Tuesday, January 10, 2017

Exposition of Daniel



  1. I love Iain Duguid's sermons (whether in print or audio recording).

  2. The claim of Daniel seems pretty strong to me at present.

    http://www.christianthinktank.com/qwhendan3x.html gives convincing evidence, either one has to drop the objection or else, have to accept the early date.

    www.academia.edu/9787699/Darius_the_Mede_A_Reappraisal : Recent research on Darius the Mede, a strong case.

    https://www.academia.edu/15234847/Commentary_On_Daniel_Chapter_7_7.1-28_ This paper provides never seen insights into the fourth kingdom of Daniel.

    As my understanding rapidly changed during last two weeks, I've written in truth seeking attitude, regarding four kingdoms,historical problems and some linguistic issues. Anybody interested in it can improve it further.


  3. One of the giant bible contradictions that causes me to doubt bible is about the death and hell(not the caricature). In Genesis 3.19 we are informed that since man is made of dust, he will return to dust. This flatly contradicts the concept of hell. Can you help me here, Steve?

    1. That has reference to biological mortality. It is silent on whether humans have immortal souls. Moreover, the Bible has a doctrine of the general resurrection. So even if physicalism were true, that doesn't preclude hell.

    2. The warning given by god is meaningless if there was no concept of afterlife. But what Adam can infer(at most, soul weeping in hell) is diametrically opposed to the eternal torment in Revelation. Can we find the concept of afterlife, elsewhere in Genesis and/or books of Moses?

    3. Different people fear death for different reasons. Some fear death because they think death threatens oblivion. Some fear death because they think death threatens postmortem suffering. Some fear death because they fear the unknown. The uncertainty is fearful. They don't know what awaits them. Will it be something good, bad, or nothing at all? They've never been to the other side.

      To be human is to be vulnerable. We can protect ourselves from some things, but we're helpless in the face of death. That strikes at our sense of vulnerability like nothing else.

      Moreover, it's fearful to die under God's displeasure. That automatically suggests a turn for the worse.

    4. Pentateuchal prohibitions against necromancy presume popular belief in ghosts.

  4. To RK

    There's such a concept as Progressive Revelation. God progressively revealed more and more, deeper and deeper truths and realities down through the generations of humanity till His final revelation in, of and through His Son (and His appointed emissaries the Apostles). The nature of humanity (anthropology), of death and the end times (eschatology) was progressively revealed.

    The bible teaches that humans have both a material and an immaterial aspect to them. Their 1. body and 2. spirit/soul (dichotomy) or 1. body, 2. soul and 3. spirit (trichotomy). The body does turn to dust, but the spirit continues to survive after death during the intermediate state while it waits for the resurrection of the body and final judgment.

    Some believe that spirits of the unsaved go immediate to hell (Gehenna) awaiting final further judgment on "Judgment Day" near the end of the world. After which they will be sent back to hell. Others, like myself believe the unsaved wait in sheol/hades till final judgment then sent to hell (Gehenna) after the final judgment.

  5. Can we find the concept of afterlife, elsewhere in Genesis and/or books of Moses?

    The nature of the afterlife was uncertain the OT. There's some indication in the OT that some Israelites may not have believed it, or wondered about it (e.g. Job 14:14; Eccl. 3:21). However, there are many evidences in the OT of either 1. a future resurrection simpliciter 2. a conscious intermediate state, 3. or both in combination.

    The OT often refers to dead as having "slept with his fathers". Sleeping implies an expectation of a future waking up (i.e. bodily resurrection). This refers to what happens with the body (not the spirit), which has the appearance of sleeping.

    48 That very day the LORD spoke to Moses,49 "Go up this mountain of the Abarim, Mount Nebo, which is in the land of Moab, opposite Jericho, and view the land of Canaan, which I am giving to the people of Israel for a possession.50 And die on the mountain which you go up, and be gathered to your people, as Aaron your brother died in Mount Hor and was gathered to his people,- Deut. 32:48-50

    If materialism and an afterlife wasn't believed, then it makes no sense for Moses and Aaron to have been "gathered to their people". The phrase implies something that happens after death. It cannot always refer to having their bones placed into an ossuary. At least in the case of Moses and Aaron. Moses wasn't allowed into the Promise Land and Aarond ied before entering. The Israelites were on the move and so wouldn't have had the time to wait for the flesh to moulder off the bones. Presumably being gathered to one's people is immediately upon death and is a conscious existence, since that's what many other surrounding pagans believed about death. God often corrected and rebuked the Israelites about the beliefs of pagans, but God never told the Israelites that there is no conscious afterlife. God forbade attempts to contact the dead, but never said it was futile on account of the fact that there is no afterlife. Or on account of the afterlife being ONLY at the end of time with the resurrection. The fact the Israelites often committed necromany suggests a conscious intermediate state was a common belief among them.

    The book of Job repeatedly teaches an afterlife. For example:

    25 For I know that my Redeemer lives, and at the last he will stand upon the earth. 26 And after my skin has been thus destroyed, yet in my flesh I shall see God, 27 whom I shall see for myself, and my eyes shall behold, and not another. My heart faints within me!- Job 19:25-27

    Job 26:5 uses poetic imagery to imply or directly teach the dead are conscious.


    1. And as her soul was departing (for she was dying), she called his name Ben-oni; but his father called him Benjamin.- Gen. 35:18

      Gen. 35:18 could possibly be interpreted as implying an immaterial soul departing Rachel's body.

      Then he stretched himself upon the child three times and cried to the LORD, “O LORD my God, let this child’s LIFE come into him again.”- 1 Kings 17:21

      Similarly, in 1 Kings 17:21 the word "LIFE" (ESV, et al.) could technically also be translated "soul" (as in the KJV). So, Elijah could be asking God to return the child's immaterial soul to the body.

      "All his sons and all his daughters rose up to comfort him, but he refused to be comforted and said, "No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning." Thus his father wept for him."- Gen. 37:35

      Some scholars have translated and interpreted Gen. 37:35 as having Jacob say that he's so saddened by the death of Joseph, that he'll join him in sheol. Also, Jacob wrongly thought that Joseph was eaten by an animal. And so, sheol couldn't mean the grave (at least in this context).

      There are verses in Psalms that suggest it. Here are just two.

      You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will receive me to glory.- Ps. 73:24

      YHWH receiving the psalmist "into glory" suggests an afterlife.

      As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.- Ps. 17:15

      This verse suggests an afterlife.

      As you know the book of Daniel states:

      "And many of those who sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt."- Dan. 12:2

      Though, an atheists would say that this is a later development and not necessarily an indication of what the earliest Israelites believed regarding the possibility of an afterlife.

    2. typo corrections:

      "Aarond ied before entering" = Aaron DIED before entering

      necromany = necromancy

      The following two verses in Ecclesiastes suggests an afterlife. Chapter 3:21 wonders about it. Chapter 12:7 positively suggests it.

      Who knoweth the spirit of man that goeth upward, and the spirit of the beast that goeth downward to the earth?- Eccl. 3:21 (KJV)

      12:7 Then shall the dust return to the earth as it was: and the spirit shall return unto God who gave it.-Eccl. 12:7 (KJV)

      They are dead, they will not live; they are SHADES, they will not arise; to that end you have visited them with destruction and wiped out all remembrance of them.- Isa. 26:14

      The word "shades" is "rephaim" in Hebrew (the same word used in Job 26:5 for "dead"). Rephaim can refer to the giants, OR to dead human beings.

    3. BTW, Isa. 26:14 doesn't necessarily mean that the author is saying there is no resurrection of the dead at the eschaton. Only that they will not rise again in this world/age to interact with and affect the living.