Daniel

There is a debate about when the book of Daniel was written.  It could have been written in the 6th century BC or it could have been written in the 2nd Century.  The debate looks at the style of the first six chapters compared with the latter chapters.  The historical narratives are vague and are not easily verified with contemporary historical accounts.  On the other hand the latter chapters can be easily linked with historical events leading up to the second century.  This causes some to think that the authors saw the events of history, from their perspective, and wrote them as prophecy from Daniel’s perspective.  It is possible to take either perspective and learn from the book of Daniel as God’s inspired word.  However, it seems dishonest to our modern minds to invent prophecy and then claim that it has been fulfilled.  This is especially problematic when some of the prophecy points beyond the second century BC.

Another issue is, “Who wrote the book?”  It is accepted that Daniel did not write the book but it is a biography of his life and visions.  We do not know who put Daniel’s biography together.

A final issue to consider is the theme of the book.  Why was Daniel written?  It was to show the dispersed people of Israel that God is in control of world events.  The global stage is God’s stage and the nations do not make their plans without God’s knowledge.

Questions:

  1. When do you think Daniel was written?  Why?
  2. Why would people dispersed around the world need to know that God unfolds history according to his plan?
  3. Does God decide ahead of time that invasions and bloodshed will occur?  Why is that a problem for us, but it would have been less of a problem for the ancients?
  4. When have you seen people openly doubt or forget that God ordains the path of the world?
  5. Why is it important for people today to see that the world is traveling a path that God wills it to travel?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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13 Responses to Daniel

  1. Kendalle says:

    When do you think Daniel was written? Why?

    Why would people dispersed around the world need to know that God unfolds history according to his plan?

    Does God decide ahead of time that invasions and bloodshed will occur? Why is that a problem for us, but it would have been less of a problem for the ancients?

    When have you seen people openly doubt or forget that God ordains the path of the world?

    Why is it important for people today to see that the world is traveling a path that God wills it to travel?

  2. Melisa Guiles says:

    1. I think the earlier date is the correct one because of the prophecy that is in it. It does not make sense for someone to record something as prophecy if it has already happened. That would not make it prophecy.
    2. Sometimes it is easy to forget that there is a plan that is bigger than us because we get caught up in our own problems and lives. We need to be reminded of this so that we can see how the Lord is working in and around us.
    3. I think that God knows what will happen in the future whatever that might be. I think it is hard for us to grasp that because it would seem that God is behind these evils and that does not fit with our picture of God. However, it seems that the ancients knew that there are certain things God allows and that God punishes those who are disobedient to Him.
    4. A lot of times, people forget this when something bad happens in their life such as a death, a breakup, and others such problems.
    5. We need to be reminded that life is not about us but about God. When we remember God’s greater plan, we are able to take our eyes off of ourselves and put them on Jesus.

  3. Sokloon Dy says:

    2. Because it is easy to forget that God is in control.
    3. -God knows all things possible and actual.
    -It is a problem for us today because today we like to believe that we are in control and that atrociousness is something that God does not allow.
    -it would have been less of a problem for the ancients because it was common to them
    4. When things dont go the way they want them to happen.
    5. So that they will know that God is a God of order, who cares for us, and that He is in control.

  4. Rebecca Langer says:

    1. When do you think Daniel was written? Why?
    I am not sure, but I would be more likely to go with the earlier date. It makes more sense that the prophecies would come true after they were written.
    2. Why would people dispersed around the world need to know that God unfolds history according to his plan?
    Because the other people might believe that God only has jurisdiction in his own land, but indeed he is global!
    3. Does God decide ahead of time that invasions and bloodshed will occur? Why is that a problem for us, but it would have been less of a problem for the ancients?
    God does decide what will happen and when, for all situations. We don’t like that because then it means that some of the bad things that happen are “God’s fault”. In reality, it is us acting, even though the Lord willed it. The ancients understood that God governed time and that He could do whatever he wished.
    4. When have you seen people openly doubt or forget that God ordains the path of the world? Normally, it appears that people doubt that he could have ordained these things when they go through hard circumstances. They cannot mesh their view of a loving God with a God that would allow injustice.
    5. Why is it important for people today to see that the world is traveling a path that God wills it to travel?
    Because people have to realize that God will let people make choices and let them have the consequences. It’s how life works. Unless we ask Jesus into our hearts, we will be accepting all the consequences for our actions.

  5. Cassie Clark says:

    1.I think the earlier date, but that is more because it’s what I have always been taught.
    2.God’s sovereignty was proclaimed to the nations.
    3.Perhaps our culture does not see God as intimately involved in every act that occurs.
    4.I know I have even done that. It’s easy to see God from a deist perspective
    5.Because it places Him in control

  6. Jessica Gentry says:

    1. I think Daniel was writen somewhere between 536 and 530 BC, after Cyrus captured Bablyon, but my main reasoning for believing this is that it is writen in my Study Bible, so I’m not certain.
    2.People dispersed around the world need to know that God unfolds His sotry according to His plan because we are a part of that plan and the events that will come today and in the future are all according to the plan that He has set out, even wars, and tragedies.
    3. God does decide when invasions and bloodshed will occur, this is hard for us to accept because we think of bloodshed as so terrible and therefore it would seem like God planned for terrible things, but to the ancients war and bloodshed was a necessity of life, as we see with Israel, as the took on many wars and endured much bloodshed.
    4. I have seen many people doubt or forget that God ordains the plans of the world as they start to freak out about how the world is falling apart and we are all doomed, as if the Lord somehow didn’t see things like earthquakes or famine, or war coming.
    5. It is important for people today to see that the world is moving on a path that the Lord wills it to, because we need to trust in His plans, and though this doesn’t mean we don’t need to do our part as good stewards of our time on earth, we also don’t need to worry about every little thing as if there isn’t someone controling it all.

  7. Moon Jung Kim says:

    1.When do you think Daniel was written? Why? I am not sure.
    2.Why would people dispersed around the world need to know that God unfolds history according to his plan? Because people need to know God is the one who rules all over the world and He will fulfill His promises towards the world as He has fulfilled in history.
    3.Does God decide ahead of time that invasions and bloodshed will occur? Why is that a problem for us, but it would have been less of a problem for the ancients? yes God decided ahead of time that invasions and bloodshed will occur. I don’t understand well about second question.
    4/When have you seen people openly doubt or forget that God ordains the path of the world? when people go through trails, they doubt or forget that God ordains the path of the world.
    5Why is it important for people today to see that the world is traveling a path that God wills it to travel? We have God’s promise, Jesus second coming. Because of that it is important to see and believe the world is traveling a path that God wills it to travel. If we understood this, we can see that God had fulfilled his promise(His will) , God is fulfilling His promise , and God will finally fulfill all the promises.

  8. HeeJin,Choi says:

    1.When do you think Daniel was written? Why?
    – There is a supposition in a study bible that this book was completed c.530 b.c., shortly after the capture of Babylon by Cyrus in 539.
    2.Why would people dispersed around the world need to know that God unfolds history according to his plan?
    -Just as book of Daniel was a history in which God had worked, He is still working in existing history and in the days to come as well.
    3.Does God decide ahead of time that invasions and bloodshed will occur? Why is that a problem for us, but it would have been less of a problem for the ancients?
    -He knows those event will occur in advance because he plans them, but I think there also can be made some changes. it seems to be a problem for us because we could think God is cruel, ruthless and paradoxical since it is contrast to God’s commandment.
    4.When have you seen people openly doubt or forget that God ordains the path of the world?
    -When social-political issues arise and shake the whole nation or world.
    5.Why is it important for people today to see that the world is traveling a path that God wills it to travel?
    – Because what we see on the earth is temporary and out of our control and our efforts, but in God’s hands.

  9. HyeJin Lee says:

    1.When do you think Daniel was written? Why?
    I would go with the earlier date, because it seems more reasonable and makes sense.
    2.Why would people dispersed around the world need to know that God unfolds history according to his plan?
    People around the world need to know this because God actually does things he has planned and make this world in his own plan.
    3.Does God decide ahead of time that invasions and bloodshed will occur? Why is that a problem for us, but it would have been less of a problem for the ancients?
    God decided that those invasions and bloodshed would occur ahead of time because He is the one who plans them. and this can be problematic because this makes us think like God is cruel. However, to the ancients, this might be less of a problem because they are familiar to war or they might take like those result for granted.
    4.When have you seen people openly doubt or forget that God ordains the path of the world?
    I see some missionaries worry about their missions and worry for the results came out of their missions, they struggle with their results of mission, forgetting that everything is in control of God.
    5.Why is it important for people today to see that the world is traveling a path that God wills it to travel?
    Because a lot of people these days forget or even do not know that God is the one who plans the way this world goes through.

  10. Kristin Goffinet says:

    1) I think it was written around 537 B.C. because we know from history that Daniel and his men were taken around 605 B.C.
    2) Because that is a lesson that all Christians need to be continually reminded of.
    3) I believe God decides/ knows everything that is going to happen ahead of time. It is a problem for us to understand because we do not grasp the war-like culture that they were living in.
    4) I have forgotten this in my own life, every time that I try to do things on my own and control my own situation.

  11. Kristin Goffinet says:

    5) It’s important because ithelps us accept our current situation better.

  12. Grace Yoo says:

    1. I believe that the book of Daniel was written in the 6th century BC.

    2. I think people dispersed around the world need to know that God unfolds history according to His plan because it helps us to remember that we are not in control of our lives.

    3. I believe that God does decide ahead of time that invasions and bloodshed will occur. I think that is a problem for us just because the culture is very different now and fighting and wars are not as current here today.

    4. I have seen tons of people also myself who have doubted God or forgot that God ordains the path of the world.

    5. I think it is important for people today to see that the world is traveling a path that God wills it to travel because He is sovereign over all.

  13. Sandra Tindle says:

    1. I think Daniel was written in the 6th century BC, because it is not likely that it was written after the events took place.
    2. It gives them hope for their faith, that God hasn’t forgotten about them.
    3. He knows about them, yes. They didn’t see war as such a bad thing, like we do today.
    4. When they try to solve things on their own.
    5. It means that we don’t have to solve all the world’s problems on our own, and reassures us that we are not alone.

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