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Bible Home. Latest research is indicated by blue fonts. Copyright Please provide a link to this when quoting. Foreign loan Words. Literary style. The 4 th Kingdom. Prophecy of the Destruction of the Second Temple. Bel and the Dragon. Book of Esther. Ezra - Azariah grandfather to Ezra? I Maccabees. Hebrew names of the heroes. New Testament references. Other external references.
Placement in the Bible Ketuvim instead of Neviim. Ben Sira. Chapter 11 Antiochus Ephiphanes? Concerning the Kings mentioned or referred to in the book of Daniel. Darius the Mede. Persian Kings. According Late dating of daniel the data the book itself provides, chapter one starts c. The book is arranged in two parts, chapterswhich contain historical records, and chapters which contain visions that Daniel personally received. Each part has its chapters arranged chronologically. The book is written in Hebrew and Aramaic. The Aramaic section is from b to the end of chapter 7.
Some modern scholars have embraced an idea similar to that first put forward by Porphyry a neo-Platonist in his work Against Christians c. The idea being that Daniel must have been written not earlier than c. Some modern scholars claim that at c. Porphyry, however, claimed that all the events described in ff refer to Antiochus Epiphenes 4 th and since he rejected predictive prophecy he concluded that this was the point in history when the book was written.
In other words, the writer of Daniel was looking back on events that already happened. His thesis was refuted and rejected by the scholars of his day and then was burned. The records we have of his thesis come from excerpts that were quoted by his opponents. Next, inS. Driver wrote a famous but misleading commentary on Daniel, supporting the same theory. Since then, many scholars have accepted the Maccabean theory without much question.
In the work that follows I will discuss the dating of the book of Daniel from a scholarly standpoint without any personal Late dating of daniel against predictive prophecy. It is my view that the same rules that apply to the dating of all ancient documents should also be applied Late dating of daniel Daniel. Namely, examining and dating the language s used in the document. One must also review ancient witnesses that testify to when the book was written. Accuracy of the book itself in describing the events of a period.
The claims the book itself may make about its dating and whether those claims seem legitimate. Clues within the text that either support or betray its legitimacy, etc. Firstly the language of the book is Hebrew with an Aramaic section between b and The fact that the book is composed in the two languages gives weight to the late 6 th century date.
The author may have considered it so important to put forward the exact facts and words of the various kings that he refused to translate them into his native language. Further more the book of Daniel would not vacillate between Hebrew and Aramaic if it was written in the Hellenistic period. For the Apocryphal books of the Hellenistic period come down to us in Greek. Scholars widely agree that the Hebrew sections were indeed written originally in Hebrew. When the Israelites officially canonized the scriptures of the Hebrew Bible in the first century AD, it was insisted that only books originally written in Hebrew or Aramaic would be accepted and books originally written in Greek were deliberately rejected.
Montgomery, p14 Thereby placing it in the same general time period as those books, that being the 5 th century. In other words, the Hebrew of Daniel is older than that of Chronicles or Ezra. However he believes that Daniel and Esther was a later work in which the author used older Hebrew even though he wrote much later than Chronicles p Elsewhere he calls the Hebrew sections an attempt to imitate pre-exilic Biblical Hebrew pyet he fails to provide any evidence for this theory.
It is possible that the Hebrew might allow a BC date but it fits much better with a 4 th to 6 th century date due to foreign loan words found in the Hebrew sections. It is generally agreed that the Hebrew appears to be slightly later than the Aramaic. But it is also likely that the Hebrew was updated during scribal copying. However it is much less likely that the Aramaic section would be updated since it contains quotations of foreign kings. The occurrence of Old Persian words in the text, that were unknown in the Hellenistic period, requires a date much earlier than BC.
See below under Persian Loan Words. The Hebrew is in agreement with what one would expect from the reign of Cyrus the Great and therefore fits with the c. More important in dating the Hebrew sections are the loan words found in the Hebrew sections, the connection of the Hebrew to the Aramaic section and other non-linguistic indicators found within the Hebrew sections.
These all point to a early date and will be discussed below. The Aramaic clearly belongs to the time period the book itself claims. Townsley 22 nd paragraph. Aramaic is generally classified as follows as recorded in Stefanovic p17 :. The finds at Qumran have shed a little light on the subject. His work takes into literary correlations, grammatical correlations and syntactical correlations to other ancient Aramaic finds. Perhaps most surprising is the similarities between DA and the Tell Fakhriyah inscription 9 th century.
This inscription is both in Aramaic and Akkadian. Of the 95 different words found in it, 65 are also found in DA. It must also be remembered that Daniel has been copied and recopied time and again allowing for updates in spelling and perhaps even changes in the wording itself.
In comparison to this, the other ancient Assyrian texts we have are often inscriptions in stone and are not copies, thus they have been unaltered grammatically by the passing of Late dating of daniel. Yet despite any changes introduced since the original writing, Daniel still resembles the Aramaic of the 5 th6 th and 7 th centuries. Some would wonder as to why the Aramaic section continues into chapter 7 and if thus far why not into chapter 8.
But I noted insomething very important. That is that someone else is recording Daniels words. When we see the first person being used in Chapter 7, it is within the framework of a quotation. The same treatment of Daniel also occurs throughout the first part of the book through chapter 7, but from chapter 8 onward Daniel speaks in the first person, with the exception of Perhaps the Aramaic section of the book was intended for publication on a large scale and was also therefore written in the language of the Empire. But why use Old Aramaic if the book was written c.
Both sides also place the writing of Ezra in the 5 th century. If one wishes to date Daniel in BC then he must also date Ezra to this period, yet no respectable scholar is willing to do that. Four words in the Aramaic, which are apparently of Persian origin, are not attested to after the 5 th century BC. Collins p19 footnote The use of these words weighs heavily in favor of a 6 th or 5 th century date. The Aramaic belongs to the period from the 9 th to 5 th centuries. Even supporters of a late date such as Collins in his introduction are forced to confess that the Aramaic is not consistent with a 2 nd century date and belongs to an earlier period.
Montgomery lists at least 12 words from Akkadian found in the Aramaic section of the books and 1 in the Hebrew section of the book. Montgomery, p These words indicate that the Aramaic and Hebrew belong to the Babylonian period and to the Mesopotamian region. The appearance of Late dating of daniel Akkadian word in the Hebrew section is evidence although not proof that the Hebrew writer was dwelling in Mesopotamia at the time of writing. Nor is it surprising to find some of these words used in sections that pertain to the kings of Babylon for Babylon together with their allies the Medes were dominating the Persians.
In addition, Daniel may not have written down his until the time of the Medo-Persian Empire when he himself was taken to their capital in Susa. Some would wonder why this Israelite would be using Persian in his book, and how he would know it. The answer is -that Cyrus was a Persian, and Daniel being the gifted statesman and fast learner that he was Dan, he would have to had learned Persian to retain his position Waltke, pg.
Townsley 21 st paragraph. The use of Persian loan words, and these especially, indicates a Babylonian or Persian origin and not a Palestinian origin. There are 3 words that are very likely of Greek origin in Daniel and following. This word and the second one I referred to also have variant spellings in a manuscript tradition from Qumran. Another important fact is that already by BC scribal tradition as demonstrated at Qumran was already so strict that they refused to correct known mistakes hence the differences in spelling have been maintained.
This shows that there would likely need to be some time for the variants to arise, hence once again is much to late. Note also that these 3 words refer to musical instruments. Babylonian music notation has been discovered and their sounds and melodies reproduced in modern times.
The music from Babylonia was supposedly fairly boring and limited in its diversity. The introduction therefore of Greek musical instruments into the region is not surprising. Hellenistic influence had already reached Babylon by the reign of Nebuchadnezzar II see Wilson p, Keil p34 ; hence it is no surprise that he would use these new instruments in his worship ritual. Harrison notes that the instruments that these words refer to were known in the ancient near east even on Assyrian reliefs Harrison p It is important to remember that from Greece through Assyria and Babylonia all the way to Persia and south to Egypt was one continuous bed of civilization.Late dating of daniel
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The Book of Daniel: The Problem of Dating