You should be aware that with these “Christian” interpretations of the 2300 “days and nights,” there is a definite motivation for the interpretation. These people are Seventh Day Adventists. The Adventist movement traces its roots back to the early 1840s and the ministry of William Miller. At that time, he began a very large revival centered around his prediction that the world was going to end in 1844. Thousands sold all they had and gathered to wait for the moment. When nothing happened, obviously most of the believers were disillusioned and left the Millerite movement. However, a core of followers created the interesting (false) interpretation that Jesus came back silently in 1844!!! The largest group to evolve from this interesting, if bizarre chapter in Christian history is the Seventh Day Adventist church (we can add the Jehovah Witnesses to this as well). Their history traces back to this false interpretation of Daniel. You should bear this in mind. The answer to your question is a definite yes, these “Christians” are 100% incorrect in their interpretation of Daniel 8:14.
They are wrong for a few reasons, not the least of which is that clearly the interpretation that Jesus was going to come back in 1844 was not correct! Having established that, let us go to Daniel. Daniel 8 is a prophecy primarily concerned with the persecution of the Jews and the desolation of the temple which occurred in 167-164 BC. Even biblical skeptics and atheists agree that this is what the prophecy is about. Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated the temple in 167 BC, sacrificing pigs in the sancutary and putting a statue of himself in the Holy of Holies. God told his people through Daniel that the duration of the abomination of desolation would be 2300 days and nights. If we are going to try to date the prophecy and use it to make predictions, there is no doubt at all that the beginning of the prophetic time would be 167 BC. Why would the Millerites and why would the SDA church begin the prophecy in 457 BC? There is only one conceivable reason, which is so that they can use it to arrive at 1844 BC. There is literally absolutely zero reason to begin the 2300 days in Daniel 8 from the decree to restore and rebuild Jerusalem (Daniel 9:25). In fact, the angel actually interprets the dream, telling Daniel that the vision of the goat in Danile 8 applies to the “king of Greece.” (Daniel 8:21). This absolutely rules out applying it to a decree of Artaxerxes the Persian.
Add to this, the fact is that we can be quite sure that the 2300 days and evenings are not years for the simple reason that the interpretation of the time is fairly obvious from the historical context. The fact is that Antiochus Epiphanes desecrated the temple in November, 167 BC. The Maccabeean rebels kicked the troops of Antiochus Epiphanes out of the temple and rededicated the temple December 25, 164 BC. We know this because 1 Maccabees describes the events in detail. The date of the rededication became the date for the Jewish festival of Chanukkuh. The time between the desecration and the rededication was about 37-38 months, which is approximately 1150 days. Therefore the 2300 days and nights are 1150 days (one day and one night = one day). How do I know this? Because it fits the prophecy exactly, both in terms of what was said and what we know for a fact happened. In any case, the desecration of the temple certainly did not last for 2300 years!!! This Seventh Day Adventist interpretation makes absolutely no sense. It is only a prop to a belief held by the group since its founding. They are not likely to disown this interpretation.
I go into all this in great detail in my book Daniel, Prophet to the Nations (www.ipibooks.com
). You really should get a copy.
As for the Bahai “prophecies” and their interpretations, I believe I already responded to thes in my previous letter. It is no more sensible to interpret Daniel 8:14 to be a prophecy of the Bab (predecessor to Bahaulla, the chief prophet of the Bahai religions) than it is to view it as a prophecy of the invisible coming of Jesus in 1844. This interpretation of the Daniel prophecy is a rather obvious example of beginning with an event (in this case the ministry of the Bab) and scanning the Bible to find a prophecy which can be squeezed into supposedly predicting this date. This is really nonsense, as are the other supposed prophecy fulfillments mentioned at the web site above.