Friday, December 14, 2012

"The Prophecy Series--Daniel"

News 24 is publishing a series called the prophecy series. Here is the installment on Daniel:

One of the many things that common day atheists tend to forget about Biblical prophecy is that vast amounts of prophecy have already been fulfilled. We find this evidently abundant in the Babylonian captivity of Israel, and subsequent wars which occurred shortly after they were prophesied.  ...
The authenticity of the book of Daniel went unchallenged from the time of its writing, before 530 BC, until the third century of the Christian era, or about eight hundred years later. A pagan and atheistic writer by the name of Porphyiy (third century AD) raised the question whether the book of Daniel was a genuine biblical prophecy on the premise that prophecy of the future is impossible. Porphyiy found that the book of Daniel was so accurate in describing future events that it must have been written after the event. He advanced the theory that the book was a forgery, written in the Maccabean period around 175 BC.
 Critics of the Bible ... picked up Porphyiy's idea and attempted to prove that Daniel was not a genuine book of the Bible. Their objections were answered in full by many conservative scholars beforehand. The deathly blow, however, came from the discovery of a book of Daniel in the Dead Sea Scrolls (ca. 200 BC), on the basis of premises entertained by the liberals themselves, proved that it was impossible for the book to have been written in the second century BC, and that it clearly was written many years before.
Both Jewish and Christian scholars have attested for and provided evidence to the genuine character of the book of Daniel, and the proof includes recognition of Christ Himself of "Daniel the prophet" (Matt. 24:15 NASB). ...
The book of Daniel, more so than any other book in the Old Testament, reveals very specific prophecies concerning the future, so specific that those who believed that prophecy of the future was impossible have been forced to try to put the record of Daniel after the event. However, even a second-century Daniel could not explain some prophecies that are yet to be fulfilled. An outstanding illustration of detailed prophecy is Daniel 11:1-35 - containing over one hundred specific prophecies, all of which have been fulfilled. Because so many of Daniel's prophecies have already been literally fulfilled, it gives substantial basis for faith that the prophecies not yet fulfilled will have the same literal fulfillment in God's time.
Accordingly, the book of Daniel is not only important as a key to understanding the past in God's sovereign control of both Gentile and Jewish history, but it also gives insight concerning the future, and in particular it helps readers understand the symbolism in the book of Revelation. In most respects, Daniel gave the most comprehensive and detailed picture of the times of the Gentiles of any book of the Bible as well as the future history of Israel from Daniel's time to the second coming of Christ.

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