God's Signature of Authenticity
about contents
Daniel's
69-weeks
Daniel
Historicity
Passion Week
Harmonized
Jesus'
Historicity
Jesus' revised
Birth Date
about
contents

About this website and its author

Purpose:

Simply stated, this website marshals the historical evidence that demonstrates Daniel's prophecy of Daniel 9:24-27 is authentic, was revealed by God to Daniel several hundred years in advance, and was accurately fulfilled in the first coming of Jesus of Nazareth.

There is a myriad of confused and conflicting explanations of Daniel 9 offered by well intentioned Christian apologists, that simply do not hold up under detailed scrutiny. Yes, the Bible is true, and yes, Daniel 9:24-27 correctly foretold the coming of Jesus who is in fact the Messiah, but the explanations and defenses often fall far short of the general claims. The errors and inconsistencies become stumbling blocks for sincere Christians seeking correct, defensible explanations. Questioning agnostics, skeptical atheists and even orthodox Jews might give credence to Biblical truth if they were actually presented with an intellectually substantial and verifiable explanation of Jesus as the foretold Messiah.

That is what this website presents. The material here is offered as a resource of a coherent, consistent and comprehensive explanation of the authenticity of Daniel 9.

Methodology:

In no instance do the explanations presented here ever contradict scripture. The author does operate from the admitted bias or predisposition that the Bible is correct as written. But misinterpretations are of necessity exposed and corrected:

A classic example would be the tradition that Jesus was crucified on a Friday. Scripture does not exactly say that. Scripture does say Jesus was crucified on the day before Sabbath; but "Sabbath" is not the same as "Saturday". "Sabbath" means "a day of no work or no laborious work", and in fact every Passover week has two Sabbath days, Saturday, and a high Sabbath just after Passover which is also the First Day of Unleavened Bread. In A.D. 30, that Passover on which Jesus was crucified occurred on Wednesday, the day before the high Sabbath. Scripture is correct, but the typical assumption as to what day was the "Sabbath" following crucifixion is often misunderstood.

Similar errors are often committed in computing the duration of 69 weeks between the beginning mark of Daniel's prophecy (the decree issued) to the advent of the Messiah Prince. The error occurs because of an erroneous assumption Jesus was crucified in some year other than A.D. 30, or an erroneous assumption Messiah's anointed appearance equates to riding into Jerusalem or being crucified, and then working backwards redefining the length of 69 weeks of years to fit an erroneous assumption the decree was from Cyrus or Artaxerxes to Nehemiah. Again, scripture is correct, but one must start with the correct decree (Artaxerxes I in Ezra 7:8-14), add the correct duration (69 x 7 = 483 years) to A.D. 26 to the correct anointing when Jesus was baptized with water and the Holy Spirit to begin His ministry when He was about 30 years old (Luke 3:1) - the Messiah had appeared!!! And then it is important to ensure that the dates of Jesus' birth and the reigns of Tiberius, Pilate, etc. all reconcile as well. This last, but crucial, aspect of testing against extra-biblical historical time lines seems almost always avoided by Christian and skeptic alike.

Further, many questions and objections are raised, for example that Daniel 9 is not Messianic, or wasn't written by "Daniel", or wasn't written until 200 B.C. or later, or that Jesus wasn't crucified until A.D. 32, or wasn't born in 5 B.C. because Herod the Great didn't die until 1 B.C. Then too evidence of Jesus' historicity is often alleged to have been a Christian hoax such as Josephus' Testimonium Flavianum.

Demonstrating, forensically, that Daniel is authentic, Ezra 7:8-14 is the decree issued by Artaxerxes I, Jesus was born approximately August of 5 B.C. and was baptized in A.D. 26 and crucified on a Wednesday of A.D. 30, and answering all the reasonable questions and objections, requires a lot of detailed explanation and citations of where the evidence may be found. That is why the explanations here get so lengthy. Being comprehensive and demonstrating the consistency gets involved.

The demonstration is forensic. By that is meant that the past history can be correctly and verifiably demonstrated, but the evidence itself is not repeatable. There is no laboratory in which a repeatable experiment can be run to show God giving the prophecy to Daniel in 538 B.C., but a forensic examination of the evidence can be made. That Daniel 9 was written in advance of the prophecy by "Daniel" himself can be shown forensically. That Daniel's prophecy of 69 Weeks was fulfilled by Jesus Christ can be shown forensically. That Jesus was crucified on a Wednesday can be shown forensically. That these and related events all reconcile with history (i.e. consistent with contemporaneous artifacts, historical narratives, and chronologies without contradiction) can be shown forensically. Again, that is why the explanations here get so lengthy. Showing, forensically (so readers can judge for themselves) what the evidence actually is, takes considerable length and detail.

While cites and quotations of scholarship is not "forensic evidence" per se, their research in effect is being relied upon as expert testimony of what the forensic evidence would show if we examined it directly ourselves. But direct re-examination ourselves is impractical. For example, we aren't able to examine artifacts in the British Museum or rare coins. We aren't able to handle the fragments and translate the Dead Sea Scrolls of Qumran ourselves. There is little need in general to translate anew the works of Josephus, Seutonius or Tacitus or the fragments of Julius Africanus. These materials have already been forensically examined - they have been collected, preserved, cataloged, authenticated, dated, translated, reviewed and published. Their accuracy and provenance is known.

In the explanations presented here, often, the descriptions and analyses of artifacts, inscriptions, historical texts, languages, calendars, etc., are quoted extensively from the works of scholars who have done the primary research. These scholars state their arguments and findings succinctly and clearly, and paraphrasing would add little, but would deny them credit for their work - they say it best themselves. But you, dear reader, wouldn't know that and so I have put their words, and the historical record, in front of you for you to judge yourself.

Unsurprisingly, the opinions and interpretations that scholars express, the meanings they impute to the forensic evidence, are at times controversial and lacking in consensus. For example, as previously stated, "genuine biblical prophecy is a supernatural foretelling of events". There are scholars whose research into biblical subjects is noteworthy and useful from a standpoint of establishing what the facts are, but many times those same scholars a priori reject any supernatural causation. So while they may start from the same set of facts about which languages different sections of Daniel are written in, being naturalists they will assert natural human causes for Daniel's prophecies seeming "true" - generally that those sections of Daniel were written after the "foretold" events were known - i.e. Daniel's prophecies were "forged" or are vaticinium ex eventu (foretelling after the event).

In such cases, quotations from scholarship are still used to establish the consensus of forensic evidence on what languages and words are used in Daniel, but then additional scholarship is cited to present the forensic evidence that refutes the forgery theory. As an example, see Daniel uses words and grammar known in Babylonian courts under Babylonian and Persian rulers. And lest the reader think that the "Maccabean Theory" of Daniel's origin impugns the authenticity of Daniel's Prophecy of 69 Weeks, consider that:

Even if Daniel was written in the 2nd century B.C., that does not explain the supernatural accuracy of Daniel 9's prophecy of the Messiah and it's fulfilment 200 years later by Jesus of Nazareth. If Daniel foretold (in 2nd c. B.C.) that 483 years from a (earlier) decree by Artaxerxes I that the Messiah would appear and be cutoff, and since in A.D. 26 the Messiah in fact appeared 483 years from Artaxerxes I decree in 458 B.C., then, what exactly was "false"? Even if Daniel was written 2nd c. B.C., the appearance of Jesus the Messiah was still accurately foretold 150-200 years in advance, and no amount of dismissive 'vaticinium ex eventu' hand waving can change the irrefutability that Daniel 9 remains authentic prophecy, exactly as written.

However, when there is some unreconciled aspect of the forensic evidence against the biblical narrative, those unreconciled aspects are highlighted so as to not be overlooked. As examples:

Regardless, the evidence collected and presented to date (and in process) overwhelmingly reinforces and reconciles with the authenticity of Daniel's 69 Week Prophecy as presented herein.

Only those Bible passages which are germane to the authenticity of Daniel, the prophecies, and their fulfillment in Jesus Christ are used here. Avoided are using Bible passages to prove Bible passages. The serious Christian researcher and the intellectually honest sceptic is seeking the extra-biblical evidence. The events of the Bible are in fact historical - they actually happened - and occasionally there is some recorded history that confirms and reconciles with those biblical events. The purpose of this website is to track down that recorded history (where it bears on the authenticity of Daniel's prophecy), and demonstrate it here in one coherent consistent narrative showing the correspondence between scripture and history, with sufficient details and citations that anyone can easily determine for themselves how credible is the evidence and then pursue that evidence further as they desire.

Again as an example, establishing correct dates for the time line by which Daniel's 69 Weeks ended followed by the Messiah being "cut off" and having those dates reconcile with scripture (Daniel 9 and the Gospel accounts of the crucifixion) and history is critical. Marshalling all the background forensic evidence to harmonize the Gospel Passion Week accounts which reveals and proves a Wednesday crucifixion in A.D. 30, that explanation is laid out in extensive detail so the reader can follow the logic and verify the proof directly for themselves. And if there is interest in exploring the background evidence at length, the relevant scholarship has been cited.

Some will argue that, regardless, God's existence or the credibility of Daniel 9:24-27 being fulfilled by Jesus Christ hasn't been proven. While they may remain sceptical, while they may reasonably accuse past explanations of being inconsistent, incoherent or incomplete, what they can not argue is that there is no coherent, consistent and comprehensive explanation - it is here, on these pages.

θεός σφραγίς : theos sphragis

The Greek words θεός σφραγίς (theos sphragis) are defined by Thayer (G2316 and G4973, respectively) to mean God's authenticating seal; "that by which anything is confirmed, proved, authenticated, as by a seal (a token or proof)". For example, an authenticating seal could be a signet ring or the impression it makes on a wax seal, such as were used by ancient rulers to authenticate their authorship and authority behind their royal letters and decrees. The presence of the seal informs the reader that the scroll is authentic and backed by the king who sealed it.

The Bible is God's letter to us, and we may know that it really is from God because His "seal", His "Signature of Authenticity" is in fulfilled prophecy, especially the prophecy of Daniel 9 which foretold the coming of God's "Anointed Prince", His Messiah, Jesus Christ. God personally "signed" the Bible with His revelation to Daniel of when the Messiah would come. We know it is authentic because it is a prophecy given several hundred years in advance that was fulfilled exactly as given by Jesus Christ who miraculously demonstrated that He was from God and is God. God's signature of fulfilled prophecy can not be forged because no one can know the future as God has demonstrated, and no one can fulfill the Messianic prophecies as Jesus has demonstrated.

This website uses archaeological, historical and calendrical evidence to demonstrate, forensically, that Daniel 9:24-27 is authentic supernatural prophecy and "God's Signature of Authenticity", which we can trust as the "wax seal" that only God could place on the Bible.

Author:

This website is my personal interest, not professional or academic.  I have an avid interest (some might say a burden or even a calling) in accurately demonstrating the historical evidence underlying the biblical accounts of our God, Messiah and Lord, Jesus - that they are true and authentic as written.   

I am a retired computer system developer with a BSEE degree and 30+ years of computer systems development experience.  I have no formal academic training in ancient near east history nor any related scholarly credentials.  I put the same diligence in researching my website material as I did in all my engineering pursuits, having merely applied my former engineering meticulousness and accuracy to my Bible history research. The details have to be tested and correct, or things won't work.  There is a great deal about the Bible that can be tested, forensically, and it does "work" as I believe I've demonstrated. I take great care to rely only on sources whose accuracy and findings are demonstrated, and I include the supporting background in some length as well as cites and any cautions or warnings, so that readers may judge for themselves whether my findings are correct.

If you wish to use something, you're free to simply give the web page address and cite "Charles D. Davis". Note also the Creative Commons license at the bottom of every page, which imposes no restriction on "fair use" or copying with citation. Take care to observe any copyright restrictions on other authors' works.

As for what I believe, briefly:

I believe in the Trinity and that Jesus of Nazareth, is the only begotten Son of God, Lord and Messiah.

I believe in the divine inspiration and inerrancy of scripture; I believe in heaven and hell; that God is sovereign, foreknowing all, and created us in His image with free will, and that as the "suffering servant" Jesus performed miracles and was crucified as an atonement for our sins, and that He was resurrected bodily & spiritually after 3 days in the grave, and that He will rapture His church before the Trumpet and Bowl judgments, and as the "conquering king" He and His church will return at Armageddon (2nd advent).

To borrow a few "labels", I am essentially an Old-Earth creationist (I disavow Darwinian evolution and Theistic evolution), mid-tribulation rapture dispensationalist, millennialist, and charismatic evangelical.  I am neither Calvinist nor Arminian, as I think both over-emphasize narrow aspects of their doctrine, to a fault.

Questions:

Please feel free to email me with any questions you have, or certainly if you suspect an error of some sort.

Topics which I hope to publish in the future:

Josephus' Testimonium Flavianum is not a Christian forgery.

Jesus is the Messiah.

Historicity of the Book of Daniel, save for Darius the Mede being unidentified.

Daniel's prophecy of the king's of the South and North in Dan 11.

Daniel's 70th week in 9:27 is unfulfilled prophecy.

Complete bibliography of works consulted



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content on this site, "Theos Sphragis" by Charles D. Davis,
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Kindly address inquires to: Charles D. Davis <bibleberean@gmail.com>
(last updated May 3, 2014)