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Book of Daniel • Book of Daniel Commentary • Book of Daniel Exposition • 12/01/06

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Daniel Commentaries • Late Date View


Tremper Longman's Survet of Old Testament Commentaries

Old Testament Commentary Survey

< Fourth Edition to be Released 3/01/2007! >

by Tremper Longman III

Longman (Ph.D. Yale University. Currently Professor of Biblical Studies at Westmont College). Here's a great tip: Buy the book that rates the commentaries! Concise reviews and ratings of hundreds of commentaries. Longman tells the strengths and weakness of each and who its target audience is: scholar, pastor, or layman. He provides a recommended library for those on a tight budget as well as a list of the best of the best.

Bargain price ~ Evangelical ~ Buy this to evaluate available commentaries.

Baker. ???  pages. 2007.


Daniel, Hermeneia Commentary Series

by John J. Collins

Late Date View

Want to run with the big dogs? Got too much time on your hands? Enjoy arcane scholarly banter? Want to know what 4QDana is? This is a technical, critical  commentary with frequent reference to the original languages and discussion of detailed textual, historical, and literary issues. Collins is must reading, period. Comprehensive in scope and packed with information by a top Intertestamental scholar who is widely respected and has published extensively.

Weak points? It’s very critical of any traditional understanding of the Book of Daniel. Collins states it baldly: “According to the consensus of modern scholarship, the stories about Daniel and his friends are legendary in character, and the hero himself most probably never existed.” (p. 1). It is also strictly academic with no interest in personal application typically appended to evangelical commentaries. Collins challenges the authenticity of Daniel at every point. Nothing is plausible unless it is verified by external historical sources. Daniel is bad history, patch-worked by several editors. The tone is a bit grating for a conservative to wade through, but it is filled with important information.

I wish the author had utilized tables and charts to present and summarize data. This is tough reading and slow–going (at least for me). The author is engaging his peers and not considering students. Since Collins is comprehensively engaging his peers, there’s a lot of material to churn through and mode of presentation isn't his strong point.

As to format, Collins presents his own original translation accompanied by extensive textual notes. Special consideration is given to the Old Greek version of Daniel and its peculiar history. This is followed by a discussion of structure and unity, detailed commentary, genre, and concludes with setting and function.

Beyond commentary, included are excursuses entitled “The Four Kingdoms,” “One Like a Human Being,” “Holy Ones,” and “On Resurrection.”

The brief introductory note is by Frank Moore Cross, the series editor. Also included in this volume is an essay, “The Influence of Daniel on the New Testament,” by Adela Yarbro Collins.

Extensive indices and bibliography are included. Additionally this is a beautifully made book. The endpapers display images of the Qumran manuscript 4QDana and the Prayer of Nabonidus 4QPrNab.

Very Expensive ~ Critical, Scholarly Technical ~ Detailed ~ No Personal Application

Augsburg Fortress Press. 528 pages.

Read a few quotes from Collins (onsite)

Book review by Edwin Yamauchi JETS March 1998 (offsite)

See all Hermeneia Commentaries See other books by John J. Collins


Daniel, Word Biblical Commentary

by John Goldingay

Late Date View

A top commentary on Daniel written at a technical level using the original languages and extensive interaction with critical literature. Goldingay is an evangelical scholar taking the late date position. This will be shocking to many evangelicals, but listen to his arguments, as he has not chosen his position haphazardly. He has struggled with the details and drawn his own conclusions.

This is a technical commentary and I’ve found it to be difficult reading. Literary and structural analysis are thoroughly addressed. Detailed, rich exegesis from a man who truly has a passion for the book of Daniel and a thorough knowledge of ancient near eastern literature. In other words, it’s hard work but the payoff is worth the effort. Goldingay is Professor of Old Testament at Fuller Theological Seminary.

From the jacket: Dr. Goldingay shows the distinctive formal feature of Daniel to be its combination, in nearly equal proportion, of a series of stories of Daniel and his friends and a series of visions attributed to Daniel. It is the second of these two foci that has usually determined how scholars define the book’s form —an apocalypse. Dr. Goldingay’s significant contribution to a long history of commentary literature on Daniel probes the interaction between story and vision.

Moderate Price ~ Critical, Scholarly Technical, Evangelical ~ Detailed ~ Personal Application

Thomas Nelson / Word. Word Bible Commentary Series. 335 pages. 1989.

See all Word Series commentaries See other books by John Goldingay


DANIEL International Critical Commentary

by James A. Montgomery

<0ut of print>

Undoubtedly the most technical Daniel commentary in print, this won't be of use to most laymen—its very detailed handling of the original languages of Daniel (Hebrew and Aramaic) and frequent references to scholarly works in Latin, French, and German make this a commentary for scholars.

T & T Clark. 478 pages

T&T Clark became part of Continuum in 2000. In 2003, the three religious academic imprints of Sheffield Academic Press, Trinity Press International and T&T Clark were united under one imprint.


DANIEL Daily Study Bible-OT

by David Syme Russell

Late Date View

Written at a popular level by a top specialist in apocalyptic literature of the previous generation. I really enjoyed this book which had deep concern for understanding the message of the text of Daniel and making personal application. Russell states his position succinctly and clearly. His writing style is that of a preacher and teacher thoroughly familiar with his material--it is obvious that he enjoys explaining this book to others.

Russell doesn't provide a detailed defense of his Late Date view, but readers are directed to his more academic writings for such material. Likewise, footnotes are minimal and exiled to an appendix.

The length and treatment lend themselves more to an introduction and survey than detailed exposition. This book could serve in an adult Bible study which introduces Daniel and this type of literature, but not at a detailed level.

Bargain Price ~ Critical, But Written for Laymen ~ Limited Detail ~ Personal Application.

Westminster John Knox Press, 234 pages, 1981.


Daniel New Century Bible Series

by Paul Redditt

Late Date View

Redditt allows no shred of authenticity to the Book of Daniel, citing historical difficulties in the opening lines regarding Nebuchadnezzar’s siege of Jerusalem,  Belshazzar’s kingship and lineage, the shadowy figure called Darius the Mede, the reinterpretation of Jeremiah’s seventy years, and the wrong description of the death of Antiochus IV. He does, however, point the reader to more sympathetic sources.

Redditt painstakingly examines and reconstructs the work of some four redactors evident to him in the composition of Daniel. He delights in pondering which redactor added each verse. If literary sleuthing interests you, this book is the hot ticket, but the price is high! (Previously available at a bargain price, however, when Sheffield was bought out by Continuum they really jacked the price!) Exposition, on the other hand, is a step-child at times given short shrift.

Expensive ~ Critical ~ Fascination with Literary Origins ~ Limited Exposition

Sheffield Academic Press Continuum Press, 211 pages, 1999.


Daniel Interpretation Commentary Series

by W. Sibley Towner, retired Union Theological Seminary

Late Date View

This commentary is directed towards the pastor or layman interested in the message of the Book of Daniel. Towner is upfront about his critical views, states them succinctly, and moves on to his main purpose: explaining the text and applying the meaning for today. He is an excellent writer and his personal applications are worthwhile. This style could also serve well in an advanced adult Bible study willing to handle some depth, as well as dedicated reading every week. As mentioned, it is better suited to non-conservative approaches.

This commentary doesn't include the text of Daniel, limited quotations are from the Revised Standard Version.

Moderate Price ~ Critical, But Written for Laymen or Pastor ~ Limited Exposition, Detailed Themes and Personal Application

Westminster John Knox Press, 228 pages, 1984.


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