In December 1999 I appeared on a regional cable news broadcast to discuss the Year 2000 from a Biblical perspective. I was accompanied by a Jewish rabbi and a Catholic priest. It seemed like the basis of a joke; “A Protestant, (Although, I am not a Protestant; I protest nothing. I am a student of the Word.) a Catholic and a Jew were trapped in a television studio . . .” After the broadcast we continued our discussion, which was more interesting than what was televised. At one point the rabbi stated that he had been taught that the Book of Daniel had been written about 160 B.C. and, therefore, was not prophetic but was written after the fact. The Catholic priest agreed that he had been taught the same thing in seminary.
I was astounded. Here were two men whose profession was proclaiming the Word of God and they did not believe that it was true! They had been taught by men with masters degrees and doctorate degrees that the fabulous Word of God was fake. And they believed it! Paul said, “For the wisdom of this world is foolishness in God’s sight.” (First Corinthians 3:19)
The foolishness of the “theologians” who declare that Daniel was written from an historic perspective is immediately obvious. First of all, no less an authority than the Lord Jesus stated that Daniel was a prophet and He quotes Daniel in Matthew 24:15. “So when you see standing in the Holy Place ‘the abomination that causes desolation’ spoken through the prophet Daniel . . .”
In Daniel chapter eight, the prophet had a vision of two kingdoms clashing. This vision clearly identifies the combatants as the king of the Mede-Persian Empire and the king of Greece. According to the historian Josephus (The Antiquities of the Jews, Book 11, Chapter 8) when Alexander the Great (the Greek conqueror of the world) came to Jerusalem, the High Priest and all the priests came out to meet him in a great procession. Alexander was enamored with this and with the Name of God engraved on the gold plate on the miter (turban) of the High Priest. He was so taken that the other kings in his army thought he had lost his mind.
The priests brought out the scroll of Daniel and showed Alexander where the prophet had stated that the king of Greece would overcome the Mede-Persian king. (Daniel 8:20-21) Alexander thought that he was that Greek king. He was so delighted that he granted whatever the Jewish priests asked, and unlike the other cities that he approached with his army, Alexander left Jerusalem unmolested.
In addition, we know that the Book of Daniel was translated from Hebrew to Greek about 250 B.C. This is what is known as the Septuagint version. Much of the very specific prophecy of Daniel chapter eleven occurs after 250 B.C.
Josephus is an accepted and reliable source. The statements of Jesus are the penultimate opinion. I simply do not understand how men who are trained to know the Word, and are ordained to proclaim it, can come up with statements which are at such variance with the Bible. I do not understand why they teach and preach if they do not believe the Word of God.
The Word of God is its own best defense. Jesus proclaimed Daniel a prophet in Matthew 24. The Bible is a contiguous unit. What is opened in Genesis is closed in the Revelation. How amazed I am at His Word. How thankful I am for it. Praise His Name!