CANON FARRAR AND THE BOOK OF DANIEL.
In his late work on the "Book of Daniel," found in the "Expositor’s Bible," the Very Rev. F. W. Farrar, D.D., F.R.S., Dean of Canterbury, Archdeacon of Westminister and late Fellow of Trinity College, has the following:-
"If our Lord and His Apostles regarded the Book of Daniel as containing the most explicit prophecies of Himself and His Kingdom, why did they never appeal or even allude to it, to prove that he was the promised Messiah? How came it that neither Christ nor His Apostles ever once alluded, or even pointed, to the Book of Daniel and the Prophecy of the Seventy Weeks, as containing the least germ of evidence in favour of Christ’s Mission, or the Gospel preaching?"
- Book of Daniel, pp. 103, 104. (1895).
is simply the reproduction of Kuenen in his "Prophets
of Israel," a work he ordered to be suppressed as death drew near. The assumption is that no such appeal was
made, and the conclusion is that the Book of Daniel has nothing to do with
Jesus Christ, or with any events under the
1. The debate of Jesus with the Jews, recorded in John. As Messiah, asserting His judical supremacy and authority to hold the Messianic judgment and bring to pass the resurrection and the life, which Daniel predicted (Dan. 12: 2, 3; 7: 13), He said: "I am the Resurrection and the Life." John 11: 25. Still more: "The Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son, and hath given Him authority to execute judgment because He is the Son of Man;" i.e., because He is the One described in the Vision of Judgment in the Book of Daniel. Again, "The hour is coming, and now is, when the dead shall hear the voice of the Son of God, and they that hear shall live," John 5: 22, 25, 27 - a fact fulfilled in the resurrection of Lazarus and at the crucifixion, and yet to be fulfilled in the last day. The "appeal" is direct to Dan. 7., with which Dan. 12. is inseparably connected. All the reader has to do is to attach Dan. 12. to the close of Dan. 7. and see the connection. So well was the allusion known, that to have named the Book of Daniel would have been no less superfluous than to tell us to-day that the recital of the resurrection of Lazarus may be found in the Gospel of John. From the vision in Dan. 7. the title "Son of Man" - "Bar Enash" - given to Messiah, was taken and used by Jesus, the Jews and the Apostles, 84 times in the New Testament. The appeal to the Book of Daniel to prove that Jesus was a the "Son of Man" and "Son of God," i.e., Son of the "Father," the "Ancient of Days," and therefore "Messiah," and that to Him the judgment the resurrection and the life were committed, could not have been more direct. The Jews so understood it, and "marvelled" that the Nazarene assumed to Himself prerogatives pertaining only to God. It asserted no less than the supernatural constitution of the person of Messiah as both God and Man, and, therefore, of Jesus Himself. Jesus did "appeal," "allude" and "point" to the Book of Daniel in proof of His Messianic claims. It is a Messianic book, and does predict events under the Roman or Fourth Prophetic Empire, in spite of the Critics, and of Farrar, their second and third hand imitator and repeater.
2. The answer to the High Priest. In a paroxysm of rage the High Priest, contesting the claims of Jesus, vociferated, "I adjure thee by the living God, that thou tell us whether thou be the Messiah, the Son of God!" Caiaphas himself is alluding and pointing to Dan. 7. as well as to other prophecies. Could the answer be misunderstood? "Hereafter ye shall see the Son of Man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven." Matt. 26: 63, 64. Vain the effort of the critics, saying that the name of the book is not mentioned. The whole Sanhedrin understood it, and condemned Him to death for plasphemy. It is needless to say that Jesus identified Himself with "Son of Man" in that judgment scene. That He did so in His Mount Olivet Discourse, two days previously, is self-evident. Matt. 24: 29-31.
3. Again, did our Lord never once "appeal," or so much as "allude" or "point" to the 70 weeks’ prophecy? "These are the words I spake unto you while I was with you, that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the law of Moses, and in the Prophets, and in the Psalms, concerning Me. Then opened He their understanding that they might understand the Scriptures, and said unto them. Thus it is written, and thus it behoved Messiah to suffer and to rise again from the dead the third day. And, beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded unto them, in all the Scriptures, the things concerning Himself." Luke 24: 27, 44, 45. Here is a dispute between us and the Jews. They refuse to admit a suffering Messiah. Only 5 days before this exposition He had dignified Daniel as "Daniel the Prophet," and, in keen foresight of the Higher Criticism of our times, as well as in reproof of the critics of His own time, uttered these words, - a crushing testimony Canon Farrar would take from the Lord’s own mouth on the authority of two corrupted codices where the expression is omitted! That Daniel’s book was a part of the old Testament "Scriptures" cannot be denied. Nor can it be denied that the Book of Daniel, as we have it, was the standard Palestinian and Temple text of the prophet, turned into Greek 250 years before Christ was born, and accepted by the Jews, Christ and His Apostles, as part of the God-breathed and closed canon of the Scriptures, authoritative in the mouth of Christ. Nor can the critics deny that the 70 weeks’ prophecy is the only prophecy in that book which fortells that Messiah should be "cut off" - a Messiah the critics would make to be "Onias III., B. C. 170!" as Canon Farrar also does, as a matter of course. Dan. 9: 26. Nor will it be denied that the rubric, "the Psalms," because of their place at the head of this whole "Third Division" of the Jewish Scriptures, was a title given to the whole of that division, in which the "Book of Daniel" stood prominent. The conclusion is irresistible that, since our Lord expounded "in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself," He did not omit to refer to Dan. 9: 26, containing a signal prediction of His own death, and so did "appeal," allude" and "point" to the 70 weeks’ prophecy where that prediction occurs, and only there in Daniel’s book. It is the companion-piece of Isa. 53: 4-13; Zech. 11: 10-13; 13: 1, 7; Ps. 22: 1-21. Had the Lord only "opened" the understanding of the critics, their eyes would have seen things now forever hid from them.
4. But, more. Our Lord’s answer as to the destruction of Jerusalem, His Advent and the End of the Age is built, step by step, on the Book of Daniel, and appropriates even the terms used by the prophet in his prediction of the 70 weeks. He combines in His Olivet Discourse the events found in the closing parts, or Ends, of Daniel, Chapters 2., 7., 9., 11., and the whole of 12. - i.e., the events under the Roman Empire - in one connected prophecy, uses again the title "Son of Man," again confirming His claims by the Book of Daniel. It is His guide. In Matt. 23: 32, introducing that discourse, and taking leave of the Temple, the words "Fill ye up the measure of your fathers" are a direct allusion to the verb "lecalle," to "fill up" or "complete the transgression" in Dan. 9: 24. He "points" to the "abomination of desolation spoken of by Daniel the prophet." Matt. 24: 15; Dan. 9: 27; 11: 31; 12: 11. He interprets Daniel’s expression, "Unto the End, war," Dan. 9: 26, as "Until the times of the Gentiles be fulfilled," Luke 21: 24, and in all shows that He is the Messiah of the 70 weeks’ prophecy, and will come in the clouds of heaven, raise the dead, destroy the Antichrist, deliver Israel, judge the nations and bring His kingdom to victory. Thus did He "appeal" "allude" and "point" to Daniel’s book, and affirm that it contained explicit prophecies of "Himself" and His "Kingdom," even of His "Messiaship." To those whose minds are warped by their prejudices, false theories and false science, no book is darker than the Sacred Scriptures.
Finally, here. It is from Dan. 12: 3 our Lord takes His illustration of the righteous "shining as the sun in the kingdom of their Father," when the "Son of Man" comes to reap the harvest. Matt. 13: 44. His illustration of the "Stone" grinding to powder is from Dan. 2: 34. His "Times and Seasons" are Daniel’s "Iddanayya" and "Zimnayya," Dan. 2: 21; 7: 25; 12: 7: whose chronology it was not for His disciples then to know. Acts 1: 7; 3: 19-21. Was it from an uninspired novelist, a Maccabean romancer, a dreaming Haggadist or story-framer, our Lord quoted such expressions?
5. And did the "Apostles" never even "allude" to the Book of Daniel, or the 70 weeks’ prophecy in confirmation of the Master’s claims? Peter, in his second Pentecostal word, not only appeals to "all the prophets," Acts 3: 18, and so to Daniel, concerning the sufferings of Christ, but expressly to the "Iddanayya" and "Zimnayya" of refreshing and restitution for Israel, in connection with the finishing of Israel’s apostacy. Acts 3: 19-21; Dan. 9: 24. He boldly says that "All the prophets, from Samuel and those that follow after" - therefore Daniel - "have foretold these days." Acts 3: 24. In his first Epistle (1 Pet. 1: 10, 11) he speaks of the prophets as "searching what and what manner of time the holy Ghost signified when He foretestified the sufferings of Messiah and the glories after these," using the very verb (binthi) in Dan. 9: 2, and so "alludes" and "points" to the 70 weeks’ prophecy. Dan. 9; 1-28. Paul’s description of the "Man of Sin," in 2 Thess. 2: 3-8, is drawn from Dan. 8: 11, 12; 11: 36, 37; 9: 27; 12: 7. The special "Iddanayya" and "Zimnayya," or "Times and Seasons," in 1 Thess. 5: 1, are those named by Daniel, and the scene at the close of the Tribulation (2 Thess. 1; 7, 8) - the coming of the Lord with His mighty angels - is taken from Dan. 7: 13, and from its repetition in Matt. 24: 29-31; 25: 31-46. Still more, he vouches for the truth of the historical parts of Daniel’s book by "appeal," "allusion" and "pointing" to Daniel and his companions, who "stopped the mouths of lions," "quenched the violence of fire" and "escaped the edge of the sword" on the plains of Dura, to the brave Maccabees whose heroism Daniel foretold (Heb. 11: 33-35; Dan. 6: 22; 3: 25; 2: 13; 11: 32), and to the resurrection in Dan. 12: 23. In 1 Cor. 15: 41 he takes his star-illustration of the Resurrection-Glory from Dan. 12: 3. When, in Gal. 4: 4, he speaks of the "fullness of the time" when Messiah was born, he alludes directly to the close of the 69th week, and so "appeals" and "points" to the 70 weeks’ prophecy in confirmation of the Messiahship of Jesus.
And so to John’s testimony to the "Book of Daniel" and the "70 weeks’ prophecy," in connection with the Cloud-Comer and Destroyer of the Antichrist, it is simply overwhelming. His Apocalypse rests on "Daniel’s Book," on “the 70 weeks’ prophecy," the interval between the 69th and 70th weeks, and the 70th week especially, and on the Olivet Discourse, as already has been shown in previous discussions. Especially in Rev. 14: 14-20 does he use the title "Son of Man," and develops in 7 acts the scene in Dan. 7: 13.
Thus, both Jesus and His Apostles, notwithstanding Dean Farrar’s provoking assumptions, did "appeal," "allude" and "point," many times and argumentatively, to the "Book of Daniel" and to the "70 weeks’ prophecy" in direct confirmation of the Messianic claims of Jesus as the Great Sufferer, the Raiser of the dead, the Giver of Life, and the Judge of all mankind. "I am the Resurrection and the Life." To deny this is to deny the New Testament. It is with Dean Farrar precisely, as with all perverters of the Truth, and all false interpreters of prophecy, whether evangelical or rationalistic. They commit themselves to error, then "stick to it," more anxious in regard of their own reputation than to the truth and the honour of Christ.
6. We have dwelt at some length on this matter here, because the "Book of Daniel" is one of the great battlefields of the Higher Criticism, so called. The critics assail its Messianic character with rare ferocity - unbuibus et rostris. They bury talons and break into the flesh, clawing its vitals, i. e., its genuineness and authenticity, its historic credibility, its miracles, its supernatural prophecies, its integrity, its Messianity, its eschatology, its reliability, its inspiration. The whole question, whether these peerless pages were written by an exilic Daniel, or are forged documents, compiled and re-dated by a Maccabean novelist - a story book like Rasselas, or novel like Ivanhoe, Daniel Deronda, or the Arabian Nights - lies here. The denial of their genuineness and authenticity is the denial of the "Book," and the conviction of New Testament eschatology as a dream suggested by fables. No appeal to certain evangelical scholars who allow a Maccabean origin, or partly so, and by their "typico-Messianic" theory seek to redeem themselves, can avail to vindicate for the book a divine authority. The same device might be applied to every apocryphal production. The book is a unit, and so confessed by all. Its author is one, and if its divine authority be denied, the "typico-Messianic" theory goes for nothing.
The motive of the crusade against the book is the same as that of their assault on every other book of the Bible. It is wholly in the interest of what they call their "scientific method," whose first "working-rule" is the denial and exclusion of the supernatural. Once admit the genuineness and authenticity of the book, that it was written in exile times by "the Prophet Daniel," and it is no longer possible to deny the reality of miracles and far-sighted prophecy which history has verified. The "scientific-method" and the "working-rule" go to the "tomb of the Capulets." "Othello’s occupation’s gone!" Half-and-half expedients are alike exegetically and critically inadmissible. If genuine, it is authentic. If not authentic, it is not genuine. It is both. The proofs of its Messianity and of its fulfilment so largely already are legion, and never can be sterilized by critical devices. Its language is a coin that can never be demonetized so long as the whole New Testament eschatology is of par value with its image and its superscription. The objective point of the whole criticism is the compromise of the character of Christ and his conviction, either as a politician knowing Daniel’s book to be a fable, yet yielding to the particular belief that it was genuine, thus supporting his Messianic claims by fraud, or as a dupe, innocent and victimized by the Jewish Scribes and false traditions, and ignorant of its character. The outcome of the criticism is to undermine the authority of Christ in His person and prophetic office, extinguishing His glory as the "Light of the World" and reduce the Gospel to a system of "Ethics," "Humanitarianism" and "Sociology." The evidence of this is manifold. The argument of the critics, that the Jewish belief in the divine authority of Daniel’s book "proves only that it was in the Jewish canon, and is of no more value than the story of the sojourn of Jonah in the belly of the whale," is not only bad logic and an empty sneer, but spins upon the pivot of the "working-rule," and hums and drones its old objections against the character of Jesus, whose belief was that of the Jews. And yet the sires and seed of such views as these are the authorities Dean Farrar cites as his supports, reckless of the consequences to all who are infected by them. It is a public disgrace to Christendom that any man should be accepted as a Christian teacher who instructs the Church that the Vision of the Son of Man in Clouds, Dan. 7., and the prophecy of "Messiah," Dan. 9., have nothing to do with Jesus Christ. It gives the lie to Christ Himself.
"Should a wise man utter vain knowledge and fill his belly with the east wind?" Job. 15: 2. The flukes of the truth and divine authority of Daniel’s book are too firmly anchored in the Rock of Ages to suffer the book to be endangered by the assumptions, conjectures, exclusions, illicit processes of the critics, and their scientific method. The inerrant "Teacher sent from God" stands before us as the Interpreter of the Old Testament. Beginning with Moses, He expounded the Law in His Sermon on the Mount, and its ceremonial teaching in His sacrifice upon the cross. Beginning with Isaiah, in the Synagogue, He expounded the prophets, showing that they spake of Him. Beginning with David, He expounded the Psalms down to His dying day. A Critic He was against the higher critics of His time who would deny to Daniel the rank of a "prophet," and against the critics of our time who do deny to Daniel and to Moses the authorship of "Scriptures" dictated by Himself. A critic He was against the lower critics who sought to break the Scripture and make vain the Word of God by their traditions; A Critic He was against Satan himself, who first re-dated the 90th Psalm, then falsely quoted it. In all things, moral, religious, textual and critical, He asserted His superiority, and confounded the Scribes and the priests. From Him, and by His Spirit, the Apostles learned and read and understand the Old Testament, and for us, to-day, He is our Teacher, if we will but hear His voice. It is enough to know that the whole question of the supernatural - of miracles and prophecy - comes at last to be no less than one concerning the person and authority of Jesus Himself, a question whose solution depends upon the recognition of a personal God on the one hand, able to produce such a Person, and, on the other hand, upon the credibility of human testimony, which cannot be discredited by lack of this or that man’s experience, or lack in this or that age, nor by any preconceived conclusions or assumptions built on special grounds. To this it comes at last. "Christ or the critics - which?" and to a true believer the answer can neither be difficult nor doubtful. Each man must choose for himself, and with the full consciousness that "whosoever shall fall on this Stone shall be broken, but on whomsoever it shall fall it will grind him to powder!"
- NATHANIEL WEST,
Blest prophet! Second to no seer,
Whose eyes beheld the coming day,
To whom the sacred task was given
To paint the End, and point the Way!
The world’s whole future thou hast seen,
The march of empires, ages down;
Their conflict, victory and crown.
The wars of twice a thousand years,
Five hundred more, and more to come,
Earth’s kingdoms scattered like the chaff,
For one alone to find the room!
The Persian, Greek, and Roman line
To set a throne in
The blood-stained Horns that gore the world.
The Teuton, Bourbon, bold to scoff,
Islam, Tiara, downward hurled
Braganza, Saxon, Romanoff.
Secrets of terror thou hast told,
Of glory, too, so strange to tell:
Visions beside the rushing streams,
Time’s footfall measured by the hand
That wheels the orbs in orbits high,
The Seasons, Ages, Epochs, Ends,
The calendar of history:
Messiah, first upon the cross,
Then hidden long from mortal view;
Messiah coming on the clouds
To judge the Gentiles and the Jew.
The Risen Saints thine eyes beheld,
The Antichrist sent to his doom;
The "Kingdom, Power and Glory" come!
O prophet of thy people, great!
Above thy grave, to Shushan lent,
Thy "Kitab Emeth," "Book of truth,”
Is thine eternal monument!
In vain the critic plies his art,
To fiction make of heaven-born words
Immortal still the "words" remain
Thine own, the angel’s and the Lord’s.
Rest undisturbed, till yonder morn
Awakes the "many" from the dust;
Within thy lot thou then shalt stand
In resurrection of the just.
In brightness, like the golden sun,
And glittering as the largest star,
Splendor shall crown thy labor done,
Nor age-long years its brightness mar.
"Hayi-Olam", streaming in from God,
"Zohar," the gleam that fadeth never;
Thy portion these, with Jesus near,
Amen, Forever and forever!
Thy Hope our Hope, thy Faith our Faith,
Thy people on our heart in prayer,
One day our eyes the joy will see,
And then with thee the glory share!