Archaeology of Daniel | 16-31 min

Many critics and skeptics of the Bible like to focus on the Book of Daniel, citing this book as some of the best evidence that the Bible is false. Throughout this series we will look at the evidence that supports this amazing book.

Introduction: the Skeptics (22 min)

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This introduction addresses the seven skeptical claims against the authenticity of the Book of Daniel and its contents.

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PHOTO CREDITS: Corbin Mathias on Unsplash

Session 1: Why is Daniel attacked so fervently? (17 min)

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The Book of Daniel is the second most criticized section of scripture skeptics use to doubt the authenticity of the Bible (behind the Book of Jonah). Daniel plays an important role in the biblical canon concerning the Messiah and messianic prophecies and the criticism of the book is actually centuries old. Where did these idea originate from?

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PHOTO CREDITS: Artur Matosyan, Corbin Mathias, Alicia Quan, and James Coleman on Unsplash

Session 2: The Historical Nebuchadnezzar (16 min)

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In this episode we take a look at our first artifact that matches the period of Daniel. This artifact is often called the Babylonian Chronicle #5 or the Nebuchadnezzar Chronicle. It contains descriptions of the events leading to Nebuchadnezzar’s rise to the throne and his dealings with various kings of the region, including Israel’s kings. The Bible also contains records of these events. How well do the historical and biblical Nebuchadnezzars align?

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PHOTO CREDITS: KLMircea on Flickr, Corbin Mathias on Unsplash

Session 3: Lachish Letters (26 min)

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The book of Daniel takes place after the complete Babylonian conquest of Jerusalem. A set of ostracons found at the ancient city of Lachish give important clues to important characters and the order of events in the Babylonian conquest of Jewish cities. This lesson looks at the Lachish letters and how their eyewitness accounts compare to the record in our Bible.

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Session 4: The Case for Belshazzar (30 min)

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The Bible describes King Belshazzar as the last king of Babylon before the Medo-Persians took over but history tell us that Nabonidus was king at the time. Is this an error in the biblical record? An archeological artifact called the Nabonidus Chronicle which describes the fall of Babylon and its rulers sheds some light on this apparent discrepancy. This video is from our series on the Archaeology of Daniel. The book of Daniel is the second most criticized book of the Bible (behind Jonah). Each episode in this series takes a look at the archaeological evidence against the Biblical record and what we know to be true.

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Session 5: The Cyrus Cylinder (31 min)

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In 1979 the British Museum conducted a dig at the ancient city of Babylon where they found a plethora of clay cylinders covered in writing. These could be considered old library books with important historical records about the city, its rulers, and major events. This cylinder and the works of the historian Josephus help us piece together a picture of the rise and reign of Cyrus. The Bible also contains an account of the reign of Cyrus. How well do these stories match? Can the Bible be trusted as a source of history?

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Session 6: The Nabonidus Cylinder (25 min) (SEP 13)

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A common criticism of the book of Daniel is that it gets its dynastic lineage wrong. The Nabonidus cylinder is another artifact that brings some clarity to the lineage of the kings of Babylon. It turns out the official lineage of kings is not always so straight forward.

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Related Activities

Come with us to Israel and see the evidence for yourself! Michael Lane and archeologist Dr. Steven Notley will be guiding you through different sites where biblical history happened and help you understand the history contained in the Scriptures. Space is limited, sign up today!