New Materials on Daniel

photos_demandstudios_com_getty_article_142_82_87755353_XSWe’ve added several new resources that should prove helpful in understanding the prophecies of Daniel (and certain New Testament prophecies as well). You can find them here, in our section on the prophet Daniel.

The first is an article by G.K. Beale, entitled The Influence of Daniel upon the Structure and Theology of John’s Apocalypse. Anyone who has read Dr. Beale’s commentary on the book of Revelation will recognize this resource since he refers to it often in his commentary.

Secondly, there is an interesting article by Jason Parry, entitled The Desolation of the Temple and Messianic Enthronement in Daniel 11:36-12:3. Drawing upon Calvin for inspiration, Parry argues that this controversial text was fulfilled in Jerusalem’s destruction and Christ’s enthronement in heaven.

Thirdly, we’ve included an article on Daniel 9 by Meredith Kline, entitled The Covenant of the Seventieth Week in the Law and the Prophets.

And finally, we have added an important work by Vern Poythress, entitled Hermeneutical Factors in Determining the Beginning of the Seventy Weeks. Dr. Poythress argues that a commitment to grammatical-historical exegesis requires that we mark the beginning of the seventy weeks with the decree of Cyrus (538 BC). This would rule out 445 BC (the decree of Artaxerxes), and that in turn would rule out our viewing “the seventy sevens” as weeks of literal years–a very popular approach, but one which may actually be causing us to miss something more wonderful than we had ever imagined!

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3 thoughts on “New Materials on Daniel

  1. Marvin Moorman December 28, 2014 / 6:31 pm

    I am a premillinnialist, solidly. I sought out this page via Bing because I wanted to an understanding of amillinnialist thoughts on Daniel 9:24-27. I came to the need of this understanding by finding out that one of my favorite preachers was an amillinnialist, a fact that frankly, shocked me. So I’ve been doing some internet research, listening to sermons on amillinnialism, both pro and con, and reading scholarly books on the topic, though I must admit, the only scholarly book I have read so far is anti-amillinnialist, “Future Israel”, for those who care. Anyway, since the article by Vern Poythress was on the topic I was searching for, that is the only one I checked out. I would have left this comment on his page but I saw nowhere to do that. I’m a layman with theological interests so reading a technical article such as his sometimes is challenging, so please forgive me if I misunderstood something he said. The question I have for amillinnialism in general and Mr. Polythress’ article specifically is why not. Why is it not possible for the premillinnialist position on this Daniel 9 24-27 to be correct? As I read it, the article does not answer that question, not that it ever intended to. What the article does do is respectfully present possible alternatives interpretations. Indeed, it seems to me that he went through great pains to show other possibilities. The possibilities he presented were interesting though not completely persuasive. The real point of my comment comes at his statement and question, “There is still one serious obstacle, however, to the date of 538 B.C. Is this date compatible with the actual content of the prophetic predictions in Dan 9:24–27? If the events did not turn out as predicted, then what?” In this he gets to the heart of the issue and after reading that part of the article several times, I could not find his answer. Then it dawned on me that his answer was his acceptance of the argument that the 70 weeks do not mean 70 weeks of years but a sabbatical period of indeterminate time, ultimately allowing fulfillment to occur at anytime. Wow! And he went through much extra biblical strains to come to that conclusion. This begs the question of why would the Lord hold Jerusalem responsible for knowing when He was to arrive, Luke 19:42-44, when He did not give a definitive date, according to the article? I ask this question because I’ve always understood the date to have been predicted in Daniel 9:24-27. I am no one’s expert and I assume that this question has been asked and answered many times before so forgive me if this is old hat to you. Also, I have no desire to engage in an online debate, I’m just looking for understanding. Thanks in advance for any respectful answers that may come. I will continue to investigate.

  2. Marvin Moorman January 29, 2015 / 3:48 pm

    Well, it has been a month since I left my comment asking my question on Luke 19:42-44. Color me very disappointed that no answer was offered.

  3. Dean Davis January 30, 2015 / 8:54 pm

    Hi Marvin,

    This is Dean Davis, one of Shawn’s helpers in maintaining the site. I wish I had seen your post earlier, for I would have been happy to answer your question as best I could. I’m guessing that Shawn himself did not notice your post; in any case, we will both work harder to respond more quickly.

    In passing, I assume you are aware of the Amillennialism group on Facebook. This is an excellent place to put out questions and contribute your own comments. It’s possible that in the future we will try to tie this website more closely to the Facebook group, in order to facilitate a good exchange of views.

    Now, a few words about your comments above.

    First, you are correct that Dr. Poyrthress’ view of Daniel 9 is fully compatible with premillennialism. That’s because he finds the fulfillment of the text in the events surrounding our Lord’s first advent. In my article on Daniel 9, I call this Traditional First Advent View (TFAV). The TFAV says nothing pro or con about a post-Parousia millennium.

    Secondly, you are also correct that Poythress is inclined to interpret the seventy weeks symbolically, rather than as seventy weeks of years, as our Dispenstational brothers do. On Poythress’ view, it would indeed be impossible to calculate the first advent of Christ. But, if you will read my article, you will see that Dispensationalists also have difficulties, since neither the decree of Cyrus nor the decree of Artaxerxes work well chronologically, and so require “massaging” the data (e.g., 360 day years, etc.).

    In passing, it is doubtful that in Luke 19:42-44 the Lord means that the Jews should have calculated the arrival of the Messiah based on Daniel 9. If we have troubles determining the starting date for the prophecy, how much more the Jews? More to the point, when Jesus says “You did not recognize the time of your visitation,” I think he has in view the various signs that God granted by which the Jews ought to have known (and did know) that the Messiah had come. This includes such things as his place of birth, the ministry of John the Baptist, his miraculous ministry to the poor, his home in Galilee, etc., (Mt. 16:3).

    Finally, if you will read my article on Daniel 9, you will see that my interpretation (which is not mine alone, but that of some very wise brothers) is indeed incompatible with premillennialism. That’s because I see Daniel’s prophecy spanning all the rest of Salvation History, from Cyrus’ decree all the way to the Consummation at the Return of Christ, leading directly into the new heavens and the new earth.

    I would very much like to hear your thoughts on this view. It certainly brings a lot of life and joy to my heart, especially in that it seems so clear, so majestic, and so helpful in solving the many problems associated with this difficult text.

    Well, enough for now! Richest blessings to you and yours,

    Dean

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