The story of Daniel is a fictionalized account of his interpreting Nebuchadnezzar's dream. It was written four hundred years later.

Tuesday, 11/26/13

In the First Reading King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon had a dream in 590 B.C., and Daniel explained the dream.

In the dream the king saw a great statue composed of different kinds of metal. It had a head of gold, which represented the kingdom of the Babylonians. It had a chest of silver that stood for the Kingdom of the Medes. It had a bronze belly standing for the Persians. Its iron legs were the kingdom of he Greeks, and its iron-and-clay feet were the kingdom of Syria where the Greek officers married Arab women. The uncut stone that rolled down, knocking over the great statue stood for the Hassidic Jews who took part in the overthrow of the pagan kingdoms.

There is a flaw in the story in that it presents itself as a prophecy made in 590 B,C. when it was written in 165 A.D..

The people who composed the story in 165 B.C. were like people today who write historical fiction. They did not mean to deceive us. They thought their readers would see they were not to be taken literally. It was only in later ages that fundamentalists can along with the weird idea of taking all their historical fiction as facts.

We have very religious people today who speak often about Jesus. And, feeling that they need to take everything in the Bile as factual, they are Fundamentalists. They refer to every sentence and phrase in the Bible as a “Scripture,” insisting that we take each such phrase as God’s word to us.

That way of understanding the Bible goes against the teaching of the Catholic Church, which tells us that the Bible is made up of forms of literature like poetry, and myths and allegories. We block out what God is telling us in such passages if we insist that they be taken as literally factual. 

No comments:

Post a Comment