The publication by Professor Eugene Ulrich, “Daniel Manuscripts from Qumran” (1989), gives us full insight into these pivotal textual finds and follows the one published two years earlier on other parts of these finds (Ulrich 1987).
The traditional ascription of the whole book to the prophet Joel was challenged in the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries by a theory of a three-stage process of composition: 1:1– were from the hand of Joel, and dealt with a contemporary issue; –/3:1– were ascribed to a continuator with an apocalyptic outlook.
Mentions in the first half of the book to the day of the Lord were also ascribed to this continuator. Details of exact ascriptions differed between scholars.
The Lord let Jehoiakim king of Judah fall into his power, as well as some of the vessels belonging to the Temple of God.
These he took away to Shinar, putting the vessels into the treasury of his own gods.
In the second edition of the book (1961), Professor Cross refers to the fragments of the Daniel scrolls: “One copy of Daniel is inscribed in the script of the late second century BC; in some ways it is more striking than that of the oldest manuscripts from Qumran” (43).
This was fantastic news from a scholarly point of view, for the text of Daniel has long been considered suspect by many scholars on various grounds we’ll be discussing below.This splitting of the book’s composition began to be challenged in the mid-twentieth century, with scholars defending the unity of the book, the plausibility of the prophet combining a contemporary and apocalyptic outlook, and later additions by the prophet.The authenticity of 3:4–8 has presented more challenges, although a number of scholars still defend it.There have been charges of a scandal because there are about “400 separate unpublished texts arranged on 1,200 different [photographic] plates” hidden for some 40 years from the scrutiny of the scholars.Hershel Shanks, the editor of BAR, says that “a reasonable guess is that 100 of these [unpublished texts] are Biblical texts on 200 plates” (1989c:20).In the New Testament, his prophecy of the outpouring of God′s Holy Spirit upon all people was notably quoted by Saint Peter in his Pentecost sermon (Acts 2).