Green and Gold

I apologize up front to my fellow fans of the Green & Gold: this blog post is not about the Packers. I shamelessly used that color combination to lure in readers. (Did it work?) However, shamelessness does not equal randomness. Read on... You might recall that in the book of Daniel, Nebuchadnezzar has two dreams.…

Déjà-vous All Over Again

Nebuchadnezzar’s first disturbing dream came to him when he was a new king (chapter 2). He saw the “large statue—an enormous, dazzling statue, awesome in appearance” (2:31, NIV ) and, although the dream troubled him, things ended well for him. The interpretation bode badly for empires that succeeded him, but Nebuchadnezzar was the head of…

Bad News or Good News?

At long last, we have reached the end of Daniel 2. It’s an interminably long chapter – an impression I had when I had to slog through it verse by verse in Aramaic for a PhD class. Blogging through it has done nothing to change that impression! Here’s how things end. When Daniel is done…

I Told You So

In case you haven’t been buying my argument that Nebuchadnezzar’s dream isn’t the most important part of chapter two, let me present my next piece of evidence: 2:24–30. Once God reveals the mystery to Daniel and Daniel spends four verses praising Him (vv. 20–23), Daniel tells Arioch the Executioner to take him to the king…

The Heart of the Matter

February is supposed to be all about hearts and stuff – which, as a very single person, I take very little interest in (unless it translates into chocolate gifts on my desk). But in the spirit of the season, I can talk about hearts and stuff, but only on my terms: the heart (and stuff)…

Who You Callin’ Names?

What’s in a name? That all depends who’s saying it. My family and closest friends call me “Wen”; colleagues generally go with “Wendy”; students default to “Dr. Widder” (though technically, they shouldn’t…I’m still awaiting the Final Word) or “Professor Widder” (which, technically, should be “Visiting Assistant Professor Widder,” but who’s going to remember what they…

Cutting the Statue Down to Size

The statue in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream is “mighty and of exceeding brightness” (2:31, ESV), and generally gets the most attention when people consider Daniel 2. Its commentary on world history and its prophetic value for understanding future events have been charted and recharted by end-times enthusiasts. Without discounting the importance of the dream, let me suggest…