Article: The Book of Daniel (5/20)

May 22, 2007

Daniel: The History

The largest number of criticisms aimed at Daniel are allegations that the book contains numerous historical inaccuracies. It is worth noting that archaeological evidence over the last 130 years or so has disproved a number of these allegations, but they are frequently repeated by atheists and skeptics without reference to evidence which contradicts them.

In this section the historical issues in Daniel will be addressed chapter by chapter.

Historical Issues In Daniel One

  • The spelling of Nebuchadnezzar’s name (Daniel 1:1 and throughout)
  • The identification of Nebuchadnezzar as ‘king’ during the third year of the reign of Jehoiakim (Daniel 1:1)
  • The seige of Jerusalem (Daniel 1:1-2)
  • The names of Daniel and his friends (Daniel 1:6-7)

Nebuchadnezzar’s Name

Critics have claimed that Nebuchadnezzar’s name is spelled incorrectly in Daniel:

‘It has been claimed (by Taylor (citing Dummelow in Taylor [2], Sierichs, and others) that the book of Daniel can’t even spell the name of Nebuchadnezzar correctly because it uses an n rather than an r. [Porteus, 26; Dummelow, 530; Farrar, 20]’

David Conklin, ‘Evidences Relating to the Date of the Book of Daniel’, 2000

There is plenty of evidence to demonstrate this objection to be spurious:

‘However, Millard points out that a study done in 1975 demonstrates “that the writing with n is not improper for Hebrew“. [Millard (1977): 73; the 1975 study was by P. R. Berger in the Zeitschrift fur Assyriologie, vol 64, pages 224-34; Goldingay, 4 note 1–the “Heb. spelling can be explained philologically.”] See also the article on Nebuchadnezzar by LaSor in the ISBE.

He notes that the LXX supports the use of the n [Nabuchodonosor] and that Jeremiah uses both spellings in chapters 27-29. [LaSor, 506] Wiseman simply refers to the Biblical spelling as a “variant.” [Wiseman, 552]

BTW, the Greeks spelt it “both” ways: Nabochodonosor and Nabokodrosoros. [Baldwin (1978a): 78] In Aramaic it is Nebukadnessar–note the use of n in both the Aramaic and Greek.’

David Conklin, ‘Evidences Relating to the Date of the Book of Daniel’, 2000

Article here.


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