Interpreting the Prophets

By James Luther Mays; Paul J. Achtemeier | Go to book overview

19
Daniel and
His Social World

JOHN J. COLLINS

What Daniel offers is not a practical strategy for revolution but an act
of the imagination which affirms the freedom of the human spirit in
defiance of any force of oppression.

Historical-critical study of the Bible has been enriched in recent years by increased attention to social factors. The fundamental insight here is that texts do not give us simple objective accounts of reality but are constructs which reflect the interests of their particular authors and the groups to which they belonged.1 A book like Daniel cannot be understood as a timeless handbook, either of eschatological information or of theological principles, but must be seen in its historical and social context. This insight is not a new one; it has long been implicit in the form-critical insistence on the Sitz-imLeben. To be sure, biblical texts do not always yield adequate information about their setting, and the attempt to infer social data from literary evidence has its pitfalls. Social and historical studies can only proceed from an accurate appreciation of the genre and literary character of a text. Yet, where the data are available, an awareness of social and ideological factors will not only deepen our understanding of a text but also clarify its relevance for our own modern situation.


I

We are relatively well-informed about the situation in which Daniel was composed. Despite the persistent objections of conservatives, the composition of the visions (chaps. 7—12) between the years 167 and 164 B.C. is established beyond reasonable doubt.2 The tales in chapters 1—6 are older,

1. See the basic discussion in P. L. Berger and T. Luckmann, The Social Construction of
Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge (Carden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., 1966).1. See the basic discussion in P. L. Berger and T. Luckmann, The Social Construction of
Reality: A Treatise in the Sociology of Knowledge (Carden City, N.Y.: Doubleday & Co., 1966).

2. J. J. Collins, Daniel, with an Introduction to Apocalyptic Literature, FOTL 20 (Grand
Rapids: Wm. B. Eerdmans, 1984), p. 36 and passim; L. F. Mailman and A. A. DiLella, The
Book of Daniel, AB 23 (Garden City, N.Y.: Doubleday fit Co., 1978), pp. 46-54. For a recent
conservative objection: A. J. Ferch, “The Book of Daniel and the 'Maccabean Thesis,'” AUSS 21
(1983) 129-41.

-249-

Notes for this page

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Default project is now your active project.
Project items

Items saved from this book

This book has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this book

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this page

Cited page

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited page

Bookmark this page
Interpreting the Prophets
Table of contents

Table of contents

Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger Reset View mode
Search within

Search within this book

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen
/ 287

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.