Good question....Was Daniel written AFTER the events he foretold?

[Draft May 16, 1998; 3rd revision draft Dec/2000.................Intro/Menu] 


Section One: The Dead Sea Scrolls Manuscript Data



1. Do we have any copies of the Book of Daniel that either date BEFORE 165 BC, or somewhat later ones that virtually require the existence of the Book of Daniel before that time?


Yes, we very probably have the latter.


The Dead Sea Scrolls have an extensive collection of both manuscripts of the biblical book of Daniel, as well as discussions and references to his work in other works.


There are now eight mss. of Daniel from Qumran (1QDan/a, 1QDan/b, 4QDan/a, 4QDan/b, 4QDan/c, 4QDan/d, 4QDan/e, pap6QDan). This represents every chapter of Daniel, as Flint observes [HI:EMDSS:43]:


"Every chapter of Daniel is represented in these manuscripts, except for Daniel 12. However, this does not mean that the book lacked the final chapter at Qumran, since Dan 12:10 is quoted in the Florilegium (4Q174), which explicitly tells us that it is written in 'the book of Daniel, the Prophet.'"


This group of documents represents the largest representation of ANY biblical book at Qumran, exceeding even the number of Jeremiah scrolls.


In a more recent work, Flint gives this table of the major Daniel mss [HI:DSS50B:53]:





Content Range

Date Copied




1:10 to 2:6










1:16 to 11:16

Mid-1st c. BCE




5:10 to 8:16

Ca. 20-50 CE




10:5 to 11:29

Late 2nd c. BCE (note: Ulrich, DJD 16)




3:23 to 7:23?

Ca. mid-1st c. BCE





1st half of 2nd c. BCE (but this is presumably a typo; it is dated elsewhere to Late 2nd c.)




8:16? To 11:38

Ca. 50 CE



Please notice Items #5 and #7, portions from the last half of the Book of Daniel, which were COPIED (not "WRITTEN"!) between 150 and 100 BC...


If these mss were COPIES of some antecedent mss, what might we reasonably infer about its exemplar?


Think about this for a second. Let's say you are part of the team that is excavating the site, and you find this scroll. You look at the handwriting/layout/etc. and recognize it to be that customary to 150-100 B.C. What are the possible dates of the origination of the content of that scroll?


1.        Whoever wrote the scroll, invented the content as they wrote it (making the date of the scroll IDENTICAL TO the date of the content, and making the copy the autograph itself).

2.        Whoever wrote the scroll, made a copy from an antecedent scroll--a scroll itself older than the one YOU found, by definition. (Making the content even older than the antecedent scroll, assuming THAT scroll-writer didn't invent the content).

3.        [Number 2, but the copy is made from someone reading orally the antecedent scroll.]


What this would mean for dating, of course, is that UNLESS THEY WERE MAKING DANIEL UP ON THE FLY, this scroll would presuppose an earlier scroll (pushing the content, again, earlier also).


And since the antecedent copy could also be  a copy of a copy, this cycle would need to be repeated back to the original acceptance (not its writing, btw) of the document as being "worthy of copying". In other words, the content must be worthy of the expense/cost of copying, and the HIGHER the expense (and correlatively, the HIGHER the number of copies found), the more valuable the content must be considered.


For example, take a couple of other manuscripts of Daniel from there: 4QDan(a) and 4QDan(b). The latter is dated 20-50 AD, and the former is dated a century earlier (50 BC). Ulrich studied the orthography and writes:


"Given this pair of facts, the fertile suggestion arises that 4Qdan(b) may have been copied from 4Qdan(a) a scribe who was intent upon reproducing the text in the more contemporary, more full and clear and interpretative orthography of the late Second Temple period." [DSSOB:162]


This, of course, makes Dan(b) a century younger than its exemplar Dan(a). If we had only found Dan(b)--with its date of 20-50ad--would we have been correct in ascribing the content of Dan(a) to that time period? Of course not--in that case the content was at least a century older.


Scribal copies (mss) are not like other archeological data. Other data may not require an 'antecedent' dating. For example, a monument celebrating a specific event may only witness to the date of that event (plus whatever time it took to create the monument, get enough breathing room to do so, etc.). But a manuscript copy, always (except in the miniscule probability that we have an actual autograph) requires the prior existence of an exemplar, and requires some period for that exemplar to have become 'worthy enough' (to whoever funded the copying) to copy. In the case of economic and legal texts, this period may be short; and in the case of 'claiming authority' texts, a good bit longer. Therefore, a manuscript copy dated at 100 BC, for example, witnesses to far more than the simple fact that its contents were existence at that date--it rather represents an end-point to an earlier (and generally much longer) process of conception, origination, distribution, social acceptance, "canonizing" (in the secular sense of literature that becomes the "important to read" lit), and then copying.


And, that these copies are themselves copies of copies can be seen from the fact that it is generally accepted that Daniel was not written at Qumran:


"But not all texts found at Qumran were composed by the sect; many, like the books of Enoch and Daniel, were part of the wider literary heritage of Judaism...There is no clear case of an apocalypse actually authored within the Qumran community. " [Collins, HI:DSS50B:404]


"Further, not a single document which has been identified as an apocalypse appears to have originated within the Qumran community...none of these documents was produced by the Qumran community." [Aune, HI:DSS50B:626]


In other words, unless the Qumran community somehow had the "original, final, canonical" copy of Daniel from which to make Dan(c) and Dan(e), then these manuscripts were made from copies themselves--again pushing the date back. Since the Qumran community is generally understood to have originated in 150 BC, this means that Daniel (as we have it today) was in existence at that time (see the remarks by Collins and Aune above).


Ulrich notes that the Daniel manuscripts in Qumran reflect a different textual tradition than the Masoretic text:


"Moreover, since neither Qumran manuscript agrees with the MT in a single reading against the other Qumran manuscript, we can conclude that 4Qdan(a) and 4Qdan(b) stand in one text tradition over against that exemplified in the Masoretic textus receptus." [DSSOB:162]


What this entails (since 60% of the DSS are proto-Masoretic) is that Daniel had already circulated widely enough and been copied enough--prior to 150 BC-- to have created (at least) two textual "families". Minor textual variants, of course, might mean very little for dating purposes, but textual 'traditions' presuppose a "point of divergence" somewhere in the past. [This is a bit oversimplified, since "cross-fertilization" of traditions is known to have occurred.] To create a 'tradition' the document has to create multiple "generations" of copying (not just lots of copying of the original), and to believe this occurred within some 15 years of the date of authorship (i.e., written in 165, and having been copied many, many times--along separate linear paths-- by 150) is quite a stretch.


To understand why this growth of two textual families within 15 years is highly doubtful, one need only consider the "useful life" of a scroll. Since most literature at the time was used for oral performance/reading, one didn't need a lot of copies. Accordingly, copies were made on an as-needed basis (and for personal library reasons). Since scrolls might exist and be used for a century or more (we have mss at Qumran that are dated 3rd century--a century before the Qumran community came into existence), the need to make 'generational' copies simply wouldn't exist--the exemplar itself would have been available (and in good shape). [Older scholarship believed in strong definitions of textual 'families', in which geographical isolation factors would ensure that the generational copying processes would not interact with other, but this has been largely discounted.] What the existence of two textual traditions before Qumran/150 means, is that the origination date of the "original original" would most likely be much earlier than a miniscule 15 years.





So, if an early copy/ text were found at Qumran at all (and we were sure the content wasn't written there), how far back could we safely infer its origination?


What is strange here, is that even non-conservative scholars will say 'Pre-Maccabean' to this question (because of the time requirement for 'literary diffusion')--EXCEPT FOR DANIEL!


Waltke complains out this inconsistency [BibSac—V133 #532,Oct 1976,p.322; emphasis mine]:


"The discovery of manuscripts of Daniel at Qumran dating from the Maccabean period renders it highly improbable that the book was composed during the time of the Maccabees.


"In Apercus preliminaires Dupont-Sommer reports that “The owners of seventeen different fragments of Daniel are known, but there are certainly several others.” This evidence demonstrates the popularity of Daniel with the Qumran Covenanteers. One Dead Sea scroll cannot be dated later than 120 B.C. on the basis of its paleography.


"Equivalent manuscript finds at Qumran of other books where the issue of predictive prophecy is not in question have led scholars to repudiate a Maccabean date for their compositions. For example, Brownlee, professor of religion at the Claremont Graduate School, writes:


'Frank Cross has indicated that one of the Psalms manuscripts from Cave Four attests so-called Maccabean psalms at a period which is roughly contemporary with their supposed composition. If this is true, it would seem that we should abandon the idea of any of the canonical psalms being of Maccabean date, for each song had to win its way in the esteem of the people before it could be included in the sacred compilation of the Psalter. Immediate entrée for any of them is highly improbable.'


"Burrows follows the same line of reasoning with respect to the date of Ecclesiastes:


'The script [of two scrolls of Ecclesiastes found in Cave Four] indicates a date near the middle of the second century B.C. This is not much later than the time at which many scholars have thought the book was originally written. We cannot tell, of course, how old the book was when this particular copy was made, but the probability of its composition in the third century, if not earlier, is somewhat enhanced by finding the manuscript probably not written much after 150 B.C.


"Likewise, Myers, professor of Old Testament at the Lutheran Theological Seminary, Gettysburg, Pennsylvania, wrote, “The discovery of a fragment of Chronicles at Qumran renders a Maccabean date virtually impossible for any part of Chronicles.”


"But critical scholars have refused to draw the same conclusion in the case of Daniel even though the evidence is identical. For example, in the work cited above by Brownlee, he avers the 165 B.C. date in spite of the evidence. His refusal to allow the evidence to lead him to the more probable conclusion that Daniel was composed before the Maccabean era is the more astonishing because along with others he thinks that the late pious forger of Daniel made a mistake in one of his predictions. He reasoned, “The predicted end of Antiochus in 11:40–45  differs from the stories of his death in I and II Maccabees and hence it presumably represents real prediction on the part of the author of Daniel which was never fulfilled.” But if this be so, it seems incredible that the alleged contemporaries would have held his work in such high regard referring to him as “Daniel the prophet,” a title bestowed on him in a florilegium found in 4Q."



In fact, in the case of the Psalms, they were re-dated from post-Maccabean to Persian period dates, because of this 'literary diffusion time' requirement!:


"The literary criticism of Daniel must now be reassessed against the manuscript discoveries at Qumran, where several copies of the work were found. In addition, two fragments located in Cave 1 have proved on examination to be related palaeographically to the large Isaiah scroll (1QIsaa), dated by Millar Burrows about 100 B.C. All these documents, of course, are copies from the Maccabean age or later, making it necessary to remark, as Burrows has observed, that the originals came from a period several centuries in advance of the earliest date to which these manuscripts and fragments can be assigned on any basis of reckoning. [M. Burrows, The Dead Sea Scrolls (New York: Viking, 1955), p. 118

] Part of the reason for this is that the ancient Hebrews generally allowed an interval of time to elapse between the autograph and its recognition as canonical Scripture by its readers. This process had the effect of ensuring the consonance of the particular work with the ethos of the Torah, which constituted the standard of revelation and spirituality.


"In support of this position, as noted above, is the fragmentary copy of the Psalter from Qumran (4QPsaa), which shows quite clearly on the same grounds that the collection of canonical psalms had already been fixed by the Maccabean period. [F.M. Cross, The Ancient Library of Qumran and Modern Biblical Study (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday, 1961), p. 165.] As a result, scholars have advanced those compositions formerly regarded as "Maccabean psalms" to the Persian period. All future literary-critical studies of Daniel will have to take proper account of this objective evidence.


"Although the literary criticism of certain other OT books is inconclusive in some areas, it is now evident from the findings at Qumran that no canonical writing can be dated later than the end of the Persian period, i.e., much beyond 350 B.C. Compilations of material such as the Psalter must also be governed by this principle, as noted above, even though individual compositions may come from widely separated periods." [R.K. Harrison, "Historical and Literary Criticism of the New Testament", in EBC, vol. 1]



Now, if the playing field were really level, we could pack up and go home, confident that the manuscript evidence was allowed to speak, but it's not quite that easy. As long as we have Daniel commentators starting out with frameworks like this:


"We need to assume that the vision [of Daniel 8] as a whole is a prophecy after the fact. Why? Because human beings are unable accurately to predict future events centuries in advance and to say that Daniel could do so, even on the basic of a symbolic revelation vouchsafed to him by God and interpreted by an angel, is to fly in the face of the certainties of human nature. So what we have here is in fact not a road map of the future laid down in the sixth century B.C. but an interpretation of the events of the author's own time, 167-164 B.C..." [Towner, Daniel, Interpeter's Bible, John Knox:1984, p. 115, cited in [DLIOT:332]]


Or even careful scholarly statements like this:


"Dan. 11.40-45 describes the military campaign of Antiochus Epiphanes against Egypt in the form of a prophecy, and attaches to the events a genuine prophecy about the 'end of times'. The text then, with the exception of the concluding v. 45, is a vaticinium ex eventu, that is a record of the events of the recent past in the form of a prophecy for the future. The concluding verse, however--the foretelling of the death of Antiochus Epiphanes--is a genuine prophecy, from a time before this death. The genuineness of the prophecy is guaranteed by the subsequent unfolding of events. The events prophesied in Dan. 11.45 do not happen, or rather do not happen in the manner foretold." [HI:TTHT:80; in other words, if the prediction is TRUE, then it is not prophecy; if it is FALSE, then it IS prophecy...btw, most evangelical commentators don't believe 11.40-45 is prophecy about Antiochus at all--but rather that this refers to an eschatological Anti-Christ figure instead]


then the manuscript evidence will not be allowed to speak (as it is allowed to speak  in cases not involving predictive prophecy).


(Is it any wonder the conservative evangelical feels frustration at this apparent double-standard, this Procrustean approach to the manuscript evidence?)


This is not, of course, to assert that all who hold to a late-date of Daniel are anti-supernaturalists! There are many good, "moderate" evangelicals who hold to this view--although I suspect it is more often due to the realities of controlling paradigms in scholarly discussion. Controlling paradigms are necessary for extended research, and actually for finding the holes in the paradigm. For specialists outside of a specific field (e.g. paleography), trying to utilize insights and results from a different field (e.g., Danielic studies), dependence on the latter's controlling paradigms may be the only option--there being no practical way for them to validate it outside of their specialty.  So, by themselves, they are not 'evil'. But when the paradigm becomes a 'social force' against renewal, innovation, new paradigm suggestion, and self-critical analysis, it takes its place in the hall of "stifling and oppressive traditions"...In the final section of this series, I will show how I think a late-date view can be harmonized (in good conscience) with high-views of Scripture and Jesus' words in the Gospels. I think the position is difficult to maintain, but I do feel that it can be granted as possible/reasonable.




Let's try to see further WHY the presence of a MSS of Daniel at Qumran would normally imply a pre-Maccabean date. [The non-conservative quotes above already pointed this out--the issue of 'time for acceptance' requirements.]


Let's couple this gap of 15 years (maximum, from authorship to copy), between the alleged date of Daniel and this existing copy, with the status of Daniel at Qumran [Flint, HI:EMDSS:44]:


"The fourth issue: What was the status of the book of Daniel at Qumran? Was it regarded as Scripture, or only as an important writing alongside many others? We may conclude that Daniel was regarded as a scriptural book at Qumran for two reasons. First, the large number of preserved copies is a clear indication of Daniel's importance among the Qumran covenanters. Second, the way in which Daniel was used at Qumran is indicative of its authoritative status; for instance, the Florilegium (4Q174) quotes Dan 12:10 as 'written in the book of Daniel, the Prophet' (frgs. 1-3 ii 3-4a). This reference has two implications: that Daniel was regarded by the writer as Scripture and that it may have belonged among the 'Prophets'."


And 11QMelch:15ff:


"This is the day of peace about which God spoke of old through the words of Isaiah the prophet, who said: How beautiful upon the mountains are the feet of the messenger who announces peace, of the messenger of good who announces salvation, saying to Zion: 'your God reigns'. Its interpretation: the mountains are the prophets...And the messenger is the anointed of the spirit about whom Daniel spoke...and the messenger of good who announces salvation is the one about whom it is written that he will send him to comfort the afflicted, to watch over the afflicted ones of Zion"

Now, let's consider the timing of this carefully.


The later-dater scholars would have to have Daniel written (1) during the Revolt--VERY QUICKLY!; or (2) after the revolt, when the gentile powers had been overcome. Since this last option is much more probable (given the generally time-consuming nature of an armed revolt), this would put the pseudonymous composition somewhere no earlier than 165 BC. [But this removes, by the way, some of the argument as to WHY the book was composed. If it was composed to 'encourage' the resistance, it would have been produced during the revolt, somehow given authoritative/scriptural status--in spite of its unknown authorship, and widely distributed, ALL WITHIN A PERIOD OF MONTHS!]


The Qumran community probably moved to the Dead Sea area around 150 BC. Interaction with the religious community outside it at that point would have been very limited, and largely polemical. This would have meant that Daniel would have had to have been accepted as FULLY INSPIRED Scripture (not just 'likeable')  by the event of separation--some 10-15 years after its alleged origination! What kind of social forces could have produced such a miracle?! It was an allegedly pseudonymous work, chapters 1-6 were even supportive of cooperation with foreign rule(!!!!), and it even contained a 'prediction' (or many, depending on the commentator) which was patently false (under the normal interpretation of the text)--how could this possibly have been overwhelming to a separatist group? To all Israel? And especially so quickly?


These folk at Qumran called Daniel a 'prophet'. They--eyewitnesses of these events--considered his words prophetic of the times/events. They 'were there' and they did not consider Daniel's words to have been merely a 'description' of the past; He was describing THEIR future. And this is NOT a group removed in time from the Revolt, remember.

The numbers simply don't add up. You just cannot get from questionable authorship and dubious milieu to full acceptance (of the WHOLE BOOK) as a codified piece of Scripture(!) by a contemporary, rigorist, separatist group in 10-15 years [this, of course, is what the non-conservative scholars are conceding in the above quotes]. It MUST have been considered scriptural LONG before the break, and anything long enough to create this authority puts the window earlier than the events in question--and we are back to 'real, predictive prophecy'.


Remember, too, that this was not simply a matter of they 'liked Daniel, because they liked apocalyptic literature'. There were tons of books and writings they "liked", but they never ascribed 'prophetic status' to these. There were tons of works they considered "authoritative", but they never ascribed 'prophetic status' to these.



Pushback: "Whoa, whoa, whoa, Glenn...what about the Book of Jubilees? It was written 160 BC, and was accepted by Qumran as scripture, being used in prooftexts, even. This could support the 'within 15 years' possibility..."


Good question, but the 'rub' is in the difference between 'authoritative' and 'scripture'...they are NOT the same, and the difference is very important.


Take, for example, the structure of "authority" in traditional Protestantism. We begin with sacrosanct Scripture, which everyone (every traditional Protestant, that is) has to ascribe "primary" or "ultimate" authority to. The various sub-groups (i.e., denominational bodies), however, have somewhat different interpretations of the Scripture, and these interpretations are set forth in "Creeds". For that denomination, those Creeds are 'authoritative'--to disagree with the Creed is to relinquish membership in that sub-group. The authority of the Creed, however binding it may be for the sub-group constituted by it, is "secondary" to the "primary" authority. The Creed's (secondary, but 'real') authority is derived from the primary/ultimate authority of Scripture. The theoretical difference between the two is clearly understood within the sub-group. The secondary character of the Creed's authority can be seen in its usage of the Primary authority: it will use the scripture as proof texts, exemplars, warrants in arguments, etc. The Creed attempts to explain or interpret the primary authority, in an 'authoritative' way for that tradition. [Often, the Creeds will begin with a statement to this effect--that Scripture is the 'sole authority' and that the Creed is the 'authoritative understanding' of Scripture. This often explicit, sometimes implicit, referral makes the qualitative difference between the types of "authority" manifest.]


But typically, the authority structure doesn't stop at just these two levels (ultimate, derived), but additional levels can appear. Certain 'interpretations' of the Creeds themselves can appear (as is common in ALL world religious traditions!), and certain 'teachers' can assert their authority to interpret both Scripture and Creeds (common in cults and sects).


What this means is that just because a Creed or a specific teacher's interpretation (or even just doctrine) is cited as an authority, this does NOT mean it has 'primary' authority at all. This is true even in the case where the teacher claims that "God revealed to him/her the meaning of this scripture passage"--the resulting interpretation is authoritative (if the teacher can 'sell this'...) and 'revealed', but it is still the scripture that will be "used" in 'advancing the cause'. The interpretation will simply become the 'inspired' interpretation and will be no longer questioned, and only the scripture passage itself will be used as proof-text. [Milder forms of this exist, of course, as when a famous/popular author is cited, without making exalted claims for his or her teaching.]


Another way of saying this is that primary, authoritative documents tend to generate secondary 'interpretative' or expansive documents. For example, Prophetic texts often generate commentaries (e.g., Isaiah generated pesher-commentaries on Isaiah), and in those days, famous heroes/authors "generated" pseudepigraphical works/expansions/legends attached to their names (e.g., Moses/Joshua/Samuel generate spurious/devotional titles bearing their names).


Primary documents take a long, long time to be accepted, whereas secondary documents are 'instantly' accepted--by the group that produced them, or by a group in 'kinship' with that group. For example, if some one in Protestantism came forth with a book and said that it  was a 'lost' book of the Sacred Scriptures, how long do you think it would take for Protestantism to accept it (if ever)? Right--forever! If, on the other hand, a group of Reformed theologians decided they didn't like the current dominant creed and then decided to craft a NEW 'sub-creed', how long would it take the membership of that sub-group (and closely aligned sub-groups) to accept that new sub-creed? Right, very little time at all. The differences between the two types of authorities make massive differences in canonical/scriptural acceptance rates.



In our case, we will see all of these elements at play: original primary scripture, interpretations/retelling/commentary on those documents, pseudo-titles, and 'revealed' interpretations, given to teachers. And, the only way we will know which of all of these (if any) are the original authority will be by examining 'what interprets what'. If document X professes to authoritatively expound/explain document Y, then document Y has a 'higher' authority and X's authority derives from Y.


So, in the case of Qumran, Daniel, and Jubilees:


·         First of all, notice that the supposed founder of Qumran (the Teacher of Righteousness) specifically made such "only I can interpret the Law" types of claims. Consider Martinez' reconstructions of the origin of the site (notice as you read this the distinctions between the "biblical legislation" [primary authority] and "interpretation" [derivative]):


"Of particular concern was a certain way of interpreting biblical legislation concerning the temple, worship, and the purity of persons and of objects. This special halakhah [tn: oral law, especially about rules of purity and  practice]  is based on the Teacher of Righteousness being aware of having received through divine revelation the correct interpretation of the biblical text. It is also based on his followers seeing this interpretation as revealed and binding. This awareness of having received revelation would induce the Teacher of Righteousness to proclaim the end of time as imminent, the awareness of divine selection and predestination, the inadequacy of the temple and current worship, etc., In addition he was led to suggest a whole string of special halakhot conditioning daily life, and attempt to force the practice of this interpretation on all the members of the Essene movement. The rejection of these pretensions by the majority of the members of the Essene movement, and their disapproval of this halakhah, were to end in forcing the group of the Teacher of Righteousness and his disciples to retreat to the isolation of the wilderness." [DSSTQTE:lii+]


In other words, this Teacher told the community, in which he was a member (i.e., Essenes), that his interpretation of the biblical law was correct. Those that actually believed him ended up leaving with him and forming a smaller sub-group. Within this sub-group His interpretations were authoritative (and could be appealed to). Outside of that group, obviously, such an appeal would be worthless. Any arguments between the Qumranites and non-Qumranites would have to fall back on primary authority (something they BOTH agreed was authoritative) to get anywhere.



·         Secondly, let' notice that the existence of secondary literature (e.g., re-tellings, paraphrases, commentaries, halakhot) presuppose a difference in status from the primary literature:


"Biblical interpretation, as we have come to understand better in recent years, is bound up with the transmission of the biblical text. There is no firm distinction between variant readings in the biblical text, biblical paraphrases, such as the so-called 4QReworked Pentateuch and elaborated works of "the rewritten Bible" which include implicit exegesis and longer additions to the biblical narrative, such as the Book of Jubilees. In this sense, it seems that no clear-cut border can be established between the Bible and its reworkings....On the other hand (and this has perhaps not been granted enough attention) it seems to me that the very existence of biblical commentaries as well as implicit biblical interpretations and re-use of biblical phrases in the Qumran texts, to the extent that many of them are a mosaic of quotations and allusions, clearly show that the world of the Qumran sect is distinct from that of the Bible, in spite of the high degree of resemblance between them, a resemblance under-scored by the use of biblical language and biblical motifs in the sect's writings. Despite all this, the world of the sect is a post-classical world in which the entire classical oeuvre - the Bible - is available and can be alluded to, interpreted, reworked and actualized. It is true that interpretation of ancient passages exists already in the Hebrew Bible itself, but the considerable volume of allusions in Qumran to many books of the Hebrew Bible clearly distinguishes the Qumran writings (as well as other writings of the period) from those of the classical period. Moreover, many interpretations of explicit quotations of the Hebrew Bible are found in Qumran, but scarcely of any other work. This fact by itself shows that post-biblical and sectarian works were not considered as equal in rank to the classical ones. Typically, eschatological mysteries, so essential for the Qumran sect, can only be revealed by re-interpreting the ancient, classical writings of the prophets (lQpHab 7:4-5: "The Teacher of Righteousness, to whom God made known all the mysteries of the words of His servants the prophets"...), and not by prophecy. [HI:BPEUIB:101-2]


And this will end up being a main differentiator between primary (i.e., 'classical') authorities and secondary (i.e., 'derivative') ones.





So, was Daniel considered primary authority at Qumran?


Well, by just about any measurement or method, the answer is unequivocally 'yes';


1.        Daniel is said specifically to be a Prophet (this title is only given to Ezekiel, Isaiah, Zechariah, Daniel, the eschatological Prophet 'like unto Moses', Habakkuk, Jeremiah, Samuel. And David is said to write the Psalms 'by prophecy' in 11QPs(a) 27:11).


2.        This work (all 12 chapters) is referred to a "the book of Daniel" (i.e., written and complete)


3.        This work is present essentially in the MT form we have today.


4.        It is cited as a full authority, including with the 'as is written' formula [ "as is written in the book of Daniel, the prophet: (Dan 12.3 here)"]


5.        It generated extra, transitory works associated with his name (e.g., the Pseudo-Danielic mss, 4Q243-245) and was itself the subject of interpretation (e.g., pesher, midrash, or expansions).


There are 5 or 6 extra-biblical texts 'associated' with Daniel, and some of these 'look like' re-telling, dependency, or explanation of the canonical Daniel:


·         Prayer of Nabonidus (4Q242) has a tale that bears some resemblance to Daniel 4. Although many scholars see some kind of dependence here (in spite of some huge differences), with this text being older than the canonical Daniel, I find that to be very hard to have confidence in. Scholars argue back and forth whether any dependence can be assumed or shown [cf. David N. Freedman, “The Prayer of Nabonidus,” Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research 145 (1957): 31-32, who argues for 'no literary dependence'].  It looks more like someone is trying to 'fill in the gaps' of what happened during the 10-year absence of Nabonidus from his capital, by using a Daniel-type motif. He seems to try to 'cram' or 'smuggle' the entire narrative into the prayer! It's even written in Aramaic (this is unusual), perhaps in emulation of Daniel. In any case, it just a easy to understand it as being 'inspired' by the canonical Daniel. Vasholz notes:


"In addition, more attention should be given to the “Prayer of Nabonidus” (150 B.C.?) from Qumran cave four. It is not necessary to hold that Daniel is dependent on this prayer as a literary source. “It is not necessary to think of the Prayer of Nabonidus as a literary source of the canonical Daniel, or even to give the prayer priority in terms of its written composition.”  The evidence either way is sparse, but without the a priori that Daniel must be second-century there is no more reason to believe that Daniel is dependent on the “Prayer” than that the “Prayer” is dependent on Daniel. We have no precedent, however, of a canonical Jewish book dependent on an intertestamental noncanonical literary source, while there is abundant evidence that the reverse is true. The “Prayer” too, of course, is uncomfortably close to the alleged date for the canonical Daniel. Finally, A. York has pointed out that 11QtgJob corresponds to MT 40:10–11 and reflects indisputably the vocabulary of Dan 3:13, 19; 4:33, 34; 5:20. “The numerous resemblances to the Daniel passages can hardly be coincidental.” Can these be allusions to the Nebuchadnezzar so described in the canonical Daniel? Though we cannot be conclusive, the possibility of such an allusion to the Aramaic portion of Daniel would be remarkable.[Journ. of Evang. Theol. Soc, 21/4 (December 1978) 323-328]



·         The two related Pseudo-Daniel scrolls [4Q243-244] look like an expanded Daniel story, in which Daniel is 'dropped into' a sweeping historical review. It goes back to Enoch, and forward into the Hellenistic Age (mentioning a Greek Balakros by name). There are several suggestions for who/what this refers to [HI:EMDSS:49f], but any of the more plausible suggestions put this into the post-Maccabean period [later than we have already seen for Dan(e)]. Plus, 4Q245 mentions the Hasmonean priests of Jonathan and Simon, the later of whom held office 142-135 BC. This, of course, requires a content dating much later than our Dan(e) fragment. These docs look like a re-telling and large-scale expansion of the biblical Daniel motif.


·         The only other substantial piece is 4Q246--the Daniel Apocryphon. Daniel is actually not mentioned, but some commentators see 'similarities' between this and Daniel, esp. in a couple of suggestive phrases. The interpretation is altogether unsure, with the original editor's suggestions of Seleucid and Ptolemaic violence delimiting its historical range. The copy itself is dated 50-0 BCE. It's connections with Daniel are very loose and might not be modeled after Daniel at all.


Daniel was also the subject of interpreting work, as opposed to being an 'interpretation' itself [i.e., primary authority instead of secondary/derivative authority]. Although we do not find pesher-style commentaries on Daniel at Qumran, there is at least one passage in the Damascus Document which appears to be a midrash on Daniel. Chaim Rabin [The Zadokite Documents: I. The admonition. II. The laws., Oxford/Clarendon:1954, 1958 (2nd Rev), page 34] identifies at 8.11ff what he calls a 'midrash on Daniel 8.23ff". ONLY scripture (not 'authorized interpretations') were legitimate sources upon which to 'do midrash' or 'do pesher'. 



6.        It doesn't present itself as something that interprets other scripture (apart from the possible reference to the prophecy of Jeremiah, but this is more in keeping with Daniel's 'insight' abilities, than with 'authoritative interpretation'. Interpretation can, of course, appear in different forms--"Instead of the expected sectarian halakhic commentaries on the Pentateuch, we find in Qumran the very ancient technique of paraphrasing and modifying authoritative texts as a mode of representing implicit exegesis" [Kister, HI:BPEUIB:107]. Kister mentions this as one of "two ways of handling a biblical text, interpreting the literal meaning by paraphrasing it or revealing its inner eschatological sense through pesher-exegesis" [ibid]. In other words, re-telling and paraphrasing are forms of "commentary" or "interpretation". Daniel does neither of these, and even his handling of the Jeremiah prophecy of the Return has almost nothing in common with pesher methods of approaching the text.


7.        It was accepted as authoritative by all of Judaism.


It was certainly considered to be prophetic by all (cf. Ulrich, "The book of Daniel, for example, was considered prophetic at Qumran, in the New Testament, by Josephus, by Melito, and indeed, to judge by the evidence, by all." [HI:DSSOB:91]). None of those closest to the data--including eyewitnesses--considered Daniel to be describing the past via vaticinium ex eventu.


Let's be clear about this-- every Jewish sect that spoke of Daniel, or these passages by Daniel (by name), for the next 500 years saw something in his work that was still considered future prophecy (as opposed to only past events).


·         First, the Qumran Community explicitly refers to the 'book of Daniel the prophet':


"It is incontestably clear that the people of Qumran regarded Daniel as a prophet. In 4Q174 2:3 we read [--] (“[whi]ch is written in the book of Daniel the prophet”). The passage, called a florilegium by J. M. Allegro, contains a quotation of Dan 11:32 and 12:10. [Edwin M. Yamauchi , Jour. Of the Evang. Theol. Soc., 23/1 (March 1980) 15]


·         Next in time would be the New Testament references: Christians, under the guidance of Jesus in Matthew 24.15, speaking of some future manifestation of the 'abomination of desolation spoken of by the prophet Daniel', saw this event as typological of a later, eschatological event.


·         Then Josephus (from [HI:PFLST]:


"Josephus even believed that the ancient prophets had predicted things that would occur in what was still the future from his own perspective...'And Daniel also revealed to the king the meaning of the stone, but I have not thought it proper to relate this, since I am expected to write of what is past and done and not of what is to be; if, however, there is anyone who has so keen a desire for exact information that he will not stop short of inquiring more closely but wishes to learn about the hidden things that are to come, let him take the trouble to read the Book of Daniel, which he will find among the sacred writings (Ant. 10.210)'" [p.32]


"Josephus was extraordinarily impressed by this sort of long-range prediction--in another affront to our modern sensibilities--thought that such predictions were especially impressive if they were detailed and specific. It is once again with reference to Daniel that he writes: 'Not it is fitting to relate certain things about this man which one many greatly wonder at hearing, namely that all things happened to him in a marvellously fortunate way as to one of the greatest prophets, and during his lifetime he received honour and esteem from kings and people, and, since his death, his memory lives on eternally. For the books which he wrote and left behind are still read by us even now, and we are convinced by them that Daniel spoke with God, for he was not only wont to prophesy future things, as did the other prophets, but he also fixed the time at which these would come to pass (Ant. 10.266-67)'" [p.32]


"Though these dreams and visions all concern events in the future, there is considerable variation both in the timescale involved and in the scope of the events predicted. Some dreams predict events for the immediate future, some for the more distant future, and some for the very distant future. The dream of Pharaoh's butler indicated that he would be release from prison 'within three days' (Ant. 2.65). Events under Antiochus Epiphanes, on the other hand, had been predicted 'many years' in advance by Daniel, on the basis of his visions (10.276). As we saw in chapter 1, Josephus believed that Daniel had predicted events that occurred in the Roman period, and even events that were still to come from his own (Josephus') point of view" [p.63]


·         Then the rabbinics:


"The Qumran sects use of the last chapters of Daniel is instructive. Dan. 12 is of major importance for the eschatological setting of the War Scroll; explicit and implicit citations of Dan. 12 are found elsewhere in the sect's literature. Outside the sect, an allusion to Dan. 11:31 is found in 1 Macc. 1:54; the rabbis cite and interpret these chapters are part of their Bible, probably reflecting the Pharisaic acceptance of these visions as authoritative. (Matt. 24:15, Mark 13:14 and Josephus, Ant. 10:269-276, treat Dan. 8, which is from the same period, as an authoritative text.) The last chapters of Daniel were thus accepted as sacred and worthy of interpretation and midrash in all streams of Judaism relatively shortly after they were composed [Menahem Kister, in HI:BPEUIB:102]



The force of Kister's last point needs to be appreciated, especially with the rise of Sectarianism in pre-Qumran Israel. He goes on to point out:


"The interpretation of the Book of Daniel in the Sect's writings seems to provide a valuable historical datum about the relationship between the different Jewish streams during the Hasmonean period and their common ground. It may indicate that the splitting-up into sects took place after the last chapters of Daniel were composed..., and that Judaism before the Hasmonean period was more unified (though certainly not homogeneous) than is sometimes hypothesized." (op.cit.)


Kister's point is simple: the sect's should NOT have agreed on Daniel (since it was allegedly so late!), unless they were ideologically closer together than we normally believe. Since the date of Daniel cannot be made earlier (in his view), we have to make the theological schism "later". But our data for the theological schism is pretty strong, and it supports an early date for the development of the disagreements (see Albert Baumgarten, The Flourishing of Jewish Sects in the Maccabean Era: An Interpretation. Brill:1997). Under the relationship-logic of Kister (which I find insightful), this would require us to move the date of Daniel earlier instead, at least  into the "pre-disagreement period" of mid/early-3rd century BC (c. 250 BC).



So, the Book of Daniel shows itself to be Primary/Classical "Scripture" for Qumran...


Now, what about "Jubilees"? How does its profile compare on those criteria?


There are three references/allusions (?) to Jubilees that are commonly advanced as evidence for its authority at Qumran [Vanderkam, DSST:153f]:


"Jubilees is also cited as an authority at Qumran. Damascus Document 16.2-3 says: "As for the exact determination of their times to which Israel turns a blind eye, behold it is strictly defined in the Book of the Divisions of the Times into their Jubilees and Weeks." The italicized title of the book is the name given to jubilees in a number of ancient sources, including itself. For the writer of the Damascus Document, Jubilees, which claims to be revealed, is the place in which to find exact, predictive statements about historical periods. That the word perush ("the exact determinations") is employed is probably also significant: elsewhere it is associated with biblical books. The term translated "strictly defined" is used in the first line of the same column in connection with the Law of Moses.


"The Damascus Document may base another point on Jubilees. In the tenth column, the age limits for judges are defined as between twenty-five and sixty years. "No man over the age of sixty shall hold office as judge of the Congregation, for 'because man sinned his days have been shortened, and in the heat of His anger against the inhabitants of the earth God ordained that their understanding should depart even before their days are completed" (10.7-10). The writer may have Jub 23:11 in mind here, although he does not quote it exactly.


"One other possible appeal to jubilees as an authority has now come to light. The text (4Q228) uses some of the language characteristic of Jubilees: "for this is the way it is written in the divisions of the days." Elsewhere the fragment has two other references to "the division of its time" both of which could also be allusions to Jubilees."


So, given these, let's go through our criteria above:


1. Was the unknown author of Jubilees considered a prophet?


Unless they believed somehow that Moses wrote it(!), the answer is 'no'. The individuals recognized as prophets were listed above, and there is no reference to the author of Jubilees there (again, unless they believed somehow that Moses actually wrote this.) Had Moses been believed to have been the actual author, we might have expected it to be cited as such ("as spoken by Moses" or "as written by Moses") as is frequent throughout the Qumran lit. Accordingly, we have no evidence to support a belief that (a) they really believed Moses wrote this; and (b) that they considered it by a prophet. [They may have, but we just have no reason to postulate or believe it at this point.]


The function of ascribing a later document to an ancient Israelite hero such as Moses, Enoch, and Joshua is known as pseudepigrapha (or, more properly, pseudonymity), and scholars today are still unsure of exactly why the authors did this...It is not at all clear that they actually intended their audience to believe that, in the case of Jubilees, that Moses actually contradicted himself or omitted portions of his 'earlier' work the Pentateuch.


2. Is Jubilees referred to as a book?




3. Is this document present is the form it is in the Hebrew Bible (MT)?


Obviously not, since it is not even included in the Hebrew Bible. It was not considered as "scripture" by Formative Judaism of the first century.


4. Is it cited as a full authority, with the "as is written" formula? Yes, although apparently only as an interpretation of biblical (primary) authority. [Remember, the interpretations of the Teacher of Righteousness were dependent on the written scripture, but were claimed to be 'revealed' and 'authoritative']


The verse that is used to demonstrate its authority (which I think is demonstrated there) also indicates, by the word used--perush, that it is interpretative authority rather than primary authority that is being claimed. Oddly enough, it is Vanderkam's point about perush that indicates this (instead of the conclusion he seems to arrive at). Vanderkam is obviously correct that perush is 'elsewhere associated with biblical books' but only in contexts of interpretation or explanation of the biblical texts. Let's look at some examples, before looking at the main citation. [Translations from Martinez [DSSTQTE], unless otherwise noted]:


·         "in order to act according to the exact interpretation [perush] of the law in which the very first were instructed until  the period of these years is complete. [CD-A, 4.8f]


·         "Unless they are careful to act in accordance with the exact interpretation [perush] of the law for the age of wickedness: to separate themselves 15 from the sons of the pit; to abstain from wicked wealth which defiles, either by promise or by vow, 16 and from the wealth of the temple and from stealing from the poor of the people, from making their widows their spoils 17 and from murdering orphans; to separate unclean from clean and differentiate between 18 the holy and the common; to keep the Sabbath day according to the exact interpretation [perush], and the festivals 19 and the day of fasting, according to what they had discovered, those who entered the new covenant in the land of Damascus; 20 to set apart holy portions according to their exact interpretation [perush]; for each to love his brother 21 like himself; to strengthen the hand of the poor, the needy and the foreigner; Blank for each to seek the peace" [CD-A, 6.14ff]


·         "there is a judgment against anyone about the law of leprosy, the priest shall take his place in the camp 6 and the Inspector shall instruct him in the exact interpretation [perush] of the law [CD-A, 13.5f]


·         "This is the rule of the Many, to provide for all 6 [their needs: the salary] of two [days] at least. They shall place it [in the hand] of the Inspector and of the judges. 7 [From it they shall g]ive to the woun[ded, and with it they shall] strengthen the hand of the needy and the poor, 8 [and to the elder] who is dying, and to the vagabond, and to the prisoner of a foreign people, 9 [and to the girl who] has no protector, and to the unma[rried woman] who has no suitor; and for all 10 [the works of the company,] and the house of the company shall not be deprived of its means. This is the exact interpretation [perush] 12 [of the regulations by which] they shall be ruled until there arises the messiah of Aaron and Israel. 13 [He shall atone for their sins  par]don, and guilt [4QDamascus Document(b), frg.18, col iii v5f]


·         11 [The sons of Levi and the men of the camps will meet in] the third month and will cu[rse] 12 [whoever tends to the right or to the left of the law. And th]is is the precise interpretation [perush] of the regulations which 13 [they are to observe in every age of ] who remained firm in all the ages of anger 14 and in their steps, to all those who dwell in their camps and all [] in their cities. And so, then, all this is 15 with regard to the last interpretation of [the law.] [4QDamascus Document (e), Frag 11, col 2, v11]


Notice how perush is used in "association" with biblical texts, but only as 'interpretation' of those biblical texts--never as a biblical text itself. It therefore has derived authority.


Another major usage of perush is for 'detailed list' or 'structured explanation'. This can be seen in the Damascus Document as well:


1 Zadok who maintained the service of my temple when the children of Israel strayed 2 far away from me, shall offer the fat and the blood». The priests are the converts of Israel 3 who left the land of Judah; and ‹the levites› are those who joined them; and the sons of Zadok are the chosen of 4 Israel, «those called by name» who stood up at the end of days. This is the detailed list [perush] 5 of their names, according to their genealogies and the age of their existence and the number of their miseries and the years of 6 their residence, and the detailed list [perush] of their deeds of holiness. ‹These are the very› first, for whom 7 God atoned, and who declared the just man as just, and declared the wicked as wicked, and all those who entered after them 8 in order to act according to the exact interpretation [perush] of the law in which the very first were instructed until 9 the period of these years is complete. According to the covenant which God established with the very first, in order to atone 10 for their sins, so will God atone for them. But when the period corresponding to the number of these years is complete, 11 there will no longer be any joining with the house of Judah but rather each one standing up on 12 his watchtower. [CD-a, col IV]


In these contexts, perush functions like a 'presentation' or 'structured explanation' of some phenomena.



The passage cited by Vanderkam reveals this same flavor. Let me give the translation of Vanderkam, Rabin, and Martinez, but placing "perush" into the translation:


·         "...As for the [perush] of their times to which Israel turns a blind eye, behold it is strictly defined in the Book.. ." (V, gives perush as "exact determination")


·         "with you a covenant and with all Israel'. Therefore a man shall impose upon himself by oath to return to the law of Moses, for in it everything can be learnt. And the [perush] of the epochs of Israel's blindness to all these, behold it can be learnt in the Book of..." (R, gives it as "exact statement")


·         "with you a covenant and with all Israel. Therefore, the man will make binding upon ‹his› soul to return to 2 the law of Moses, for in it all is defined. Blank And the [perush] of their ages about the blindness 3 of Israel in all these matters, behold, it is defined in the book «of the divisions of the periods" (M, gives it as "exact interpretation")


Of these, the one that fits the usage pattern best for perush is that of (M): "exact interpretation". This would mean that Jubilees was being referred to as an 'authoritative interpretation' of Israel's failure to recognize the 'true' halakah--a common theme at Qumran! Jubilees is being used as an authority, but not on a par with Moses (i.e., "for in it ALL is defined"), and it concerns more a condemnation-commentary on Israel's history of non-compliance to the Law (as understood 'authoritatively' by the Qumranites). So, the passage makes perfectly good sense with perush being used in the customary "authoritative interpretation" way.


[Alternatively, perush could be understood in the above passage as referring to a 'structured explanation' or 'structured exposition'. Since Jubilees forces an interpretative chronological grid onto the pre-existing biblical narratives, the above reference could be tantamount to pointing out that the correct/authoritative chronological list/schema is found in Jubilees. We will see below that Jubilees is a 're-telling of the bible' document anyway, and that genre was expected to add an 'interpretative layer' on top of biblical narrative. This would, of course, be another way of saying 'authoritative interpretation', so the two different semantic possibilities are very close, and both support the 'interpretation, not original revelation' position.]


Let me just add one more piece of data on perush, and that is the definition given to it in Jastrow [DTX]. It is not a biblical form, but first shows up in this time period and in Mishnaic contexts. The various meanings listed are three: (1) distinct expression/directness; (2) explanation; (3) commentary. It is derived from prsh (in biblical Hebrew), which has the basic meaning of "to explain clearly". The word group is essentially about explanation, exposition, translation, interpretation of some previous content--NOT about 'revelation' of new content (primary authority)  itself.


So, I think I can agree that Jubilees is cited as an 'authority', but that this authority is NOT 'scriptural authority' per se--it is a derived perush-al type of authority.



5. Did it generate any "pseudo-" types of works, or expansions on itself?


None that we can find. There is one fragment family (4Q225-227) that was originally named "pseudo-Jubilees" by Milik, but this is generally considered a misnomer (so Vanderkam, in [HI:QCM:242]). It does not seem to function as a 'primary' work in this way. [I should mention that Jubilees, as with just about all ancient Jewish works, there are 'shared stories' that show up in both Jubilees and in other Jewish writings. These stories are generally not considered cases of 'borrowing' but in many cases represent a 'shared stock of cultural memory'. There are a few stories in Jubilees that are shared by Josephus and the Rabbi's, but this is not the type of 'shared-ness' we are discussing here.]



6. Does it have the character of an interpretation of Scripture (derivative work), or of Scripture itself (primary work)?


It is clearly seen as a secondary work (derivative) and is uniformly classed in the category of "re-written bible" and/or "narrative midrash".


Midrash can be understood as interpretation and exposition of sacred Scripture, and the deriving of principles of doctrine and practice from the text:


"With regard to the literary structure of Midrashim, A.G. Wright has written 'there are several rather diverse forms of literature that are designated as midrash. There are the exegetical, homiletic, and narrative midrashim." The exegetical Midrash sets forth the biblical text and discusses it phrase by phrase. Homiletical Midrashim, on the other hand, begin with a portion of text which forms the basis for a thematic treatment of a specific subject which the Scripture evokes. The theme is frequently repeated and supported by texts drawn from various parts of the Old Testament. Finally, the narrative Midrash scarcely distinguishes between text and comment, but interweaves them to form a continuous narrative. In terms of overall structure, Jubilees is similar to the narrative Midrashim." [OTP:2:40]


This, of course, makes Jubilees 'secondary', 'interpretive', and 'derived' by definition.


Nickelsburg, in [HI:JWSTP:97ff] gives this summary:


"The Book of Jubilees is a rewritten version of Genesis 1 - Exodus 14, purportedly dictated to Moses on Mount Sinai by an angel of the presence. The order of the book follows, with few exceptions, that of the Bible itself, however, the author's treatment of the wording of the biblical text varies widely. Often he reproduces that text verbatim. On occasion he deletes what he does not find useful. Most typically, however, he recasts the narrative or makes additions to it in line with his interests and purpose. Especially noteworthy is the book's chronological framework, which divides history into weeks and jubilees of years, dating events in Israelite history to specific times in these cycles. The chronology culminates in the jubilee of jubilees, A nno Mundi 2451, with the entrance into the Land (or the giving of the Torah, according to one resolution of certain critical  problems).


"The largest group of additions to the biblical text are halakhic. They appear in several forms. 1) The establishment of religious festivals are dated according to the solar calendar of 364 days that structures the book's chronology. 2) Additions within the narratives themselves depict the patriarchs properly observing the Torah. Most often these additions portray the celebration of a festival, again witnessing to the author's calendrical interest (e.g., 15: If.; 16:20-31). 3) The author places in the mouth of the patriarchs the commands and admonitions that he himself wishes to make to his readers. The most striking example of this occurs in Abraham's three testaments in chapters 20, 2 1, and 22. Similarly, in a long addition, Rebecca admonishes Jacob not to marry a Canaanite woman. 4) The author adds to biblical stories halakhic commentaries, which often begin with the expression, 'For this reason it is written (or ordained) in the heavenly tablets that.. .' In these commentaries the author utilizes some element in the biblical narrative as the springboard for his exposition on a point of law: nakedness is prohibited (3:31); feasts are to be observed according to the solar calendar (6:17-22); blood must not be consumed (7:28-33); circumcision must be performed, and only on the eighth day (15:25-34); one must not marry a foreign spouse (30:7-23); incest is forbidden (33:10-20; 41:23-27)...our author's pervading interest and emphasis is halakhic."


Like many of the re-written bible texts, the author's purpose is to challenge the 'established' halakah, by setting forth an alternate set of rules for daily life. These rules, their 'justification', and their exemplification are 'found' in the Sacred Scriptural text. These works--like their pesher and related commentary counterparts--are interpretive and derivative. They make claims to authority, and if a group accepts that authority, they can be and are used in 'citations'.


So, its character is manifestly that of a secondary, derivative work--in spite of its claims to 'revealed' status of its interpretation and understanding of the (primary) biblical text. [Remember, the Teacher also claimed this "only authorized interpreter" status/role.]



7. Was it accepted as authoritative for all of Judaism?


Not even close. It was very popular at Qumran, but was rejected from 'primary status' by Rabbinical Judaism, Christianity (but it is still printed in Ethiopic Bibles). It's halakah differs from Pharisaic, Sadducee, and even Qumranic systems, although it is much closer to Qumran than the others. Some of its stipulations and interpretations were considered 'binding' (and thus authoritative) at Qumran.


However...Even though the Teacher told them that it was the authoritative system of interpretation and rules for living, Vanderkam points out that not everybody agreed [DSST:154f]:


"One complicating fact in the discussion of the status of Jubilees at Qumran is that a newly published text, 4Q252, shows that Jubilees' chronology of the flood was not accepted in all the pertinent documents at Qumran. Moreover, some calendrical texts set forth the schematic lunar calendar that Jubilees condemns. Consequently, while most indicators demonstrate that Jubilees was a highly regarded source, not everyone at Qumran agreed with all the details of it."


So, not only was Jubilees not considered authoritative for pan-Jewry, it was not consistently revered within the Qumran community. This makes its secondary status definite.



So, when we try to apply this to the original pushback (from so long ago now, it, we come up with the following conclusions:


Daniel had membership in 'high scripture', fully authoritative in a primary and non-derivative sense. It was itself 'interpreted' (via midrash) and was 'emulated' by other works. It enjoyed pan-Jewish acceptance--as only the 'high scripture' books did--and this indicates pre-sectarian antiquity for its origination/acceptance by Israel. It is clearly primary and Classical prophetic scripture for Qumran and the rest of Israel.


Jubilees seemed to function as 'authoritative interpretation' of scripture, although it was apparently not followed consistently by the members. It was 'perush'--exact interpretation (largely halakhic)--and was to be obeyed. Although it was popular, it did not evince the primary or classical prophetic character--it was, after all, "only" interpretation. Its form was that of 'narrative midrash' (i.e., interpretation through re-telling, paraphrasing, embellishment, extension of primary narrative texts). It was definitely a derivative work, focused largely on "rules for living right" (i.e., halakah). It was not accepted by majority Israel, and indeed, maybe not by all of Qumran. It is generally considered originating in a proto-Essene context (pre-Qumran) and so its "acceptance" would have been axiomatic--it was literally one of the 'generative documents' that created the community. Under that scenario, it would have been actually created by the "pre-community community" and hence not had a problem with 'earning its way in'.


Thus, the acceptance of late-date Jubilees as 'authoritative' (or mostly so) 'interpretation', created by the founding Teacher(s) would not pose a problem to the position defended above.



Summary of our findings on Daniel in the Dead Sea Scroll manuscript data:


1.        The presence of mss of Daniel--esp. the early ones--when coupled with the 'high view' of Daniel as a 'prophet' (primary, Classical authority) would indicate a pre-Maccabean date (by a methodology admitted by non-conservatives).

2.        The fact that Daniel is admitted to have been written before Qumran places it minimally pre-150, and, in light of the dual textual tradition, "canonical prophetic status", and pre-sectarian origins, would support a date of origination much, much earlier than 165 BC.


3.        The use of Jubilees as authoritative interpretation at Qumran cannot be used successfully to undermine the argument (and the scholars making the "literary diffusion requirement" argument) in #2.


Accordingly, it looks like the manuscript data is very supportive that Daniel is at least pre-Maccabean, and therefore one of the prophetic sections of Daniel was written before the events.


Notice that if this conclusion is true, all the historical and linguistic 'problems' in the Book of Daniel are irrelevant to a discussion of this "Maccabean or Pre-Maccabean" question. Historical and linguistic 'difficulties' become either (a) interpretive issues;  (b) methods of dating/locating the text within the pre-Maccabean period; and/or methods for assessing the 'accuracy' of the writer.


In other words, these kinds of problems could be used to argue for a 3rd century BC date versus a 6th century BC date, or for an uninformed writer versus an eyewitness writer, or for a fictional versus historical genre, perhaps, but NEVER for a post-Maccabean dating...Let's be clear about this...The predictive prophecy relative to Antiochus Epiphanes in Daniel--for good or ill--will have to stand.


This doesn't even remotely answer the question of 'when was it written?', nor does it indicate that the other passages in Daniel are authentic/reliable, but the presence of supernaturalism-implying predictive prophecy (written 5 days, 5 years, or 500 years before the events wouldn't matter in this case) could/might be a bit incongruous in a possible forgery--but this will have to


So, at least in one case, we probably have the prophecy written before the events--predictive prophecy of a surprisingly detailed nature.


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