Solomon's gold mines called a myth but there's one so-called prophecy that always makes me stop and think
The authenticity of the old testament account of Solomon is being called into question in the news media:
For the most-part, I don't really want to believe the Bible as true, certainly not the J.W version including their stubbornness over 607 and 1914. But there's one prophecy that always makes me stop and wonder if maybe some of the bible was inspired by God, if he or she exists. It's the one about Alexander the Great's power going to four generals, as J.W's are told was foretold in Daniel:
I guess Daniel's statue always makes me stop and think too because of how the J.W's say the feet are fragmented coalition governments, which we have definitely seen more of in recent times politically.
I'm pretty much looking for someone to shoot these Daniel prophecies down but am open to all ideas.
The Book of Daniel was written a year or two before 164B.C.E , long after the events it is supposedly "prophecying".
It is one of a well known genre, picking a name and pretending it was written centuries earlier. It is a political tract written against Antiochus Epiphanes .
I have yet to discover a Bible "prophecy" that was written before the event and was fulfilled in the exact terms of the prophecy.
Isambard, the dating of the book of Daniel is discussed in depth online. Try Wikipedia for an overview. Don't look for so called 'Bible scholars' as they have an agenda to fulfill. Look for academics at professor level who know the texts, the relevant secular history and the archaeology.
Superficially it is an easy thing to prove because the writer of Daniel cannot predict the events immediately ahead of 162 BCE but gets the previous years correctly applied as if he prophesied them. Also a major blow to traditional dating is that nobody anywhere quotes Daniel until the middle of the second century BCE. This is a significant exception relating to to the criteria for what made a writing a Biblical text.
There are strong counter-arguments to a late dating as is the nature of the dating of any manuscripts including the first uses of the style of language and word use of the specific texts. However it must always be remembered that nothing is sacred in handwritten documents, there always has to be considered the allowance for forgeries, insertions, deletions and deliberate archaising within a hand-copied text.
Going back to your point of "Daniel's" image, it is a borrowing from a much older piece of writing from the 7th century BCE by the Greek poet Hesiod in his work Theogony. In it he portrayed man's history through an allegory of an image of different metals successively decreasing in worth from a fabled golden race down to powerful empires represented by iron.
It remains a good example of how much of the Bible is a crib from earlier sources, in this case pre-classical Greek. This method shows the poverty of inspiration in the Bible where most of it is copied from paganism and re-worked to suit the propaganda interests of the commissioners of the work.
Once departing from the JW religion it is best to realize early on, that contrary to the force and habit of cult belief, nothing in the Bible has meaningful significance for us today.
One thing is being historically accurate, and a very different one is being "the word of God".
With regard to that image and the wt interpretation... dont let confirmation bias sway you. The world has never been governed by one sole super power. There have always been ‘super powers’, if you will excuse the turn of phrase. But never one sole world government. That statue could apply to any time in world history if you want to take that view of it.
The book of Daniel:
1. Is history written as prophecy (or prophecy written after the event):
There is a sudden prophecy failure after a long string of uncanny successes in chapter 11.
2. Is a book of historical inaccuracies.
The historical inaccuracies have led scholars to recognize it couldn't have been written by someone who was an important Babylonian official when the events recorded in the book were unfolding.
It is impossible to believe that the mind of Daniel was illumined with accurate knowledge of future times, while, at the same time, thoroughly befogged as to the events in which he himself had played no mean part:
3. The claimed 6th-century BC authorship of the book of Daniel is without basis. Scholars have assigned a 2nd-century BC date:
- Gerald A. Larue's book on the Old Testament
- The writer of Daniel knew more about the Grecian empire than the Babylonian and Persian, because he lived much closer to the time of the former.
4. There is a mismatch between the world powers of actual history and the world powers claimed by Christianity.
The interpretation of the empires as:
- Greece and
predominates among (early) Christians as among Jews, and writers often see themselves and their readers as thus near the End of which Daniel spoke.
However, according to history, the ACTUAL foreign countries that occupied what is now Palestine between the 6th century and 2nd century BCE are:
- Babylon (symbolized by the lion/eagle symbol and gold in the book of Daniel).
- The Median empire (symbolized by a bear and silver in the book of Daniel).
- The Persian empire (symbolized by a leopard and bronze in the book of Daniel).
- The Greek empire (symbolized by a terrible beast and iron in the book of Daniel).
THERE WAS NEVER A COMBINED MEDO-PERSIAN EMPIRE. WORLD EVENTS MEAN NOTHING:
5. There is nothing in Daniel's prophecies that can be reasonably construed as visions about the Roman Empire. Such an interpretation would have required a fifth kingdom or empire, which was nowhere indicated in Daniel's prophecies. Christians have read into Daniel's vision what they want to see, that is, references to the Roman Empire. WORLD EVENTS MEAN NOTHING:
6. Daniel did NOT prophesy about the second coming of Jesus and his kingdom. WORLD EVENTS MEAN NOTHING:
7. If the author(s) could have accurately predicted the future after 164 BCE, he would have prophesied some additional earthly empires that controlled Palestine:
- The Roman Empire (from 63 BCE)
- Byzantine Empire (from 313 CE)
- Arab conquest; control of Palestine by Muslim groups (from 636 CE)
- Christian Crusaders from Europe (from 1099 CE)
- Mamluks under Saladin reinstate Muslim rule (from 1291 CE)
- Ottoman rule (from 1517 CE)
- British Empire rule (from 1917 CE)
- The State of Israel (1948 CE to the present time)
From the time of Daniel to the present day, Palestine has been controlled by 11 foreign empires until Israel finally attained independence in 1948 CE. The author(s) of the book of Daniel, apparently writing about 166 CE, failed miserably to predict his or her future.
8. Daniel 12, the final chapter, is not a prediction about a future end of history:
In the final chapter of Daniel, the author describes the "end of history" - a resurrection of the dead, judgment and transfer the resurrected dead to heaven or hell. According to Daniel 12:12, these events would happen during approximately three years following the "abomination of desolation" (the erection of a statue of Zeus in the Jewish temple in 167 BCE).
Some Bible scholars have interpreted this period of time as occupying many millennia. But this is clearly not a valid interpretation, because Daniel 12:12 refers to people who "wait and live to see the completion of the interval." That would have happened between 167 and 170 BCE. It clearly did not. The people who "wait and live to see the completion of the interval" died long ago and none of the predicted events have taken place.
9. With the exception of some earlier strands, the book of Daniel was written in the 2nd century BC by someone who forged it as the work of a 6th-century BC Jewish official in the Babylonian and Persian governments in order to encourage his contemporaries involved in the Maccabean conflicts to believe that a prophet had predicted centuries earlier that they would prevail against the oppressions of the Seleucid king Antiochus Epiphanes.
In order to encourage his 2nd-century readers to believe that the Jews would prevail over their oppressors and at long last receive the never-ending kingdom they had been promised, "Daniel" prophesied after the fact in order to make his contemporaries think that a 6th-century BC Jewish official in the Babylonian government had foreseen a reversal of the fortunes that had brought to power four kingdoms that had oppressed the Jews and that that reversal of fortunes was going to result in their finally receiving the everlasting kingdom that their prophets had spoken about.
You say: “I'm pretty much looking for someone to shoot these Daniel prophecies down but am open to all ideas.”
God and Jesus have, by their action, already taught us that they cannot foresee future by way of an illustration (Mathew 21:33-39) He sent Jesus on to earth with some expectation, yet things went in opposite direction which means He does nothing to control the use of humans or the natural unfolding of history.
If God does foresee future, it would mean that incidents are foreordained in which case it is not foreseeing.