Daniel 1:1a—Wasn’t the Book of Daniel actually written after about 170 b.c.?
Problem: Daniel contains an incredible amount of detail concerning the kingdoms of the Gentiles from the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, from about 605 b.c., down to the Roman empire which began to exercise dominance as early as 241 b.c. and, under the Roman general Pompey, took over the Promised Land in 63 b.c. However, conservative scholars have maintained that Daniel wrote in the 6th century b.c. How could Daniel have given such historically accurate details of events in the future?
Solution: The Book of Daniel contains supernatural prophecies that, from Daniel’s time, extended hundreds of years into the future (Dan. 2:7). Daniel 11 presents a sweeping display of detailed prophecy that stretches from the reign of Cyrus the Great to the reign of antichrist, to the millennial kingdom, to the end of the age and into eternity. The record of the movement of nations and events is so accurate, it reads as the historical account of an eyewitness. However, conservative scholarship places the date of the Book of Daniel at a time before any of these events took place. The book itself claims to be predictive prophecy (cf. 9:24ff). To avoid the conclusion that Daniel’s prophecy was a supernatural act of God, modern scholars have proposed a number of explanations including a late date of writing. However, the historical accuracy of Daniel’s record confirms a 6th century composition, and the best conclusion is that the Book of Daniel is a revelation from God about historical events that were future to Daniel, many of which are still future to us today.
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This excerpt is from When Critics Ask: A Popular Handbook on Bible Difficulties (Wheaton, Ill.: Victor Books, 1992). © 2014 Norman Geisler and Thomas Howe. All rights reserved. Used by permission. Click here to purchase this book.