A Catholic introduction to the Bible, Bergsma and Pitre

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Most excellent. Highly recommend.


What do Bergsma and Pitre say about the date of Daniel? There is a theory that it was written as late as the 160s BC, at around the time the Maccabees were leading the revolt against Syrian rule that resulted in the independent Jewish kingdom ruled by the Hasmonean dynasty. Do Bergsma and Pitre agree with that?

Here’s what the editors of the Jerusalem Bible say in their introduction to Daniel:

The date of composition is decided by clear evidence given in ch. 11. The wars between the Seleucids and Ptolemies and a portion of the reign of Antiochus Epiphanes are described with a wealth of detail quite unnecessary for the author’s purpose. … The book must therefore have been written during the persecution under Antiochus Epiphanes and before his death, even before the success of the Maccabaean revolt; that is to say between 167 and 164.

What I’m trying to find out is whether this dating is just one theory among several, or whether it is now generally accepted by present-day OT specialists. Thanks for your help.

Pg 878 of the book: The book of Daniel begins in “the third year of Jehoiakim” (ca. 605 B.C.), the year Nebuchadnezzar established hegemony over the Levant…
Does this help you? Another commentary I have places it written at the later dates you have cited.

Drs. Pitre and Bergsma give a balanced approach to dating Daniel and the other OT books. In other words, they state the pros and cons of both early and late dating and allow the reader to decide. That said, they implicitly seem to subscribe to early dating for those books in question.

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Thank you, @Tolle_Lege!

Thank you, yes, that’s what I’m looking for. What commentary is that, may I ask?

The reason many academics want a late date for Daniel is that they don’t want to believe in accurate prophecies of the future, or anything else supernatural or miraculous. Everything else they say is just an excuse.

Wish they would just admit this.

Even admitting that that may have been their motivation, it doesn’t tell us whether their conclusions are historically correct or incorrect.

I knew I should have cited it! The Major Prophets - James E. Smith. College Press Publishing, Joplin MO. 1992. To clarify - it raises the discussion that the date is disputed and states reasons for both dates.

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My parish store (yes, we have a store), has it! I was so excited when I saw it too!

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