The Book of Daniel: Prophecy after the Fact?

Dr. Joshua Bowen, PhD in Assyriology from The Johns Hopkins University; ThM Old Testament, Capital Bible Seminary; BS Religion, Liberty University. Dr. Josh specializes on ancient Near Eastern languages, including Sumerian, Akkadian, Hebrew, Aramaic, and Koine Greek, and runs the educational YouTube channel Digital Hammurabi ( with his wife, soon-to-be Dr. Megan Lewis (Johns Hopkins University).


48 thoughts on “The Book of Daniel: Prophecy after the Fact?

  1. gh778jk December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Aron….man….. I love you like chicken and you're the neighbor I always wanted but never will have…. but isn't there something to be done about the sound quality of these 'hangout' videos? This one is reasonable but some are extremely hard to watch completely …

    Paddy, heathen

  2. Red Hunteur December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    (responding to a claim by G-man a few months ago) Okay… I don’t even believe you are real.

    ~ AronRa

  3. Luka K. December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Love Dr. Josh!

  4. Peter Wyetzner December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    There were by the mid-2nd century a lot of diplomatic interactions between Rome and the Hellenistic states, including dissuading Antiochus from attacking Egypt ; so are there more specific reasons why Daniel would not be referring to it?

  5. CH2517Joan December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Thank you both so much for the time and effort doing this. I always leave a little more knowledgeable than before.

  6. Ebiegberi Adonkie December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Disappointment.. Ra not linking your guest's channel. Great vid

  7. Regular Apistevist December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    You’re one of a kind, and we will for ever love and support you!

  8. Regular Apistevist December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Mr. Ra, I admire your charming guest truly, but we are hungry for science, we need more and more videos on taxonomy, biology, geology, anthropology, palaeontology—these sorts of subjects, plus spreading our humanist, secular, atheistic, rational worldview, not having a long monotonous never ending discussions in religion’s bullshits, it’s not productive, the main thing that drove me to your channel is science and science literacy and science education…

  9. Paul Robinson December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    "God it looks like Daniel. Must be the clouds in my eyes.": – Elton John

  10. Martin James December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Contingent prophecy? Politicians prophecy thus all the time! I will cite Boris Johnson, Brexit, and the "prophecy" he had painted on a big red bus as just one example. Who resprayed that bus? Or does it now lie rusting in an obscure scrapyard somewhere?

  11. The Weasel December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Your talk of prophetic language reminds me of what I believe is called Nostradamus roulette. Where the prophecy is so vague with no ending that essentially you keep playing until you win, there is no possibility of being wrong.

  12. Martin James December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    The discrepancies in Christian views of the bible. It's interesting to look at the great flood of pamphlets from the 17th century "wars of the three kingdoms". (The dawn of cheap printing, the internet of its day, just about anyone who could write could publish, and thanks to a century + of Protestant bible-thumping around 60% or more of men were literate. The percentage of literate women is more disputed.)

    Those from Scotland, where the revolt began, are mostly Calvinist-literalist, predictable and boring. So are the relatively few counter-blasts from the losing Laudinist establishment.

    It's in England where things got interesting, especially after the king got his head chopped off in 1649. Here are people who know the bible intimately, who all identify as Christians, who argue their ideologies and politics from the bible, but how? Largely as a well of allegory into which they dip their buckets. Some are floridly amusing nutters, but many are not. Winstanley writes of "the great creator, Reason", of the monopoly ownership land and and of what Marx would later call "the means of production" being to "lift up the curse", whereas to hold "the earth a common treasury for all" and to work in common, rather than for an employer, "lifteth up Christ". Clarkson holds there is no such thing as sin, and many other radical positions are argued with copious illustration from bible stories. People felt as free to loosen the bible's words from their original context as modern evangelicals do, and generally to much better effect!

    It pisses me off that the two writers from this period who get all the attention, who are "safe for school", are John Bunyan and Cromwell's political fixer, John Milton. Gerrard Winstanley, William Walwyn and Richard Overton were all very fine writers, and Overton could be funny, too. Ignore John Lilburne, though. Worth reading about, as he was an incomparable and inspiring activist, but a lousy writer.

  13. rablackford1 December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Thanks you both for publishing this video. I enjoy the opportunity to listen to a scholar talk about biblical text scrutinizing it critically without using wish fulfillment. I really appreciate the both of you use language and conversation that a Layman would be able to comprehend. I would like that you both consider continuing these conversations as I find them enlightening. I like to ask the doctor how difficult it is to date text BC as I understand Jewish counting and number system was extremely confusing. If he would be so kind as to include this in a conversation in the future I would really appreciate it. Thank you Aaron. I would also like to know the status of your work on the project which I'm totally unable to spell here. When it is done will the average citizen be able to view it in any Manor. Even if I didn't completely understand it I would really enjoy seeing complete project in its enormity. I'm sure it will be astounding.

  14. God Of Spaghett December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Hey Aron watch it! GMAN is right because the bible says it is correct. What else could you POSSIBLY need?

  15. Soon Hie Tan December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    The texts in Daniel show messianic prophecies in Daniel 2 (the Rock), Daniel 7(the everlasting kingdom), Daniel 9(atonement for wickedness and everlasting righteousness), Daniel 11,12(time of the end, time of distress not seen before in the nation, the resurrection, power of the Holy people completely broken, abomination of desolation 1290/1335 days).The prophecies did not end with Antiochus Ephiphanes and the Seleucids in Daniel 8 (abomination of desolation 1150 days but sanctuary reconsecrated) but covered to the time of the Romans and the Herod dynasty up to the time of the end (of old covenant Israel) in 70 CE in Daniel 9, 11 and 12. Jesus himself cited the abomination of desolation in Daniel 9 and 12 (obviously not the abomination of desolation in Daniel 8).
    Therefore Daniel is truly an inspired text even though it was written in the second century BCE.

  16. John Wright December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    I really enjoy seeing the hypocritical contradictions being exposed in creationist texts to be fun.

  17. flyscan December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    If you guys meet irl, you should film yourself playing a game of table tennis and upload it with the title Joshua Bowen Vs AronRa!

  18. NoSox RubyRox December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Listening to these two guys explain “it’s ok to say ‘I don’t know’” is ducking inspiring.

  19. haKurei kura December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    their prophetic accuracy seems to have pathetic accuracy…

  20. Full Time Vegan December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Pulses and water my brothers, pulses and water 😁

  21. Atheistation December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Do drugs and you get visions that somehow match with the current knowledge of your time. Yeah, clearly supernatural lol

  22. Bristleconejones December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    It is so awesome when you guys can laugh together. Lightens the heaviness of the conversation. But on another note, always glad to listen to others who broke away from such rank and destructive superstition.

  23. Rembrandt972 December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    I agree with Aron about GMan. He has to be a troll, no one could really be as stupid as GMan pretends to be.

  24. Noel Lopez December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    wouldn't genesis be the oldest, in the beginning and so on.

  25. Discovermyview December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    You should introduce G Man to Dunning-Kruger. They'd have a lot to talk about.

  26. Scott Weber December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Great video maybe one day can you do an interview with Dr. Eric Cline.

  27. Thank God I'm an atheist g December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Got a YesHeis ad before this

  28. David Griffin December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    A video from Aron is like a visit from an old friend

  29. Nopey Nahh December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Ojeda! Mmxx..hey rawstory had an article about the defect of religion s..

  30. Nopey Nahh December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Fraud farce! How dare you…oh..hey whats up Aron!

  31. ikon December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Aron I love ya man and the work that you do, but I do think you went a little hard on RC. I know you have a lot to say and it must be hard to hold back at times, I know the feeling on occasion. That being said; I think you could have been considerably more generous to him. I think he's a honest guy even though I disagree with him on like 99% of things. In my opinion he deserved a softer tone from you, more thoughtful version of you compared to say how you would approach G tard. Anyway lates, thanks for the content as usual.

  32. TheEyez187 December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    7:22 – ""The more you know, the more you know you don't know!"" – A great truth from Aristotle. A great many of these people will be basing all of their "knowledge" from a single source, the Bible, which in itself is a wholly (holy) untrustable source! My knowledge of the contents of the Bible is not great, the letters after my name are for Archaeology and Heritage Studies, because of that I know two things*. There are a great many inaccuracies and contradictions in "The Good Book", and that you can't use said book or any single source as a basis for your knowledge; you'll never get a complete** understanding of a thing/subject, taking information from one place!
    * I think I'm selling myself a bit short there, we could at least double that! 😀
    ** Refer you back to Aristotle's quote.

  33. Enkidu Five December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    I think you've hit upon a winning formula here. Dr. Bowen is an endlessly fascinating source of knowledge and has a knack for explaining things in an easily digestible fashion. I'm one of his patrons and proud to be so.

  34. RustyTube December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Oh, come on, Aron, why do you keep interrupting him so much?!

  35. Ken Mc Cracken December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Since Dr Bowen will be releasing a more detailed critique on his own channel later I'll just give a broad response here. It's clear that liberal scholars woefully misinterpret Daniel in claiming that the fourth kingdom/empire is Greece. There are difficulties in relation to Belshazzar being called the son of Nebuchadnezzar and with the identity of Darius the Mede, though at one time sceptical scholars claimed that Belshazzar didn't even exist which should be cautionary in itself.

    There are particular aspects of the prophecy and it's dating which have been examined by conservative (theologically) scholars, but I'll wait to see Joshuas' fuller presentation before responding.
    Liberal scholars also need to address the prophecies at the end of chapter 9 about the Messiah being cut off which is in the context of making atonement and reconciliation for sins. And this is followed by the destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple. Their standard late/post dating tactic won't work here and a post A.D. 70 'Deutero Daniel' won't rescue them.

  36. Michael Clayton December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    AronRa is a flat earth dude WTF

  37. Paul Nixon December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    I found this video so much more enlightening than the discussion on Non Sequitur. Thanks for introducing me to Digital Hammurabi, Aron!

  38. wwickeddogg December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Josh is awesome, I love the way that he knows everything about a specific topic but still accepts that he could be wrong.

  39. SiriusMined December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Great interview!

  40. Keith Cooper December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Thanks Aron for having Dr. Bowen on to discuss this wonderful topic! You both rock!

  41. Eliaz Ruis December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Duh, Genesis is the oldest book. In the beginning Gawd did it.

  42. doc usnhmusmc December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am


  43. HConstantine December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    I'm sure Bowen wont do it, but what I would love to see, is for him to go back to Aron's video where he talks about the collapse of Near Eastern Civilization, and how certain Biblical texts refer to the fact that knowledge of how to read and write the cuneiform languages was lost in the mid second millennium then rediscovered a few centuries later, how the flood myth originated in a local flood in Sumer and many other such inanities, and make a detailed commentary on it. But he is too nice to do that.

  44. HConstantine December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Aron is at his weakest when dealing with the Bible. he can't even understand what Bowen is saying.

    Daniel was written in the mid 2nd century. it has a dramatic date of the 6th century. It is nothing at all like Isaiah which has a date of composition (Aron's estimate of the 8th century seems positively credulous) and a date associated with the earliest mss. The two situations are not at all analogous. And just incidentally, it has to be added that the DSS can be dated much more finely by paleography than by carbon dating, and a date of 250 is much too early–it could only be a misunderstanding by an outsider who knows little of what he is talking about.

  45. Drew Johnson December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    2nd Cent BCE date is fine for Messianic prophecy. The book contains prophecies of events from the 1st Cent CE. The fourth kingdom is obviously Rome because the book itself views the Medes and Persians as one group. Rome is discussed in Dan 2, 7 and 9 where Messiah along with destruction of temple by Vespasian and Titus are in view. Rome destroyed the temple in 70 AD.

    “no end date for prophecy” – see Dan 9.

  46. Ian M December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    As I recall, GMan has agreed to be Matt Dillahunty's slave. When you argue with him, you should suggest to him that before he gives a response, he should check with Matt to see if he is allowed to 😉

  47. Michael Jones December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    The bible was only collated into a "book" in response to Marcion.

  48. Mark Carter December 28, 2018 at 11:49 am

    Even the ignorant savage, elitist writers of the book of wholly fables, only wrote that ridiculous tome being right wing snowflakes that were trying to make a quick buck!

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