When Were Daniel and Revelation Written?

When as Daniel written?

First, when does it claim to have been written? [Daniel 1:1; 2:1; 5:1; 6:1; 7:1; 8:1; 9:1; 10:1; 11:1] Is this claim true or a later fabrication?

Second, portions of Daniel are found in the Dead Sea Scrolls, which date around 200-300 BC. Does it seem that Daniel would have been written much earlier in order to have been copied and included in the Bible canon of the Qumran caves?

Third, 1 Maccabees 2:60 references Daniel’s deliverance from the den of lions: “Daniel for his singleness of heart was rescued from the lion’s jaws.” [Daniel 6] Daniel is listed with Abraham, Joseph, Phinehas, Joshua, Caleb, David, Elijah and the three Hebrew youths “saved from the flame.” [Daniel 3] In other words the account in Daniel would have to have been written long before 160 BC to have become an account on par with Abraham and David.

Fourth, the reliable 1st Century AD historian Josephus writes that Alexander the Great himself was shown a copy of Daniel before 332 BC -- "When the book of Daniel was shown to him, in which he had declared that one of the Greeks would destroy the empire of the Persians, he believed himself to be the one indicated." [Jewish Antiquities, XI, 337 (viii, 5)]

Fifth, Daniel 1:1-2:4a and 8:1-12:13 are written in Hebrew, while Daniel 2:4b-7:28 is written in Aramaic. This language marks a period during the 5th Century BC. The International Standard Bible Encyclopedia (Volume 1, page 860) suggests: "When the Aramaic vocabulary of Daniel is examined, nine-tenths of it can be attested immediately from West Semitic inscriptions, or papyri from the 5th cent. B.C. or earlier. The remaining words have been found in sources such as Nabatean or Palmyrene Aramaic, which are later than the 5th cent. B.C. While it is at least theoretically possible that this small balance of vocabulary suddenly originated after the 5th cent. B.C., it is equally possible to argue from a fifth-century B.C. written form to an earlier oral one. By far the most probable explanation, however, is that the missing tenth represents nothing more serious than a gap in our current knowledge of the linguistic situation, which we may confidently expect to be filled in process of time." [Edited by G. Bromiley, 1979]

Sixth, how did Jesus apply the “abomination of desolation” [Daniel 9:26, 27] Not to events recorded in 1 and 2 Maccabees but to the Roman sieges against Jerusalem in 66 and 70 AD. [Matthew 24:15; Luke 21:20]

How many times does Revelation reference Daniel? [60 times] What verses does Revelation reference? [Daniel 1:12, 14; 2:19, 28, 35, 37, 47; 3:5; 4:30; 7:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25; 8:10; 10:6; 12:1, 4, 7.]

Was Revelation Written Before 66 AD?

Some “preterists” are of the opinion that Revelation was written before the destruction of Jerusalem, though most scholars throughout the Church Age have believed it to have been penned between 90-100 AD.

Was Revelation written before 66 AD and the beginning of Rome’s “war with the Jews”?

Jesus clearly alludes to Daniel 9:24-27 and applies it to “the surrounding of Jerusalem” by the Romans armies in 66 AD. [Matthew 24:15; Luke 21:20] He gives his own inspired interpretation of “the abomination of desolation” to be the Romans armies. [Daniel 8:11-13; 9:26, 27; 11:15, 30, 31]

Now, if Revelation was actually “a revelation of Jesus Christ which the God gave to him” [Revelation 1:1] BEFORE 66 AD why does Revelation not borrow at all from Daniel 9 or 11? Revelation borrows from Daniel 1:12, 14; 2:19, 28, 35, 37, 47; 3:5; 4:30; 7:3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 13, 14, 20, 21, 22, 24, 25; 8:10; 10:6; 12:1, 4, 7 BUT NEVER chapters 9 and 11 which deal specifically with the desolation of Jerusalem and her Temple between 66-70 AD. Indeed, Daniel 8:14’s 2,300 days may run exactly from the fall of 66 to the spring of 73 proving that “the time of the end” was the war against Jerusalem by the Roman armies.

Is it not strange that the language found in Matthew, Mark, and Luke regarding the desolation of Jerusalem by “the abomination” is not also referenced in Revelation if the author of all four sources was Jesus Christ? Why would Revelation not also use language apropos of Jerusalem’s desolation if it was written either before or shortly after the Temple’s destruction? UNLESS, it was written three decades later and deals with future events?

Additionally, if Revelation was written contemporary with Paul and Peter, who were executed in the year 66 AD, why would they not have alluded to or referenced what is understood to be the final letters of Jesus Christ to the beloved apostle John? Why for example would Paul not make use of Revelation in his argument against the Jewish system in Hebrews? Why would Peter not include John’s Revelation in the “Scriptures” some were twisting in the early Church, while he does mention Paul? [2 Peter 3:15, 16] If Paul could be “twisted” imagine what could be done with Revelation?

Also, why was Revelation written if its purpose was solely limited to the desolation of Jerusalem? To do any good, like Matthew, Mark and Luke, it would have to be written decades before 66-70. Otherwise it has no use at all.

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Nazarene Commentary 2000© by Mark Heber Miller

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