporary critics of Daniel. From this point of view, it is highly ironic that SR Driver's critical work written against Daniel (SR Driver, 'An Introduction to the Literature of the Old Testament', originally printed 1891), is frequently quoted in deptjh by contemporary critics as practically the first and last word on the subject,though it is almost as old as Pusy's, and uses arguments which Pusey had already refuted, and which many secular scholars have already conceded as false or irrelevant.
In addition, I occasionally use the commentaries of Clarke (1712), Gill (1748), and Barnes (1851), as well as the International Standard Bible Encyclopaedia (1973). I have endeavoured to quote from a wide range of sources defending Daniel, to show the level of agreement among Cristian scholars and commentators, as well as to prove that earlier Christians were not ignorant of these criticisms, and have for centuries presented replies which remain valid even in the face of the latest secular research.
Christians have not had to wait for centuries for men such as Conklin to find sound answers to difficult questions regarding Daniel. The book of Daniel has always been criticised, and Christians have always had the correct answers for the critics.
I invite comments on this issue, as well as on my posts.
Edited by Fortigurn, 25 November 2005 - 06:16 AM.