The Book of Daniel - originally Hebrew or Aramaic?

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Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Thu, Jul 12 2018 11:54 AM

Hi Gordon

Welcome to the Logos forum.

Forum guidelines discourage theological questions because this forum is primarily set up to help us benefit from Logos resources. Theological discussions can be detailed, complex and heated, and there are other forums set up for them.

I venture a brief answer.

How do we know the original letter Daniel was written in Hebrew AND Aramaic?  We don't know "for sure" in the sense that we do not have the physical, original letter which is the epistemological basis of the question.

I would also like to refer you to the Chicago Statements on Biblical Inerrancy. The statements grapple with different facets of the biblical doctrine of inerrancy from the broader evangelical perspective. I have found the statements worth reading and mulling over.

If you do a search for "inerrancy" https://www.logos.com/products/search?q=inerrancy  some books turn up that are used in seminaries and bible schools. Offhand I don't know enough to recommend any particular title. It's been a while since I delved into such issues.

Posts 259
Kiyah | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 13 2018 1:24 PM

Lee:

Hi Gordon

Welcome to the Logos forum.

Forum guidelines discourage theological questions because this forum is primarily set up to help us benefit from Logos resources. Theological discussions can be detailed, complex and heated, and there are other forums set up for them.

I venture a brief answer.

How do we know the original letter Daniel was written in Hebrew AND Aramaic?  We don't know "for sure" in the sense that we do not have the physical, original letter which is the epistemological basis of the question.

I would also like to refer you to the Chicago Statements on Biblical Inerrancy. The statements grapple with different facets of the biblical doctrine of inerrancy from the broader evangelical perspective. I have found the statements worth reading and mulling over.

If you do a search for "inerrancy" https://www.logos.com/products/search?q=inerrancy  some books turn up that are used in seminaries and bible schools. Offhand I don't know enough to recommend any particular title. It's been a while since I delved into such issues.

I think Gordon's question relates more to textual transmission history than theology proper. I don't think there's a violation of forum rules here. Most exegetical/critical commentaries will include a discussion on the text and composition of the biblical book in question. I would imagine an in-depth scholarly commentary on Daniel will have a discussion about the composition of the book of Daniel. Also, I'm sure the Anchor Yale Bible Dictionary and other in-depth bible dictionaries will discuss this too.

My suggestion would be to run a Topic Guide on the Book of Daniel and read the bible dictionary entries about it. Even if they don't answer all your questions they'll have a bibliography you can use to find more resources on the topic.

(Granted, as to whether this question impacts one's view of the reliability of scripture, one would have to answer that for themselves according to their own doctrinal commitments.) But I see no issue in asking a question about the textual history of a biblical book in the forums. That's the power of the software, to be able to research questions such as this one.

Posts 2277
Lee | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 13 2018 1:45 PM

Kiyah:

I think Gordon's question relates more to textual transmission history than theology proper. I don't think there's a violation of forum rules here.

I appreciate your comments. I do need to clarify that I certainly did not intend to signal a "violation of forum rules" (your term). Only guidelines are laid down. There are grey areas, and hopefully forum users can with wisdom and discretion steer the flow back into Logos resources.

I touched on inerrancy because Gordon had raised a question about Daniel, and also Hebrews. That led me to think that he may be interested in more than the Book of Daniel.

Posts 259
Kiyah | Forum Activity | Replied: Fri, Jul 13 2018 2:46 PM

Lee:

Kiyah:

I think Gordon's question relates more to textual transmission history than theology proper. I don't think there's a violation of forum rules here.

I appreciate your comments. I do need to clarify that I certainly did not intend to signal a "violation of forum rules" (your term). Only guidelines are laid down. There are grey areas, and hopefully forum users can with wisdom and discretion steer the flow back into Logos resources.

I touched on inerrancy because Gordon had raised a question about Daniel, and also Hebrews. That led me to think that he may be interested in more than the Book of Daniel.

That's fair. I just wasn't sure whether or not you were implying that his question wasn't appropriate for the forums. But I also wanted to suggest various ways and resources to learn about the Book of Daniel itself. I interpreted his question as having two layers: How do we know what language the book was originally written in and what are the implications scripture-wise of the answer to that question? I just didn't want to gloss over the first layer of his question.

Although I don't think we can ever be completely sure of anything, I do think there are concrete things that we can know to a reasonable extent by examining the available data, realizing that any conclusions we or scholars draw are provisional. But I just want to encourage Christians to not be afraid of scholarship, even scholarship that some may have labeled "liberal," but to be open to examining all of the available evidence with regard to these questions and draw their own conclusions, prayerfully and in faith of course.

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