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Probe Ministries > Q & A: Probe Answers Our Email > Bible Emails > "Are the Prophecies in the Book of Daniel a Pack of Lies?"


"Are the Prophecies in the Book of Daniel a Pack of Lies?" Print E-mail

In researching the book of Daniel on the internet, I found a Web site written by a man named Bernard D. Muller in which he mythologizes Daniel and Revelation. I was just flabbergasted that he would pretty much say Daniel's prophecies are a pack of lies. He says the book was actually written after all those things came to pass and that's how it seems so accurate. He completely discombobulated the 70 weeks' prophecy. Take a look at the web page and let me know what you think.

 
 
Thanks for the concern and the link to Muller's page. His criticisms of Daniel are not new. Porphyry had similar things to say in the third century. It's funny that the biggest reason for such criticism is that Daniel was just too accurate. Muller is trying to be an "objective" historian. Therefore, the presupposition that God knows the past, present, and future and is willing to reveal parts of it to humanity is outlandish to him.

It ought to be noted that Muller's criticisms of historic Jewish and Christian views on Daniel are quite one-sided. This is based on his biases and presuppositions, not on common sense and honest hermeneutics.

The authorship and time period of Daniel is clearly a subject of debate for Muller. There really isn't a problem with the 6th century dating of Daniel. Charles Ryrie has addressed some of the same points Muller sees as problems. Daniel would have known some of the Persian language, being from that period. And some Greek would have been common since there were Greek mercenaries employed in both Assyria and Babylonia. Daniel's Aramaic is consistent with what would have been common in the 6th century Near East. If the book had been written in the 2nd century B.C. then there would have obviously been much more Greek used than what is found. The Nabonidus Chronicle has shed some light on the existence of both Belshazzar and Darius the Mede. Daniel's inclusion in the Dead Sea Scrolls dates it at least before the Maccabees (seeing as how there were copies found at Qumran). So again, the 6th century date is not as problematic as Muller would have you believe.

I'm not sure how much of his treatise you want me to comment on, but I'll just go through a bit of it, to help you. To address each point he makes would be a long drawn-out endeavor. Early on, it is obvious that Muller wants to deconstruct Daniel, making himself the most authoritative reader of the text. That's fine, but then he has no business making statements about what the writer (or writers, in his opinion) was aiming to do (such as "dropping the name Cyrus"). It is presumptuous, to say the least, that whoever is responsible for the book of Daniel is out to pull the wool over the reader's eyes by pretending to be someone he isn't. Also, Muller points out over and over that something has no validity if it is not backed up with secular sources. Has it never occurred to him that something could still be truthful, in spite of its exclusion from other sources? Besides, there are no exterior sources that contradict the traditional reading of Daniel. The only true problems that arise are the biases of the respective reader. If one doesn't want to believe something, one doesn't have to have legitimate criticisms. Muller's painstaking analysis of Daniel can be deceiving. Lots of work and details do not a scholarly treatise make! There is a vacancy of even the attempt to be objective. There is also a biting sentiment of sarcasm and bitterness prevalent.

The historical redaction found in Muller's work is related to the same type of criticisms of Mosaic authorship of the Pentateuch (Graf-Wellhausen theory). They are not attempts to explain the origin of an ancient book. Yet they do overflow with naturalistic presuppositions. Yes, even smart people can have biases! I pray that God may keep us all humble enough to be aware of our own biases and yet to find Truth where He resides (at the right hand of the Father).

Forgive me for not being able to speak to all that Muller lays out on his Web page. I hope that this will at least comfort you and give you a groundwork to begin with. God rewards those who seek Him.

Proverbs 2:3-5
Kris Samons
Probe Ministries


About the Author

Kris Samons is a former research associate and resident editor of Probe Ministries. He received the B.A. in both speech communication and religion from Southwest Baptist University and the M.A.(TH) in philosophy of religion from Southwestern Seminary where he studied mainly postmodern thought and minored in church history.

What is Probe?

Probe Ministries is a non-profit ministry whose mission is to assist the church in renewing the minds of believers with a Christian worldview and to equip the church to engage the world for Christ. Probe fulfills this mission through our Mind Games conferences for youth and adults, our 3-minute daily radio program, and our extensive Web site at www.probe.org.

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