How, John, can you state so confidently that hostages were taken and that some items from the temple were taken." This clearly is what you would like to be able to establish in order to be able to clear up the conflict between  2 Kings 24:1 and Daniel 1:1. The author of Daniel transfers things that happened in the reign of Jehoiachin as reported in Kings, which overall is reliable, into the reign of his father Jehoiakim, but since he was writing in 164BC is not to be surprised at.  
I say that this is what happened because an actual participant in the events, Daniel, reported what happened.  Daniel shows every sign of meticulous accuracy in his descriptions.  I believe that the Old Testament is by far the most reliable source we have for material during the time of the Assyrian, Babylonian and the early Persian dominance of the Near East.  There is not a conflict between 2 Kings 24 and Daniel 1.  There is only an apparent contradiction because of information left out in both accounts.  I could list dozens of examples in history (including Daniel 5 as an excellent example, in which Belshazzar as a king was fully explained by the discovery at Ur) which proves that your line of reasoning, though not illogical, is not sufficient.  Unlike people like you, I do not automatically assume that every other source is, by definition, more reliable than the Bible.  If Herodotus conflicts with Daniel, I do not, by definition, assume Daniel is wrong.  Daniel was obviously closer to the events than Herodotus.  I have already given a perfectly acceptable account of the events, but for some reason you assume that Daniel got it wrong.  OK.  That is your choice, but in that case, I am not sure why you asked me to explain the facts.  I gave a perfectly cogent, logical and consistent explanation of the facts.  Which of the argument I sent you do you refute?  By what evidence?  You refute my claim that hostages were taken because your source does not mention hostages.  I am sorry, but that is not acceptable as a line of evidence.  The fact is that a very reliable source mentions them, and it is consistent with the general facts we know about 605 BC and what was done at that time and it is not in conflict with any other sources we have on the subject.
Anyway, believe what you will.  I respect your right in that sense.  How do you know Daniel was written in 164 BC?  That is a very exact date.  What is your evidence it was written in that particular year?  Do you have a single piece of evidence which gives that year for publication of the book?  What is your primary source for 164? I am going to guess, your only "evidence" is the fact that the book prophesies events which lead up to that year.  I say this is not evidence, unless you are applying circular reasoning and assuming that, obviously, Daniel cannot be prophesying the future, which is, therefore, evidence that he cannot prophesy the future.  And what do you do with the fact that Daniel 11:35f prophesies the Battle of Actium, and the fact that Daniel chapter 7 prophesies the events of the reign of Domitain, or the fact that Daniel 9 prophesies the events surrounding the death of Jesus and the destruction of Jerusalem?  This must be very difficult to answer.
John Oakes, PhD

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