The Book of Daniel

Dear <<First Name>>

I hope you found Alan Spence’s reflects on the Holy Trinity helpful – it’s often good to look at what we believe and think about how we can better articulate those things.

For the next month or so we will be turning to the Book of Daniel.  This is an interesting yet, in places, difficult book comprising of two very different sections. The first 6 chapters, attributed to an anonymous narrator, are the ones we are most familiar with and comprise of court legends about Daniel and his friends who had to find ways to live with persecution and powerful (yet rather bumbling) monarchs.  The second section, written as visions of Daniel, dates from the second Century BC when the Greeks were threatening Israel. This section is rather more difficult as the style of writing is apocalyptic with mysterious visions portraying the End Times.  

Daniel is the first book to reflect on themes of resurrection and reward/punishment in the after life. Radical Christian groups – at the Reformation and during the Civil War used Daniel to push for a government of the saints as a precursor to Jesus’ return (Cromwell turned down this offer).  The passages are rather longer than when dealing with, say, an Epistle partly as the some are stories and partly as, apocalyptic parts don’t break down into smaller chunks easily.  They are, however, worth sticking with.

with every good wish


Andy Braunston
Coordinator, Daily Devotions from the URC Project