All the King’s Men

Daniel is the most famous person in the book of Daniel, followed by Nebuchadnezzar and Shadrach-Meshach-and-Abednego, but before he rises to fame, we encounter a number of his handlers. Chapter 1 introduces us to a cadre of officials with cameo appearances. In verse 3 we meet Ashpenaz, the king’s head honcho. English translations aren’t quite…

An Ancient Hyperlink

Hyperlinks aren’t really anything new under the sun. A book as ancient as the Bible has its own kind of hyperlink – though, unfortunately, they aren’t underlined in blue. You just have to pay close attention to notice them. There’s one in Daniel 1:2. “And the Lord gave Jehoiakim king of Judah into his hand,…

The Great Date Debate

I feel a sense of professional responsibility to write this particular post, though I am prepared for all of you except my sister to bail out before the end. Prove me wrong... If you have spent any time studying the book of Daniel with the aid of commentaries, books, or Bible study notes, you are…

Danny Boy of Babylon

I’ve spent a lot of time this week thinking about death and my dissertation. (Sometimes I’ve thought I would experience death by dissertation, but I am beginning to believe I might come out of the process alive after all.) Death has been on my mind because, if I lived closer to the land of my…

How to Read a Biblical Story

The Bible is full of stories – more properly called narratives—and most people don’t give a second thought to how they should be read. They’re stories, for crying out loud. Who doesn’t know how to read a story? Why are you wasting Web space – and my time – on this post? But it’s not…

What Is It, Anyway?

Daniel is a one-of-a-kind book in the Bible. In case this is news to you, let me tell you what’s so unusual about it: (1)  Your translators had to do double duty in Daniel because the original is written in two different languages (Hebrew in chapters 1, 8–12, and sister-language Aramaic in chapters 2–7 );…