Leaving all nitpicking on one side, my main objection to the
historicity of Daniel is that the Persians and the Medes were devout
Zoroastrians and as such did not even have idols. It would be totally
unthinkable for them to even consider being worshipped as a god.
Anyone living at the time of the Persian conquest would have
known that but not someone writing 300 years later. As with
deutero-Isaiah, this is pseudepigraphic authorship passing off hindsight
as foresight. Daniel 6;6 requires King Darius the Mede, the Emperor of the
Persians & Medes, who had conquered Babylon to demand that all prayer be
directed to him. This is what I am saying is unhistorical, since the
Persian emperors were Zoroastrian and would never demand such a thing in a
million years.


OK now I get your point. By the way, the book of Daniel never describes
Darius the Mede as emperor. Certainly he was not emperor of the Persian
Empire. He was a sort of “king” over the large province of Babylon.
Daniel 5:31 has Darius receiving the kingdom, which is presumably the
former kingdom of Babylon, as his fiefdom. Daniel never pictures this
Darius person as emperor of all Persia. If it did, then I suppose we
would have a contradiction with historical information. Darius was not a
Persia. He was a Mede. The Medes were formal co-rulers of the empire,
although from the time of Cyrus on, they were very much junior partners.
To be honest, I am not sure how confident you can be that Cyrus would not
have done something such as what is described in Daniel 6. Perhaps you
are over-confident about how sincere these Achemenid rulers were.
However, the fact is that Daniel is describing a Median prince, not a
Persian emperor. I do not know what your sources say about the religious
predilections of the Median rulers. Perhaps you ought to look into that.
In any case, Daniel never describes a Persian emperor accepting worship.
Again, if this is your “big objection” to the book of Daniel, then I guess
you are left with no objections.

John Oakes

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