Get Ready for Daniel!

As many of you know, I am finishing up the commentary on Daniel.  I am very happy with the results.  It is sure to cause a bit of controversy.  Well, a lot of controversy.

When we come to studying the book of Daniel, the first thing a new reader will do, or should do, is simply read the book itself.  Now, this immediately places the reader into the issue of translation.  What translation is he or she reading?  Secondly, they have to filter what they “already know” concerning “what they have heard”.  As is well known in popular culture, Daniel and Revelation appear to go hand and hand, and appear to speak about the same subject matter.  Therefore, as is commonly assumed, Daniel and Revelation speak about the same “end times.”

Let’s say, then, the reader has read the book and is quite perplexed (Daniel was).  The stories have a good message to them: obey God and not the world.  God is over all the kings of the earth.  God will set up a kingdom and it will dominate all the others.  The dead will be raised.  All true.

Now the reader goes to his local bookstore or library and gets a bunch of books on Daniel.  If, however, he or she is reading from a Study Bible, then the “notes” on the bottom will have already filled in a lot of information – and since these notes are in the Bible, then they must have some truth, right?  Well?

What if he or she were reading from the Catholic Study Bible?  The translation is called the New American.  Not a bad translation.  The very eminent John J. Collins (a super scholar) wrote the Introduction to the Daniel part – and it is very clear: Daniel is not the actual author (the work is pseudopigraphal); Antiochus Epiphanes is the main character of the end.  Daniel was written in the second century BCE.

The reader also purchased The Popular Encyclopedia of Bible Prophecy, edited by Tim LaHaye and Ed Hinson.  Here, Daniel speaks about the end of the world, the Antichrist, and rebuilt Israel and the Temple in the “last days.”  The fourth beast in chapter 7 is the Revised Roman Empire.  Collins believes it is the Grecian Empire with the rise of Antiochus Epiphanes of the Seleucid Kingdom as the “little horn.”  The venerable John Calvin sees the horns as the Caesars themselves.  The prophecy goes no further.  I could go on.  We have not even touched the surface.  We have not even begun to look at the surface that await the reader when he or she plunges into Daniel and the myriad upon myriad of interpretations.  What are the odds that a numb-skull like me may have something to offer?

Well, there are a few other commentaries out there that are suggestive.  The well received Interpreter’s Bible Commentary Volume VI is good.  Arthur Jeffrey tackled Daniel in that series.  Then, there is the older commentary by Moses Stuart.  Still further are there others that take a bit of a different route off the main highway (Seow, Davis, Carol Ann Newsome, Sailhamer, Stephen Miller, and an unknown Frank Daniels).  I kind of stay on the main highway but take a few different routes – “back roads” we call them in Indiana.  I am drawing from several sources, traditional and liberal, skeptic and believer, critical and supportive.  I basically chucked out everything I thought I knew about Daniel and started fresh from my own translating ability with the text.  I wrote down all the nagging questions I had and have morphed from “view” to “view” over the decades until now, for the first time, I can say, “I am settled.”  What I mean is, I can read Daniel comfortably for the first time all the way through.  It now makes sense to me.  Whether it will make any sense to anyone else is another matter.

My commentary is purposely not “scholarly”.  It does not have one single footnote.  It does not quote from a single scholar, or make long winded arguments only to favor mine in the end.  It is meant to pick up and read like a book, starting at chapter 1 and reading until chapter 12 (just like Daniel).  The temptation for folks who think they know Daniel will be to go immediately to chapter 7 or 9.  You will be disappointed if you do that, because these chapters make no sense without chapter 8, and 1-6.  Let me say this, though: I finished this project not knowing that the way I came in would change from the way I came out.  In other words, this project changed my view!  This was especially due to the translation task.  Lots of misconceptions on my part were dismantled by the text itself.  What an adventure it was.

Book should be out before Summer (I know, I know, it was supposed to be out in March).  Anyone got 10,000 dollars to spare?

 

Author: Samuel M. Frost, Th.M.

Samuel M. Frost has gained the recognition of his family, peers, colleagues, church members, and local community as a teacher and leader.  Samuel was raised in the Foursquare Gospel tradition and continued in the rising Charismatic Movement of the early 1980’s.  While serving in local congregations he was admitted to Liberty Christian College in Pensacola, Florida where he lived on campus for four years earning his Bachelor’s of Theology degree.  It was there under the tutelage of Dr. Dow Robinson (Summer Institutes of Linguistics), and Dr. Frank Longino (Dallas Theological Seminary) that he was motivated to pursue a career in Theology.  Dr. Robinson wrote two books on Linguistics, Workbook on Phonological Analysis (SIL, 1970) and Manuel for Bilingual Dictionaries: Textbook (SIL, 1969).  It was under these teachers’ guidance that Frost entered into his Master’s studies, being granted a scholarship for Greek I and II at Pentecostal Theological Seminary, accredited, in Cleveland, Tennessee (adjunct of Lee University).  Frost completed his study under Dr. French Arrington, who used the text of J. Gresham Machen, New Testament Greek for Beginners. Frost studied Hebrew for two years under Dr. Mark Futato (author, Beginning Biblical Hebrew, Eisenbrauns, 2003) and Dr. Bruce K. Waltke (author, An Introduction to Biblical Hebrew Syntax, Eisenbrauns, 1990) at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, Florida. With combined credits from PTS and RTS, Samuel completed his Master of Arts in Christian Studies and Master of Arts in Religion from Whitefield Theological Seminary in Lakeland, Florida under the direct tutelage of Dr. Kenneth G. Talbot, co-author of the well reviewed work, Hyper-Calvinism and Arminianism (Whitefield Media, 2005) with Dr. Gary Crampton (and Foreword by the late, Dr. D. James Kennedy).  Dr. Talbot also oversaw Samuel’s Dissertation, From the First Adam to the Second and Last Adam (2012) earning him the Magister Theologiae (Th.M.) degree.  He also helped put together A Student’s Hebrew Primer for WTS and graded exams in Hebrew. Samuel’s studies lead him into an issue in the field of Eschatology where his scholarship and unique approach in Hermeneutics garnered him recognition.  Because of the controversial nature of some of his conclusions, scholars were sharp in their disagreement with him.  Frost’s initial work, Misplaced Hope: The Origins of First and Second Century Eschatology (2002, Second Edition, 2006 Bi-Millennial Publishing), sold over four thousand units.  While arguing for the Reformation understanding of sola Scriptura as defined by the Westminster Confession of Faith, Frost’s book launched a heavily footnoted argument for a total reassessment of the doctrine known as the Second Coming of Christ.  The conclusion was that the events of the war of the Jewish nation against their Roman overlords in 66-70 C.E. formed the New Testament authors’ eschatological outlook, and went no further than their own first century generation; a view otherwise known as “full” or "hyper" Preterism.  Internationally recognized Evangelical author and speaker Steve Wohlberg remarked, ‘On the “preterist” side today…we have such influential leaders as Gary DeMar, Kenneth L. Gentry, Jr., David Chilton, R.C. Sproul, Max King, James Stuart Russell, Samuel M. Frost, and John Noe.  To these scholars…the beast is not on the horizon, he’s dead” (Italics, his)” (End Time Delusions, Destiny Image Publishers, 2004, page 133).  It should be noted that only Noe, King and Frost supported the “full” Preterist position. Thomas Ice and co-author of the best selling Left Behind series, Tim LaHaye, quote Frost’s work, Misplaced Hope, as well in their book, The End Times Controversy: The Second Coming under Attack (Harvest House Publishers, 2003, page 40).  Dr. Jay E. Adams, who single handedly launched “a revolution” in Christian Counseling with his work, Competent to Counsel: An Introduction to Nouthetic Counseling, (1970, Zondervan), also wrote an analysis of Frost’s work in Preterism: Orthodox or Unorthodox? (Ministry Monographs for Modern Times, INS Publishing, 2004).  Dr. Charles E. Hill, Professor of New Testament and Early Christianity at Reformed Theological Seminary, Orlando, wrote of Misplaced Hope that Frost, “attacks the problem of the early church in a much more thoroughgoing way than I have seen” (When Shall These Things Be? A Reformed Response to Hyper Preterism, Ed. Keith Mathison, Presbyterian & Reformed Publishing, 2003, ‘Eschatology in the Wake of Jerusalem’s Fall’ p. 110-ff.).  There were several other works as well that took the scholarship of Frost seriously, like Ergun Caner in The Return of Christ: A Premillennial Perspective, Eds., Steve W. Lemke and David L. Allen (B&H Publishing, 2011). Because of the controversial nature of Frost’s conclusions on these matters, it was difficult to find a denomination within the Church-at-Large to work in terms of pastoral ministry.  That situation changed when Samuel was called by a Bible study group in Saint Petersburg, Florida to found a congregation.  Christ Covenant Church was established in 2002 operating under the principles outlined by Presbyterian historian James Bannerman’s work, The Church of Christ: A Treatise on the Nature, Powers, Ordinances, Discipline, and Government of the Christian Church (Banner of Truth Trust, 1974, original, 1869).  By-Laws and a Constitution were drawn up in the strictest manner for what was considered an “Independent” establishment of a Presbyterian Church, granted that a “call” was received and recognized by Presiding Elders duly ordained from existing and recognized denominations.  Two Elders, one ordained in the Reformed Presbyterian Church (Mike Delores), and another ordained in the Presbyterian Church of America (Dr. Kelly N. Birks, now deceased) tested and reviewed the call, ordaining Samuel on October 20th, 2002, the Twenty Second Sunday after Trinity.  Proper forms were submitted to Tallahassee, Florida with the stamp of a Notary Public Witness.  Christ Covenant Church (CCC) functioned as a local church for five years with a congregation as large as 30 members.  Frost was gaining recognition after Misplaced Hope had been published in January of that year, and conferences were hosted that included debates with another prominent "full" Preterist educator, Don K. Preston.  CCC hosted best-selling authors, Thomas Ice, and Mark Hitchcock from Dallas Theological Seminary; and Dr. James B. Jordan (Westminster Theological Seminary), well-known author/pastor in Reformed theological circles.  Frost was invited for the next several years to speak at over 25 conferences nation-wide, was featured in articles and an appearance on local news in Tampa for one of CCC’s conferences.  The Evangelical Theological Society also invited Samuel to speak at the Philadelphia conference (Frost is currently a Member of ETS as well as Society of Biblical Literature). During this time Samuel had submitted one more book, Exegetical Essays on the Resurrection of the Dead (TruthVoice, 2008; repr. JaDon Publishing, 2010); and co-wrote, House Divided: A Reformed Response to When Shall These Things Be? (Vision International, 2010).  Frost also wrote several Forewords for up and coming authors who were influenced by his teaching materials, as well as cited many times in books, lectures and academic papers.  However, because of certain aspects of Hermeneutics and Frost’s undaunted commitment to scholarship (with always a strong emphasis on the personal nature of devotional living to Christ), several challenges to the "hyper" Preterist view he espoused finally gave way, largely due to the unwavering commitment to Samuel by the Dean of Whitefield Theological Seminary, Dr. Kenneth G. Talbot, who continually challenged him.  In what shocked the "hyper" Preterist world, Samuel announced after the Summer of 2010 that he was in serious error, and departed the movement as a whole, along with Jason Bradfield, Assistant Pastor of Christ Presbyterian Church, Lakeland, Florida .  Christ Covenant Church had dissolved after 2007 while Samuel continued as a public speaker and writer, largely due to reasons that would unravel Frost’s commitment to "hyper" Preterism as a whole. The documentation of Frost’s departure was published by American Vision’s Founder, Gary DeMar, with a Foreword by Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry.  Why I Left Full Preterism (AV Publishing, 2012) quickly sold out its first run.  The book was later republished under the arm of Dr. Kenneth L. Gentry and is sold today (GoodBirth Ministries Publishing, 2019).  Dr. Keith Mathison, Professor of Systematic Theology at Reformation Bible College in Sanford, Florida, endorsed the book as well.  Samuel has gone on to write, Daniel: Unplugged (Kindle/Amazon, 2019); The Parousia of the Son of Man (Lulu Publishing, 2019); God: As Bill Wilson Understood Him, A Theological Analysis of Alcoholics Anonymous (Lulu Publishing, 2017).  He is also active as a certified Chaplain with the Henry County Sheriff’s Department, Indiana, and enrolled with ICAADA (Indiana Counselor’s Association on Alcohol and Drug Abuse) working directly under Dr. Dennis Greene, Founder of Christian Counseling and Addictions Services, Inc.  Frost’s passion is in the education of the local church on various issues and occasionally works Pastor Alan McCraine with the First Presbyterian Church in Lewisville, Indiana where he periodically is called upon to give the sermon.  He also is working with Redemption Life Bible Church with Pastor Tyler Jackson in New Castle, Indiana.  Samuel, with his wife, Kimberly, helped to establish Heaven’s Bread Basket food pantry that donates food items to local families in need once a month – a ministry of the Session of First Presbyterian Church. Samuel has four children, one step-son, ages sixteen to twenty-eight and has worked part time at Ace Hardware in New Castle, Indiana for over five years.  He has a solid reputation in the community, and has performed marriages and funerals.  He also sits on the Board of the Historical Preservation Committee in New Castle.

2 thoughts on “Get Ready for Daniel!”

  1. As a Catholic, I feel compelled to comment on the section about the Catholic Study Bible. The notes contain quite a bit of modern scholarship, and therefore, doesn’t always line up well with Catholic teaching. The Church does teach that Daniel wrote the book, and while there are some who think the beast is Antiochus Epiphanes, most will say that it is Nero. If you’re going to use that particular study Bible, you should double check with the Vatican website to see if it’s actually in line with the Church.
    All in all, I love your blog and your debates with Don Preston. Great stuff!

    Like

    1. Mary,
      Thanks for the reply. The CSB is from Oxford Press and does receive the Imprimatur and nihil obstat (1989). However, these seals do not state that “everything therein” is official Catholic Dogma.

      Like

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