Visions of the End: The Prophetic Book of Daniel and Apocalyptic Literature

The lecture commences with an introduction into the nature, characteristics and uniqueness of apocalyptic literature, with a specific focus on biblical apocalyptic. This is followed by a brief survey of the critical interpretation of the book of Daniel, questions of genre and unity and such problems of interpretation as the bilingualism of the book, the identity of the four kingdoms, vision of the seventy weeks and other historical questions. The kingdom of God, divine and human rule, the Messiah, God’s faithfulness and human faithfulness, the pride of humankind and the ultimate victory of God’s saints constitute the major theological themes. Further topics and questions to be discussed include: the prayer of Nabonidus, Daniel and Esther, Daniel’s stories as history, son of man, prophetic allusions, a messianic text, Dan 11 and history, the pride of kings, wisdom and understanding, Daniel and 1 Maccabees, the wise, a deterministic view of history, Daniel among the prophets, Daniel as intercessor and the book of Daniel and the book of Revelation.