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The Book of Daniel

they followed the star in the east

The Dating of the Book of Daniel.

Although it does not actually claim to have been written in the sixth century BCE, the Book of Daniel gives clear internal dates such as “the third year of the reign of king Jehoiakim,” (1:1), that is, 606 BCE); “the second year of the reign of king Nebuchadnezzar, ” (2:1), that is, 603 BCE); “the first year of Darius,” (9:1), that is 522 BCE); “in the third year of Cyrus,” (10:1), that is 547 or perhaps 536).

First, who was Belshazzar? The book of Daniel portrays him as the Babylonian king in the first year of whose reign Daniel has his dream of the four great beasts which come up out of the sea. (7:1-14) Belshazzar was said to have been slain after he saw the writing on the wall, at which time Darius the Mede supposedly took over the Babylonian kingdom (5:30) Actually Belshazzar was the son of the Babylonian king, Nabonidus, and he ruled in place of his father when Nabonidus went to live in Teima in the Arabian desert for eight years (c. 552 – 545 BCE.) However, no evidence exists for the assassination of Belshazzar and it is known from conclusive extra-Biblical evidence that in fact Cyrus of Persia took the Babylonian crown from Nabonidus in 539. Darius was the second successor to Cyrus after Cambyses and he (Darius) ascended the Persian throne in 522 BCE.

The Dating of the Book of Daniel.

The author of the Book of Daniel seems to place the rule of Cyrus after that of Darius, again an inexplicable error for an author contemporary with these events. Furthermore he makes no mention of the fact that it was the Edict of Cyrus of 538 BCE. which finally allowed the Hebrews to return to Israel. This is a crucial event in the history of the religion of Israel and would surely warrant a mention from any author of that period.

Third it does not seem to be consistent with the facts that the Babylonians are presented as actively persecuting the Jews and attempting to destroy their religion. In fact the Jews lived quite peacefully and had plenty of opportunity to practice their faith in exile in Babylon. The synagogue and the canonization of the Torah have their origins in Babylonian Judaism, as, of course, does the Babylonian Talmud.

Fourth the predictions given by Daniel in the form of the interpretation of dreams and visions are remarkably accurate up to a point. He predicts the rise of four kingdoms (2:31-45). These can readily be identified as the Babylonian, the Persian, the Greek and the divided Greek empire (after the death of Alexander the Great).

The Dating of the Book of Daniel

He continues to tell the “future” with great accuracy. He tells of “a mighty king who shall arise and rule with great dominion” who can be recognized as Alexander (336 – 323 BCE, (11:3). He “predicts” the division of the Greek empire after Alexander’s death and the wars between the Ptolemies who rule in Egypt (the “kings of the south”) and the Seleucids who rule in Babylon (the “kings of the north”). These general prediction become much more detailed and specific when he predicts the conquest of the king of the south by a king of the north who “shall do as neither his fathers nor his father’s fathers have done, scattering among them plunder, spoil, and goods” (11:24). (See also 7:7-108:9-12). This king is “predicted” to cause the sacrifices of the Temple to cease (9:27)and to set up a “desolating sacrilege” in the Temple (12:11) This can be non other than Antiochus IV Epiphanes, the Seleucid ruler of Babylon who profaned the Jerusalem Temple in 167 BCE and set up a statue of Zeus with whom he identified himself. Unfortunately, after these remarkably accurate “predictions” Daniel goes awry at (11:40) when he predicts that this king will be attacked by the king of the south etc. This does not accord with any historical event.

The Dating of the Book of Daniel.

What explanation could make sense of these inconsistencies?

First, stories about Daniel had circulated before the time of Antiochus and had long been used to encourage faithful obedience to and observance of Jewish law. However, all the stories of the book of Daniel relate directly to the persecution under Antiochus: loyalty to the Jewish food laws and the refusal to worship images of other gods had become a question of life and death in Antiochus’ crisis-ridden empire.

Second, the name Nebuchadnezzar contains a disguised reference to Antiochus to those acquainted with Hebrew numbering. The Babylonian king of 605 – 562 BCE was in fact called nabu-kuddurri-usur which should be transliterated into Hebrew script as NeuchadRezzar (as it is in eg. Jeremiah 46:239:11). The change of that one letter gives this name the same numerical value in Hebrew (which had no separate numbers and so used letters to represent numbers) as the name Antiochus Epiphanes. This is too coincidental to be accidental and too contrived to be miraculous.

Thirdly, the whole genre of Apocalyptic literature which Daniel represents only developed during the period of crisis and persecution under Antiochus. The few examples of Apocalyptic in the Old Testament are all late, and the popularity of Apocalyptic in the New Testament is indication that it was a relatively new and popular literary form around the time of Jesus.

 

Physical Evidence of God

Physical Evidence, of God's existence.
Physical Evidence, of God’s existence.

The Shroud of Turn

Here is something to prove Jesus walked and talked, the Shroud of Turn. The earliest historical record place to shroud. in Lirey, France between 1353 and 1357. The Vatican records show, that the shroud was possessed by the Knight Templar.

Many in the secular media dismissed the crowd as a medieval forery, and was debunked by carbon-14 tests. In 1988 they led researchers to estimate a date of origin between 1260 and 1390.

Fire damage

He says he was originally dubious of untested claims that the 1988 sample was taken from a re-weave.”It was embarrassing to have to agree with them,” Mr Rogers told the BBC News website. The 4m-long linen sheet was damaged in a fires, including a church blaze in 1532.

The Shroud of Turin is Jesus’ burial cloth?

Faith/belief in the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ does not depend on physical. Solid documentation places it in this town in the northern mountains of Spain, from its founding in 761.

It appears to me that the image on the Shroud, which is actually scorched onto the fibers, was probably created by an extremely intense supernatural. Travelling at the speed of light.

What appears to be “trivial” to some, upon deeper reflection, may contain a rich depository of truth. The Gospels of Matthew[27:59–60], Mark[15:46] and Luke[23:53] state that Joseph of Arimathea wrapped the body of Jesus in a piece of linen cloth and placed it in a new tomb. The Gospel of John[19:38–40] refers to strips of linen used by Joseph of Arimathea and states that Apostle Peter found multiple pieces of burial cloth after the tomb was found open, strips of linen cloth for the body and a separate cloth for the head.[20:6–7] The Gospel of the Hebrews, a 2nd-century manuscript, states that Jesus gave the linen cloth to the servant of the priest.

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