To review all the arguments, serious and frivolous, which the German Higher Criticism has brought forth against the authenticity of Daniel would occupy at least half a dozen of such addresses as our time permits of during these pleasant evenings. Any student who wishes to see the entire question thoroughly and exhaustively examined should read the classic work of Doctor Pusey, Professor of Hebrew at Oxford. I can only attempt to deal with the more serious arguments and assumptions put forth by the rationalist critics.
First, let us look at the personality of Daniel himself, though Canon Farrar is doubtful if such a person ever existed, and many of the German Higher Critics hold the same view. As he tells us in his own story, he was an exile living in Babylon under Nebuchadnezzar, and into the reigns of the first Persian monarchs. The prophets Jeremiah and Ezekiel were his cotemporary patriots, living through the exile period along with the great inspired scribe, Ezra.
The date and genuineness of the book of Ezekiel has not been seriously disputed. He mentions Daniel in chapter xiv. 14 and following verses, where he is bracketed between two other great Biblical worthies Noah, Daniel and Job singled out for their righteousness. And again, in chapter xxviii. 3, when censuring the vanity and presumption of the Prince of Tyre, he ironically says, ” Behold, thou art wiser than Daniel; there is no secret that they can hide from thee.” Note that Daniel is here singled out for his wisdom and his faculty of revealing secrets. It strikes me that had the prophet only wanted a representative of wisdom he would have chosen Solomon; but no other personality in Biblical history so fitly represents the double qualification of deep knowledge and the power of finding out the most profound or mysterious truths as does Daniel.
Thus then we have absolutely incontestable testimony that there existed before or during the lifetime of Ezekiel somewhere in Israel a man endowed with these two gifts which are so strikingly manifested in the book whose veracity is challenged, and the name of this person was Daniel. The date of the book of Ezekiel is between 500 and 600 B.C.
From the time of the heathen writer Porphyry, who died about A.D. 300, after years of virulent abuse of Christianity, till quite modern times, the above testimony of the prophet Ezekiel was accepted as sufficient identification of the author of the book of Daniel.
Mark the ingenuity of the German critic : he cannot deny or explain away Ezekiel, but he affirms that because of this mention of the name of Daniel by him, some writer 400 years afterwards signs a book under the name of Ezekiel’s hero.
Archdeacon Charles is brought to the aid of these critics with the very ingenious theory that after the line of the true prophets had died out, anyone who dared to speak as a prophet would have been regarded as an impostor and stoned, and hence pseudepigrapha, or writings under assumed names, came into being. It has apparently not occurred to the critical mind that this argument is a twoedged weapon and can be used with greater force on the other side. If in the second century before Christ, pseudonymous or fictitious names were recognized as the rule amongst the men who wrote about the remote future, most certainly their works could never have got included hi the inspired Scriptures of the Old Testament.