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Here is an extract from my review on my blog:

Despite any tension that may result from the author’s view on dating, which is unlikely to satisfy either a liberal or a conservative audience, this is truly a well-written and well-researched commentary. There are two features of this commentary that I especially appreciated.

Lucas applies some excellent literary-critical methodology to the stories, and to some extent to the prophecies, discussing the plot and characterization. Daniel is particularly susceptible to the literary-critical approach, which can produce some substantial insights from the stories. Too often the main questions asked in studying Daniel are whether it is historical, whether the prophecies are really predictive, and what they mean. There is substantial value in the stories if one will take the time to think about them seriously, and Lucas does that.

Second, Lucas interacts with commentators who range from the very conservative to the very liberal/critical. He doesn’t ignore the various arguments and concerns, nor does he usually dismiss them without discussing the evidence. He does occasionally dismiss some complex theory of authorship quite abruptly, but normally he does so with particularly convoluted and low probability theories.

I strongly recommend this commentary to any student of Daniel. Whether your view is conservative or liberal you will find material that challenges your view, and will help you to think through the material more thoroughly. Lucas provides his supporting methodology throughout. In particular, I would recommend this commentary to those interested in pursuing genre and or literary criticism in the book of Daniel.

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In many ways, the Old Testament book of Daniel is an enigma. It consists of two different kinds of material: stories about Judean exiles working in the court of pagan kings (chapters 1-6) and accounts of visions experienced by one of these exiles (chapters 7-12). It is written in two languages, Hebrew and Aramaic, and the language division does not match the subject division. Whether the book’s affinities lie more with the Hebrew prophets or with later Jewish apocalypses is debated, as are its affinities with the wisdom traditions of both Israel and Babylon. Refreshingly, Enest Lucas postpones much of the discussion of such issues to an Epilogue, and invites the reader to an investigation of the meaning of the text in the form in which we now have it. He identifies the central theme of the book as the sovereignty of the God of Israel. With even-handedness and clarity, Lucas demonstrates that, for preachers and teachers, there is much in Daniel that is fairly readily understandable and applicable, and that there are also theological depths that are rewarding for those willing to plumb them and wrestle with the issues they raise.



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