Are Some Books of the Bible Forged, Part 4
The Old Testament is not left out
In Chapter 4 of his book Forged, Dr. Ehrman makes some very clear statements that 2 books of the Old Testament were forged. One was Ecclesiastes and the other Daniel. These charges are mentioned on page 135 and they are made without any fanfare and after a long introduction about how the Bible also included forgeries.
Obviously, Dr. Ehrman does not respect God, his power or even give God his due. If that is the best God could do, then why would anyone want to follow him. Also, if God left forged works in his word, then he must not really care about his creation at all.
If there were forged books included in the Bible we would have evidence that God sins and fact has very troubling ramifications. Is Dr. Ehrman correct about Daniel?
The evidence supporting the claims
It has been standard practice for Dr. Ehrman to make claims without producing concrete evidence to back them up. He did this for the New Testament books and this is also the case for Daniel and Ecclesiastes.
The evidence that is offered by other scholars, whom Dr. Ehrman agrees with, does not come from credible ancient sources. Instead, the scholars who claim that Daniel is a forgery take their supposed evidence from the book itself.
One reason they found and use against Daniel’s authorship is that Daniel mentions the names of 2 angels. No other Old testament book does that. Yet, that absence is not critical evidence that Daniel’s book is forged. It is just that God had him name the angels when he did not make his other human authors meet that requirement.
Another reason found and used was that Daniel used a few Greek words for different musical instruments. At that time Babylon was a world power and could easily import Greek musical instruments which did not have a corresponding Babylonian name for it.
Computer terminology is usually written in English and Koreans do not have a corresponding word for those terms. Does that make every Korean computer book a forgery because they use English terms for computer parts, etc.?
There are other arguments that do not hold any merit and do not come close to making a case that Daniel is a forgery.
The ancient world is silent
If Daniel was a forgery why haven’t we heard from the ancient world? The Essenes copied every book of the Bible for their Dead Sea Scroll library and some many times over, yet they made no record that Daniel was a fake book.
The Masoretes made it their family business and their life work to make sure that no errors crept into the Bible. They continued to include the book of Daniel without any hint they thought it was a forgery and kept it in the OT canon.
The Septuagint and the Dead Sea Scrolls support the Masoretes in their work and Daniel is part of the Septuagint. On top of all of this compelling evidence, there is no ancient work dating to the Daniel’s time and onward, stating or presenting any evidence that Daniel’s book is a forgery.
The claims all come modern unbelieving scholars who are looking for a way to destroy the credibility of the Bible and God.
Is forgery wrong
Dr. Ehrman in chapter 5 and on page 136 asks this very question. Although he words it in a different way. He asks ‘is forgery deceitful?’ The answer to that is of course it is.
Forgery is basically a lie and God has written in is commandments, thou shalt not bear false witness. Forgery then is making a false witness. It is saying someone else wrote the words when they actually didn’t and that is a lie.
Paul tells us in the New Testament that God cannot lie. So if there is a forged book in either of the Testaments then we have God lying to us. Why is God lying to us? Because he has left those forged books in his Bible and has made no attempt to replace them with truthful non-forged works.
You cannot blame human editors for keeping the truth out of the Bible as God is stronger than human editors. They are no match for him and God could easily raise up more faithful people in other geographical areas keeping them safe from reprisals from those human editors.
Those people God raised would not be scholars like Dr. Ehrman who do not believe in him, do not follow his ways and do not hold to the truth. They would be men who believe in God, know that he exists, obey his commands and so on. They would be faithful men.
So far no such man has been raised up to make corrections to God’s word.
People have tried to change God’s word
Over the centuries, there have been men who have tried to reshape the Bible. Marcion is one such person. He didn’t like certain books found in the New Testament, so he cut them out.
The result of his work is that his ‘bible’ no longer exists and he was condemned as a heretic. Gnostics tried to change Jesus, and the Bible and their supposedly religious works remained buried for 2,000 years approx. No one accepts them today as valid words of God.
People have tried over and over to reshape God’s word, yet the textual evidence has shown them to be in error and Daniel remains a vital book of the OT.
Some final comments
For Daniel, and by extension Ecclesiastes, there is no compelling evidence whatsoever showing it to be a forged book. Again, it is the unbelief of the scholars that influences their accusations.
Their rejection of both Jesus and God leads them down a very dangerous path. It is one that leads them to a battle against God that they cannot win. Since God cannot lie we can confidently proclaim that every book found in the Bible is true and not forged.
© 2019 David Thiessen