Daniel Details Confound the Critics
September 19, 2023
David Cloud, Way of Life Literature, P.O. Box 610368, Port Huron, MI 48061
The following is excerpted from Bill Cooper’s The Authenticity of the Book of Daniel (2012).

Bill Cooper (1947-2021) was a prolific writer and speaker, with a gift of cutting through the fog of biblical criticism to defend the infallible, plenary, verbal inspiration of Scripture, the six-day creation, and the Masoretic Hebrew and Received Greek texts. He was a council member of the Creation Science Movement and the Tyndale Society and an adjunct professor for the Institute for Creation Research’s Master Faculty. His most popular book is
After the Flood which gives evidence for the historicity of Genesis 10 based on ancient, little known British and European genealogies. He published a series of books entitled “The Authenticity,” which included The Authenticity of the Book of Genesis, Joshua, Judges, Esther, Daniel, Jonah, the Gospels, Acts, the Epistles, and Revelation. In The Forging of Codex Sinaiticus, Cooper gave evidence to support his thesis that Sinaiticus is a forgery.

Cooper was a careful researcher, an independent thinker, and a brave defender of God’s eternal truth. He accomplished this in spite of suffering serious illnesses, including leukemia, the last two decades of his life. We can’t agree with all of his conclusions; at times he seems to be dogmatic when the evidence isn’t absolute; there is an occasion or two when he might have been led astray by Jewish mysticism; but everything we have read from his pen is well worth considering.

If you want to be encouraged in your faith in the divine inspiration of Scripture, read Bill Cooper.

Not all of his books are currently available in print, but all of them are available in Kindle format from Amazon.


To confound them [Bible critics] though, there are many small, almost unnoticeable, items of internal evidence within the Book of Daniel which tell plainly of its antiquity, and which no forger would have thought of, no matter how ‘pious’ or well-intentioned he may have been.

Daniel 10:4 contains one such: “And in the four and twentieth day of the first month, as I was by the side of the great river, which is Hiddekel....” The use of the name Hiddekel is most interesting. The Persians knew that river as the Tigra, and Greeks knew it as the Tigris. No post-Persian Greek-speaking Maccabaean forger of Daniel would have used the river’s ancient Hebrew name.

Daniel 5:2 contains another powerful indicator of early authorship: “Belshazzar, whiles he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnezzar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem; that the king, and his princes, his wives, and his concubines, might drink therein.” The Lord is in the detail here. Notice how women were allowed to be present and to partake of royal feasts under the Babylonians. That was never allowed under the Persians. Women were banished to their own quarters. The Book of Esther records the fact:

The mathematics of the Book of Daniel is another indicator of the 6th-century BC authorship of the book. In Daniel 3:1, the writer describes in sexagesimal dimensions the image which Nebuchadnezzar set up on the Plain of Dura (of which more later). The Babylonians used a sexagesimal system of mathematics. But how would our Maccabaean forger have known this? The Persians and Greeks had for 400 years past used the decimal system, the same one that we use today. The sexagesimal system would have been entirely unknown to him. In Daniel 8:2, we are told, “...I was at Shushan in the palace, which is in the province of Elam...” The curious thing here is that Shushan belonged to Elam in Babylonian times and even earlier, but not in the 2nd century BC, nor in the preceding three centuries. Then it was considered to belong to, and indeed was, the capital of the province Susiana.8

There are many other indicators in the Book of Daniel showing a 6th-century BC authorship, along with a most intimate knowledge of Babylonian culture and affairs. We shall be considering more of them as we proceed. Suffice it here to say that such points as we have considered are entirely ignored by the critics, or are passed over without comment.

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