Anathea E. Portier-Young has a paper (here) on the bi-lingual aspects of Daniel. The reason this is important is because for a proposed SBL paper, I suggest that Mark is somewhat following this aspect. I will not go into the entire thing here, but I wanted to call attention to the paper:
Sociolinguistics provides a theoretical framework for viewing the bilingualism of the book of Daniel as a deliberate rhetorical strategy. The author(s) of Daniel began their discourse in Hebrew, switched to Aramaic, and concluded in Hebrew to move its audience to a recognition of a new context in which the claims of empire had dissolved and claims of covenant alone remained. In so doing, the author(s) invited the audience to find their place within the world of the visions, forsaking a stance of collaboration with the reigning Seleucid empire in order to adopt a posture of resistance rooted in covenant.
In other words… the Hebrew-Aramaic-Hebrew switch off used by either the original author or the later re-author (redactor, if you must) is part of the thrust of the book. And trust me, you need a solid, powerful thrust.
For my SBL paper, I’m going to propose a Danielic structure underneath Mark’s gospel. No, not completely, but you’ll see. A lot of redaction critics see Daniel composes across time, mainly due to Daniel’s bilingual manuscript. 1, 8-12 are written in Hebrew and often thought to be later than the chapters (2-7) composed in Aramaic. Specifically, 7 is compases near Antiochus, or so John Collins would lead us to believe. But, then again, so is 9, right?
But, what if there is an underlying unity, where the bilingual aspect is a rhetorical device?
In researching the paper — I still have to submit my paper as a student — I wanted to draw from two sources. The first was William H. Shea’s chiastic structure of Daniel. The second was John C. Collins’ structure and reasoning of Daniel’s structure.
These has presented me two sets of problems. Let me redact that — 3. The first is that the paper is not about Daniel, but about Mark. The second, is Shea is an SDA scholar. I like his stuff, I do, but I am not sure how that would go over at SBL. Third, I like Collins, but like A. Collins, they are too redactionary to see any type of unity.
If there is a pivot and a recognizable chiastic structure, doesn’t this speak well to the overall unity of Daniel?
Publisher’s Description: A detailed critical analysis of various apocalyptic texts which poses a solution to the problem concerned with the method of studying allusive Old Testament material, particularly from Daniel. This study shows how Daniel helped mold the eschatological thinking of both Jews and Christians around the time of Christ.
Published April 2010
About the Author: G. K. Beale is Professor of New Testament and Biblical Theology at Westminster Theological Seminary, PA.