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Is "Messiah" a proper noun? Bart Erhman corrects Allah in the Holy Quran

In the Quran the 'Messiah' is a title that belongs to one special person. In fact the Quran uses the word Messiah and only applies it to Jesus, but not only as a title but even as Jesus' own personal and proper name:
The Angels said, “O Mary, God gives you good news of a Word from Him. HIS NAME IS the Messiah, Jesus, son of Mary, well-esteemed in this world and the next, and one of the nearest. 3:45
They have taken their rabbis and their priests as lords instead of God, as well as the Messiah son of Mary. Although they were commanded to worship none but The One God. There is no god except He. Glory be to Him; High above what they associate with Him. 9:31
However Biblical Scholar Bart Erhman explains why this is wrong:
"The single most common descriptive title that was applied to Jesus in the early years of the Christian movement was the term Christ. Sometimes I have to tell my students that Christ was not Jesus’s last name. Most people at the time Jesus lived, apart from the upper-crust Roman elite, did not have last names, so he was not Jesus Christ, born to Joseph and Mary Christ. Christ is a title and is, in fact, the Greek translation of the Hebrew word for messiah. Saying Jesus Christ means saying Jesus is the messiah."  
[Bart D. Ehrman. HOW JESUS BECAME GOD: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee, Kindle Edition (San Francisco, CA: HarperCollins, 2014.) p. 100]

Bart Erhman on the Son of Man

"Daniel is unable to make heads or tails of the vision, but luckily—as typically happens in these apocalyptic texts that are disclosing sublime heavenly truths—an angel is standing by to interpret it for him. The beasts each represent a kingdom that will come, in succession to one another, to rule the earth. At the end, after the fourth beast, a humanlike one will be given dominion over the earth. In the angel’s interpretation of the vision, we are told that this dominion will be given to the “people of the holy ones of the Most High” (Dan. 7:27). 
This may mean that just as the beasts each represented a kingdom, so too did the “one like a son of man.” The beasts were the successive kingdoms of Babylonia, Media, Persia, and Greece, which would each achieve world domination. The one like a son of man, then, would be the kingdom of Israel, which will be restored to its proper place and given authority over all the earth. Some interpreters have thought that since the beasts can also be taken to represent kings (at the head of the kingdoms), so too the one like a son of man—possibly he is an angelic being who is head of the nation of Israel.11 
However one interprets Daniel in its original second-century BCE context, what is clear is that eventually in some Jewish circles it came to be thought that this “one like a son of man” was indeed a future deliverer, a cosmic judge of the earth, who would come with divine vengeance against God’s enemies and with a heavenly reward for those who had remained faithful to him. This figure came to be known as “the Son of Man.”... 
What matters is the exalted character of the Son of Man. Many great and glorious things are said in the Similitudes about this person—who now is thought of as a divine being, rather than, say, as the nation of Israel. We are told that he was given a name “even before the creation of the sun and the moon, before the creation of the stars” (1 En. 48.2–3). We are told that all the earth will fall down and worship him. Before the creation he was concealed in the presence of God himself; but he was always God’s chosen one, and it is he who has revealed God’s wisdom to the righteous and holy, who will be “saved in his name,” since “it is his good pleasure that they have life” (48.2–7). 
At the end of time, when all the dead are resurrected, it is he, the “Elect One,” who will sit on God’s throne (51.3). From this “throne of glory” he will “judge all the works of the holy ones in heaven above, weighing in the balance their deeds” (61.8). He himself is eternal: “He shall never pass away or perish before the face of the earth.” And “all evil shall disappear before his face” (69.79). He will “remove the kings and the mighty ones from their thrones. He shall loosen the reins of the strong and crush the teeth of sinners. He shall depose the kings from their thrones and kingdoms. For they do not extol and glorify him and neither do they obey him, the source of their kingship” (46.2–6). 
At one point this cosmic judge of the earth is called the messiah... 
Now the ruler anointed by God is not a mere mortal; he is a divine being who has always existed, who sits beside God on his throne, who will judge the wicked and the righteous at the end of time. He, in other words, is elevated to God’s own status and functions as the divine being who carries out God’s judgment on the earth. This is an exalted figure indeed, as exalted as one can possibly be without actually being the Lord God Almighty himself... 
Now we have seen that the Son of Man also was worshiped. One could easily argue that anyone or anything seated beside God on a throne in the heavenly realm deserves worship. If you’re willing to bow down and prostrate yourself in the presence of an earthly king, then surely it’s appropriate to do so in the presence of the cosmic judge of the earth... 
The Son of Man figure whom we have just examined would be one such divine figure, as he shares the status and power of God."
Bart D. Ehrman. HOW JESUS BECAME GOD: The Exaltation of a Jewish Preacher from Galilee, Kindle Edition (San Francisco, CA: HarperCollins, 2014.) pp. 60-62
Erhman also professes:
Jesus, then, was coming to rule from heaven. In his own teaching he had proclaimed that the Son of Man was to appear as the cosmic judge over the earth. But now it was obviously Jesus himself who was coming from heaven to rule. The disciples very soon—probably right away—concluded that Jesus was the coming Son of Man. So when they told stories about him later, they had him speak of himself as the Son of Man—so much so that it became one of his favorite titles for himself in the Gospels. As we have seen, the Son of Man was sometimes understood to be a divine figure. In that sense also, then, Jesus was God. It should be noted that all four of these exalted roles—Jesus as messiah, as Lord, as Son of God, as Son of Man—imply, in one sense or another, that Jesus is God. (IBID, pp. 178)

When the earliest Christians talked about Jesus becoming the Son of God at his resurrection, they were saying something truly remarkable about him. He was made the heir of all that was God’s. He exchanged his status for the status possessed by the Creator and ruler of all things. He received all of God’s power and privileges. He could defy death. He could forgive sins. He could be the future judge of the earth. He could rule with divine authority. He was for all intents and purposes God
These various aspects of his exalted state are closely connected with the various honorific titles Christians bestowed upon Jesus in his exalted state. He was the Son of God. By no stretch of the imagination did that mean that he was “merely” the “adopted” Son of God. It entailed the most fantastic claims about Jesus that these people could imagine: as the Son of God he was the heir to all that was God’s. He was also the Son of Man, the one whom God had entrusted to be the future judge of the entire world. He was the heavenly messiah who was ruling—now—over the kingdom of his Father, the King of kings. And in that capacity as the heavenly ruler, he was the Lord, the master and sovereign over all the earth
We may see why someone would call this a low Christology, but it certainly is not saying anything “lowly.” This is an exaltation Christology that is affirming stunning things about the teacher from rural Galilee who was exalted to the right hand of God, who had raised him from the dead... 
It is because of this exalted status that Jesus was deemed worthy of worship. If the earliest Christians held such elevated views of Jesus as the exalted Son of God soon after his resurrection, it is probably already at this early stage that they began to show veneration to him in ways previously shown to God himself. In two important books, New Testament scholar Larry Hurtado has tried to solve the dilemma of how Jesus could be worshiped as a divine being so early in the history of the Christian religion—virtually right away—if in fact the Christians considered themselves monotheists, not ditheists (worshipers of two gods).8 Hurtado argues that both things were simultaneously true: Christians maintained there was only one God, and they worshiped Jesus as God alongside God. How was this possible? Hurtado sees Christianity as developing a binitary worship—in which Jesus was worshiped as the Lord, alongside God, without sacrificing the idea that there is only one God. In his view, Christians maintained that since God had exalted Jesus to a divine status, he had not merely permitted but even required the veneration of Jesus. Hurtado sees this as a unique development within the history of ancient religion—the worship of two divine beings within a theology that claims there is only one. In later chapters we will see how theologians eventually came to grips with this problem of how Jesus could be revered as God without sacrificing a commitment to monotheism. For now it is enough to stress that this was indeed the case: Christians insisted that they believed in only one God, and yet they revered Jesus as divine and worshiped their “Lord Jesus” along with God. (IBID, pp. 198-199)

Daniel 7: Denis Giron: More Jewish Thoughts

Thought you might find this interesting.
This text is from Pirush ayn-tet, a Yiddish commentary included in the Miqraot Gedolot volume on Daniel (note that your recent blog entry which used my image, showing multiple Jewish commentators saying the "son of man" like figure is the Messiah was from the same volume).

In this portion, the text is discussing Daniel 7:27. The second line is significant, as, when commenting on the portion of that verse which reads "malkooteh malkoot `alam" (his kingdom will be an eternal kingdom), this Yiddish commentary declares "das hershung fon Mashiach vet zain eybig hershung" (i.e. the rule of the Messiah is an eternal rule).

Now, here's the question we should ask: it's one thing to say verse 14 is referring to the Messiah, but how does one slip the Messiah into verse 27? The answer is at the very heart of what all these commentators and polemicists, who assert that the "son of man" of Daniel 7 merely represents Israel, miss about the mindset of these Jewish commentators. To get to that answer, we might also ask the question which the aforementioned commentators and polemicists wish to ask: if verse 14 (in the vision) says the "son of man" figure will possess an eternal kingdom and verses 18 and 27 (in the elucidation) state that the holy ones will inherit the kingdom eternally, isn't it obvious that this means the "son of man" (in the vision) represents the holy ones (in the elucidation)?

To reply to the latter question, first note that in Jewish thought, the Messianic age will see a time when pious Jews rule and the Messiah is above them. In other words, there will be a hierarchy of rulership or authority, with the Messiah at the top, and believers underneath him (e.g. in his court). This idea is also found in Christian thought (cf. Matthew 19:28 and Luke 22:30 which would lead some of our friends who are fans of critical scholarship to propose this is as early as the hypothetical "Q-source").

So, then, if it is possible for the Messiah and the believers underneath him to both inherit the kingdom eternally, then a statement that the servants/saints will be given the kingdom need not contradict the belief that the Messiah will possess the kingdom. This text from the Yiddish portion of Miqraot Gedolot shows the extent to wish Jewish commentators saw Daniel 7 as referring to a future in which both the Messiah and believers under him will be in authority, and this is verses like 18 or 27 never caused the various Jewish commentators to back off their claim that verse 13 is referring to the Messiah. Once this is understood, the weakness of the argument that the "son of man" is simply referring to Israel becomes apparent.

Australian Immigrant Muslim Gangs Are On the Rise

Everywhere Muslim Immigrants go, there are serious problems with gang thugs, one of the worse examples being Sweden and England. Did you think Australia was any better?

Ijaz Ahmad Smear Campaign Backfires Yet Again

Itaz Ahmad tried to make an unimpressive attempt to vindicate some of his recorded and documented unprovoked attacks and insults against all Christians including his debate opponents.

Unsurprisingly Itaz has once again as the theme of his post is attacking Dr. James White for the alleged company he keeps. This time he decided to condemn me for "stealing" personal information from Facebook while he openly displays a screenshot of my own Facebook, yet he is utterly serious.

The difference between me and Paul Williams of course is that my Facebook is in private mode, while PW had his Facebook on public status. I also e-mailed PW and posted the email to various friends (before sending this e-mail) to ask him if he felt I put him in danger or exposed him unfairly to withdraw my post, to which PW ignored me, but PW did end up addressing me (unbeknownst to myself) on a comment in the Answering-Muslims blog.

What is rather slanderous is the accusation that myself or any other individual in the post is an associate or part of the company Dr. White keeps.

The rest of the accusations I will let viewers decide how accurate the commentary is. But there is one interesting fact you should all know about. If you want to judge a person by their alleged associates, then I advice Dr. White to avoid Ijaz Ahmad altogether:

Here is a closer look:

The religion of peace strikes again!

Memo From Bart Erhman To All Muslims and Unitarians

Bart Erhman has now officially on record conceded Jesus is even divine in the synoptic gospels especially when taking all of the evidence as a whole, as a collective which is exactly what Trinitarians do. This is a principle of standard biblical exegesis and hermeneutics found in any seminary text book providing systematic theology. It is no longer possible to argue that Jesus is a Muslim Prophet from the Synoptic Gospels, rather as Erhman has pointed out these gospels divinize Jesus in various ways, each conveying a different view point which is utterly prohibited by Islam as shirk. Erhman may charge that these different views are contradictory where as we could see them as complimentary, but one thing still remains: How on earth do the earliest accounts we have of Jesus stray so far from Islamic Issa, when Allah promised the followers of Issa complete dominance and victory until the end? It really does blow the mind.

Reposted from Bart Erhman's blog

This, I believe, will be my final post on an issue that changed my mind about while doing the research for How Jesus Became God. This last one is a big one – for me, at least. And it’s not one that I develop at length in the book in any one place, since it covers a span of material. Here’s the deal:

Until a year ago I would have said – and frequently did say, in the classroom, in public lectures, and in my writings – that Jesus is portrayed as God in the Gospel of John but not, definitely not, in the other Gospels of Matthew, Mark, and Luke. I would point out that only in John did Jesus say such things as “Before Abraham, I am” (8:58; taking upon himself the name of God, as given to Moses in Exodus 3); his Jewish opponents knew full well what he was saying: they take up stones to stone him. Later he says “I and the Father are one” (10:30) Again, the Jews break out the stones. Later he tells his disciples, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father” (14:9). And in a later prayer to God he asks him to “glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world was created” (17:5).

None of these sayings, or anything like them, can be found in the other canonical Gospels. John is clearly portrayed as a divine being in John, but only in John (I would have argued).

Sometimes students, audience members, or readers would object, that even if the other Gospels do not flat-out *call* Jesus God, his divinity is implied in other ways. For example, he does amazing miracles that surely only a divine figure could do; and he forgives people’s sins, which surely is a prerogative of God alone; and he receives worship as people bow down before him, which surely indicates that he welcomes divine honors.

I would typically respond to these comments by arguing that all of these things are completely compatible with human, not just divine, authority. (I still hold to this view, even though I have a different conclusion now about the Christology of Matthew, Mark, and Luke).

With respect to Jesus’ ability to do miracles: in the Hebrew Bible the prophets Elijah and Elisha did fantastic miracles through the power of God – including healing the sick and raising the dead – and in the New Testament so did the apostles Peter and Paul; but that did not make any of them divine. They were humans.

With respect to the forgiveness of sins: when Jesus forgives sins, he never says “I forgive you,” as God might say, but “your sins are forgiven,” which means that God has forgiven your sins. This prerogative for pronouncing sins forgiven was otherwise reserved for Jewish priests in honor of sacrifices worshipers made at the temple. Jesus may be claiming a priestly, not a divine prerogrative.

With respect to people bowing down to him in worship: kings were worshiped – even in the Bible (Matt. 18:26) — by veneration and obeisance, just as God was. Here Jesus may be accepting the worship due to him as the future king.

As a result, none of these things, in and of itself, indicates clearly that Jesus is divine. One could argue that the three things taken together as a group makes a stronger case for Jesus’ divinity: Jesus has the role of prophet, priest, and king – not just one thing or the other. And together these things suggest he is something more than human.

But more than that, in doing my research and thinking harder and harder about the issue, when I (a) came to realize that the Gospels not only attributed these things to him, but also understood him to be adopted as the Son of God at his baptism (Mark 1:9-11), or to have been made the son of God by virtue of the fact that God was literally his father, in that it was the Spirit of God that made the virgin Mary pregnant (Luke 1:35), and (b) realized what “adoption” meant to people in the Roman world (as indicated in a previous post), I finally yielded. These Gospels do indeed think of Jesus as divine. Being made the very Son of God who can heal, cast out demons, raise the dead, pronounce divine forgiveness, receive worship together suggests that even for these Gospels Jesus was a divine being, not merely a human.

But in a different sense from John. (And in a different sense from one another.)

In some ways, much of my book is predicated on the idea that when someone says that Jesus is God, you always have to ask “in what sense?” John’s sense is different from Mark’s and Mark’s is different from Luke’s and Luke’s is different from Paul’s and so on.

For Mark, Jesus was adopted to be God’s son at his baptism. Before that, he was a mere mortal. For Luke, Jesus was conceived by God and so was literally God’s son, from the point of his conception. (In Luke Jesus did not exist *prior* to that conception to the virgin – his conception is when he came into existence). For John, Jesus was a pre-existent divine being – the Word of God who was both with God and was God at the beginning of all things – who became a human. Here he is not born of a virgin and he is not adopted by God at the baptism (neither event is narrated in John – and could not be, given, John’s Christology).

So yes, now I agree that Jesus is portrayed as a divine being, a God-man, in all the Gospels. But in very different ways, depending on which Gospel you read.
Bart Erhman had the intellectual capacity to genuinely follow his mind all the way closer to conservative (and moderate) scholarship. Even though I don't fully agree with Erhman I have to respect his integrity in this regard, he has shown keen willingness to go where sound reason takes him. Bart Erhman now believes the Synoptic Gospels present Jesus as Divine, do you believe this Muslims and Unitarians? Are you going to continuously pretend the Synoptics present Jesus as a Unitarian Muslim? Will there ever be a point where we can stop distorting the gospels to try to turn Jesus into Issa the Muslim and rather just admit the Gospel has a different conception of Jesus? 

The Danielic Son of Man is the Messiah - More Jewish Thoughts

The Apocalyptic Son of Man is the "Jewish" Messiah. If that fact wasn't already clear (1, 2, 3) it will be now.

Courtesy of brother Denis Giron

The Son of Man is Israel? Round II: Paul Williams Daniel 7 Education Center

Just when you thought it couldn't possibly any more difficult or embarrassing for Paul Williams, he attempted to respond to Denis Giron. I can't really comment about PW's exegesis because he doesn't provide one, so I'll just address his sloppy eisegesis and let Mr Giron, touch upon anything I dismiss. 

As you will observe Paul was incapable of handling Mr Giron's exegesis and therefore unable to show any error made by Giron because as PW self admittedly asserts he is deficient in the language and knowledge, so Paul decides to rely on his on his own expertise along with rabbinic translations and a bias critical commentary. 

Firstly key point that PW makes is thus:
"I note in passing the absolute ontological distinction between the ‘Ancient of Days’: God Himself, and one like a human being (literally ‘son of man’) which is idiomatic for human being (see Ezek. 2.1; Job 25.6)."
Paul infers an ontological distinction as opposed to a distinction of personhood based on presumed idiomatic meanings of "Ancient of Days" and "Son of Man". 

To begin with Ancient of Days and Son of Man are epithets of YHVH/Elohem in the Bible. In the ancient near east Ancient of Days (Dan 7:9;13;22) linguistically referred to the Most High God illustrating his ancient age with hair, beard and his firey throne being divine authority (see vs 9 for description). Son of Man/Man linguistically refers to a human being but is used in the Bible and in ANE as an epithet for YHVH (Dan 7:13, Exo 15:3Ezk 1:26) specifically depicting a young warrior illustration of God.

Secondly because PW can't do exegesis he missed a crucial observation: this was a vision (7:1-2;15-16) and Daniel is describing more precisely "one LIKE a human being". It is only in later period it is described as the Son of Man, since this becomes a title for the super-natural Messiah. The New Testament represents this as the risen Lord Jesus in a resurrected human form, God himself in human form.

Together then we have God revealed himself as distinct in person illustrated through the various older/younger images of the deity in the dream of Daniel. In the Old and New Testament this is else where known as Father and Son.

If PW had of read my previous post (like he claimed to), he may have noticed something from an actual Orthodox Jewish Scholar as the passage in Daniel 7:13 presents the Ancient of Days and Young Warrior one like a Son of Man as distinct persons but identical in ontology, Old Testament Scholar Michael Heiser comments:
"The striking parallels are especially noteworthy given that this is the only time in the Old Testament where a second personage other than Yahweh is described as “coming with/upon the clouds” (the preposition in Aramaic can be translated either way). The intent of the author to describe this “son of man” with a title reserved only for Yahweh was clear by virtue of how the scene followed the Baal literature — the literary cycle whose central character, Baal, held the Cloud-Rider title!" (source)
Heiser also says:
Throughout the Ugaritic texts, Baal is repeatedly called “the one who rides the clouds,” or “the one who mounts the clouds.” The description is recognized as an official title of Baal. No angel or lesser being bore the title. As such, everyone in Israel who heard this title associated it with a deity, not a man or an angel.
Part of the literary strategy of the Israelite prophets was to take this well-known title and attribute it to Yahweh in some way. Consequently, Yahweh, the God of Israel, bears this descriptive title in several places in the Old Testament (Isaiah 19:1; Deuteronomy 33:26; Psalm 68:33; 104:3). For a faithful Israelite, then, there was only one god who “rode” on the clouds: Yahweh...
The plurality of thrones in the passage tell us plainly that we have here what scholars of the Hebrew Bible call a divine council scene — the high sovereign in his throne room, meeting with the heavenly host. The literature of Ugarit has many such scenes, and the biblical divine council and the council at Ugarit are very similar. In point of fact, the flow of Daniel 7 actually follows the flow of a divine council scene in the Baal Cycle: 
Ugarit / Baal CycleDaniel 7
(A) El, the aged high God, is the ultimate sovereign in the council.(A) The Ancient of Days, the God of Israel is seated on the fiery, wheeled throne (cf. Ezekiel 1). Like Ugaritic El, he is white haired and aged (“ancient”).
(B) El bestows kingship upon the god Baal, the Cloud-Rider, after Baal defeats the god Yamm in battle.(B) Yahweh-El, the Ancient of Days, bestows kingship upon the Son of Man who rides the clouds after the beast from the sea (yamma) is destroyed.
(C) Baal is king of the gods and El's vizier. His rule is everlasting.(C) The Son of Man is given everlasting dominion over the nations. He rules at the right hand of God. (source)
And Jewish Talmudic Professor Boyarin gives more insight into ANE relevant to Daniel 7:
“In this remarkable text, we find the prophet Daniel having a vision in which there are two divine figures, one who is depicted as an old man, an Ancient of Days, sitting on the throne. We have been told, however, that there is more than one throne there, and sure enough a second divine figure, in form ‘like a human being,’ is brought on the clouds of heaven and invested by the Ancient of Days in a ceremony very much like the passing of the torch from elder king to younger in ancient Near Eastern royal ceremonial and the passing of the torch from older gods to younger ones in their myths…" (more here)
PW himself provides substantiation for this as we will see shortly, but first I want to quote something empirical to PW's eisegesis: 
‘An image appeared in the vision resembling a human being, just as the first four images resembled different beasts. These came from the great abyss below, i.e., from the powers of evil; he comes from above, “with the clouds of heaven” i.e. from God. Just as the beasts are figures of the pagan kingdoms, so also the one in human form symbolises “the holy ones of the Most High (v 18). In the context, therefore, the one in human form is not a real individual but a symbol.‘ (The New Jerusalem Biblical Commentary Daniel 7:13)
However, this is not the context for the relevant scenery, for that we need to see the beginning of verse nine which takes us to a different place:
"As I looked, "thrones were set in place, and the Ancient of Days took his seat. His clothing was as white as snow; the hair of his head was white like wool. His throne was flaming with fire, and its wheels were all ablaze. A river of fire was flowing, coming out from before him. Thousands upon thousands attended him; ten thousand times ten thousand stood before him. The court was seated, and the books were opened. (Dan 7:9-10)
This episode is repeated further in vs 26-27:
"But the court will convene, and his ruling authority will be removed– destroyed and abolished forever! Then the kingdom, authority, and greatness of the kingdoms under all of heaven will be delivered to the people of the holy ones of the Most High. His kingdom is an eternal kingdom; all authorities will serve him and obey him.'" (Dan 7:26-27)
As PW himself demonstrates: 
"According to the JSB, ‘The model for the judgement scene is the ancient Near East council of gods in heaven, often utilised in the Bible to depict God’s council (Ps. 82.1; Job ch 1)."
PW provides us a quote that undermines his own commentary. The context here in Daniel 7 from vs 9 is the Divine Council, which the servants of God were also thought to be apart of, this is a day of judgement, so the attendants here must include Israelites (e.g. Enoch, Elijah, Moses) and Non-Israelite servants of God. 

PW fails to distinguish between the thousands and thousands attending God (vs 10) which the Son of Man is exclusively shown to be distinct from (vs 13). 

The Son of Man is mistakenly assumed to be part of the prophetic beast narrative, yet the Son of Man is introduced in a narrative that is illustrated as part of a Divine Council and not a series of beasts.

Sam Shamoun puts icing on this cake:
"Daniel sees thrones set and two distinct figures, God as the Ancient of Days who takes a seat (obviously on one of the thrones) and a Son of Man who rides the clouds and rules forever, indicating that he also occupies one of the thrones. What makes this all the more astonishing is that the reign of the Son of Man is described exactly as the reign of the Most Highs (vs 27)
Further more the word Elyonin (Most Highs) is the plural of Elyon (Most High). Daniel describes God as the Most Highs, plural, not as the Most High:
"But the saints of the Most Highs (Elyonin) will receive the kingdom and will possess it forever—yes, for ever and ever… But the court will sit, and his power will be taken away and completely destroyed forever. Then the sovereignty, power and greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven will be handed over to the saints, the people of the Most Highs (Elyonin). His kingdom will be an everlasting kingdom, and all rulers will worship and obey him." Daniel 7:18, 26-27...
In some translations the singular pronouns "his" and "him" used in verse 27 are translated in the plural:

"And the kingdom and the dominion and the greatness of the kingdoms under the whole heaven shall be given to the people of the saints of the Most Highs; their kingdom shall be an everlasting kingdom, and all dominions shall serve and obey them." ESV 
The plural pronouns cannot refer back to the saints, but to the nearest antecedent, namely the Most Highs, since service or worship cannot be rendered unto creatures. The verb which the ESV renders as "serve", with the NIV translating as "worship", comes from the Aramaic word pelach. This is used all throughout the book of Daniel for the worship which must be given to God alone:

"‘There are certain Jews whom you have appointed over the affairs of the province of Babylon: Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego. These men, O king, pay no heed to you; they do not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.’… Nebuchadnez'zar said to them, ‘Is it true, O Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego, that you do not serve my gods or worship the golden image which I have set up?’ … Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego answered the king, ‘O Nebuchadnez'zar, we have no need to answer you in this matter. If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace; and he will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But if not, be it known to you, O king, that we will not serve your gods or worship the golden image which you have set up.’ … Nebuchadnez'zar said, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set at nought the king's command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.’" Daniel 3:12, 14, 16-18, 28 RSV (cf. 6:16; 20; Ezra 7:24) 
Thus, since the text of verse 27 expressly says that all dominions will serve or worship the ruler of the kingdom this shows that the pronouns must be referring to God, who is identified here by the plural "Most Highs."" (source)


Taken from Sam:

As if the above were not enough to establish our thesis, here comes the Prophet Daniel to make our case even stronger. Daniel was given the ability to interpret dreams and visions of the pagan kings, as well as to personally experience some of his own. In one of these dreams, Nebuchadnezzar sees something troubling which he knew only Daniel could explain:
"At last Daniel came in before me -- he who was named Belteshaz'zar after the name of my god, and in whom is the spirit of the holy gods -- and I told him the dream, saying, ‘O Belteshaz'zar, chief of the magicians, because I know that the spirit of the holy gods is in you and that no mystery is difficult for you, here is the dream which I saw; tell me its interpretation… I saw in the visions of my head as I lay in bed, and behold, a watcher, a holy one, came down from heaven… The sentence is by THE DECREE OF THE WATCHERS, THE DECISION OF THE WORD OF THE HOLY ONES, to the end that the living may know that the Most High rules the kingdom of men, and gives it to whom he will, and sets over it the lowliest of men. This dream I, King Nebuchadnez'zar, saw. And you, O Belteshaz'zar, declare the interpretation, because all the wise men of my kingdom are not able to make known to me the interpretation, but you are able, for the spirit of the holy gods is in you.’ … And whereas the king saw a watcher, a holy one, coming down from heaven and saying, `Hew down the tree and destroy it, but leave the stump of its roots in the earth, bound with a band of iron and bronze, in the tender grass of the field; and let him be wet with the dew of heaven; and let his lot be with the beasts of the field, till seven times pass over him'; this is the interpretation, O king: IT IS A DECREE OF THE MOST HIGH, which has come upon my lord the king," Daniel 4:8-9, 13, 17-18, 23-24
From the above we discover the following points:
  1. The king knew that God’s Spirit was inspiring Daniel, even though he identifies the Spirit as belonging to the gods, an obvious reflection of his paganism.
  2. The king sees a watcher come down from heaven announcing God’s decree.
  3. According to the watcher the sentence that will soon come to pass has been decreed by the watchers and decided upon by the holy ones.
  4. Later on in the text we are told that it is the Most High who has decreed this to come to pass.
  5. Therefore, we can assume that the Most High is the same as the watchers, as the holy ones spoken of in the vision.
What we are essentially trying to say is that Daniel knew that God is a uniplurality, a multi-Personal Being. 

Watchers and holy ones cannot be referring to heavenly creatures since God alone decrees future events which leads us to believe that they most likely refer to God, His Spirit and Angel, who may have been the One that came down to announce the decree to the king.

After all, Daniel knew of the Angel of the Lord, the same One identified as God by the prophet Isaiah:
"He answered, ‘But I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire, and they are not hurt; and the appearance of the fourth is like a son of the gods." … Nebuchadnez'zar said, ‘Blessed be the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed'nego, who has sent his angel and delivered his servants, who trusted in him, and set at nought the king's command, and yielded up their bodies rather than serve and worship any god except their own God.’" Daniel 3:25, 28
God sends this same Angel to deliver Daniel from the lion’s den:
"My God sent his angel and shut the lions' mouths, and they have not hurt me, because I was found blameless before him; and also before you, O king, I have done no wrong." Daniel 6:22 (source)
I will have more to add to Sam's comments on this in the future, Christ Willing.

Third, the verses Paul references (Ezek. 2.1; Job 25.6) do not refer to a vision, but use the ordinary lexical usage of Son of Man. In the first case the prophet Ezekiel is called Son of Man e.g. human being. In the second case Son of Man describes an opinion about the human condition, yet neither of these examples are parallel to prophet Daniel's vision in which he beholds a relevant ANE theme in a divine vision revealing Father and his Son.  

Even more worrisome for PW is his shocking inability to overlook what he supposedly reads. In the very same book PW appeals to show Son of Man can only ever refer to a man as an ontological category distinct from God, yet we find Yahweh himself in a vision (provided to Ezekiel, Ezk 1:1) being depicted with an appearance of a man:
When they moved, I heard the sound of their wings– it was like the sound of rushing waters, or the voice of the Almighty, or the tumult of an army. When they stood still, they lowered their wings. Then there was a voice from above the platform over their heads when they stood still. Above the platform over their heads was something like a sapphire shaped like a throne. High above on the throne was a form that appeared TO BE A MAN. I saw an amber glow like a fire enclosed all around from his waist up. From his waist down I saw something that looked like fire. There was a brilliant light around it, like the appearance of a rainbow in the clouds after the rain. This was the appearance of the surrounding brilliant light; it looked like the glory of the LORD. When I saw it, I threw myself face down, and I heard a voice speaking. He said to me, "Son of man, stand on your feet and I will speak with you." As he spoke to me, a wind came into me and stood me on my feet, and I heard the one speaking to me. He said to me, "Son of man, I am sending you to the house of Israel, to rebellious nations who have rebelled against me; both they and their fathers have revolted against me to this very day. The people to whom I am sending you are obstinate and hard-hearted, and you must say to them, 'This is what the sovereign LORD says.' Ezekiel 1:24-28-2:1-4
Williams felt the need to appeal to two heterodox sources to make the charge that the fourth beast is the Greek Empire, this is known as the Maccabean thesis. This would more or less on a historical level show Daniel as a false prophet (if proclaimed by Daniel). The problem is that PW doesn't argue for the view he approves of, so there is nothing to interact with, why shouldn't we just adhere to the traditional view?

PW also quotes from the Jerusalem Biblical Commentary (as seen above), but this contradicts the JSB, and further more the JBC isn't a Jewish source. PW is appealing to woefully disputed Catholic Bible Commentary (2) that is alien to the Biblical context and Jewish Thought.

In a desperate attempt to appeal to johnny come lately anti-missionaries jumping on the band wagon of 11th century Ibn Ezra (the first person to introduce the idea of the Son of Man as being Israel in Daniel) PW has managed to quite thoroughly depart himself from the Biblical text and the earliest and latest Jewish Exegesis.

Finally when you can't provide a sound exegesis because all ancient and contemporary Jewish exegesis and scholarship vehemently oppose your own bias opinion, what do you do? Well, you appeal to the standard Islamic corruption card. This of course, is nothing but a red herring. When all other options fail, you question the credibility of the source itself which means Williams has implicitly attested he knows he is wrong on his eisegesis and thus has to throw Daniel under the bus. 

However many conservative Jewish and Christian scholars disagree with the standard dating because of arguments provided like these by Glen Miller.

As usual for Paul Williams, we see nothing but conclusions rather than evidence, no real attempt to deal with anything Mr. Giron said. No critical inquiry of the contradictory commentaries he posted, appeals to pseudo-authority, begging the question, not adhering to common ground, lack of critical thinking and ability to deal with former evidence provided by anyone participating. In other words in sum: a total lack of any substance, very shallow surface layer quick draw, fire aim and miss. If this was a report card Paul would get a D minus or worse.

Paul Williams offers overwhelming exegesis: "The Son of Man is Israel"

So lets calculate here shall we?

The consensus of Jewish and non-Jewish Scholarship is that the earliest interpretation on record of Daniel 7:13-14 is not Israel, but the Messiah, the divine Son of Man. The Talmud agrees. Rashi agrees. PW's favorite scholar agrees. A Mathematician may at this point would be sold QED.

After hearing all this evidence and reading Mr Giron's contextual exegesis just what is PW thinking? Surely a rebuttal is in order! 

Well thank God, PW finally came to his senses...

But just when you think all is well with the world

Paul Williams offers overwhelming exegesis:

Paul Williams Presents: "Fundamentalist Poppycock"

Paul Williams who has an odd fascination with the cock has recently given more of his famous claptrap:

Israel suffering for the sins of the nations and/or the world? Utter poppycock folks!

However 1 hour and 54 minutes later

Paul made a post to another Christian gentleman on Isaiah 53:

Poppycock Paul, utter poppycock dear chap!

Lets give  PW a chance to explain this contradiction though


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