Tuesday, June 10, 2008

THE GREAT DANIEL COMMENTARY CONUNDRUM

Everyone knows Daniel: the fiery furnace, the lion's den, handwriting on the wall. Great stuff. It's those later chapters that can be a little trickier delving as they do into apocalyptic writing. As with New Testament apocalyptic book Revelation this has led to a lot of wild eyed speculation devolving into commonly accepted premillennial dispensationalism, an approach I reject.

On the other end of the spectrum are the standard commentaries that do reject the dispensational approach. Why not just get a couple of those, you might ask. Daniel is a prophetic book, one that is pretty explicit about its prophecies. So explicit, in fact, that many modern commentators reject outright that it could have been written during the period of the exile at all. Instead, they argue, the book was written later after the events it 'prophesies' as a retrospective. In short, these commentaries do not take Daniel as a historical figure seriously nor the early (ie, exile) date of the book seriously. As someone who does believe that the book was written by the prophet Daniel during the exile these commentaries are also of little use to me.

So what is a non-dispensational Biblical conservative to do as I seek to sail between Scylla and Charybdis?

6 comments:

jdavidb said...

You get the commentary on Daniel from brother Vernon Simpson.

MAC said...

People have been after John Humphries for years to assemble his notes on Daniel. I know he was thinking about it back in the day when we worshipped at Taylorsville Road. Maybe you should contact John to see where he is on that project.

Luke Chandler said...

Tie yourself to your desk, stuff Traci's ears with beeswax and have her do your study prep. No matter how much you cry out for the beautiful commentaries, she'll just ignore you until it's all over.

(I hope everyone gets the Odysseus reference.)

Bill said...

How about Jerome's?

http://www.tertullian.org/fathers/jerome_daniel_01_intro.htm

Jeff @ truth-in-love.com said...

Been out of town this week and just saw this.

There is one conservative commentator who takes the view that Daniel ends not with the Roman empire, but with the Diodachi (the generals who split Alexander's empire). I had to write a paper on his commentary for Melvin Curry's Daniel class at FC. For the life of me, though, I can't recall the writer's name (maybe Stuart?) or find the paper. If I turn it up, I'll let you know.

joel in ga said...

Far and away the best commentaries on Daniel that I've discovered has been James B. Jordan's. Try a search on his website, http://www.biblicalhorizons.com/