03 (March 2014)

BST – The Message of Daniel

Michael Bentley Michael, aged 76, is a retired Baptist minister, chairman of the Bracknell Forest Society and author of 16 books.
01 March, 2014 2 min read

BST – The Message of Daniel
Dale Ralph Davis
176, £9.99
ISBN: 978-1-84474-801-3
Star Rating: 5

I must confess that when I buy a Bible commentary I tend to skim over the introduction, but I did not do it when reading this one.

Although the opening chapter covers all the information needed to understand the prophecy of Daniel, it is not dry. In fact, every chapter in this helpful Bible Speaks Today commentary, including the first chapter, is rich in instruction, warm in spirituality and satisfying to the mind.

This commentator has no truck with those who believe ‘stories about Daniel and his friends are legendary in character, and the hero himself most probably never existed’ (p.16). Dr Davis argues for the life and work of a real person who prophesied around 530 BC (p.22).

The author’s aim is ‘to expound the biblical text with accuracy, to relate it to contemporary life, and to be readable’. He more than fulfils each of these objectives. Every chapter has an eye-catching title, e.g. ‘Saints in the hand of a saving God’ (3:1-30); ‘Why is a two-bit king so all-fired important?’ (8:1-27); and ‘The case of Mr Hyde and Mr Hyde’ (11:2b-45).

Dr Davis is highly skilled in giving illuminating illustrations or events to show how the text of Daniel can be related to circumstances that people living in the 21st century can appreciate. I felt as uplifted in my spirit when I read about the visions as I did when I looked at what the author had to say about the narrative parts of Daniel.

Here is a snippet from the section on Daniel 5: ‘Bible-believing churches and fellowships rightly place a premium on the place and ministry of the Word. But we must be awake to the peril of having the Word without the Spirit. We must plead that the Spirit of God will cause the Word of God to be obedience-producing and life-transforming, for when truth does not humble us (v.22) or lead us to worship (v.23b) we are simply Belshazzar clones’ (p.80).

The author does not skim over complicated parts of Daniel. He spends a whole chapter on Daniel’s seventy weeks, for example (pp.127-138). It is a most helpful and encouraging book and everyone who reads it will be strengthened in their faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.

Michael Bentley

Michael, aged 76, is a retired Baptist minister, chairman of the Bracknell Forest Society and author of 16 books.
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