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Daniel: Hermeneia, a Critical and Historical Commentary on the Bible
June 12, 2016
Mr Collins writes on page 123 of his introduction: "Daniel is not a reliable source of factual information about either the past or the future...The unreliability of attempts to extract an eschatological timetable from the book is shown by the long history of failed expectations. The predictions of Daniel, like the stories about the past, are shaped by the literary conventions of the Hellenistic age, not by any deposit of revealed information...Its witness, however, is largely in the language of legend and myth, which appeals to the imagination rather than to the rational intellect." There you have it, the man wrote a commentary on a book he doesn't even believe is true.
In the literature on apocalypticism and apocalyptic writings, there is very little of a moderate nature; scholars tend toward a highly critical reading of the texts or a dispensationalist one. Collins' commentary falls easily into the former category and, as critical treatments of Daniel go, I think it is the best treatment to be offered in the last 50-75 years. More conservative readers of scripture, however, should not be fearful of Collins or too dismissive of his work. Whether one agrees with his assessment of authorship/redaction and dating of the text, he is quite erudite when it comes to apocalyptic symbolism and imagery, as well as quite informative regarding the social setting of apocalyptic movements. Whichever end of the theological spectrum one happens to occupy, Collins' commentary should prove quite informative.
I agree with Chris. This book is definitely worth the buy if you are interested in studying the book of Daniel. Even though I disagree with Collins view of the date of writing and authorship, I still think its an excellent, scholarly work. Its good to be able to understand the critical arguments from liberal writers and authors so that you can combat them. Collins is fair and accurate to both sides. Anyone who studies the book of Daniel and does not consult this source will be seriously lacking. I would also recommend Millers work on Daniel from the NAC commentary series for those of you that want a more conservative viewpoint with little interaction from the liberal scholarship.
Although I (and other reviewers) might disagree with Collin's denial of Daniel's authorship, this is still perhaps the best commentary on the book of Daniel. Evangelicals need not be unnecessarily scared of liberal scholarship. Collin's late date of Daniel does not negate the rest of this work. I applaud CBD for carrying such a valuable tool to unlocking the book of Daniel!
This is a horrible book! The man teaches that Daniel didn't write the book of Daniel, when it is clearly shown in scripture that he is the author (Eze 14:14, 14:20, 28:3; Mat 24:15, etc.). It is sad to see books like this in Christian bookstores.