That the prophecy of Daniel in many respects is difficult to understand goes without saying. For this reason many preachers do not often use the book in their preaching, and the ordinary Bible reader often throws up his hands in despair as he contemplates it. On the one hand, some advance fanciful interpretions which have obscured the central message of Daniel. And on the other, those scholars who deny the historicity of the book also impose upon it an impossible interpretation and consequently do much to keep it from enjoying the understanding and popularity which it deserves.
Authorship Of The Book
It is necessary to say a word about the question of the book’s authorship. In the early third century there lived a man by the name of Porphyry who was an avowed opponent of Christianity. It was his intention to do all in his power to destroy the Christian religion. He wrote some fifteen books, which bore the general designation “Against the Christians.” Of these, only the twelfth is extant, and that only as it has been preserved in part in the commentary of Jerome on Daniel. According to this early opponent of Christianity, the book of Daniel could not have been written by Daniel because he would not have been able to foretell the future. It was, therefore, written by an unknown Jew who lived in the second century B.C. and who used Daniel’s name. According to Porphyry, this unknown Jew lied. In placing the authorship of the book in the second century B.C., many scholars have followed the unbelieving Porphyry, and it is no exagggeration to assert that this position has become dominant in modern scholarship. It is a position that renders impossible a satisfactory interpretation of the book. One need but examine a modern commentary ...1
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