Daniel – A Lifetime of Faith – Part 2
(Daniel 5:1 to Daniel 6:28; Daniel 10:1 to Daniel 12:13)
A Review of the Bible Drama, Sunday 1:50pm , 2021 Regional Convention Program.
Accurate to the Biblical Account or seriously flawed?
In our review of part 1 of this video we found serious flaws in the accuracy of the presentation compared with the Biblical account. This raises the question is part 2 accurate? That is what will be examined now. This question is vital for all of us as Witnesses of Jehovah. As such we have a responsibility to speak the truth at all times. As Witnesses, we are used to putting faith in every word from the Organization and Governing Body. Is this trust well placed or misguided? An evaluation of this video Bible drama will assist us in making that decision based on facts. We need to have all the facts available to examine and make a decision for ourselves.
In this way, we will be acting like the Beroeans, who were commended by the Apostle Paul for checking that what the Apostle Paul had taught them was indeed correct. (Acts 17:10-11). The Governing Body should, therefore, likewise, welcome such sincere examination of their teachings.
Time 00:13:50 – 00:14:00; Date Caption: Several Decades Later, 539BCE.
We should ask, why was such wording decided upon? The meaning of the word “several” is “more than two but not many.” So what was it? 3, 4, 5 decades later? It is stretching it to make 7 decades later as they portray. Why not just say “Seven Decades Later” or “Nearly Seven Decades Later”. The last date caption in Part 1 of the video was 607BCE. 539BCE is 68 years later. It is as if they do not want to draw attention to the gap.
Now why could that be? It is only speculating, but perhaps it is because putting 68 years would draw attention to the length of time that had passed and hence the age of Daniel by this time. As per the table below, under the video’s dating Daniel would be 90, if he was 12 years of age when taken into captivity, which is a reasonable assumption based on the description given in the scriptures. However, as astute readers will spot, under the correct timeline, Daniel would only be 78. A good age nonetheless, but not impossible.
Time 00:18:00 – 00:20:34; Event: Daniel interprets the writing on the wall to Belshazzar.
Poor portrayal of Daniel’s character:
In this section the older Daniel speaks with an arrogant attitude. He appears before the King with his arms folded across his chest which is the body language of defiance. This is not the right attitude for a man of faith to show, even if he knew what was going to happen, which he did not until he read the inscription.
Time 00:20:35 – 00:20:57; Event: Entrance of the Army of Cyrus
The scene does not allow for Belshazzar to cloth Daniel in purple with a gold necklace regardless of what Daniel said, nor the heralding of Daniel as being appointed the 3rd ruler in the Kingdom (Daniel 5:29). Instead of Babylon falling later that night, the video presentation has Cyrus’ army bursting in just as Daniel finishes interpreting the writing on the wall. However, at least it tastefully deals with the death of Belshazzar.
Time 00:24:30 – 00:25:06; Event: Daniel when asked says to Darius he has been in Babylon over 70 years and then repeats it to himself.
Serious Timing Issue:
Again why does Daniel not say 78 years which is the time he has been there according to the video presentation?
Is it because viewers would either doubt the Bible account or the veracity of the video presentation?
The reality is, in the normal timeline of calculation Daniel, even if he went to Babylon in the 4th year of Jehoiakim, would only be 78 years old with an exile totalling 66 years, rather than being in exile for 78 years and at an age of 90.
Time 00:57:22 – 00:57:29; Caption: 2 Years Later.
This is correct according to Daniel 10:1. Sadly for the video it makes him 92 years of age or thereabouts, whereas by normal dating he would only be 80 years of age.
There is also various parts of the speech of the presentation which are thinly disguised allusions to the building program of the Organization with free labor (alluded to by “helping to rebuild the Temple”). It is also suggested that although the viewers may be old and disappointed Armageddon has not come, like Daniel, we should just accept we will need a resurrection for our long held dreams to come true. It is so sad that they cannot portray Daniel as a man of faith without inserting Organization specific propaganda.
This second part of the video presentation is not so flawed as part 1. However, it only serves to exacerbate the issues caused by the dating provided in part 1. It also, more worryingly indicates that the Organization is aware of these issues with the official dating and hence it seeks to obfuscate the issue of Daniel’s age , as that would highlight the issues with their dating.
Overall, the video presentations are not accurate to the Bible record, nor do they make sense from a historical event perspective. Rather than be concerned with portraying accurately the Bible record, they seek to promote their own agenda.
For a visual table of the comparison of the events presented please view a Google sheet here.