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The Message of Daniel (Bible Speaks Today) (The Bible Speaks Today) [Paperback]

Rev Dr Dale Ralph Davis
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
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Book Description

21 Jun 2013 The Bible Speaks Today

The Old Testament book of Daniel contains well-known stories: Daniel in the den of lions, his three companions in a fiery furnace, and the strange handwriting on the wall at Belshazzar's feast, which struck terror in the heart of the Babylonian king. However, the book can be difficult to understand. Along with stories about Judean exiles working in the court of pagan kings (chapters 1-6), it also consists of Daniel's enigmatic visions and prophecies about the future (chapters 7-12). It is written in two languages, Hebrew and Aramaic, and the language division does not match the subject division.

Ralph Davis explores the book's background, discusses significant interpretative issues and problems, and offers a lively exposition of Daniel's message, which may be summed up in the words of Jesus: 'the end is not yet ... but the one who endures to the end will be saved' (Mark 13:7, 13). The book is essentially 'a realistic survival manual for the saints', still vitally relevant for the church in today's world.

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Product details

  • Paperback: 176 pages
  • Publisher: ivp; First edition (21 Jun 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1844748014
  • ISBN-13: 978-1844748013
  • Product Dimensions: 21.2 x 13.6 x 1.6 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 121,422 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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I have found The Bible Speaks Today series an invaluable resource. It is not only scholarly but inspirational and refreshingly relevant --J. John

About the Author

Dale Ralph Davis lives with his wife in rural Tennessee. Previously he served as teaching elder at Woodland Presbyterian Church, Hattiesburg, Mississippi, and Professor of Old Testament at Reformed Theological Seminary, Jackson, Mississippi. He is the author of 'The House That Jesus Built', 'The Word Became Fresh', 'The Way of the Righteous in the Muck of Life' (Psalms 1:12) and expositional commentaries on Joshua to 2 Kings and Micah.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Just what I'd expected. 6 Sep 2013
I must admit to being a big fan of Dale Ralph Davis and having read his commentaries published by Christian focus this one for IVP doesn't disappoint. Everything you'd expect is here. A very readable narrative, excellent exegesis (or in ordinary language, a good explanation of to what the text is about) and of course much wit and humour. Dale Ralph Davis shows how relevant the book of Daniel is. After all if we as Christians don't find ourselves in a similar situation to Daniel and his friends in exile in the world(fortunately we don't have to face fiery furnaces and lions dens yet in this country) it raises questions as to where we really stand in relationship to our faith! I really can't praise it enough. Having now finished preaching the book there is just one point where I would differ from Davis's, and that would be in chapter 10 where I believe that Daniel witnesses the pre-incarnate Christ rather than an angelic figure. My argument for this would be that the appearance is very similar to that in Revelation chapter 1 were the apostle John witnesses Christ in glory. This I believe proves that the Bible is the best commentary on itself! That said, Davis makes a really good and case for his interpretation then points out difficulties in the text with the interpretation of this being Christ (which I believe are surmountable). But I consider this a secondary issue. I suppose a key thing is, and the highest praise I can give this commentary, is that I always looked forward to my preparation on Daniel but particularly when I had this book in my hand!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Excellent! 6 Feb 2014
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It is a very helpful exposition of Daniel, and a very good update to the previous edition by Ronald Wallace.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 5.0 out of 5 stars  6 reviews
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Digging Daniel 24 Dec 2013
By Michael Philliber - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
With a glut of printed, recorded and visualized material on prophecy, and all the hub-bub over failed end-times prognostications that has spilled into the media, another volume on a biblical prophetic book might receive a grimacing wince, or groaning incredulity. But Dale Ralph Davis’s new 176 page paperback, “The Message of Daniel” is a unique treatment of this Old Testament prophet that is devotional, homiletical, textual and thoughtful. This is part of “The Bible Speaks Today” series, and replaces the classic piece by Ronald Wallace.
Davis takes the position that Daniel was written by whom it claims to be written, during the period of time it claims to have been written; but he doesn’t spill gallons of ink on laying out all the pros and cons. After the brief, concentrated analysis in the introduction, most of the reasoning arises in short, thoughtful, and sometime humorous, footnotes throughout the work. Even if the reader disagrees, he will gain a new appreciation for the reasonableness of accepting Daniel as an original work written by a real, historical person (Daniel himself) during the actual time it maintains it was written (During the reign of Nebuchadnezzar, Cyrus and Darius).
In the Introduction Davis shows how the book is arranged, the first half recounting the deeds of specific actors, and the second half recording special visions. He also brings out the thematic flow, as well as the linguistic changes (Hebrew to Aramaic back to Hebrew). But again, the author doesn’t wear the reader down with loads and loads of highly technical verbiage. He highlights what is essential to know, and then moves on.
In “The Message of Daniel,” the author essentially follows the book of Daniel, from chapter one straight through to chapter twelve. He doesn’t work it out like a normal commentary, verse by verse, with tons of Hebrew/Aramaic syntactical-grammatical verbosity cluttering up the page. Instead, the material genuinely lends itself to serious devotional reading, as well as preparing preachers to pull together a sermon series on Daniel.
On a personal note, while reading through the commentary I found myself repeatedly stopping to pray and give thanks. There were one-liners, paragraphs and whole sections that pulled me up short, and re-awakened in me a sense of awe and gratitude. I also found myself worshipfully contemplating the section I had just read throughout the day, rejoicing over some aspect of God’s goodness, or working out what this or that might look like. I would say that most of the commentaries I have read over the years have rarely done any of this to me.
Dale Ralph Davis has crafted a useable, understandable, theologically solid work on the book of Daniel. Though the author writes from a particular eschatological position with which I might not fully agree, coming to conclusions on specific verses and sections I might not settle for, nevertheless this material is encouraging, rousing, and healthily sobering. Besides giving this book to your minister for his birthday or clergy-appreciation month, or using it in a Bible study gathering, this is a book that needs to be put into the hands of God’s people who are experiencing various forms of maltreatment and misfortune. The message of Daniel, and of Dale Ralph Davis, is meant to bolster faith and faithfulness; “If you are Jesus’ disciple, you are simply called to keep on going, to keep slogging on in your worship of Christ, to keep refusing to bow to the latest idol” (168). I highly recommend this book!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Great 15 Oct 2013
By tippy - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Another great expostion/commentary by Davis. A little weak on the details, but does cover all the options very well, comes to a main conclusion on the debatable areas, and as always, drives the main point home with an application derived from the text itself. My favorite OT commentator!
2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellent Read 20 Nov 2013
By teach gal - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
Dale Davis makes the Bible books come alive and he applies them to today as well. Great writer and
one of the best authors to study. Thanks
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Commentary 30 Jun 2014
By coryjeb - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
I will be keeping this short and sweet. I really enjoyed this commentary of Daniel. The style is very readable and approachable, even humourous at times. Davis is obviously an academic, but it never feels too heavy. He also does a great job of pointing you to other Daniel scholars. Well done.
3 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Dale Ralph Davis is a stud 2 Oct 2013
By EyeBoughtIt - Published on
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
One of my all-time favorite authors. I have every one of his books. Please keep on writing more books! :)
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