Thoughts on the Critical/Liberal View of Daniel

The book of Daniel has received much criticism throughout the years. Scholars of the Bible and history have come down upon this text with varied attacks to disprove its validity. There are several approaches taken that this author desires to briefly discuss.

In order to attack the authorship of the book, skeptics conjured up nine authors to the book only to later reduce the assertion to one. Since the authorship of the book could not be proven to have multiple authors, they dug their heels in with one author writing at a much later date, during the time of Antiochus Epiphanes (175-164), and submitted that the book was written to encourage the Jews of that time. The book claims within its text to be written during the Babylonian era. The critics motive is revealed in that they do not allow for Daniel to predict in miraculous fashion events to come. The dig to discredit a “Danielic authorship” falls supremely flat when one considers that the Septuagint was penned prior to the 2nd century B.C.  Seeing that Daniel found placement in the LXX in any of the three categories of writings, solidifies in a concrete way that Daniel authored the book.

When the authorship argument doesn’t hold up, one must find another angle of attack to disprove the validity of the book. The critics/skeptics turn to pointing out there are multiple languages in the book (1) Hebrew (2) Aramaic (3) Greek. This on the surface seems to be legitimate argumentation, but when pressed, the argument turns into more conjecture than solid premise. Of course, it is expected that a Hebrew boy would author a Hebrew text. Daniel was not just a Jew. Daniel was trained and educated in the courts of Babylon. He spent three years being indoctrinated to be of service to the King, in whose land he was captive. With that in mind, it really isn’t unreasonable to think that an author who had lived in Babylonian captivity for the entirety of the seventy years, would be acquainted or even affluent with the language of the court. Now, to the Greek words. This is where the skeptics really lose merit within the framework of this particular objection. If the book were penned by someone after the domination of Alexander the Great, the text would be predominately Greek. Taking note that there are three total Greek terms within the writings and they are all musical terms, the argument takes shape more like a bust. Drew Leonard, quoting Jim McGuiggan, argues that as early as the 8th and 7th century’s, Grecian captives were taken into Assyrian and Babylonian lands (Exposition of Daniel, Leonard.). It is then very plausible that some musical terms could have been adopted by other culture/language and been employed. Nevertheless, the linguistic arguments really don’t hold water. 

When considering all of the arguments the skeptic presents (Alleged Authorship, Multiple Languages, Placement in the canon, Relation to the Apocrypha, Ras Shamra Tablets, Historical discrepancies) the crux of their desire in all of this is to discredit Daniels ability in “predictive prophecy”. Daniel is just too prophetic! This is liberalism at work. They must rob God of His power. Liberals, modernist and such like are merely atheist dressed in a suit to go to church. Why should you reject the liberal view? EVIDENCE! Daniel claims authorship throughout the text (7:1, 28; 8:1; etc.). Then, Christ comes on the scene and draws from Daniels text (Matthew 24:15). This really is a “nail in the coffin” type moment in scripture. The Lord of Lords validates Daniel as a prophet, and the Jews to whom he spoke gave credence to the Daniel text that was being drawn from. Obviously, they viewed Daniels text as legitimate inspired scripture. You probably know well that famous text in Daniel chapter 6, which is again validated by another inspired penman in the “Hall of Faith” (Hebrews 11:36), written to a Hebrew people well acquainted with their Old Testament literature. All of these arguments spring forth from a bias that will not accept that God inspired men to predict, in prophesy, future events. Such bias should be rejected. Honest seekers of truth will carefully weigh the evidence and string together the logical pieces to arrive at the truth. Evidence leads to truth. Speculation and conjecture only serve to muddy the waters and fuel a preconceived notion.     

May all honest Bible students seek out such evidence and believe what the evidence reveals. This author serves a God that is able to see down the corridor of time, and through inspiration, prophesy in an (even) detailed manner. God could see Daniel, God could see the three Hebrew boys, and God can see you.

Will you see God? Only if you are pure in heart (Matthew 5:8).

Reach out below to find out how you can be pure in heart, and able to see God.

God bless you!

Much of the thoughts presented here were formed from reading: “Exposition of Daniel” by Drew Leonard. I highly recommend this book to your consideration. Here is a link to the website.

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