Daniel -- 7:21 - 7:33
The book of Daniel is among the most controversial of Old Testament books. Scholarly dispute has gone on for over a century on the following topics:
1. date of writing (6th C or 2nd C BC?)
2. existence/identity of Darius the Mede, Belshazzar.
3. Nebuchadnezzar's madness
4. the number of Persian kings between Cyrus and Alexander the Great.
5. historicity of Daniel himself.
Communities of believers are likewise divided between which versions of the book are accepted. In the Hebrew Bible, the Book of Daniel is placed among the Writings rather than among the Prophets. Protestants and Jews use the shorter version of Daniel found in the Masoretic Text. Catholics and Eastern Orthodox use the Septuagint version, which contains additional miraculous deliverances and prayers.
Again, we must sidestep all this controversy as beyond our competence and outside of our purpose. Questions of historicity and accuracy are a valid and even essential undertaking. Nevertheless, as believers we must take seriously the single New Testament reference to Daniel:
"So when you see standing in the holy place 'the abomination that causes desolation,' spoken of through the prophet Daniel...." (Mt 24:15).
Here, Jesus not only vouches for the existence of the prophet, but for the content of his prophecy.