• Looking at Biblical Prophecy: Daniel 9:20-27

    I spent much of last week at a theism/intelligent design website debating (and defending) the rational merits of atheism. It was both fun and head-scratching, mainly because anti-atheists refuse to grant that atheism is at all rational. To many, atheism is and must be 100 percent unsound.

    One person challenged me to explain Daniel 9:25, saying that no one had ever done so to his satisfaction. I presume he meant that this section of Daniel makes a specific messianic prediction which Jesus fulfilled. Therefore, theism and Christianity have something strong in their favor against atheism and skepticism.

    Now, the subject of Daniel was not part of the larger debate on atheism, but the challenger was probably responding to my comment about being unimpressed at the notion that Jesus fulfilled 300 Old Testament prophecies. However, the 300 prophecies thing is a prime example of why the Christian Old Testament is a different text than the Hebrew Scriptures of Judaism. I’m not even talking about differences in number of books and their order: I mean that the approaches of Christianity and Judaism lead to fundamentally irreconcilable positions.

    Christian approaches, of course, read the Old Testament as specifically prefiguring Jesus: indeed, that’s what the Old Testament essentially is. The Hebrew Scriptures are nothing like this. If anything, they wind up promising the collective redemption of Israel as a first among all nations. Christianity made God incarnate in man; Judaism had God actually residing at the Temple in Jerusalem. For Jews, there was no need for God incarnate because God was there already. The need was for a military messiah to cleanse the nation of its defilers.

    Since the theism/intelligent design website explicitly discourages biblical exegesis–or so I was told–I thought it would be worthwhile to consider Daniel here. Unfortunately, as a text, Daniel is ponderous and occasionally cryptic.

    Let’s look at some translations in the area that interested my challenger. First up is a Jewish translation of Daniel 9:20-27:

    20. Now I was still speaking and praying and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and casting my supplication before the Lord my God about the mount of the Sanctuary of my God.

    21. While I was still speaking in prayer, the man Gabriel, whom I saw in the vision at first, approached me in swift flight about the time of the evening offering.

    22. And he enabled me to understand, and he spoke with me, and he said, “Daniel, now I have come forth to make you skillful in understanding.

    23. In the beginning of your supplications, a word came forth, and I have come to tell it, for you have desirable qualities; now contemplate the word and understand the vision.

    24. Seventy weeks [of years] have been decreed upon your people and upon the city of your Sanctuary to terminate the transgression and to end sin, and to expiate iniquity, and to bring eternal righteousness, and to seal up vision and prophet, and to anoint the Holy of Holies.

    25. And you shall know and understand that from the emergence of the word to restore and to rebuild Jerusalem until the anointed king [shall be] seven weeks, and [in] sixty-two weeks it will return and be built street and moat, but in troubled times.

    26. And after the sixty-two weeks, the anointed one will be cut off, and he will be no more, and the people of the coming monarch will destroy the city and the Sanctuary, and his end will come about by inundation, and until the end of the war, it will be cut off into desolation.

    27. And he will strengthen a covenant for the princes for one week, and half the week he will abolish sacrifice and meal- offering, and on high, among abominations, will be the dumb one, and until destruction and extermination befall the dumb one.

    Verses 24-26 appear to articulate a time of purging in Jerusalem, after which an “anointed king” will emerge to “restore and rebuild” the city, before this figure is “cut off.” There’s more to discuss in terms of context and language–and I’ll only do a little of that here in this post–but first I want to compare the text above with that of the King James Version:

    20. And whiles I was speaking, and praying, and confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel, and presenting my supplication before the Lord my God for the holy mountain of my God;

    21. Yea, whiles I was speaking in prayer, even the man Gabriel, whom I had seen in the vision at the beginning, being caused to fly swiftly, touched me about the time of the evening oblation.

    22. And he informed me, and talked with me, and said, O Daniel, I am now come forth to give thee skill and understanding.

    23. At the beginning of thy supplications the commandment came forth, and I am come to shew thee; for thou art greatly beloved: therefore understand the matter, and consider the vision.

    24. Seventy weeks are determined upon thy people and upon thy holy city, to finish the transgression, and to make an end of sins, and to make reconciliation for iniquity, and to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to seal up the vision and prophecy, and to anoint the most Holy.

    25. Know therefore and understand, that from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks, and threescore and two weeks: the street shall be built again, and the wall, even in troublous times.

    26. And after threescore and two weeks shall Messiah be cut off, but not for himself: and the people of the prince that shall come shall destroy the city and the sanctuary; and the end thereof shall be with a flood, and unto the end of the war desolations are determined.

    27. And he shall confirm the covenant with many for one week: and in the midst of the week he shall cause the sacrifice and the oblation to cease, and for the overspreading of abominations he shall make it desolate, even until the consummation, and that determined shall be poured upon the desolate.

    One more translation will suffice. Here is the NIV:

    20. While I was speaking and praying, confessing my sin and the sin of my people Israel and making my request to the Lord my God for his holy hill—

    21. while I was still in prayer, Gabriel, the man I had seen in the earlier vision, came to me in swift flight about the time of the evening sacrifice.

    22. He instructed me and said to me, “Daniel, I have now come to give you insight and understanding.

    23. As soon as you began to pray, a word went out, which I have come to tell you, for you are highly esteemed. Therefore, consider the word and understand the vision:

    24. “Seventy ‘sevens’ are decreed for your people and your holy city to finish transgression, to put an end to sin, to atone for wickedness, to bring in everlasting righteousness, to seal up vision and prophecy and to anoint the Most Holy Place.

    25. “Know and understand this: From the time the word goes out to restore and rebuild Jerusalem until the Anointed One, the ruler, comes, there will be seven ‘sevens,’ and sixty-two ‘sevens.’ It will be rebuilt with streets and a trench, but in times of trouble.

    26. After the sixty-two ‘sevens,’ the Anointed One will be put to death and will have nothing. The people of the ruler who will come will destroy the city and the sanctuary. The end will come like a flood: War will continue until the end, and desolations have been decreed.

    27. He will confirm a covenant with many for one ‘seven.’ In the middle of the ‘seven’ he will put an end to sacrifice and offering. And at the temple he will set up an abomination that causes desolation, until the end that is decreed is poured out on him.”

    As a reminder: the first is a Jewish translation, and the latter two are Christian. Without my commenting too heavily on them, there are some apparent and significant differences between what the three texts say:

    • 20 — The Christian translations push away emphasis on the “Sanctuary,” capitalized in the Jewish versions. One very important item to know is that the Sanctuary is where God actually lives. It’s not merely a place of worship and sacrifice to Jews in this era. It’s God’s actual home.
    • 24 — The whole weeks/years interpretation is embroiled in the prophecy that Daniel is supposed to have communicated. Notice here too the focus on the Sanctuary and the Holy of Holies in the Jewish translation, and its de-emphasis in the Christian versions.
    • 25 — The Christian translations capitalize “Messiah,” “Prince,” and “Anointed One” to establish the putative connection with Jesus.
    • 26 — The KJV has the messiah cut off, “but not for himself,” which hints that his sacrifice was for some other reason: and we all know the Christian determination of that reason. The NIV renders “cut off” as “put to death,” which is possible but not necessarily what the Hebrew phrasing means.
    • 27 — The Christian versions have the anointed one “confirming” a covenant. The Jewish version translates as strengthening–quite a different dynamic. The Jewish version also seems to specify another person, a “dumb one.” The Christian versions themselves differ on what’s happening here.

    I’ll have more to say about Daniel and how it is interpreted in a later post. For now, I want to invite my questioner over here to let him know that I’ll be looking at some of Daniel. I’d like him to articulate some of his key assertions about Daniel, what it means, and why.

    Your feedback, too, is most welcome.

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    Article by: Larry Tanner

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    • alan

      Hi Larry:

      I saw your note over at UD… here you go and thanks for the invite

      Very short response: Its just FYI and let me know if “The Hebrew Scriptures are nothing like this”….and “cryptic”.

      Every phrase in these verses finds its logical place within the solution provided below and this solution as a whole agrees with everything else the Bible offers insofar as the nature of God’s salvation program is concerned, including the coming of the Messiah.

      The logical conclusion is also that God does exist outside time, matter etc., that He does have a “Salvation Plan” and that He made it known. It is a confirming revelation in history and setting.

      First: “from the going forth of the commandment to restore and to build Jerusalem unto the Messiah the Prince shall be seven weeks” starts in 458 b.c. and ends in 33 a.d. which is exactly 490 years or 7 seventy’s:

      The Key is the return of Ezra to Jerusalem in the seventh year of King Artaxerxes in 458 (historical fact) to “reestablish the law” is biblically equal to the “command to build Jerusalem. The key to see and understand is the vision is not to rebuild a literal city, but a spiritual one. To reestablish the Law is the equivalent of bringing the Gospel and bringing the Gospel is equivalent of building the city. Abraham sought a city made without hands. Jerusalem is a picture – type of a spiritual one made up of the redeemed from all kindreds and nations.

      Next you will find Seventy weeks are determined upon 1. thy people and upon thy holy city, to 2. finish the transgression, and 3. to make an end of sins, and 4. to make reconciliation for iniquity, and 5. to bring in everlasting righteousness, and to 6. seal up the vision and prophecy, and 7. to anoint the most Holy.

      EVERY item of information (1. thru 7.) is specific and pictured in b.c and a.d. scripture and can not refer to anything or anyone else except Jesus due to the time stamp and what He did and why He did it. Some refs…

      Isaiah 62:12, Rev. 21, 1 Peter 2:4

      Romans 5:16, 6:6, Hebrews 9:26

      1 John 3:8, 1 Cor. 1:8

      Col. 1:20,22, Romans 5:10, Eph 2:16

      Ish. 51:11, 35:10, 9:6, Matt. 6:13

      So, you can see why I quoted the verses below:

      “Let no one, then, judge you in eating or in drinking, or in respect of a feast, or of a new moon, or of sabbaths, Because these things are shadows of those things that were future, but The Messiah is the body.”

      “And we have more firm the prophetic word, to which we do well giving heed, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, till day may dawn, and a morning star may arise — in your hearts;”

      This also establishes that it is a Spiritual house, not physical (the type and shadow) that is the focus and reason for the text in the first place, thus shedding light on the “Plan” of God in Creating planet Earth and that the Spiritual House is not merely a philosophical religious construct or idea, but REAL, yet above or beyond this physical one.

      Lastly: You are right that the scriptures are ARE “cryptic” – Eyes to see and ears the hear, the dead burying the dead, “To the one we are the savour of death unto death; and to the other the savour of life unto life.” “straining at gnats, swallowing Camels etc.

      p.s. Just a note: a literal Hell where the unsaved suffer eternally is an egregious error having arise from a misguided hermeneutic as also prophetically pictured.

      yours truly

      alan

      • lartanner

        alan, I have some studying to do before I can move on or answer your question properly.

        However, I’d like to ask you a question: on what do you base the equivalence of building Jerusalem in Verse 25 to the return of Ezra. Nothing in the text itself suggests the linkage between the two. There’s no mention of Ezra, and the idea of return is introduced as something to happen in the future.

        So you must be bringing some other set of assumptions, a “key” as you say, or code that lines up the explicit sense of the text to another message.

        Can you please explain to me, very simply, what the key is that you are bringing to the reading of the text?

        • alan

          Regarding the key you asked about – posted above as well by mistake.

          Key: Outline only. IF interested you would do the study using the “bible interprets itself” hermeneutic which involves comparing all the word studies old and new testaments/covenants that refer to that subject.

          In this case you could find references to building and rebuilding the city means in fulfillment building an eternal city made without hands. Unfortunately, the “church” has for a long time gotten used to teaching a literal approach such as they think stars will actually fall from “heaven”, the Sun will not shine, blood will actually rise to the height of a horses bridal etc., etc. Part of understand or a (“key”) is as directed in the writing, seeing types, figures, shadows, times, seasons etc. that “foreshadow things to come” and when done harmony is attained so –

          Most theologians, commentaries see the language of restoring and building Jerusalem as a physical rebuilding of the literal city of Jerusalem and it is not possible to find the meaning of Dan. 9:25 – (the 70 weeks) this way.

          However, the bible does use Jerusalem, City, building, as types of Christ’s body of believers – Elect, and the command of Dan. 9:25 is absolutely a command to bring the Word of God – (Law = Gospel = the entirety of revelation) to the world at a specific time being a casting of the net for “fish” bringing believers into the City of the Kingdom of God.

          IF you want, you will be able to see the EXACT time stamp – fulfillment that absolutely verifies with mathematical precision every detail of this passage of information given from a source outside time. (My scientific thesis)

          Nehemiah is not a possible solution, but frequently attempted even though King Artaxerxes did not give a command to rebuild nor did Nehemiah.

          Cyrus, although a type of Christ/Messiah, and did fulfill a 200 year earlier prophecy – Isa. 44:28 typing a final yet different building, does not work out mathematically – historically.

          Ezra does provide the solution. Ezra 7:12-13 was commanded to reestablish the law which biblically has an intimate relationship to a command to build Jerusalem.

          HOW can we know the command to Ezra does provide a proof of information given before hand of thing yet to come, i.e. information outside the bounds of time? (at UD I was trying to establish a scientific, not “religious” argument.)

          Dan. 9:24 – 1. finish the transgression, 2. make an end of sin, 3. make reconciliation for iniquity, 4. bring in everlasting righteousness, 5. seal up (approved and completed) the vision and the prophecy, 6. anoint the most Holy.

          NOW: Ezra to the Cross (at 33 A.D) is Seventy Weeks = 490 years. Every detailed reason stated in Dan.9:24 has its literal and complete historical completion at the Cross. “IT IS FINISHED” – approved and completed.

          I submit this is not rationally debatable. The mathematical probability I suppose could be figured out, but in the context of pre-ordained time, place (in other scriptures) and purpose the probabilities are even more “sure” –

          “And we have more firm the prophetic word, to which we do well giving heed, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, till day may dawn, and a morning star may arise — in your hearts;”

          OFF topic, but may I add that due to the standard and incorrect hermeneutic used by most churches today, the teaching of an eternal Hell of suffering and torture is completely false and all the emotions, anger, resentments etc. generated from it are one more example of “not enduring sound doctrine” also prophetically outlined. Same with purgatory.

          Be well and take care

          Alan

          • lartanner

            alan,

            What would you say to someone who challenged using Jerusalem, say, as a type of Christ’s body? The challenge might be that there is no intrinsic basis for aligning Jerusalem and Jesus specifically, and that to do so is to import or impose an interpretive framework on the text that isn’t called out in the text itself.

            The challenge might continue: If you are allowed to impose your interpretive framework, then can someone else impose another?

            The challenge this comes to rest on the question of what grounds your interpretive framework against other frameworks.

            • Alan

              Simple: scripture does the type and shadow – I don’t AND anyone can say in the case of this prophecy that the 70 weeks or 490 years just is coincidental to the precise date and detailed fulfillment of Messiah’s work. Also, this one prophecy is just one of so many “coincidences.” As I said earlier, the hermeneutic of allowing scripture to interpret scripture by carefully comparing all word studies and verses in their context brings a harmony and detail of information not familiar to most at this time. However, its not that difficult when paying attention to Messianic prophecies – only so much interpretive framework can be applied until one just has to “give up” so to speak – at least mathematically. But of course the problem is the natural mind is unable to really see these things – a “spiritual” mind is required: “and the natural man doth not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for to him they are foolishness, and he is not able to know them, because spiritually they are discerned;” 1 Cor. 2:14. (ref. the fall)

            • lartanner

              Thanks, Alan. What do you make of modern dating of Daniel and current authorship attribution? Thinking today is that the text was composed in the second century BCE and in two separate parts; Daniel A (chs. 1-6) and Daniel B (7-12). Daniel B is supposed to comprise 4 different apocalyptic hands.

              I should also say that Daniel A Is thought to have been composed sometime in the fourth or third century, so it is older than Daniel B.

            • alan

              Above and here again and I thought I had posted this several days ago.

              When was Daniel Written?
              Evidence Supporting 6th Century BCE Authorship Date

              After Removing Naturalist BiasNaturalists use 165 BCE as the date of authorship for the book of Daniel. Even if we use 165 BCE as the date of authoring Daniel based on Naturalist bias, Daniel’s 70-weeks prophecy contains a very accurate forth telling of the Christian faith. Six credible prophecies were fulfilled. Based on the evidence, modern scholars (Naturalists) are biased against the reality of prophecy at the 98.5% confidence level. There are only 14 chance in a 1,000 that this conclusion is not true (due to random error).Below are reference web sites that successfully defend that the book of Daniel appears to have been authored in the 6th BCE. As you review the evidence presented at these web sites, keep in mind that we have shown that Naturalists are biased against the reality of prophecy.

              Links to Other SourcesCommentary on book of Daniel

              The Einstein Method reveals that Daniel received words from outside time-space through the Archangel Gabriel. Since the future was revealed, it appears that God has revealed spiritual truth to humankind. Daniel’s words foretold of a Messiah that would be killed at Jerusalem before the temple and Jerusalem were destroyed in 70 CE. Christians logically accept and believe that Jesus fulfilled these prophetic words. In addition, archaeological finds continue to be found that support the Christian faith.

              Only a Being living outside the control of time can consistently reveal the future. The data supports that we live in a universe under supernatural control. To this end, conservative scholars take the position that the book of Daniel was written centuries before 165 BCE. The evidence is very sound. Let’s review the evidence.

              Evidence No. 1: Documents written in 5th century BCE Egypt (~495 BCE TO ~402 BCE) reveal unique textual and linguistic styles from that era. These documents are called the Elephantine Papyri. By comparing the texts of the Elephantine Papyri to the texts of Daniel, scholars have concluded that the textual style of Daniel places the book within the era of the 5th century BCE. Even Naturalists accept that the style of writing would place the book of Daniel centuries earlier than the 2nd century BCE. However, Naturalists favor the 165 BCE date due to their bias.Common Sense Placement for DanielPerhaps the easiest way of understanding why Daniel was written about 530 BCE is by using the English language from another era. Have you ever read Chaucerian English (14th century – 700 years ago) or Miltonian English (17th century – 300 years ago)? Consider the following example from the 14th century written by Chaucer:

              But for to tellen yow of his array,
              His hors were goode, but he was nat gay.
              Of fustian he wered a gypon
              Al bismotered with his habergeon,
              For he was late ycome from his viage,
              And wente for to doon his pilgrymage.

              Language changes over time. This is a true statement for English as it is for Aramaic and Hebrew. The style of writing and word usage date when the literature was written. Consider the following example from the 17th century written by Milton:

              When such musick sweet
              Their hearts and ears did greet,
              As never was by mortall finger strook,
              Divinely-warbled voice
              Answering the stringed noise,
              As all their souls in blisfull rapture took:
              The Air such pleasure loth to lose,
              With thousand echo’s still prolongs each heav’nly close.

              Many of the words take time to decipher for someone used to reading 21st century English. In the same way, the Aramaic found in the book of Daniel does not fit the era of 165 BCE.

              In support of this conclusion by analogy, Naturalists believe it is okay to place the initial six chapters of the book of Daniel as being written at an earlier time than 165 BCE. Since there is no prophecy in the initial six chapters, that is acceptable to Naturalists. However, the writing style for the entire book of Daniel requires that it be dated much earlier than 165 BCE. (Another indication of bias against the reality of prophecy).Finally, if you would like to get a better feel on why the book of Daniel does not fit in with the Dead Sea Scrolls era, take the time to watch a science fiction movie entitled, “Millennium.” In this movie, a person comes to the 20th century from the 30th century to snatch away people who happen to be flying on an aircraft that is about to crash. The point of watching such a movie is to show how the person from the 30th century does not fit into the 20th century.

              Evidence No. 2: Another textual evidence that Daniel was written centuries before 165 BCE are the texts of the Dead Sea Scrolls (written from 150 BCE to 50 CE). Scholarly comparison of the unique textual and linguistic styles support that Daniel was written centuries before the Dead Sea Scrolls. Dating Daniel to 165 BCE is not credible.Naturalist’s views for dating the book of Daniel are based on false assumptions about prophecy. Since we can verify Daniel’s prophetic ideas came true, then Daniel’s words appear to come from outside time-space. The date for writing the book of Daniel must be pushed back to match the text and linguistic style of the 5th century BCE.

              Evidence No. 3: Jesus called Daniel a prophet. “… spoken of through Daniel the prophet(Matthew 24:15 [NASB]).Daniel foretold of the destruction of Jerusalem, which happened to occur in 70 CE (about 235 years after the modern scholars date of 165 BCE, showing Daniel to be prophetic). There are many reasons why we would expect Jesus to foretell of the coming destruction of the temple and Jerusalem.Reason No. 1: Jesus claimed to be the Messiah foretold by the prophets (including Daniel).Reason No. 2: According to Daniel 9:26, the Messiah would be killed at Jerusalem some time before the destruction of the temple and Jerusalem were to occur. Jesus walked inside and taught people within the temple courts.

              Reason No. 3: Jesus knew and understood Daniel as a prophet. Since Jesus claimed to be the Messiah, Jesus expected both the temple and Jerusalem to be destroyed after his time on earth. Daniel foretold these events. Jesus accepted Daniel as a prophet and carried through with the prophecy.

              Reason No. 4: Jesus’ followers knew of his prophecies about the coming destruction of Jerusalem and wrote Jesus’ words into the gospel accounts.

              Reason No. 5: In the book of Acts, the first Christian martyr named Stephen was accused of telling about Jerusalem’s coming destruction, “For we have heard him say that this Jesus of Nazareth will destroy this place” (Acts 6:14). The book of Acts shows that early Christians expected the temple and Jerusalem to be destroyed (this expectation was commonplace).Both the message of Daniel’s 70-weeks prophecy and the words of Jesus foretold that Jerusalem would be destroyed. Based on Jesus’ claim to being the Messiah, it would be expected of him to foretell the coming destruction of the temple and Jerusalem.

              Evidence No. 4: Josephus called Daniel, “. . . one of the greatest of the prophets [Antiquities Book 10, Chapter 11, paragraph 7 Search for “GREATEST OF THE PROPHETS on the linked site”] because Daniel’s prophecies are “time-oriented” and reveal “WHEN” future events would occur. Why did Josephus hold such a high view of Daniel?Since Josephus lived in the years 37 to 100 CE, he is closer to reality than modern scholars, who are more than 2,000 years removed from the biblical culture. Since the study of Daniel shows that modern scholars are biased against the reality of prophecy at the 98.5% confidence level, Josephus’ view of Daniel appears to be correct.

              Evidence No. 5: Dead Sea Scrolls community members referred to . . . Daniel the Prophet (book entitled “Florilegium” or commentary). Eight copies of Daniel were found at the Qumran community with one copy dated to 125 BCE using carbon dating techniques. Therefore, it is highly unlikely that Daniel was written in 165 BCE. Would people living in 165 BCE accept Daniel as a prophet if Daniel was written at that time?Evidence No. 6: Scholarly remarks about the Dead Sea Scrolls community accepting Daniel as a prophet. Some modern-day scholars find it incredible that if Daniel were indeed written in 165 BCE, the Dead Sea Scroll community would have accepted Daniel as a prophet. Again, the Naturalist views are questionable based on their doubts about Daniel being accepted as a prophet after only 40 years. Would Daniel be renowned as a prophet if it were known that he had lived a mere 40 years earlier? In that event, he would have been a contemporary person writing fiction. Refer to “The Dead Sea Scrolls Bible” translated and with commentary by Martin Abegg, Jr., Peter Flint & Eugene Ulrich, dated 1999, page 484.

              Evidence No. 7: Internal textual evidence that compares the book of Daniel to the Dead Sea Scrolls. The Dead Sea Scrolls are known to have been written in the era of 170 BCE to 50 CE. There is a definitive textual style and linguistics for this era. However, the textual style and linguistics for the book of Daniel are very different. Both conservative and liberal scholars acknowledge that the textual style and linguistics for the book of Daniel supports that it was written centuries before the Dead Sea Scrolls community came to exist. Naturalists override this evidence due to their bias against the reality of prophecy.

              Evidence No. 8: Jesus’ life meets Daniel’s prophecy about a Messiah that would be killed. Jesus fulfilled Daniel’s prophecy by being crucified (supported by numerous sources). Based on Daniel, after the Messiah’s death, Jerusalem and the temple were to be destroyed. It is apparent that Jesus knew and understood the book of Daniel. It would only be expected that Jesus would foretell of the temple and Jerusalem’s destruction. Christians accept all these facts as the basis for believing Jesus fulfilled Daniel’s “time-oriented” prophecy. It would be expected that Jesus would foretell of the temple and Jerusalem’s destruction before those events were to occur.

            • lartanner

              You have charged bias, but I don’t know whom exactly you are talking about or what substantiates the charge.

              On the other hand, you seem willing to accept 165 BCE as an end-composition date (which, btw, is controversial because of the Qumran fragment) and suggest that it, too, supports your argument that Daniel 9 refers specifically to Jesus.

              Is this not a “heads I win, tails you lose” scenario?

              You’ve indicated that you see your Christian interpretation as the best reading of Daniel 9. You also have alluded to a Jewish interpretation, which you don’t find compelling but don’t elaborate, unless I missed it. In that interpretation, the end of the 70 weeks (Dan 9:24) is 536 BCE. This also dates the start of the 69 weeks of Dan 9:25-26. Nehemiah, whose appointment to governor starts in 465 (not 445, as traditionally given), is the “anointed one” (i.e., messiah) being referred to. This argument, too, lines up every sentence to something that happened exactly as foretold. Indeed, according to this argument, Nehemiah lines up better than Jesus!

              Now, I see a lot of reading into Daniel but not a lot of evidence or substance to the arguments. Please note that I have not ruled out prophecy summarily or berated any kind of religious thinking/tradition. But as I keep asking for and looking for hard evidence, I’m not finding it. Sure, there’s counting, creative reading, claims of plausibility, and so forth. Beyond this, I don’t yet see how these interpretations of prophecy can be compelling to someone who is not already a believer in one of these traditions.

              But I have more study to do. I realize I’ve been derelict, but my work life has been very, very busy.

            • alan

              I merely provided an article from the Harvard House re. dating – they charge bias, not me though bias seems to me a rational charge due to the case they put forth re. dating. Also, I had noted that most theologians of all stripes have not done a good job on the 70 weeks prophecy. The crux of all I’m trying to show is the mathematical improbability as I tried to explain earlier. I can’t figure how you can charge “a lot of reading into Daniel” on what I presented to you. It is exact as to time fulfillment and to a number of precise reasons and actions of One meant to accomplish those specifics. It is difficult for me to see a lack of substance.

    • alan

      Key: Outline only. IF interested you would do the study using the “bible interprets itself” hermeneutic which involves comparing all the word studies old and new testaments/covenants that refer to that subject.

      In this case you could find references to building and rebuilding the city means in fulfillment building an eternal city made without hands. Unfortunately, the “church” has for a long time gotten used to teaching a literal approach such as they think stars will actually fall from “heaven”, the Sun will not shine, blood will actually rise to the height of a horses bridal etc., etc. Part of understand or a (“key”) is as directed in the writing, seeing types, figures, shadows, times, seasons etc. that “foreshadow things to come” and when done harmony is attained so –

      Most theologians, commentaries see the language of restoring and building Jerusalem as a physical rebuilding of the literal city of Jerusalem and it is not possible to find the meaning of Dan. 9:25 – (the 70 weeks) this way.

      However, the bible does use Jerusalem, City, building, as types of Christ’s body of believers – Elect, and the command of Dan. 9:25 is absolutely a command to bring the Word of God – (Law = Gospel = the entirety of revelation) to the world at a specific time being a casting of the net for “fish” bringing believers into the City of the Kingdom of God.

      IF you want, you will be able to see the EXACT time stamp – fulfillment that absolutely verifies with mathematical precision every detail of this passage of information given from a source outside time. (My scientific thesis)

      Nehemiah is not a possible solution, but frequently attempted even though King Artaxerxes did not give a command to rebuild nor did Nehemiah.

      Cyrus, although a type of Christ/Messiah, and did fulfill a 200 year earlier prophecy – Isa. 44:28 typing a final yet different building, does not work out mathematically – historically.

      Ezra does provide the solution. Ezra 7:12-13 was commanded to reestablish the law which biblically has an intimate relationship to a command to build Jerusalem.

      HOW can we know the command to Ezra does provide a proof of information given before hand of thing yet to come, i.e. information outside the bounds of time? (at UD I was trying to establish a scientific, not “religious” argument.)

      Dan. 9:24 – 1. finish the transgression, 2. make an end of sin, 3. make reconciliation for iniquity, 4. bring in everlasting righteousness, 5. seal up (approved and completed) the vision and the prophecy, 6. anoint the most Holy.

      NOW: Ezra to the Cross (at 33 A.D) is Seventy Weeks = 490 years. Every detailed reason stated in Dan.9:24 has its literal and complete historical completion at the Cross. “IT IS FINISHED” – approved and completed.

      I submit this is not rationally debatable. The mathematical probability I suppose could be figured out, but in the context of pre-ordained time, place (in other scriptures) and purpose the probabilities are even more “sure” –

      “And we have more firm the prophetic word, to which we do well giving heed, as to a lamp shining in a dark place, till day may dawn, and a morning star may arise — in your hearts;”

      OFF topic, but may I add that due to the standard and incorrect hermeneutic used by most churches today, the teaching of an eternal Hell of suffering and torture is completely false and all the emotions, anger, resentments etc. generated from it are one more example of “not enduring sound doctrine” also prophetically outlined. Same with purgatory.

      Be well and take care

      Alan

    • DRC

      A very fascinating topic! Prophecy was one of the main reasons I put my faith in Christianity, but I struggled to understand it. I now see that the supposed prophecies are little more than quote mining and “post-diction”.

      I didn’t know that the NIV will just capitalise “Messiah” when the text does not warrant it. I find this behaviour deplorable! It’s very clear evidence of the translators employing eisegesis as opposed to exegesis. I find this very disappointing. If this was truly a prophetic prediction, it wouldn’t need any help through ad-hoc capitalisations.

      Anyway, this is an excellent post! I hope you’ll do more on Biblical prophecy. It’s very enlightening to read about the Jewish perspective on these passages!

    • Pretrib Rapture Pride

      by Bruce Rockwell

      Pretrib rapture promoters like Thomas Ice give the impression they know
      more than the early Church Fathers, the Reformers, the greatest Greek
      New Testament scholars including those who produced the KJV Bible, the
      founders of their favorite Bible schools, and even their own mentors!

      Ice’s mentor, Dallas Sem. president John Walvoord, couldn’t find anyone
      holding to pretrib before 1830 – and Walvoord called John Darby and his
      Brethren followers “the early pretribulationists” (RQ, pp. 160-62). Ice
      belittles Walvoord and claims that several pre-1830 persons, including
      “Pseudo-Ephraem” and a “Rev. Morgan Edwards,” taught a pretrib rapture.
      Even though the first one viewed Antichrist’s arrival as the only
      “imminent” event, Ice (and Grant Jeffrey) audaciously claim he expected
      an “imminent” pretrib rapture! And Ice (and John Bray) have covered up
      Edwards’ historicism which made a pretrib rapture impossible! Google
      historian Dave MacPherson’s “Deceiving and Being Deceived” for
      documentation on these and similar historical distortions.
      The
      same pretrib defenders, when combing ancient books, deviously read
      “pretrib” into phrases like “before Armageddon,” “before the final
      conflagration,” and “escape all these things”!
      BTW, the KJV
      translators’ other writings found in London’s famed British Library
      (where MacPherson has researched) don’t have even a hint of pretrib
      rapturism. Is it possible that Ice etc. have found pretrib “proof” in
      the KJV that its translators never found?
      Pretrib merchandisers
      like Ice claim that nothing is better pretrib proof than Rev. 3:10.
      They also cover up “Famous Rapture Watchers” (on Google) which shows how
      the greatest Greek NT scholars of all time interpreted it.

      Pretrib didn’t flourish in America much before the 1909 Scofield Bible
      which has pretribby “explanatory notes” in its margins. Not seen in the
      margins was jailed forger Scofield’s criminal record throughout his life
      that David Lutzweiler has documented in his recent book “The Praise of
      Folly” which is available online.
      Biola University’s doctrinal
      statement says Christ’s return is “premillennial” and “before the
      Tribulation.” Although universities stand for “academic freedom,” Biola
      has added these narrow, restrictive phrases – non-essentials the
      founders purposely didn’t include in their original doctrinal statement
      when Biola was just a small Bible institute! And other Christian schools
      have also belittled their founders.
      Ice, BTW, has a “Ph.D”
      issued by a tiny Texas school that wasn’t authorized to issue degrees!
      Ice now says that he’s working on another “Ph.D” via the University of
      Wales in Britain. For light on the degrees of Ice’s scholarliness,
      Google “Bogus degree scandal prompts calls to wind up University of
      Wales,” “Thomas Ice (Bloopers),” “be careful in polemics – Peripatetic
      Learning,” and “Walvoord Melts Ice.” Also Google “Thomas Ice (Hired
      Gun)” – featured by media luminary Joe Ortiz on his Jan. 30, 2013 “End
      Times Passover” blog.
      Other fascinating Google articles include
      “The Unoriginal John Darby,” “X-raying Margaret,” “Edward Irving in
      Unnerving,” “Pretrib Rapture Politics,” “Pretrib Rapture Secrets,”
      “Pretrib Rapture Dishonesty,” “Pretrib Hypocrisy,” “Pretrib Rapture
      Secrecy,” and “Roots of Warlike Christian Zionism” – most from the
      author of “The Rapture Plot,” the most accurate documentation on pretrib
      rapture history.
      Can anyone guess who the last proud pretrib rapture holdout will be?
      (Postscript: For another jolt or two Google “The Background Obama Can’t Cover Up.”)

      (The above message was observed on the amazing web.)

    • Pingback: More on Prophecy and the Book of Daniel | Atheist, Intermarried()

    • In the two years since this topic was started, there is new information explaining Daniel 9:24-27 that essentially gives verifiable no-faith-required evidence for the existence of God. That information is too long to post here (about 10 pages in length), but you are invited to check it out in my new booklet “Proof of God: Hard Evidence for 21st Century Skeptics” at https://www.createspace.com/4805280 if you are truly interested in seeing evidence that you can verify for yourself.

    • Dave

      Okay. I was bored and checked what Atheists/Agnostics had to say about this prophecy. Answer some questions that I saw here.

      This Passages in Daniel’s prophecy is about the Messiah (Anointed One) or the Christ in Greek. Foremost Jewish Rabbinical interpreter Rashi (widely widely known in Traditional Judaism), interprets this passage as the Messiah or Christ. But Traditional Judaism says they missed Him because they were sinful and not allowed by God to be given Messiah. You may find Rabbinical authorities who say this prophecy is not about Messiah, but none that are actually being honest. Most Messianic passages in Scripture do not say “Hey! Look. Here I am a Messianic Prophecy!” So it’s based on “code names” such as Root of Jesse, Son of David, Branch, many more. But this passage is unique it clearly says Messiah. There’s NO denying it. If one did, it is only showing how precise this prophecy is in order to attempt to deny such the obvious. If God stood in front of your face you would question whether what you saw was real. Your heart is hard, turn to God and put your trust in Jesus.

      • lartanner

        You need to cite your sources, including Rashi and the ‘Rabbinical Authorities’ or you are wasting everyone’s time.

        The issue is not really the messianic sense of the passages but their mismatch with the Jesus story.

        Please don’t proselytize. It’s rude.