Commentaries I Use: The Book of Daniel

I know that a post has been way overdue for this series. I have been attempting to continue this series for quite some time now however due to time restrictions I have been unable to continue giving these commentary recommendations.  The next biblical book that I want to address is the book of Daniel. I must admit that this is probably one of the most difficult to make a recommendation on since I’ve never been completely satisfied with the commentaries I possess. Nonetheless, the two commentaries I will suggest make up my resources on the book. While I do have other resources available on particular chapters in Daniel, these two recommendations are my primary references.

daniel-introduction-commentary-joyce-g-baldwin-paperback-cover-artThe first recommendation I will make is a smaller volume from the Tyndale Old Testament Commentaries series simply called Daniel. The commentary was written by Joyce G. Baldwin and first published in 1978. The book is a little over 230 pages in length with the first 82 pages dealing with an introduction to the book. The rest is divided into two sections mainly the first part on Stories and the second on visions. What I enjoyed about this commentary firstly was his defense of a more conservative look at Daniel. Baldwin looks closely at the dating of the book, the original languages and especially Daniel as the author in a balanced way. I also enjoyed the amount of time the author spent giving the historicity of Daniel as well as a good cultural outline when needed. I feel that the book could have been longer and certain passages (especially Daniel 9) could have been expanded up a little further. I would recommend this book especially to someone who is just beginning to look at Daniel but keeping in mind that due to the brevity of the volume that there might be some lingering questions after you have gone through it. Nonetheless this is a top notch commentary that may serve useful to many.

142825My second recommendation is a little heavier of a volume than we find with Baldwin. It is merely referred to as an “Exposition of Daniel” written by H.C. Leupold  originally in 1949. The book is over double the size of my previous recommendation.  It is a verse by verse commentary with much more depth than the former. Leupold, much like in his other commentaries, writes with a scholarly understanding of the text but doesn’t bog down the exposition with too many side issues. He uses just enough historical background and the original languages to keep the reader interested without going over the reader’s head.  As with Baldwin, I would have preferred seeing much more on Daniel 9 however, for the most part, the exegesis is thorough. I feel that the Leupold commentary compliments well Baldwins and you may get a little more exposition if you use them jointly.

While these are my two recommendations for the book of Daniel, I will admit that I don’t feel I have found a commentary that I have been completely satisfied with. This can be a bit frustrating knowing how deep of an interest I have in eschatology. Daniel’s visions are complex and a right interpretation of them is key to understanding many other passages in the New Testament especially in understanding the book of Revelation as a whole. I am certainly open to suggestions. Please send them my way either through the comments here or you can contact me privately through my email.

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