Thursday, March 02, 2006
“In the first year of Darius son of Ahasuerus (a Mede by descent), who was made ruler over the Babylonian kingdom- in the first year of his reign, I, Daniel, understood from the Scriptures, according to the word of the LORD given to Jeremiah the prophet, that the desolation of Jerusalem would last seventy years. So I turned to the Lord God and pleaded with him in prayer and petition, in fasting, and in sackcloth and ashes.”
These verses interest me for a few reasons:
1) How did Daniel know that the book of Jeremiah was Scripture without the Roman Catholic Church telling him so?
2) Did Daniel use “private interpretation” when he read the book of Jeremiah? Isn’t doing such the “blueprint for anarchy”?
3) Are we to assume that Jeremiah was understandable without an infallible interpreter present?
I can only imagine the Roman Catholic response to these questions is that “Daniel was a prophet”- thus, he was given this information directly from God. The follow up questions then become:
1)How did those people during Daniel’s life know he was a prophet without the Roman Catholic Church pronouncing him authentic?
2)How could Daniel himself know with certainty he was a prophet without the Roman Catholic Church telling him so?
3)Was Daniel simply to trust his feelings that he was a prophet and that the information he was getting was from God?
This is one of the problems I have with the Roman Catholic paradigm of authority. It may sound as if it gives “certainty”- but when applied to history and the Bible, it fails to deliver. It can’t explain why the Old Testament was known to be Scripture previous to the Council of Trent. It can’t explain how people living in Old Testament times knew with certainty what Scripture was. It can’t even explain how people in New Testament times knew with certainty which Old Testament books were authentic “Scripture”. It can’t explain how people living during Old Testament times were able to read and understand Scripture without an infallible interpreter. It can’t explain how the early Christian church was able to read the Old Testament and understand it as well.