Thursday, March 12, 2015

Daniel (Pt 10): Porphry was an Idiot

The first critic who dismissed Daniel as a pseudo-forgery from the 2nd century B.C. was a Neo-Platonic philosopher (read goofball).

This jerk (reportedly an 'ex-Christian': read - never got it), saw clearly that one of the strongest arguments for Christianity was the prophecy of the Messiah in Daniel.

So he proposed that Daniel wasn't really Daniel at all, but a 2nd century Jewish forger who faked all his prophecies by posing history as prophecy.

This required Porphry to date the book as late as possible (c. 165 BC),
and claim that all the descriptions were in fact prophecies about the Maccabean Revolt.

Of course even Porphry was aware that the book of Daniel also prophesied the Roman Empire as one of FOUR Empires, extending his prophetic vision far into the future and beyond 165 B.C.

Thus it wasn't enough to argue that Daniel chapter 8 was mere history.
Porphyry had to get rid of the Statue in Daniel Chapter 2.

our previous chart showed how Porphyry developed his own system for interpreting the difficult problem of the Four Empires, and mentioned that this nonsense was also adopted by modern critics, starting in about the 18th century.

In this new chart, the juxtaposition of the three different prophecies under consideration shows that even when we date the Book of Daniel as late as 165 B.C., this date slices through the middle of all three prophecies.

Thus the solution doesn't solve the problem.

More than this however, this still doesn't leave us free to adopt any old dating for Daniel.  Because as the chart also shows, the Hebrew Canon was closed around 330 B.C., with Daniel in existence and included, and this is not easily refuted.

Furthermore, even the later Hebrew books like the Writings were all being translated into Greek well before the cut-off date (165 BC) being proposed.

And if the Book of Daniel was translated into Greek (in any condition) prior to the Maccabean revolt, it could not have been composed during that time to encourage persecuted Jews, nor could it contain the detailed description of that severe persecution (if the critics' theory of no prophecy allowed is maintained).

Josephus and Philo also mention the translation of the LXX, and for our purposes it matters not whether the Letter or Aristeas is fake, or whether Josephus is off on his dates.   There is no way that loyal Jews were going to be happily translating Hebrew into Greek during the violent war and rebellion against imposed Greek cultural invasion.  Nor would they be enthusiastic about it after this period, when they finally won their autonomy for a spell.

Its also humorous to note that Porphyry died in 305 A.D., just before Constantine decided to convert the Empire into Christianity.

So he missed the most important event of the 4th century A.D.,
another prophecy of Daniel.

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