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Comparison Between Hebrew, Aramaic and Greek

By Jay Rogers
Published January 16, 2019

What textual evidence indicates that the Book of Daniel was the work the sixth century BC prophet in Babylon and not a pseudonymous scribe living shortly after the time of the Maccabean revolt?

The rendering of the Aramaic portions of Daniel in the Dead Sea Scroll texts and Greek Septuagint is also important in determining the authenticity of the Book of Daniel. The oldest known texts of Daniel, as we have seen, are among the Dead Sea Scrolls. The shift from Hebrew to Aramaic back to Hebrew in the Dead Sea Scrolls versions of Daniel is rendered exactly as it is in later manuscripts of the Masoretic text.


In the Days of These Kings (Book)

Perfect-bound Paperback — 740 pages

The Book of Daniel in Preterist Perspective

“And in the days of these kings shall the God of heaven set up a kingdom, which shall never be destroyed: and the kingdom shall not be left to other people, but it shall break in pieces and consume all these kingdoms, and it shall stand for ever” (Daniel 2:44).

The overarching message of Daniel is that Jesus the Messiah is even now ruling over the nations. He is the King of kings. Daniel tells us that Messiah’s kingdom will advance in the whole world from “generation to generation” (Daniel 4:4,34). Christ’s dominion is “given to the people of the saints of the most High” (Daniel 7:22). Our purpose then is to see “all people, nations, and languages … serve and obey him” (Daniel 7:14,27).

This comprehensive work offers a fascinating look at the book of Daniel in preterist perspective. Great attention is paid to the writings of ancient and modern historians and scholars to connect the dots and demonstrate the continuity of Daniel’s prophecy with all of Scripture.

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The Septuagint prior to the time of Christ contained Daniel translated into Greek. We cannot know for certain whether the original Septuagint (c. 250 BC) contained Daniel simply because we do not have copies dating from that century. However, the earliest existing copies (fourth to sixth century AD) of the Greek Old Testament contain Daniel. Yet in some early copies of the Greek Old Testament, instead of finding the Septuagint’s original version of Daniel, we find instead the Hellenistic Jewish scholar Theodotion’s Greek translation (originally done around AD 150) alongside the Septuagint texts of every other book in the canon. Theodotion’s translation of Daniel follows more closely the Masoretic text than the Septuagint does. This has caused a great deal of questions over the centuries since history does not record the exact reason why this is the case. When Jerome was preparing his version of the Latin Bible, he commented in the preface to Daniel, “I don’t know why this happened.”

The churches of the Lord Savior do not read the Prophet Daniel according to the Seventy interpreters [the Septuagint], using [instead] the edition of Theodotion, and I don’t know why this happened. For whether because the language is Chaldean and differs in certain properties from our speech, [or] the Seventy interpreters were not willing to keep the same lines in the translation, or the book was edited under their name by some unknown other who did not sufficiently know the Chaldean language, or not knowing anything else which was the cause, I can affirm this one thing, that it often differs from the truth and with proper judgment is repudiated. Indeed, it is known most of Daniel and some of Ezra were written in Hebrew letters, but the Chaldean language (Jerome’s Preface to Daniel).

Two of the oldest Greek manuscripts of Daniel are known as the Old Greek, a version of the Septuagint; and Theodotion, a later Greek translation made by a Hellenized Jewish scholar. The Old Greek relies on the text found in Papyrus 967, a recently discovered manuscript dated to about AD 250 containing fragments of the original Septuagint text of the Book of Daniel. The Old Greek is thought to be a copy of the original Septuagint version of Daniel. Conservatives maintain this was completed around 250 BC. Theodotion is an improved translation dated to about AD 150. Theodotion’s version of Daniel is much more faithful to the Hebrew Masoretic text and was so widely copied in the early Church that his Greek translation of the Book of Daniel virtually replaced the Septuagint’s after the fourth century.

These two Greek versions of Daniel can be read in a recently published side-by-side English translation, A New English Translation of the Septuagint. Even with no knowledge of Hebrew or Greek, an English speaking reader can easily see that Theodotion is more accurate than the Old Greek. The greatest number of additions and omissions from the original text of Daniel appear in the Old Greek manuscript of the Septuagint. The Old Greek reads in places like a paraphrase similar to the elaborative style of The Living Bible (TLB). Furthermore, the Aramaic portions of Daniel in the Old Greek are much more loosely rendered than the Hebrew portions.

The original text of Daniel was composed in two languages, Hebrew and Aramaic. Scholarly studies since the 1960s have shown that the Aramaic of Daniel points to the earlier Chaldean Aramaic dialect, not a later Western Aramaic that would be required if a Maccabean date in the second century BC were to be maintained. Western Aramaic was a widely spoken language at the time the Septuagint was translated in Egypt. The scribes at Alexandria who translated Daniel would have had a better working knowledge of Hebrew than the language of Chaldean Aramaic spoken at the time of Daniel. Theodotion’s improved translation of Daniel replaced the Septuagint’s original translation fairly early. Even Jerome did not know how or when this happened. But more importantly, the Jews who translated Daniel into Greek initially had trouble with the Aramaic language. This indicates that these portions were composed a few centuries prior to the time when Western Aramaic had replaced the older dialect.

This discrepancy in the quality of the Septuagint text of Daniel ironically attests to the book’s authenticity in yet another way. If Daniel had been composed in the Maccabean period when Greek was widely spoken, it is much more likely that more Greek words would have made their way into the text. In fact, Daniel contains a total of three Greek “loan words” in the Aramaic portions. These words are the names of musical instruments. This is not surprising since the Greeks traded with the Babylonians and Persians as far back as the seventh century BC. However, the Aramaic portions of Daniel also contain a total of 19 Persian loan words, which would be expected in two cultures that made military alliances and trade exchanges.

If Daniel were composed during the later Hellenistic period, we would expect the Aramaic text portions of Daniel to contain more Greek. We would also expect that the translation of Daniel into Greek would have been done more accurately by Jews familiar with the contemporary Western Aramaic.


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Frank Schaeffer Will You Please Shut Up! (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 200 pages

A Reasonable Response to Christian Postmodernism

Includes a response to the book Christian Jihad by Colonel V. Doner

The title of this book is a misnomer. In reality, I am not trying to get anyone to shut up, but rather to provoke a discussion. This book is a warning about the philosophy of “Christian postmodernism” and the threat that it poses not only to Christian orthodoxy, but to the peace and prosperity our culture as well. The purpose is to equip the reader with some basic principles that can be used to refute their arguments.

Part 1 is a response to some of the recent writings by Frank Schaeffer, the son of the late Francis Schaeffer. This was originally written as a defense against Frank’s attacks on pro-life street activism – a movement that his father helped bring into being through his books, A Christian Manifesto, How Should We Then Live? and Whatever Happened to the Human Race? These works have impacted literally hundreds of thousands of Christian activists.

Part 2 is a response to Colonel Doner and his book, Christian Jihad: Neo-Fundamentalists and the Polarization of America. Doner was one of the key architects of the Christian Right that emerged in the 1980s, who now represents the disillusionment and defection many Christian activists experienced in the 1990s and 2000s. There is still great hope for America to be reformed according to biblical principles. As a new generation is emerging, it is important to recognize the mistakes that Christian activists have made in the past even while holding to a vision for the future.

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Massacre of Innocence (DVD)

Exposing The Occult Roots of Abortion

This presentation looks at the spiritual roots of abortion and exposes the myths surrounding child killing. Little known historical facts about abortion and how they relate to modern feminism are presented logically and accurately. Has been effective in converting many to a pro-life position.

Massacre of Innocence goes where no pro-life presentation has gone before in “tearing the lid off abortion” to reveal the spiritual realities we must battle if we will bring an end to this crime. The presentation is absorbing, fast-paced, informative and incredibly devastating to any attempt to justify abortion.

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— Congressman Robert K. Dornan

Running time: 85 minutes

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The United States of America 2.0: The Great Reset (Book)

High Quality Paperback — 40 pages of dynamite!

Revival, Resistance, Reformation, Revolution
An Introduction to the Doctrines of Interposition and Nullification

In 1776, a short time after the Declaration of Independence was adopted, Thomas Jefferson, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin were assigned to design an official seal for the United States of America. Their proposed motto was Rebellion to Tyrants is Obedience to God. America owes its existence to centuries of Christian political philosophy. Our nation provided a model for liberty copied by nations the world over.

By the 21st century, we need a “Puritan Storm” to sweep away the Hegelian notion that the state is “God walking on earth.” We need revival and reformation in full force to vanquish the problems that plague us as a nation — from government controlled healthcare — to abortion on demand — to same sex “marriage.” This booklet gives a primer on our founders’ Christian idea of government and examines how the doctrine of nullification was woven into the Constitution as a safeguard against federal tyranny. It concludes with the history and theology of civil resistance. A Second American Revolution is coming with the Word of God growing mightily and prevailing! (Acts 19:20).

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The Four Keys to the Millennium (Book)

Foundations in Biblical Eschatology

By Jay Rogers, Larry Waugh, Rodney Stortz, Joseph Meiring. High quality paperback, 167 pages.

All Christians believe that their great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, will one day return. Although we cannot know the exact time of His return, what exactly did Jesus mean when he spoke of the signs of His coming (Mat. 24)? How are we to interpret the prophecies in Isaiah regarding the time when “the earth will be full of the knowledge of the LORD as the waters cover the sea” (Isa. 11:19)? Should we expect a time of great tribulation and apostasy or revival and reformation before the Lord returns? Is the devil bound now, and are the saints reigning with Christ? Did you know that there are four hermeneutical approaches to the book of Daniel and Revelation?

These and many more questions are dealt with by four authors as they present the four views on the millennium. Each view is then critiqued by the other three authors.

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Dr. Francis Schaeffer - A Christian Manifesto (DVD)

That Swiss Hermit Strikes Again!

Dr. Schaeffer, who was one of the most influential Christian thinkers in the twentieth century, shows that secular humanism has displaced the Judeo-Christian consensus that once defined our nation’s moral boundaries. Law, education, and medicine have all been reshaped for the worse as a consequence. America’s dominant worldview changed, Schaeffer charges, when Christians weren’t looking.

Schaeffer lists two reasons for evangelical indifference: a false concept of spirituality and fear. He calls on believers to stand against the tyranny and moral chaos that come when humanism reigns-and warns that believers may, at some point, be forced to make the hard choice between obeying God or Caesar. A Christian Manifesto is a thought-provoking and bracing Christian analysis of American culture and the obligation Christians have to engage the culture with the claims of Christ.

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