Tag Archives: Prophecy

Even if the gifts of prophecy and/or tongues continue . . .

  1. It doesn’t mean that you can give someone else the gift.  Only the Holy Spirit does that.
  2. It doesn’t mean you need to be trained to use the gift.  Gifts, by definition, are ready to use.
  3. It doesn’t mean the gift of prophecy would involve telling the future.  The context of 1 Corinthians 14 is that the prophecies are immediately assessed by the church body.   Even if they did involve the future, they wouldn’t necessarily always have good news.
  4. It doesn’t mean that you’d get vague messages from the Holy Spirit about possibly “living on the East coast” or that you “had financial problems” in the past.  Those are about as meaningful as “prophesying” that someone is a carbon-based life form.  Those are Psychic 101 tricks.
  5. It doesn’t mean that non-believers would have the gifts.
  6. It definitely doesn’t mean that you’d give affirming “God is proud of you / no need to change anything / don’t believe anyone who tells you otherwise” type prophesies to non-believers (that literally happened to a self-identified unrepentant, polyamorous, pagan witch).

The Continuationists I’ve come across get most or all of those wrong.

Once again, you should start with the gift of discernment.  If you don’t have it, ask God for wisdom and He’ll grant it.

Was the book of Daniel written after the events it foretold?

Short answer: No.

Medium answer: See below.

Long answer: See this.

I was listening to the book of Daniel and thinking about how spectacularly accurate his prophecies were.  Even most liberal scholars agree that Daniel accurately describes the reigns and activities of several empires covering several hundred years.  They just think Daniel was written after the fact and is pretending to be prophecy. When you are an atheist or theological liberal your anti-supernatural bias tends to get in the way of the facts.  I think the evidence is on the side of the early writing and that all of the critics’ issues have been well addressed.

At my former church we studied the book of Daniel and I was horrified to see that the study guide assumed that Daniel was written after the events it foretold.  What was most galling is that the author didn’t even acknowledge any counter-arguments.  I’ve seen that as a common thread whenever theological liberals (read: non-Christians) attack the dating and authorship of books of the Bible.  Uh, if you think that one or more books of the Bible are complete lies, why call yourself a Christian?

Jesus obviously viewed Daniel as the real author, as shown in Matthew 24:15-16 “So when you see standing in the holy place ‘the abomination that causes desolation,’ spoken of through the prophet Daniel . . .” That is a pretty good trump card regarding the dating debate, assuming you are talking to someone claiming to be a Christian.

It is encouraging that God shows us through his Word that He knows everything that will happen. Psychics can’t predict what will happen next week, yet God predicted the specific course of many countries covering hundreds of years with 100% accuracy. This is one of the proofs showing the reliability of the Bible. No other Holy Book contains confirmed prophecies like this. There are also some very specific prophecies about Jesus in the book of Daniel.

Here’s a good overview of the dating issue:

Both Jewish and Christian (cf. Matt. 24:15) tradition have held that the author of this book is Daniel, a Jew who lived during the sixth-century B.C. Babylonian exile. Many of the chapters are dated and range from the first year of Nebuchadnezzar’s reign (605 B.C.; Dan. 1:1) to Cyrus’s third year (536; 10:1). But because of its detailed prophecies of events in the middle of the second century B.C. (see ch. 11) and alleged historical inconsistencies with what scholars know of sixth-century history (see note on 5:30–31), some scholars have argued that the book must be a second-century document, from the time when Antiochus IV Epiphanes (175–164 B.C.) was oppressing God’s people. In that case, it would contain “prophecies after the fact,” put into the mouth of a famous historical character rather than being written by Daniel himself. Thus, the visions that “Daniel” saw would attempt to interpret rather than predict history. It has also been argued that the book must be dated later than the sixth century due to its language, especially the presence of Persian and Greek loanwords. However, the facts do not require a late date. In the first place, current knowledge of sixth-century B.C. history is far from complete, and there are plausible harmonizations that explain the alleged discrepancies. Second, the Bible asserts clearly that the Lord announces ahead of time his plans through his prophets as a means of vindicating his sovereignty and encouraging his people (see Isa. 41:21–24; 44:6–7), and there is no reason in principle why such prophecies should not be detailed and precise. Some scholars, who allow in principle that God can foretell events, nevertheless suggest that such detailed foretelling is unparalleled in the rest of the canonical prophets, and that it cannot be reconciled with the usual purpose of prediction (namely, that the first audience should be faithful to the covenant). In reply, note that Jeremiah did give a specific amount of time for the exile (Jer. 25:11; cf. note on Dan. 9:2). Further, the high degree of specificity in Daniel’s prophecies does serve its first audience as well as those to follow: this shows how carefully God has planned events and governs them for his perfect ends; therefore the faithful can recognize that none of their troubles take God by surprise, and none will derail his purpose of vindicating those who steadfastly love him. This is quite relevant to the people of God in Daniel’s day, who are on the verge of horrendous devastations and persecutions (see notes on ch. 11); they must be assured that the story will continue to its appointed fulfillment, so that they do not lose heart. Third, there were likely Greeks and Persians present at the Babylonian court as mercenaries and in other capacities, providing a ready explanation for the presence of loanwords. Fourth, the book of Daniel was accepted as canonical by the community of Qumran (who produced the Dead Sea Scrolls). This is telling because this group emerged as a separate party in Judaism between 171 and 167 B.C., before the proposed late date. They would not have accepted the book if it had appeared after the split. Fifth, some who favor a later date say that the author of Daniel represented Antiochus IV Epiphanes using the figure of Nebuchadnezzar. Literary studies, however, have shown that the book of Daniel puts Nebuchadnezzar in far too positive a light (e.g., he comes to acknowledge the true God) for him to be an effective image of the relentless persecutor Antiochus IV. Of course the book’s lesson, about God’s sovereignty over even the imperial forces, would have taken a heightened relevance in the days of Antiochus IV; but that is different from saying that the book was written for that particular occasion. There are therefore no compelling reasons to deny that Daniel wrote this book.

Bibles, Crossway (2009-04-09). ESV Study Bible (Kindle Locations 210473-210497). Good News Publishers. Kindle Edition.