Dare to be a Daniel – Oh, inerrantists, you make me laugh

Therefore, as soon as all the peoples heard the sound of the horn, pipe, lyre, trigon, harp, drum, and entire musical ensemble, all the peoples, nations, and languages fell down and worshipped the golden statue that King Nebuchadnezzar had set up. (Daniel 3.7 NRSV)

A friend of mine brought this up the other day.

Say… where was Daniel in all of this? Remember, if Scripture is supposed to be infallible, historically trustworthy, filled with nothing but facts and poetic facts… then we have a problem.

This story plainly states that of all of the Babylonian empire, only three people withstood the King’s command. Where was Daniel?

If you are using Daniel as a patriotic image of Americans, or even in any sort of eschatological sense — STOP IT. You are doing it wrong.

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Joel L. Watts
Joel L. Watts holds a Masters of Arts from United Theological Seminary with a focus in literary and rhetorical criticism of the New Testament. He is currently a Ph.D. student at the University of the Free State, analyzing Paul’s model of atonement in Galatians. He is the author of Mimetic Criticism of the Gospel of Mark: Introduction and Commentary (Wipf and Stock, 2013), a co-editor and contributor to From Fear to Faith: Stories of Hitting Spiritual Walls (Energion, 2013), and Praying in God's Theater, Meditations on the Book of Revelation (Wipf and Stock, 2014).

2 thoughts on “Dare to be a Daniel – Oh, inerrantists, you make me laugh

  1. According to the story, Daniel was at the royal court, and so was not with his friends and the other various officials in the province of Babylon. That is the clear point of the note in 2:49, which was most likely inserted precisely to make this into a coherent story. Your objection was already anticipated and answered by the ancient author.

    This point is completely independent of the question of historical accuracy.

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