The angel Gabriel

Wed, 20/12/2017 - 13:20 -- James Oakley
Don't shoot!
Image Credit: SAJ-FSP

Angels don't normally have names in the New Testament. Why does Luke tell us that it was the angel Gabriel who appeared to Mary? Let's think this through.

Blog Category: 

Structure of Daniel 2-7

Wed, 13/09/2017 - 10:58 -- James Oakley
Concentric and other Patterns
Image Credit: Rodney Campbell

Daniel chapters 2-7 are written in Aramaic; the rest of Daniel (chapter 1, and chapters 8-12) are in Hebrew.

The most obvious way to divide Daniel into two is to note that Daniel chapters 1-6 contain stories about Daniel, whereas chapters 7-12 contain visions seen by Daniel.

Blog Category: 

What is an "Apocalpyse"

Wed, 06/09/2017 - 10:50 -- James Oakley
Four Horsemen of Apocalypse by Viktor Vasnetsov

I'll just park this here for future reference.

Sometimes you see writers say that certain parts of the Bible are written in the "apocalyptic" style of writing.

Recognising the "genre" of part of the Bible can be very important when it comes to reading it properly. For instance, parables and historical narrative communicate in very different ways; you'd completely misread the gospels if you confused them.

The Fall of Arrogant Rulers

Wed, 30/08/2017 - 10:48 -- James Oakley
Great empires become ruins
Image Credit: Margie Savage

“There seems to be one fundamental law of a very solemn kind which touches this question of judgement; and when I turn to the ancient prophets and recall the limited area of history they had at their disposal for making their inductions, I am always surprised at the curious aptness with which they seem to have found the formula in this connection — a formula which they put in a special position of priority.

Blog Category: 

Change of person in Daniel 4

Wed, 23/08/2017 - 10:55 -- James Oakley
The tree grew large and strong and its top touched the sky
Image Credit: Bob West

Some commentators worry themselves about the fact that Daniel 4 is a mixture of first person account (Nebuchadnezzar speaking) and third person account (another narrator, writing about Nebuchadnezzar). They think this indicates that Daniel 4 was originally two different accounts, clumsily edited into what we now have.

Blog Category: 

Daniel 7-12

Mon, 23/04/2007 - 21:15 -- James Oakley

OK: I know this may be too general (macroscopic) to be useful, but does this work? If it does, broadly, work, I know for sure that my headings will need refining.

Blog Category: 

Ernest Lucas on Daniel 8

Wed, 18/04/2007 - 18:39 -- James Oakley

"Within the context of this vision 'the end' (19) need not be 'The End', the ultimate end of history. The earlier Hebrew prophets used the term 'the end' to indicate the end of a particular evil state of affairs or the final day of reckoning for a particular people (e.g. Amos 8:1-2). Sometimes what might seem to be 'end of the world' language is used of such events, though they clearly occur within history (e.g. Is. 13:9-22). These events within history are seen as foreshadowing the final day of reckoning, rather than being simply identified with it. This may be the case with the dreams and visions of Daniel, though at the end of the final vision there is a 'fusing' of the horizons of the end of Antiochus' career and the end of history."

Blog Category: 

The statue in Daniel 3

Mon, 16/04/2007 - 18:47 -- James Oakley

E C Lucas, Daniel (AOTC), pages 94-95

"Five times in vv. 1-12 it is stated that the image was set up by Nebuchadnezzar. This emphasizes the way in which religion and the State get intertwined. Refusal to worship the image cannot be tolerated because it subverts the authority of the State. As Welch (1958:85) comments, 'The State has certain ends in view and want a certain type of citizen to fulfil them; it issues its orders by which it shall procure the best means to serve its ends. Some day it may demand an obedience which will make it impossible for certain men to save their souls alive. Then the opposite ends for life will come into open collision, and men will have to choose whom they mean to serve.' This is the choice that faced Diaspora Jews from time to time.

"Nebuchadnezzar's rage (13-15) may contain an element of annoyance at the ingratitude of these Jews. Powerful patrons can turn into dangerous enemies. However, he does not accept the accusation against them without giving them a chance to prove their loyalty and obedience. His primary concern is with their public conduct, rather than with their private beliefs. There is a parallel to this in modern secular society. Religion is acceptable as long as it is a matter of private belief and does not lead people to challenge the assumptions and values of their society by what they say or do."

Blog Category: 

Living in Sodom, indeed - and Babylon

Tue, 19/09/2006 - 10:38 -- James Oakley

Thanks, again, David for this:


Indeed! And I remain convinced that one of the most important books of Scripture to teach our children is the book of Daniel.

"But you would say that", I hear. Yes - but which came first, the chicken or the egg?

Indeed! And I remain convinced that one of the most important books of Scripture to teach our children is the book of Daniel.

Blog Category: 
Subscribe to Daniel
Additional Terms