NT Wrong has a post on the reasons why Daniel is regarded by almost all scholars as a pseudo-prophecy (like just about all the other examples of apocalyptic literature we have from this period). In my class on apocalyptic, I put up a powerpoint slide with the text of a recently discovered ancient apocalypse (one I found while digging for treasure in my garden). Here’s what the text says:
And in those days two rulers of the great nation shall contend,
But no place shall be found for flip-floppers,
And the ruler shall maintain his throne
And continue his strategery
Without eloquence of speech.
For through his might he deposed the king of Babylon
Even though his weapons of mass destruction he did not find.
Rather than say more, let me just ask readers the same question I ask students when they begin to suspect that I’m pulling their leg and this is not in fact an ancient apocalypse at all. What gives it away? What makes you certain beyond reasonable doubt that this text was composed in light of the events it alludes to rather than predicting them? And for extra credit, can you pinpoint the approximate time (year and month) in which it was really composed?