Authorship of the Book of Daniel

By Anton Williams, Founder

Comparison on views of the authorship and date of composition of the book of Daniel

  • Traditional and internal evidence within the book of Daniel indicates the book was written by Daniel between 600 BCE -530 BCE.

  • Liberal scholarship asserts the book was written after 165 BCE by an anonymous author after some predictive events occurred.

  • Which view does the external/objective evidence confirm?

Comparing both the conservative view and the liberal view in regards to the authorship of the book of Daniel based on OBJECTIVE/EXTERNAL (INDEPENDENT) evidence; the liberal view loses every time. To the result that the theory of a anonymous author writing the book in the second century bce is demonstrably falsified by objective evidence. Conversely, the conservative view is confirmed as true reality.

From a methodological perspective in order to refute these conclusions, it is not sufficient for a critic/disputer to merely disagree with the evidence. There must be shown to have OBJECTIVE/EXTERNAL evidence to the contrary

Ezekiel's use of the book of Daniel in 588BCE

The prophet Ezekiel refers to Daniel the prophet several times. Instead of just referring to a book of Daniel; he does something better when he quotes the book itself.

Daniel wrote down revelation as soon as he received it. (Daniel 7:1-3) Some parts of the book of Daniel were written by 588 BCE. (Daniel 2 and Daniel 4) Other parts were written by Daniel throughout his life concluding about 530 BCE.

  • Ezekiel 28:3 quotes from Daniel 4:9 (Daniel 4 in turn references Daniel's ability to reveal the secret of Nebuchadnezzar dream and interpretation which is Daniel 2).

    • Ezekiel 28:3 "behold thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from you"

    • Daniel 4:9 "Belteshazzar (who is Daniel , Daniel 4:8) no secret troubleth thee"

      • (There is a slight variation in the quote from Daniel's book very likely due to Daniel 2 being written in aramiac and Ezekiel 28 being originally written in Hebrew.)

    • We know Daniel's passage was written first as Ezekiel references Daniel and not the other way around.

    • Daniel 4 applies a judgment of God on a pagan king who was prideful (King Nebuchadnezzar)

    • Ezekiel 28 references Daniel, gives a quote of him, and makes Daniel's application of a judgment of God on a prideful pagan king. (Prince of Tyre)

  • Ezekiel 14 refers to Daniel from the book of Daniel. The figures in Ezekiel 14 (Noah and Job) are people within Hebrew Scriptures. A parallel passage of Jeremiah 15 (Moses and Samuel) are both people mentioned in Hebrew Scriptures.

      • In the two parallel passages since Moses, Samuel, Noah and Job are all figures within Hebrew Scriptures; the logical conclusion is that the Daniel mentioned in the passage is also from the Hebrew Scriptures. Meaning Daniel's book (part that existed at that time) was already written and was considered to be from God.

        • Ezekiel refers to Daniel as having no secret which could be hidden from him. As God alone is omniscient; this demonstrates Ezekiel receiving Daniel's revelation as from God. As the only way Daniel could (potentially) know everything is if God was revealing it to him.

        • The insight of Ezekiel 28 quoting Daniel 4 which refers to Daniel 2 is important. Ezekiel's quote and inclusion of the word secret is distinctive. The word ("secret") is used in comparison with the biblical Daniel as a revealer of secrets by God's power at least 8 times in Daniel 2 alone. (Daniel 2:18, 2:19, 2:22, 2:28, 2:29, 2:30, 2:47)

      • Ezekiel refers to Daniel as being righteous before God (YHWH) which would apply to Daniel of the book of Daniel

The implication of Daniel writing his book in the 6th century BCE

Daniel's authorship of his book was denied (never disproven on objective/external evidence) because it contains prophecies which describe events centuries after Daniel lived. Since people don't have the ability to describe specific events of specific nations that will occur centuries later, the critics deny (never refute on objective evidence) that Daniel wrote his book.

Daniel's ability to disclose future events should instead by recognized for what it claims to be; a revelation from God Himself. Objective/external evidence shows Daniel wrote his book in the 6th century BCE which it claims. The implication is that there is a God who is creator of the universe to whom people are under His ultimate authority.