Much ink has been spilled (or keys tapped) over the book of Daniel, but Jim Hamilton perceived a glaring omission: “an evangelical and canonical biblical theology of Daniel” (p21), which is what With the Clouds of Heaven provides. To unpack his quote, evangelical means accepting “evangelical conclusions on questions of date and authorship” (p31); canonical means reading Daniel while considering its placement in the Biblical canon, particularly the Hebrew OT order; and biblical theology means noticing how “Daniel has engaged earlier Scripture to present his message and how later Scripture engaged Daniel to exposit what he wrote” (p27). With the Clouds of Heaven is less a commentary of Daniel as it’s an attempt to understand its role in the larger Biblical storyline.
Tag: Jim Hamilton (page 1 of 4)
I’m generally skeptical of large-scale suggestions such as this (though I’m intrigued by Wingo’s proposal that Job is a chiasm!) but I think Hamilton is onto something here by suggesting in his new book With the Clouds of Heaven that the entire book of Daniel is a chiasm. After showing that Daniel is broken up into 10 units (closely corresponding to the first 9 chapters and then chapters 10-12), he notes that some chapters are clearly parallel:
The greatest stories don’t just take us to faraway places, they tell us about ourselves and world. Often this is far more effective than a direct approach. Look to the example of Nathan’s story in 2 Samuel 12; his story cut to David’s heart and revealed his hypocrisy. Likewise, in What is Biblical Theology?: A Guide to the Bible’s Story, Symbolism, and Patterns, James Hamilton wants to help us see the storyline of the Bible – the true story of our world – and thereby make sense of what God is doing in history and see our own place within it.