Talk:Belshazzar - Wikiwand
For faster navigation, this Iframe is preloading the Wikiwand page for Talk:Belshazzar.


From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

In song

The story of Belshazzar is told in a song of the same name by Johnny Cash and the Tennessee Two in the early 1950s with Sun Records

And William Walton wrote a tone poem Belshazzar's Feast." Wetman 23:31, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)



According to Nabonidus, Belshazzar's fahter is Nabonid.

In any other context, fictional characters are identified as fictional characters. We look in vain in the Babylonian kinglists for this fictional "Belshazzar son of Nebuchadnezzar". Wetman 23:31, 12 Jun 2004 (UTC)

Nowhere in the book of Daniel is he called "Belshazzar son of Nebuchanezzar". In one verse Nechadnezzar is called "avihu" = "his father". Unfortunately the word av can mean a literal father or it can mean a forefather, and the latter meaning is not even a rare usage, its quite common. Kuratowski's Ghost 09:01, 1 May 2005 (UTC)
I was going to move the description of Belshazzar as Nebuchadnezzar's "son" (as described in the Book of Daniel) from the first paragraph to a later one — see my comments under my edit to the article from earlier today. However, I now see that it has already been addressed in a later paragraph, and expanded upon using points brought up by the editor above. Because keeping the reference in the opening paragraph is a bit confusing, especially in the absence of the explanations necessary to put it into context, I'm going to let the "Relationship to Nebuchadnezzar" paragraph be the only explanation of that part of the text.DoctorEric (talk) 22:26, 20 October 2015 (UTC)

NPOV, expand and cleanup labels!

These three labels are being cast about like grass seed by newly-arrived User:CheeseDreams. They are disfiguring, but their value in this entry, where the User has made no edits, can be assessed by a look at this user's contributions. --Wetman 02:26, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Agreed:Why the {} sign/s?

Why were one or more of these sign/s: ((NPOV))((expansion))((Cleanup)) signs placed on this page without any discussion, explanation or reasoning? (And why create a redundant category Category:Bible stories that is now up for a vote for deletion at Wikipedia:Categories for deletion#Category:Bible stories?) IZAK 07:00, 18 Nov 2004 (UTC)

User:CheeseDreams is currently banned for similar behavior here and there at Wikipedia. While he's taking his well-earned Time Out, I'm removing these irresponsible and tiresome labels. Don't stop improving this article, however! And if this article needs clean-up, neutrality, etc, do confront us all here in the Discussion first, won't you? --Wetman 09:57, 18 Jan 2005 (UTC)

This article definitely needs to be expanded and cleaned up. Whether one likes it or not there is an historical Belshazzar and the article should start off by focusing on him. "Belshazzar as portrayed in Daniel", "... Rabbinical literature" etc etc should be in their own subsequent sections. Kuratowski's Ghost 08:32, 1 May 2005 (UTC)


Nitocris, known to be the daughter of Nebuchadnezzar and widow of Nergal-sharezer.--known from where? what's the source?

Well its stuff one finds quoted all over the place, its in Easton's for example. Not sure what the sources used in Easton's are, but I'm guessing its partly Herodotus not only contemporary inscriptions, so maybe this needs to be expanded on: what is said in contemporary inscriptions, in Herodotus and in the Bible. Kuratowski's Ghost 17:10, 31 July 2005 (UTC)
Googling "Herodotus Nitocris" —as anyone might— I found "Herodotus on Nitocris". Anyone depending on Easton's for history might as well be reading "Chariots of the Gods". I shall add this link to Nitocris. Not that anyone would be rushing to do so... --Wetman 01:37, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
Nitocris of Egypt is different to Nitocris of Baylon if I remember. I also wouldn't trust Easton's although this Nitocris as mother of Bekshazzar one always hears, would be interesting to see what is actually said in the primary sources though. Kuratowski's Ghost 15:01, 1 August 2005 (UTC)
I can't find this in any decent source. Catholic Encyclopedia [1] says it is conjecture. Jerome Biblical Commentary (1968) says Daniel must have meant "predecessor" not "father". None of the other references I looked at confirm it, except for "God's Word for the Biblically Inept". It doesn't even make sense. Belshazzar's mother was the widow of Nergal-sharezer? Nergal-sharezer was killed in 556 BC, so presumably Belshazzar wasn't born before then, unless Nitocris was cheating on Nergal-sharezer. Belshazzar was made co-regent in 553 BC. So he was 3 at the time? Pfalstad 22:46, 8 August 2005 (UTC)
Herodotus says that the Babylonian Nitocris was the mother of Labynetos. Labynetos is the name he gives the last king of Babylon defeated by Cyrus as well as to the king that was his father. The name is seemingly a garbled form of Nabonidus making the father the king usually called Nabonidus and the younger Nabonidus his son Belshazzar. That explains part of what Easton's says. Kuratowski's Ghost 02:54, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
I'm not sure I understand. I'm not disputing Nitocris being the mother. I'm disputing Belshazzar's blood relation to Nebuchadnezzar. Pfalstad 13:21, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
Still trying to find out where this idea comes from Kuratowski's Ghost 13:39, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
Maybe Wikipedia could lay Easton's aside just this once and simply discuss literary Belshazzar and historical Belshazzar. Unnecessarily confused and inaccurate statements might well be omitted. --Wetman 05:16, 9 August 2005 (UTC)
What I wrote above is an explanation of where part of the stuff in Easton's comes from. Of course it doesn't mean that Easton's interpretation of Herodotus is correct. Since what Herodotus says about the elder Labynetos matches Nebuchanezzer the current thinking is that the younger Labynetos is Nabonidus not Belshazzar and the elder is indeed Nebuchadnezzer. This would mean that Herodotus is saying that Nitocris is the mother of Nabonidus and that Nabonidus was a son of Nebuchadnezzar. Kuratowski's Ghost 00:06, 10 August 2005 (UTC)
Browsing various Bible study sites which I had previously tried to avoid, there seems to be many ways of interpreting Herodotus. This site argues that the elder Labynetos is indeed Nabonidus and suggests that Nitocris was a daughter of Nebuchadnezzer. Still don't know why Easton's says it with such conviction or where he gets the widow stuff. Kuratowski's Ghost 01:00, 10 August 2005 (UTC)

─────────────────────────According to Assyriologists there's no extant documented reason to object to the blood relationship of Nebuchad. and Belshazzar, since the identity of his mother along with her parentage is unknown (see Wiseman, D.J. (2004), Nebuchadnezzar and Babylon, pp. 11, 12). In Aramaic and Hebrew "father" and "son" are used of lineal descent; there are no words for grandfather or grandson. Assyriologists take seriously the account of Dan. 5; (see Daugherty, 2008, pp. 193, 194, 199, 200) despite hypocritical treatment by biblical scholars. Assyriologist R.P. Dougherty infers persuasively from the Herodotus account that Nitrocis was plausibly the daughter of Nebuchad. through a high level Egyptian consort: Labynetus is a corruption of Nabonidus and the son mentioned against whom Cyrus the Great conducted a military expedition is therefore Belshazzar, who inherited the name (authority) of his father Nabonidus. See Dougherty (2008), Nabonidus and Belshazzar, pp. 38-43, 65, 193, 194. Proveallthings (talk) 06:49, 30 July 2018 (UTC)

Books are 35 and 89 years old. Tgeorgescu (talk) 08:03, 30 July 2018 (UTC)
Thank you for responding. If you have superseding evidence to the contrary, please kindly share it and I will be happy to listen. Otherwise, cting the ages of books is not constructive and won't lead to a collaborative effort on our parts. e.g., Wiseman wrote in 1983; Collins' Daniel, cited three times in the page, is from 1984. That does not mean Collins, a Biblical scholar, is ahead of the Assyriologist, Wiseman, in terms of modern discoveries in Assyriology. But I digress. In my personal estimation, the issue is irrelevant seeing as it was customary for Babylonian and Assyrian kings to refer to their predecessors as fathers. This is widely known to be true of both Nebucadrezzar II and Sargon I, et al. Dougherty's information and analysis to my understanding is still authoritative, hence the demand to put his book back in print. You've expressed strong opinions elsewhere in here; I hope you are open to other points of view. Please see Miller (1994), Daniel, pp. 28-32, for the current problems with the Maccabean Thesis. My edition is newer, but that year is available in This being said, I hope we can work together to write a stronger article. Cheers! Proveallthings (talk) 02:48, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Pardon me, I intended to write Miller, Daniel, pp. 26-32. Proveallthings (talk) 02:56, 31 July 2018 (UTC)

I would like to chime in here that the reason we know the Book of Daniel was written in the second century BC is because the prophecies in it are only accurate up until a certain date: 164 BC exactly. After that date, all of the prophecies are catastrophically wrong. The only way that you can arrive with a work containing accurate prophecies up to one, specific date and inaccurate prophecies thereafter is if the book was actually written at that date, making all the "predictions" prior to that point actually be history framed as predictions to make the actual predictions found later seem reliable. --Katolophyromai (talk) 15:41, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

Yes, this is the scholarly consensus and it has been the scholarly consensus for over a century now. The Book of Daniel is, in fact, regarded as probably the single book in Old Testament that is most obviously a forgery above all others, due to its anachronistic language, historical errors, inconsistencies, or other details. [2]

See also WP:FRINGE. "Daniel wrote the Book of Daniel" is conservative evangelical theology, it isn't history. Also, top 100 US research universities don't buy the story "Daniel wrote the Book of Daniel", see WP:CHOPSY. "The Book of Daniel is Maccabean" is a historical hypothesis, so technically, it could be shown to be false. Instead, "Daniel wrote the Book of Daniel" is WP:CB. Tgeorgescu (talk) 04:11, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
Thank you both! I disagree that the book should be dated upon its predictive ability: I have seen interpretations that plausibly expound the prophecies all the way through to the dissolution of the western empire without any "failed" prophecies. But the book was clearly written well before that. So I think interpretation alone is not enough. The composition of the language, however, that can be verified based upon the DSS, Elephantine Papyri, etc. demonstrates a date much earlier than the 2nd century. Please cf. Source cited above for a summary: 20 old Persian loan words from the Achaemenid era and no middle persian loan words (m.p. is a form beginning c. 300 BCE), some of which were translated as mere guesswork in the Old Green translation (c. 130 BCE). 12 Akkadian loan words. Only 6 Greek loan words, all instruments, when Greek artisans were known to have traded in Babylon much earlier than the 6th century. The lack of supposedly contemporary Greek loan words from the Seleucid era is striking. The Aramaic is specifically official (imperial) Aramaic that differs significantly from the Aramaic of the Maccabean era and DSS, but is nearly identical to Aramaic documents written between the fifth and seventh centuries, and the Elephantine Papyri. The Hebrew text matches that of Ezekiel, but is also markedly different than the Hebrew from Qumran. There are a number of more detailed and thorough examinations of the languge and other internal considerations but Miller is a good survey. Cheers! Proveallthings (talk) 05:51, 31 July 2018 (UTC)
See WP:FRINGE, WP:UNDUE, WP:ABIAS and WP:RGW. And WP:RS/AC. Wikipedia follows academic learning, and academic learning is represented by what those top 100 US research universities teach as fact. We don't have the option of not following what they teach, so for us it is highly relevant what is taught there. To oversimplify a bit, we are only here in order to record what they teach there. I don't think that the views of a fundamentalist apologist are particularly representative for the views of reputable historians or Bible scholars. In his opinion mainstream Bible scholars are from the Devil. Simply put, what they teach at MABTS is far from WP:MAINSTREAM WP:SCHOLARSHIP, and Wikipedia's allegiance is to mainstream scholarship. The quote from WP:LUNATICS is applicable to every other academic field. Besides, what editors think has never been a good WP:PAG-based argument; we only care about what mainstream scholars think. Tgeorgescu (talk) 02:02, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Thank you for your response. Please kindly substantiate your claim where Miller states mainstream scholars are from the devil, otherwise a serious accusation is unwarranted. His main sources, Kenneth A. Kitchen, R.K. Harrison, E.K. Kutscher, Edwin Yamauchi, et al., are not fringe scholars, but eminent and highly respected in their fields. Proper weight is applied to research on the merits of the information presented, not according to the genetic fallacy. Mainstream Biblical scholarship relies on the specialized fields, but tends to lag a generation or more behind. So there is commonly one concensus of Biblical scholars, another of linguists, philologists, and Assyriologists. The Maccabean Thesis, for instance, is from c. 1890-1900 by Koch and Driver. But discoveries since that time have shown their philological analysis was incorrect: discovery of the Dead Sea Scrolls and the Elephantine Papyri, numerous advances in papyrology, et al. From my understanding, the most reliable Aramaic scholars agree the Aramaic of Daniel is of a type of eastern Aramaic no earlier than the 5th century. WP:fringe then seems really "not invented here". Additionally, these works do not rank among works about the Loch Ness Monster, the "elusive pleiosaur," crop circles, alien visitors, and homeopathy. It is based upon documented, factual literary evidence. Of course we respect the rules, but we do not use the rules to stifle discourse. I hope to work together. Kindly. If you do not wish to collaborate together constructively, then I will say I hope future conversations elsewhere will fare better. Cheers! Proveallthings (talk) 03:09, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

About collaborating constructively: I'm all ears. Fulfill the WP:BURDEN that your claim passes the WP:CHOPSY test. You seem to want to use a fringe or tiny minority Bible scholar to show that the bulk of mainstream Bible scholars have gotten it wrong. Wikipedia does not work that way. Generally, inside Wikipedia we rarely say that a claim is true or false, we say instead that it is the consensus view or majority view or minority view or fringe. We rarely discuss about true or false, only in very clear-cut cases. For the rest we discuss about the reputation of the authors, the reputation of the journal, the reputation of the publishing house, retraction, what experts say about that source and other clear and objective parameters that may affect the trust we have in the reliability of that source. When there is no way to know WP:THETRUTH or WP:RS/AC, all notable mainstream opinions should be rendered. We're not a research institute, so we cannot say if a claim is true or false, we may only discuss the reliability of the source. Besides, Bible scholarship is an umbrella term for ANE history. I repeat: fulfill the WP:BURDEN to show that it is a mainstream claim; not mainstream, no edit. See also WP:EXTRAORDINARY. I do not have to show that he stated that, it is what all Southern Baptists think about mainstream Bible scholarship (see the 2012 resolution). "Bible scholars and higher critics sow the seeds of unbelief; deceit and apostasy follow them wherever they go."—that's what every good Christian fundamentalist thinks. Tgeorgescu (talk) 05:38, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

Our house, our rules is a blunt way of saying that the Wikipedia community has a set of norms that govern how the encyclopedia is built: norms about what kind of sources we use, about how we handle conflict, and so on. Those norms include not using self-published internet sources, not making blanket statements about ethnic groups (Jews, in this case) without support, not editing against the consensus of editors, and so on. You may consider discussion of those norms as "off-topic," but the Wikipedia community tends to think they are important. Wikipedia articles aren't "owned" by individuals, but they are "owned," in a sense, by the Wikimedia community and the consensus of editors. When an editor, like yourself, decides they want an article to go in a direction other than what the majority of editors want to do, the majority of editors typically preserve their preferred version. Adding material to an article, and then having other editors take that material out, is part of the normal editing process. It's not "force" and it's not "vandalism." It happens to all of us. I'm pretty sure that none of us have our edits here accepted by the community 100% of the time. Learning to abide by Wikipedia's communal decisions is an important part of getting along here as an editor. And if you don't want your editing to be limited by the Wikipedia community's particular goals and methods and decisions, the good news is that there's plenty of other outlets for your work, like perhaps Conservapedia, or getting a personal blog. At the end of the day, Wikipedia really is the private project of the Wikimedia Foundation. It is, roughly, a service that provides summaries of the contents of mainstream scholarship, in the specific sense that "mainstream scholarship" has here at Wikipedia. It's really not an experiment in treating all views equally, and if you think it is, you're likely to wind up frustrated. Alephb (talk) 12:16, 24 January 2018 (UTC)

Quoted from Talk:Adam. Tgeorgescu (talk) 05:46, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
Thank you, but I feel perhaps you are being disingenuous about collaberation. Since you are personally responsible for the vast majority of edits on the Academic bias essay, including the inclusion of the CHOPS(Y) test in 2013, it seems very self-serving to cite it here. I would classify your approach affectionately as "Argument By Demanding Impossible Perfection", requiring that every source is filtered through the subjective approval of only six specific institutions to meet your criteria (e.g., above it was the top 100 Academic Universities, now narrowed to six). I doubt most editors will run their sources by each of these institutions for approval, so it is hard to see it as anything more than a disincentive to edit. And you have a consistently voiced bias against Christianity and not wanting to be associated with the "absurdities of the bible," and yet I see you are active in bible related pages. So in terms of bias you don't, IMHO, pass the Duck Test. Understandably, we all have bias, myself included, so I mean no real ill by this, just to tell it like I see it. But opposing views challenge one another and spur progress; stifling discourse produces stagnation. Forgive me for not sourcing above: Kitchen, "The Aramaic of Daniel", pp. 78-79. "[The Aramaic of Daniel] is, in itself, as long and generally agreed, integrally a part of that Imperial Aramaic which gathered impetus from at least the seventh century BC and was in full use until c. 300 BC" p. 79. In Wiseman, Notes on Some Problems in the book of Daniel. His work is the current standard. I hope my plainness of speaking does not offend you. I admire your zeal. Can we pick this up at a later time? Family affairs demand my attention. Thank you for your time this far. Cheers! Proveallthings (talk) 05:52, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
P.S. I forgot, Yamauchi, Greece and Babylon, pp. 13, 17, 18, 89-94. Proveallthings (talk) 06:24, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
First, WP:ABIAS isn't policy or guideline; it was designed as a quick heuristic explanation for what Wikipedia is about, so that newbies know what they should be up to. WP:RNPOV, WP:UNDUE and WP:FRINGE are WP:RULES. You have never pledged to obey our WP:RULES. The moment to do it is now. Anyway, all your edits are performed under the legal obligation to comply with WP:RULES. On the English Wikipedia I was accused of writing ads for born-again Christians, while on the Romanian Wikipedia I was accused of being outright Anti-Christian. How can that be? Well, I follow WP:SOURCES, I do not push my own opinions, I can "write for the adversary" (WP:ENEMY). Characterizing me as a POV-pusher (other than for mainstream science and mainstream scholarship) is a personal attack, see WP:NPA. In fact, I am neither the most learned nor the most aggressive editor in this area, I am however very thorough with violations of WP:RULES. About those six universities: the claim should not be booed off the stage, am I asking too much? Tgeorgescu (talk) 06:24, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

This is in response to your post on the Leonora Piper talk page which has been reverted. Kazuba, I'm sorry to drop into the middle of this but I saw your post and it intrigued me. I think one of the greatest mysteries in the Internet is "What is Wikipedia for?" Quite a few people have tried to edit Wikipedia believing it to be the place to put your findings and your research so that others can see them. Unfortunately, that's not what Wikipedia was built for. Others try and post what they have seen to be the "truth", again they will find themselves getting reverted because that's not a goal of Wikipedia. I guess the best way to describe it is "The Largest Collection In The World". Wikipedia collects all the other knowledge and puts it in one place so it can be referenced. You express above your love and talent for research - I thinks that's wonderful. We need people like you because we already have enough people like me (I can't find my socks on my feet). The issue would be putting that research on Wikipedia, so long as it's in a book or over-sighted article, fine. If not, you'll get push-back. Also, we have to present both sides of an argument. There's no way to quantify how famous a person is, so Wikipedia tries to stay away from determining who's more or less popular. To say that a thing was very popular is one thing, to compare it to other things that may also be popular is different. Even statements like the ones in the section on "Phinuit" are a bit too far. There are statements that refer to "Phinuit" as a doctor and that his French wasn't very good... That's intimating that "Phinuit" is a real person who could be a doctor and know French. Since there's never been any evidence proving this all we can do is refer to it as "the entity Mrs. Piper referred to as Phinuit". These are some of the restrictions placed on us by Wikipedia, they make it so the stuff we add to an article is concrete and cited to other sources so Wikipedia doesn't get in trouble for "making up stuff". I understand your indignation, I have an article about my father on this site and I can't add several things to it because they are not written down anywhere. I lived with the man for 15 years... was raised by him... ate his cooking... but I can't say "he had one brown eye and one green eye" because it's not written somewhere else. Please don't loose heart, try and stick around and if you need help presenting an argument, please leave a message on mytalk page and we'll work it out together. Padillah (talk) 20:54, 8 December 2009 (UTC)

In short: the word of a fundamentalist Bible professor is not enough for such WP:EXTRAORDINARY claim. That there were older sources behind the Book of Daniel is no secret to the mainstream; however it was essentially compiled in the 2nd century BCE. "There were older sources" is much more compliant with Occam's razor than "he saw the future". So make an educated guess about which explanation would be by default preferred by historians. Tgeorgescu (talk) 07:45, 1 August 2018 (UTC)

This isn’t simply the approach of “liberal” Bible professors. It’s the way historians always date sources. If you find a letter written on paper that is obviously 300 years old or so, and the author says something about the “United States” — then you know it was written after the Revolutionary War. So too if you find an ancient document that describes the destruction of Jerusalem, then you know it was written after 70 CE. It’s not rocket science! But it’s also not “liberal.” It’s simply how history is done. If someone wants to invent other rules, they’re the ones who are begging questions!

— Bart Ehrman,
Quoted by Tgeorgescu (talk) 09:24, 1 August 2018 (UTC)
I think that you need to make up your mind if you are for or against our WP:RULES. If you're against our rules and act on that, you'll soon find yourself in hot water. If your edits are WP:PAG-compliant, they will likely stay, otherwise every experienced editor will have to revert you. By saying this I am not aggressive, I just tell it as it is. Tgeorgescu (talk) 23:03, 2 August 2018 (UTC)

Distracting blank spaces

Formatting that encases the framed table of contents in text, in just the way a framed map or image is enclosed within the text, is now available: ((TOCleft)) in the HTML does the job.

Blank space opposite the ToC, besides being unsightly and distracting, suggests that there is a major break in the continuity of the text, which may not be the case. Blanks in page layout are voids and they have meanings to the experienced reader. The space betweeen paragraphs marks a brief pause between separate blocks of thought. A deeper space, in a well-printed text, signifies a more complete shift in thought: note the spaces that separate sub-headings in Wikipedia articles.

A handful of thoughtless and aggressive Wikipedians revert the "TOCleft" format at will. A particularly aggressive de-formatter is User:Ed g2s

The reader may want to compare versions at the Page history. --Wetman 20:05, 9 August 2005 (UTC)


To say that the Biblical passage that says Belshazzar was son of Nebuchadnezzar must be understood to mean that Nebuchadnezzar was his "predecessor" or "ancestor" is completely POV. Most scholars believe that the Book of Daniel was written in the second century BC, and that the author of Daniel is simply mistaken in thinking that Belshazzar was Nebuchadnezzar's son. (This appears to have been commonly thought in the second century BC - the Book of Baruch, also presumably written about this time, also calls Belshazzar Nebuchadnezzar's son see Baruch 1:10: "And pray ye for the life of Nabuchodonosor the king of Babylon, and for the life of Balthasar his son, that their days may be upon earth as the days of heaven.") Only apologetical writers offer this dubious "obviously predecessor was meant" explanation. And this article is not the place for discussion of apologetical interpretations of the Book of Daniel. The place for those is Book of Daniel where they should be reported (but not endorsed!) john k 23:13, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

I've attempted a neutral wording with a split of Babylonian sources, Herodotus and Bible. This still needs to be improved further, there is more Babylonian info that can be added and I am not sure if everything stated currently is really from contemporary inscriptions - some is surely from Berosus and should be separated out. Josephus' account and how it relates to Herodutus is also needed.
Bear in mind that the Hebrew usage of av for forefather instead of literal father is extremely common, just search the text of a Hebrew prayer book for example, Jews typically describe Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as avotenu = our fathers, even converts to Judaism do this. Famous Jewish scholars, writers and thinkers of past centuries are also referred to by this term. Kuratowski's Ghost
Yes, it can be used in that sense, but there's no especial reason to view the reference to Nebuchadnezzar as Belshazzar's "father" in this sense unless one is committed to Biblical inerrancy. My understanding is that in most cases where the word is used in the non-literal sense, it is quite obvious that it is being so used. It is not at all obvious that it is being used in a non-literal sense for Belshazzar's relationship with Nebuchadnezzar. The more logical explanation is that the writer is simply confused and thinks that Belshazzar was the son of Nebuchadnezzar. At the very least, both possible explanations have to be mentioned in the text, with the view that this is a non literal usage of av being mentioned as one particularly prominent in apologetics. Can you point to a single secular scholar who would make this argument? john k 05:38, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
The point is that it is very frequently used in this non-literal sense, typically if one wanted to say that Nebuchadnezzer was the literal father of Belshazzar one would rather refer to Belshazzar as the ben (son) of Nebuchadnezzer and avoid the ambiguous description of Nebuchadnezzer as the av of Belshazzer. Such explanations are not simply about Biblical inerrency but about trying to reconcile different sources. One often sees similar interpretations made when discussing Greek historians yet no one accuses the Classicists of believing in a doctrine of Herodotus-inerrency or Xenophon-inerrency. Kuratowski's Ghost 16:58, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
Fair enough, although I still find this a questionable endeavour. So much of the Book of Daniel is just so far removed from our actual knowledge of the 6th century BC that I don't see why we should be making excuses for it. For instance, nobody tries to come up with some explanation of why Herodotus puts the Pyramid Builders after the New Kingdom, and immediately before the Ethiopian (Nubian) conquest. It is just assumed that he is wrong. It might be interesting to figure out why he made this particular mistake, but that doesn't mean much. It just seems to me that the Book of Daniel is practically useless as a historical source on the period when it was supposedly written. It is so full of garbled apparent errors that there is no particular reason to give it the benefit of the doubt (unless, of course, one believes in Biblical inerrancy). john k 17:30, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

If you can further NPOV the article, do so, please do not undo the splitting of sources. Censoring the opinions of scholars who attempt to produce a coherent view based on all available sources is POV btw. I'd also recommend some reading up on Modal logic vs Classical logic, the fact that no descent of Belshazzar from Nebuchadnezzer is currently known with certainty is not the same as saying that it is fact that Belshazzar is not descended from Nebuchanezzar. Kuratowski's Ghost 23:56, 18 August 2005 (UTC)

There is no reason to think that Belshazzar is descended from Nebuchadnezzar, save that the Book of Daniel, almost certainly written centuries later, says that Belshazzar is Nebuchadnezzar's son. Given that Daniel also invents the otherwise unknown "Darius the Mede," I do not see anything in Daniel as evidence for anything. john k 05:38, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

The very plausible interpretation of the younger Labynetos of Herodotus as Belshazzar together with his statement that Nitocris was the mother + the likelyhood that she was the daughter of Nebuchadnezzer is another reason to think that Belshazzar was descended from Nebuchadnezzer. Darius the Mede is also mentioned by Manetho so it is not the case that he is unknown, rather there are competing views over whether he is identical to Gobyrus or to the Cyaxares mentioned by Xenophon thought to be the son of the Cyaxares mentioned by Herodotus.
Darius the Mede is mentioned by Manetho? We don't even have an extant Manetho. If he is mentioned by Africanus or Eusebius or Josephus in the course of their paraphrases of Manetho, I don't think that is relevant - all of those figures would have been familiar with the Book of Daniel, and might have interpellated it. At any rate, all this "competing views" is nonsense - most historians believe that Darius the Mede is just an instance of the author of Daniel fucking up because he was writing four centuries after the event. Much like how the Book of Judith makes Nebuchadnezzar King of Assyria, reigning in Nineveh. As to Labynetos, what reason do you have to think that the younger Labynetos is not Nabonidus? It seems to be quite unclear who Herodotus is referring to, and I am uncertain as to why he would think Belshazzar had the same name as his father. john k 16:54, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
Because Nabonidus' father didn't have the same name as him nor did his mother have a name resembling "Nitocris", while on the other hand Josephus mentions a form of the name Nabonidus as another name for Belshazzar. (Personally I believe like you that the author of Daniel screwed up as did Herodotus and Josephus, but thats personal belief, this article should discuss all scholarly views including those of scholars who consider the Bible to have various degrees of accuracy. Kuratowski's Ghost 17:08, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
If you believe that the author of Daniel screwed up, then why are you insisting on all this apologetical flotsam and jetsam being included in the article? If we are going to include apologetical arguments, we should clearly list them as apologetical arguments. That is to say, give the basic story as reconstructed by secular historians, including explanations of how most secular scholars think that Daniel is just wrong. Then we can note that some apologetical scholars have explained the apparent discrepancy in this particular way. (And the Josephus thing is rather easily explicable, isn't it? He had non-Jewish sources in front of him that showed Nabonidus as the last king of Babylon. The Book of Daniel says that Belshazzar is the last King of Babylon. So Belshazzar must be another name for Nabonidus. Josephus didn't posit that Belshazzar was separate from an "elder" Nabonidus, did he?) john k 17:26, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
Because wikipedia is meant to give a fair voice to all scholarly opinion and there are many scholars who are not anti-Bible and make these various arguments. My guess is also that Josephus had a source that says Nabonidus was the last king and thus equated him with Belshazzar but this is not something we know for sure, he doesn't use the same form of the name as Berosus used, maybe Josephus knew something we don't. btw Belshazzar did use the Babylonian title used for kings in one inscription so the fact that the Bible and Josephus call him a king is not wrong as one often hears. Bearing in mind that Herodotus talks of two "Labynetos"s it is possible that Belshazzar was indeed also known by the name Nabonidus in which case we do not really know which king would have been meant in a source saying that Nabonidus was the last king. Kuratowski's Ghost 23:16, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
These arguments should be mentioned. But it should not be the article making them. Apologetic arguments should be labelled as apologetic arguments. The views of mainstream, non-apologetic, scholars should be mentioned as well, and these should hold the primary place. john k 00:06, 20 August 2005 (UTC)

Also, as to Nebuchadnezzar as Belshazzar's father, the number of times the term is used is utterly absurd. "Belshaz'zar, while he tasted the wine, commanded to bring the golden and silver vessels which his father Nebuchadnez'zar had taken out of the temple which was in Jerusalem...there is a man in thy kingdom, in whom is the spirit of the holy gods; and in the days of thy father light and understanding and wisdom, like the wisdom of the gods, was found in him; whom the king Nebuchadnez'zar thy father, the king, I say, thy father, made master of the magicians, astrologers, Chalde'ans, and soothsayers;...Then was Daniel brought in before the king. And the king spake and said unto Daniel, Art thou that Daniel, which art of the children of the captivity of Judah, whom the king my father brought out of Jewry?...O thou king, the most high God gave Nebuchadnez'zar thy father a kingdom, and majesty, and glory, and honor:" This is really just rubbing it in - the clear sense of the chapter is that the author believes that Belshazzar is the son of Nebuchadnezzar. Obviously, this is not the only explanation, but it seems like the most obvious explanation. Note what Encyclopedia Britannica says: Though he is referred to in the Book of Daniel as the son of Nebuchadrezzar, - no mention of possible alternative meanings of the word av. (Britannica also just says outright that Daniel was written at the time of Antiochus IV.) john k 05:45, 19 August 2005 (UTC)

How many times its said in no way changes the common Hebrew meaning of forefather in the same way that the repeated reference to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob as the "fathers" of the Jews found all over Jewish liturgy does not make it mean literally "father". Kuratowski's Ghost 16:37, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
The main meaning of the word is "father." There is no reason in those passages to think that "father" is not meant in a literal sense, except that we know that Nebuchadnezzar was not Belshazzar's father. But there is no clear evidence at all that the author knows this. You are working from the assumption that the Book of Daniel does not have any errors. In that case, you have to explain this apparent error by means of saying that the non-literal meaning of "father" is being used. But wikipedia is not working from the assumption that the Book of Daniel does not have any errors. We should present as the primary explanation the more common-sensical answer that the author of Daniel thinks that Belshazzar is Nebuchadnezzar's son, and is mistaken. john k 16:54, 19 August 2005 (UTC)
Are you sure you are not working from the assumption the the Book of Daniel does have errors? Why cant wikipedia work from the assumption that some people believe that the Book of Daniel has errors and some dont? You say "But there is no clear evidence at all that the author knows this", is there clear evidence that he does not... or is it just assumed? --Daniel newton 09:32, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Exactly. And as I pointed out above, Hebrew texts "av" is more commonly used to mean "forefather" than literal "father". The idea that Belshazzar's literal father Nabonidus was unknown to Jewish writers is also wrong, one of the dead sea scrolls is a story about Nabonidus who is referred to as Naboni in Hebrew. Kuratowski's Ghost 13:39, 14 July 2006 (UTC)

Well said, Daniel newton (talk) 10:55, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Are the Assyrian records wrong in calling Jehu "Son of Omri" no I don't think so, it's the same usage people are arguing for here. Either way thought Belshazzar's mother isn't known, do one can't prove there is absolutely no relation. I can cite numerous times "av" is used of Grandfathers also. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:06, 10 March 2014 (UTC)

Appearances in modern works?

Should Belshazzar's appearance as a major character in D.W. Griffith's Intolerance be mentioned here? john k 05:33, 3 May 2006 (UTC)


"In 538 B.C. Belshazzar was positioned in the city of Babylon to hold the capital, while Nabonidus, marched his troops north to meet Cyrus. On October 10, 539 B.C. Nabonidus surrendered and fled from Cyrus. Two days later, October 12, 539 B.C., the Persian armies overthrew the city of Babylon."

That makes no sense. If the Persian armies overthrew Babylon in 539, how could Belshazzar be positioned in Babylon to defend it in the following year, 538? It had been lost by then. Nabonidus, too, is said to march his troops towards Cyrus in 538, the year following that in which he surrendered, 539. Unfree (talk) 18:41, 14 February 2010 (UTC)

Daniel 5 content moved

I've moved Daniel 5 content to The writing on the wall page where the {{Daniel chapters}} links to. - Jasonasosa (talk) 16:16, 30 September 2011 (UTC)


Can we get a breakdown of the meaning of his name, or just an original name breakdown? Its always nice to learn a little Akkadian. --IronMaidenRocks (talk) 06:16, 23 January 2012 (UTC)

Historicity contradiction

The first extrabiblical artifact listed to suggest Belshazzar's historicity says that Belshazzar is Nabonidus' son, yet the section goes on to say that there is extrabiblical evidence for the figure, but no extrabiblical evidence for this relation? Twin Bird (talk) 19:35, 4 April 2012 (UTC)

- the section says that there is no extrabiblical evidence for a blood relation of Belshazzar to NEBUCHADNEZZAR. Clearly there is extrabiblical evidence (the Nabonidus Cylinder) for a blood relation of Belshazzar to NABONIDUS. The article does not contradict this. Martin Gradwell (talk) 22:15, 16 May 2012 (UTC)

Source suggestion

There's a good article to aid with describing the subject from a neutral point. -- (talk) 04:10, 8 May 2015 (UTC)

Achaemenid invasion

To Debresser (talk · contribs), lol... yeah, sorry. Anyway, Cyropaedia is a novel of a sorts. Achaemenid invasion is too broad a title for just one script. That's why I changed the title to a more specific one in context with Cyropaedia. Not a big deal though. Thanks for looking out.  — Jason Sosa 21:33, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Thank you for substantially improving this article. Debresser (talk) 22:40, 18 May 2015 (UTC)

Two recent revision

We recently had two major revisions (rewrites) of this article. The first by Jasonasosa doing this and the second by PiCo doing this. I am generally not in favor of such major revisions without discussion. However that may be, having two such revisions one after the other makes no sense. I propose undoing the latter, being that I think the first was better. Your opinions please. Debresser (talk) 14:51, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

At present, PiCo (talk · contribs)'s edit can be considered a revert to my edit. If I revert his edits, it becomes an edit war. There isn't much I can do on this page. Thank you Debresser (talk · contribs) for looking into this, but I'm not sure where I can go with it.  — Jason Sosa 17:52, 25 May 2015 (UTC)
To be honest I didn't even know that Jason had done his major edits. For sure I'm not looking for an edit war. I suggest that anyone who's interested just take it from here. (But try to concentrate on Belshazzar, not the Book of Daniel).PiCo (talk) 22:18, 25 May 2015 (UTC)

Jehovah Witness Commentary

Much of the article relies on a publication from the media arm of the Jehovah Witnesses, the Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. Specifically:

Insight (1988). Insight on the Scriptures, Vol. 1. Pennsylvania: Watch Tower Bible and Tract Society of Pennsylvania. p. 282-284.)

This is religiously biased source, which could be handled per WP:RNPOV but the way it is presented now is a clear violation of WP:NPOV. Especially concerning is the section Nabonidus Chronicles which is copy/paste. It should probably be completely removed. Thoughts? Tennis Dynamite 15:12, 24 May 2016 (UTC)

Deleted. The entire paragraph was copied verbatim. The only other 'citation' in the text (Grayson) was merely lifted from the copy-pasted Watchtower source.--Jeffro77 (talk) 04:04, 31 December 2016 (UTC)
Didn't realise just how bad it was. More copyvio text has been removed. The source used is particularly problematic as the minor denomination source has views about the chronology and events of the Neo-Babylonian period that are at great variance to the mainstream view.--Jeffro77 (talk) 04:32, 31 December 2016 (UTC)

Book of Daniel

No historian worth his salt thinks that the description of Belshazzar and related events from the Book of Daniel would be real history. Those events aren't taught as history in any bona fide history department. So, per WP:YESPOV we have to state that such events are fictional and that the book lacks historical accuracy. Tgeorgescu (talk) 20:26, 17 September 2017 (UTC)

Don't edit war! The deeds of Daniel at the court of Belshazzar are not real history, but are fictional. From the Ivy Plus to US state universities, there's not much doubt about this. Of course, some "scholars" will never agree to anything less than full-blown biblical inerrancy, but it is pretty much a WP:FRINGE position in regard to mainstream history. Tgeorgescu (talk) 14:53, 23 September 2017 (UTC)

"we have to state that such events are fictional and that the book lacks historical accuracy."
Tgeorgescu, we only gave to state what our sources state on the subject, possibly with attribution to said sources. Remember Wikipedia:Verifiability, not truth. Dimadick (talk) 09:49, 18 October 2017 (UTC)
Post-Enlightenment historians work with methodological naturalism, which precludes them from establishing miracles as objective historical facts. If we introduce the assumption that we may establish miracles as real historical facts, we can write fiction or theology, but certainly not history. And the relentlessly reverted content about Daniel is sourced. Tgeorgescu (talk) 05:54, 28 October 2017 (UTC)
I'd suggest re-organising the article under three headings: (1)Belshazzar in history (2) Belshazzar in the Book of Daniel (3) Belshazzar in later traditions (which would include the Jewish rabbinic traditions and the rich use he's put to in Western culture). This might help resolve the problem of a real, historical figure known best from a non-historical source. PiCo (talk) 23:49, 28 October 2017 (UTC)

─────────────────────────A good compromise idea. By the way, are there actually many depictions of Belshazzar in later Jewish and Western sources? I was under the impression that he was a relatively obscure figure, who is mainly remembered for his role in the fall in the Neo-Babylonian Empire. Dimadick (talk) 10:15, 31 October 2017 (UTC)

Gizberg's Legends of the Jews is a treasure-trove (that's only volume 1). Not sure about medieval Western sources but I'd surprised if there weren't legends about the feast. And of course the feast is a great favourite in art - an excellent opportunity to depict bare=breasted girls in the name of religion.PiCo (talk)
@StanMan1990 and Mood0018: The above is about your edits, too. Tgeorgescu (talk) 05:34, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
An advantage of PiCo’s suggestion is that if each ‘version’ is in its own section there will be less need to use labels like real and fictional (which seems to be especially contentious) to signal changes of context.—Odysseus1479 06:13, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
We already know that the Book of Daniel is a fictional account and that Daniel himself is probably a fictional character. Books included in the Bible are not known for their reliability or devotion to the truth. Dimadick (talk) 06:31, 9 January 2018 (UTC)
@Smurf5520: The above is about your edits, too. Tgeorgescu (talk) 14:43, 17 April 2019 (UTC)


Nowhere Cyropedia says that the name of the king is Belshazzar, therefore claiming that it does is original research. At least speaking of the translation at [3]. Besides, Seow is crystal-clear that Belshazzar did not function as king. Tgeorgescu (talk) 00:32, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

Belshazzar given title of King?

Hello I hope we can discuss and understand why my edits are rolled back here. Also apologies but I am not expert in using the wikipedia coding but I try to copy other examples. :)

First I changed this sentence: "Belshazzar never became king, although the Book of Daniel gives him that title." to this: "Belshazzar never became king, although the Book of Daniel and Cyropaedia (Book VII; C.5; lines 28, 32, 33) give him that title". Then I also included a citation to one already in the article, the Dakyns translation of Cyropedia. The lines from the citatoin (Book VII; C.5; lines 28,32,33) say this from

line 28: "As the din grew louder and louder, those within became aware of the tumult, till, the king bidding them see what it meant, some of them opened the gates and ran out." line 32: "While they carried out these orders, Gobryas and Gadatas returned, and first they gave thanks to the gods and did obeisance because they had been suffered to take vengeance on their unrighteous king, and then they fell to kissing the hands and feet of Cyrus, shedding tears of joy and gratitude." line 33: "And when it was day and those who held the heights knew that the city was taken and the king slain, they were persuaded to surrender the citadel themselves." Also line 29 I saw just now: "Gadatas and his men, seeing the gates swing wide, darted in, hard on the heels of the others who fled back again, and they chased them at the sword's point into the presence of the king."

In all three lines, the context is referring to Belshazzar. And I wrote the sentence to be similar to these two sentences in the same wikipedia page, which simply mention the word used to translate an ancient document: "The inscriptions of the Edict of Balshazzar (YBT 6 103) gives Belshazzar the title "crown prince".[9] The Aramaic Qumran scroll 4Q243 fragment 2; Lines 1–2 names Belshazzar as vice-regent in Babylon during the absence of Nabonidus.(Dan. 5:1–30).[10]"


Second, I updated this sentence: "(Belshazzar was never king)." to say the following: "(Belshazzar is not identified as king in extant Babylonian literature)."

The former sentence is not what the cited source says. The original source material from c.l.Seow says this: "Bleshazzar governed the kingdom in his father's absence, although he is never called 'king' in any of the documents from Babylon." The author does not state Belshazzar was not a king, it states we have no documents using that title. The existing phrase is promoting a point of view not in the source material, my new edit accurately paraphrases the cited author.


Can User:tgeorgescu or anyone else help explain me why these are rolled back? Thank you. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:57, 16 November 2017 (UTC)

You have certainly missed my above message with Seow being crystal-clear that Belshazzar did not function as king. Do you need a full quotation or are able to read that for yourself and acknowledge it? Also, Cyropaedia never says (AFAIK) something like "and the name of this king was Belshazzar". So citing Cyropaedia does not verify the claim that that king was Belshazzar, that is just your own analysis of the WP:PRIMARY historical source, which is prohibited by WP:OR. So, Cyropaedia does not call Belshazzar "king", and even if it did, it would be a fallacy of relevance since the book is a mix of historical events with fantasy. "All these factors have led classical scholars of the Cyropaedia to judge it as a work of fiction, with scarcely any historical content." Quote from [4]. Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:47, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
It seems fairly obvious that Belshazzar is the king present when Babylon is captured by Cyrus, and that the Cyropaedia therefore calls Belshazzar king, though this does indeed need a citation from a secondary source. I'm not sure how Cyropaedia being partially fictitious makes it less suitable to mention than Daniel though. The existing statement about Daniel isn't used to say that Belshazzar was a king, but that that source refers to him that way, and the proposed change regarding the Cyropaedia (provided a suitable secondary source is provided for the remaining but fairly trivial ambiguity) isn't any different.--Jeffro77 (talk) 01:52, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
I am sorry Tgeorgescu, it took me a long time to type my post here and you posted your very short one before me so I did not see it. I am not trying to be hostile, I don't understand why you would be so negative about my reading ability. I am sorry for whatever I said to make you insult me Tgeorgescu.
On the Cyropedia source already given, in the footnote of VII.C.5.15, the translator Dakyns says this is in reference to the Feast of Belshazzar from the book of Daniel. That is why my note says the context establishes who is the "king" mentioned there, and this is the translator's opinion not mine so I didn't think it is original research. As User talk:Jeffro77 mentions, this makes it clear in the citation. Again apologies for however I have offended you so vigorously. I found other citations from academics who believe Cyropedia does refer to Belshazzar as king, for example William Shea at Andrews University on page 140-143 discusses how Belshazzar had become king by the time of this event (PDF located here: If it is a better citation then I can link it in this wikipedia page. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:19, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
The problem with Shea is that Adventists are pretty WP:FRINGE. If a mainstream WP:SECONDARY source can be cited, please do. Imho, Xenophon does not say that the king would be Belshazzar, although this could be inferred by scholars who second guess him. So, the scene of the feast (whether legendary or historical) is there, the name Belshazzar isn't. So you cannot say that Xenophon called Belshazzar a king, but you may say that this or that scholar stated that by that king Xenophon meant Belshazzar. Of course, this has to pass WP:DUE. My comment about full quotation is that you WP:CHERRYPICKed quotes from Seow, making him to say something else than he meant: he meant that Belshazzar is not called "king" in any Babylonian source and that Belshazzar did not perform the ritual religious duties expected and required of a king. But I agree with Jeffro77 that if Belshazzar was called king in one or in two works of fiction, it is not an essential difference — and it isn't a really happened historical fact. To draw the line: you may state that Belshazzar was called a king in the Book of Daniel and maybe implicitly in Cyropaedia, but you are not allowed to state that he was really a king, unless providing WP:EXTRAORDINARY evidence. Or else we would have something like "The real existence of Baron Munchausen is corroborated by Harry Potter." Tgeorgescu (talk) 03:26, 16 November 2017 (UTC)
The IP editor didn't actually make any explicit edit asserting that Belshazzar was a king. They only added that Cyropaedia also calls him a king, and that he isn't called a king in extant documents. I don't like the implication made by the second of those changes, but some of your responses seem reflexive, probably influenced by previous editors trying to make a more solid case for the Cyropaedia as factual.--Jeffro77 (talk) 23:33, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

"So you cannot say that Xenophon called Belshazzar a king, but you may say that this or that scholar stated that by that king Xenophon meant Belshazzar."

Even better. Xenophon does not speak of warfare between Cyrus and a king of Babylon. He is speaking about a king of Assyria. Check again the link you provided: "in books 4­-6 the wars against Assyria. These accounts of military matters are enlivened by stories apparently borrowed from eastern narrative traditions, for example, the story of Gobryas and his feud with the Assyrian king (4.6.2-7) and the famous romance of Panthea and Abradatas (4.6.11, 5.1.1-18, 6.1.31-50, 6.4.2-11, 7.3.2-­15). In book 7 the final battle against “Assyria” (7.1), the capture of Sardis (7.2-4.14), and the conquest of Babylon through a diversion of the Euphrates (7.5.7­--17) are related."

Apparently Xenophon makes other historical errors in his narrative. He attributes to Cyrus the conquest of Egypt, which other ancient sources attribute to Cambyses II. There is also a number of contradictions between Herodotus and Xenophon. Herodotus reports that Cyrus was killed in battle, while Xenophon claims that Cyrus died of old age and natural causes. Dimadick (talk) 15:24, 17 November 2017 (UTC)

Don't use the Cyropedia and other ancient sources, use modern histories, like Seow and Briant. Briant is probably best.PiCo (talk) 00:56, 19 December 2017 (UTC)
There are prominent Assyriologists who understand the 'king' killed in Xenophon's Cyropaedia as a reference to Belshazzar. Nabinidus was routed at Opis, and fled with a small retinue to Sippar. When Sippar was taken without battle he fled to Borsippa, and was there when Babylon fell. Belshazzar, however, was at Babylon when it was taken and so was the queen mother. They were holed up with a trove of cultic statues gathered from various cities of Sumer and Akkad in preceding months (until the end of Elul), and celebrating the Harran Akitu (religious) Festival when armies led by Gubarru, at Cyrus'orders,snuck in through a waterway and took the city without battle. Belshazzar was killed. Nabonidus returned to surrender at Babylon days later. So goes the scenario. For these historic considerations, Xenophon's'king' as Belshazzar, see P.-A Beaulieu, The Reign of Nabonidus, King of Babylon 556-539 B.C. Yale University Press, pp. 230, 231; Dougherty, Nabonidus and Belshazzar, Yale/Wipf & Stock reprint, pp. 174, 175, 182-185. For the ordering to Babylon of the cultic statues, see Beaulieu, "An Episode in the Fall of Babylon to the Persians," Journal of Near Eastern Studies, pp. 241-261 (updates and supersedes Beaulieu, Reign of Nabonidus, pp. 223-227). Also, general history, Grayson, Assyrian and Babylonian Chronicles (2000), pp. 21, 32; 109-111. Beaulieu and Dougherty are the standard specialized references for the reign of Nabonidus and Belshazzar, and consistently cited sources in modern publications. Ancient historians make mistakes. Herodotus is certainly no exception, either. I could easily compose a list of comparable in length to that posted above, because Xenophon vs. Herodotus is an old historic flame war. What seems much ado here about Xenophon is standard fare. We look at the bones of the history; dialogue that may or may not have happened and some events out of place just happen in ancient histories. Does not invalidate the whole work. It's laborious work. Some accounts are based on truth, but garbled with time. So modern historians look for the underlying truth. That had been done with Xenophon in this particular. Cheers! Proveallthings (talk) 04:36, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
Dougherty? Told you that's too old for a WP:RS. Tgeorgescu (talk) 07:16, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
And I still disagree. The germane policy is WP:RS AGE, "Be sure to check older sources have not been superseded". Otherwise, every editor will have their own arbitrary expiry date on sources, which can tend toward recentism. So again if you yourself have superseding information, please kindly share it and I will listen. As it stands, Beaulieu's the best source for Nabonidus and Belshazzar, is current, and his work strengthens Dougherty's (still standard reading) so yes, Dougherty still qualifies as WP:RS. But we can just disagree. Your point of contention was that it was WP:OR to identify the king of Cyropaedia with Belshazzar, so I was providing the best sources to the extent of showing it's not OR. Let's please leave it at that. Cheers! Proveallthings (talk) 21:44, 15 August 2018 (UTC)
We have to render the WP:RS/AC from 2018 AD, not from 1929 AD. That's 89 years difference. That isn't recentism. Recentism is preferring minority sources from 2018 to reputable sources from 2010-2015. Also the rub is: Belshazzar was never king, despite whatever Cyropedia may imply. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:13, 15 August 2018 (UTC)

Thank you for your response. Since the topic was satisfactorally addressed (I have said Beaulieu, a prominent Assyriologist, is current, and you will find him associating the 'king' of Cyropaedia with Belshazzar, and particularly laying out the scenario above as a matter of history, sans waterway reference, which is generally recognized history), there is not much more in this present topic that needs to be said: It is not WP:OR, contra your assertion, to associate the 'king' in Cyropaedia with Belshazzar, since it is an inference of mainstream scholars. I don't alter talk comments, so citations are still above as originally provided. Please take the time to read and verify. "Nabonidus formally entrusted Belshazzar with kingship (sarrutu) upon his departure for the west and Arabia" and there was a division of royal prerogatives between himself and his father, and he performed kingly functions. See Bealieu, Reign of Nabonidus, pp. 185-203. The latter years of his reign, oaths, always sworn by gods and kings, are sworn "by the majesty of Nabonidus and Belshazzar" (p. 190). See Kitchen, On the Reliability of the Old Testament, pp. 74, 75. Belshazzar "enjoyed the powers" of king, and "his father had in practice 'entrusted the kingship into his hand.'" Proveallthings (talk) 04:17, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

Clarification: "Kingship" means "the position, office, or dignity of a king" (Merriam Webster) Proveallthings (talk) 04:30, 16 August 2018 (UTC)

Edit war

See the discussion at #Book of Daniel. Tgeorgescu (talk) 18:46, 17 December 2017 (UTC)

@ See also #Fictional tale. Tgeorgescu (talk) 18:31, 23 June 2018 (UTC)

Delete infobox?

The infobox contains information that's frequently incorrect:

Co-regent king of Babylon
Rembrandt's depiction of the biblical account of Belshazzar seeing "the writing on the wall"
Reign550–539 BCE[1]
SuccessorCyrus the Great
Died5 Oct 539 BCE[1]
Motherposs. Nitocris of Babylon[2]

1. Belshazzar wasn't king - the title is never used for him, he's called Crown Prince, and he isn't called regent of co-regent either (in the Babylonian documents I mean). He was simply Crown Prince with wide-ranging delegated authority.

2. The birth and death dates are hypothetical - in fact nobody knows when he was born or died. The death is interesting: he simply vanishes from the Babylonian records after 543, and might have been killed then. But certainly there's no convincing evidence that he died in 539.

2a - the source for this is Britanica, but Britannica is a poor source, far too often contradicting good sources - as it does here.

3. Nabonidus wasn't his predecessor. He ruled WITH Nabonidus as a sort of high-ranking subordinate.

4. His "issue" wasn't Vashti - that's later Jewish legend.

5. On his mother (Dougherty is an excellent source, but unfortunately not available online), well, yes, but his grandmother was a far more important figure in his life and in history.

6. Death place Babylonia? Says who? There's no information on this.

Anyway, this should be replaced with an information-box that gives the facts and is well sourced. PiCo (talk) 20:51, 21 December 2017 (UTC)


  1. ^ a b Britannica 2006, p. 196.
  2. ^ Dougherty 1929, p. 43.

Fictional tale

There are three reasons for mentioning "fictional tale":

Give me one example of bona fide history department which teaches the Book of Daniel as factual. Oh, it's like catch 22: it if teaches it as factual, it is not bona fide, since it violates methodological naturalism. Tgeorgescu (talk) 18:42, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

I would like to chime in here that the reason we know the Book of Daniel was written in the second century BC is because the prophecies in it are only accurate up until a certain date: 164 BC exactly. After that date, all of the prophecies are catastrophically wrong. The only way that you can arrive with a work containing accurate prophecies up to one, specific date and inaccurate prophecies thereafter is if the book was actually written at that date, making all the "predictions" prior to that point actually be history framed as predictions to make the actual predictions found later seem reliable. --Katolophyromai (talk) 15:41, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

Maybe you should chime in less. The Book of Daniel is present in the Dead Sea scrolls, and has a 6th century BC origin. (talk) 19:41, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Bullcrap. It barely dates to the second century BC, and was likely further modified in the 1st century BC. It contains many false prophecies. Dimadick (talk) 20:01, 11 September 2019 (UTC)
Nobody has denied that its authors have employed earlier texts. So, the question isn't so much "how old is its oldest part?" but "how new is its newest substantial revision?" It's like saying that my text should be dated to the 17th century because it heavily relies upon KJV. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:14, 11 September 2019 (UTC)

Quoted by Tgeorgescu (talk) 18:56, 6 April 2018 (UTC)

Do we really need to say fictional, though? In the spectrum of terms for narratives, arranged by their connotation of objective factuality, tale is already pretty close to the fictional/subjective end–as in folktale and tall tale—so I don’t think that leaving it out amounts to implying the story is true. Even biblical tale would imply to me (if not to literalist believers) that it’s among the less historical accounts in that book.—Odysseus1479 20:50, 6 April 2018 (UTC)
I don't totally object to what you say, but if I recount my childhood, it would be a tale, regardless of whether it is true or false. Tgeorgescu (talk) 03:29, 7 April 2018 (UTC)
And it misses the point that the entire Book of Daniel is historical fiction, while several books in the Old Testament have better claims to historicity. The Books of Kings has a rather clear "theological bias" (to quote our article) in its depiction of rulers, but several of the monarchs depicted are known from archaeological sources and the writer/s likely borrowed material from actual annals of the era. Dimadick (talk) 09:18, 7 April 2018 (UTC)

Conversely, most critical scholars take for granted that the genre is not HISTORY.

— Collins, p. 41
Mainstream historians are by definition critical scholars. Inerrantist Bible scholars are not critical ([5]), thus they do not belong to mainstream historians. Tgeorgescu (talk) 04:28, 9 April 2018 (UTC)

─────────────────────────Since Biblical inerrancy is itself a fringe belief within Christianity (associated with the American branch of Evangelicalism, and rejected by British Evangelicals and most other versions of Christianity), we should not really pay attention to their conclusions at all. Also several supporters of Biblical inspiration, believe that the human writers of the Biblical texts had a greater influence on the texts than just receiving dictation from God.:

  • "According to Frederic Farrar, Martin Luther did not understand inspiration to mean that the scriptures were dictated in a purely mechanical manner. Instead, Luther "held that they were not dictated by the Holy Spirit, but that His illumination produced in the minds of their writers the knowledge of salvation, so that divine truth had been expressed in human form, and the knowledge of God had become a personal possession of man. The actual writing was a human not a supernatural act."[1] John Calvin also rejected the verbal dictation theory.[2] " Dimadick (talk) 21:15, 9 April 2018 (UTC)


  1. ^ Farrar, F. W. (1886). History of interpretation (p. 339). London: Macmillan and Co.
  2. ^ Farrar, F. W. (1886). History of interpretation (p. 345). London: Macmillan and Co.

Son of Nebuchadrezzar?

"Son" is to be understood in an ex officio sense, not one of strict blood relation. Assyrian, Babylonian, and Egyptian kings, especially usurpers, are known to refer to any one of their royal predecessors as their ex officio fathers. (Kitchen (2003), On the Reliability of the Old Testament, p. 74). E.g. Sargon I refers to "kings my fathers" and Nebuchadrezzar (despite a gap of well over a thousand years) to Naram-sin his "father" (Dougherty (2008), Nabonidus and Belshazzar, p. 194 fn. 642). Nabonidus refers to Assyrian kings as his "royal ancestors" and saw himself as the true successor of Nebuchadrezzar: ( see Beaulieu, Reign of Nabonidus..., pp. 143; 111, 112, 123). The Black Obelisk of Shalmanazzar III, Jehu is called a "son" of Omri (noted in another section above). There is also no distinction between father and grandfather, or son and grandson, as in English (per common knowledge of Aramaic/Hebrew). Nabonidus, as noted in an inscription, "beheld a statue of Sargon, father of Naram-Sin." (Beaulieu, Reign, p. 134); Sargon was his grandfather. Nebuchadrezzar, also, of Naram-Sin his "father" (above). As the offering of "third ruler in the kingdom" in Daniel implies an existing co-regency, the second being his father Nabonidus who entrusted Belshazzar with "kingship" (Kitchen, pp. 73, 74, 517; Beaulieu, p. 187), straining beyond these bounds in either direction is unconstructive. Proveallthings (talk) 05:41, 22 August 2018 (UTC)

Last reference clarification/correction: Kitchen supports summary statement; see Beaulieu p. 186 for entrusting of kingship and regime of Belshazzar. Proveallthings (talk) 05:46, 22 August 2018 (UTC)

Last reference clarification/correction: Kitchen supports summary statement; see Beaulieu p. 186 for entrusting of kingship and regime of Belshazzar. Proveallthings (talk) 05:46, 22 August 2018 (UTC)

It would be interesting to try and rewrite the paragraph above without using Kitchen. Kitchen is well known for -- how to put this gently? -- coming to conclusions that other scholars don't agree with but that agree extremely well with (some versions of) evangelical Christian ideas about history.
If we want to talk about what exactly "son" means in this particular context, I'd rather see us relying on scholars who stand in something like mainstream biblical studies, rather than Kenneth Kitchen's book on why the Bible is historically reliable. Does this view of the term "son" (as related to this particular passage) appear outside of Kitchen?
I started with the Oxford Bible Commentary, just because I refer to it a lot. Then, I went in order through every source in the bibliography of Wikipedia's Book of Daniel and searched Google books in every single one that had a Google Books preview for the word "Belshazzar" and took any reference that I saw to the "son" question. I stopped at Paul Reddit, because I figured what I've collected so far should be enough to make the point. Any interested person could pick up where I left off and see if the situation suddenly changes.
Collection of Quotes
:Oxford Bible Commentary (2001 ed.), page 701, "In fact Belshazzar is not Nebuchadnezzar's son, as Baruch supposed, but the son of Nabonidus (555-538 BCE) whom Cyrus overthrew. The same error occurs in Dan 5:2, 11, 13, 18, 22, which has lead some to date Baruch after Daniel." Collins, The Book of Daniel, Volume 1, p. 37 "No mention is made of Nabonidus (556-539), presumably because the author confuses him with Nebuchadnezzar". Raymond Hammer, The Book of Daniel, p. 4, "One would expect a writer in the sixth century B.C. to be reasonably accurate on major historical events, but such is not the case. Belshazzar is represented as the son of Nebuchadnezzar (Dan. 5:11), although he was the son of Nabonidus (Nabuna'id)." Daniel Harrington, Invitation to the Apocrypha, p. 95, "Then they are to pray for the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar and his 'son' Belshazzar (who was actually the son of Nabonidus; see Daniel 5 for the possible source of this error)." Andrew Hill, Daniel-Malachi, in The Expositor's Bible Commentary, p. 30, "Those scholars interpreting 'father' rigidly to mean that Belshazzar was the 'son' of Nebuchadnezzar (v. 2) identify the 'queen' or 'queen mother' as Nitocris ..."

Stephen Miller, Daniel, in The New American Commentary, p. 149-150, "Archer thinks that Nabonidus may have married a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar, making Belshazzar the king's grandson ... Though any of the above suggestions are possible, this one is probably correct". (Reading a little further down the page shows that Miller holds that Daniel actually lived in the sixth century and was an eyewitness to events he described.) Eerdman's Commentary on the Bible, p. 800, "The writer is ill informed about the dynastic succession in Babylon. Nebuchadrezzar was not the father of Beshazzar." Paul Redditt, Introduction to the Prophets, 141. "Also Bar 1:11-12 treats Belshazzar as Nebuchadnezzar's son (as does Daniel 5), when in fact he was the son of Nabonidus, the last king of Babylon (556-539).

There it looks like everyone but Andrew Hill and Stephen Miller who comments on the issue leans toward seeing "son" as an error on Daniel's part. And, as one would expect, Andrew Hill is introduced in his commentary as a teacher at Wheaton, an evangelical Protestant school, while Miller writes for the New American Commentary, which "collects the best in contemporary evangelical scholarship", according to the blurbs online. Everybody sees "son" as an error here except for people who display a theological commitment to a tradition which holds that the Bible does not contain errors.Alephb (talk) 01:47, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

Thank you for your response. Assyriologists Dougherty and Beaulieu provide the inscriptionary evidence cited here. These inscriptions are carved on stone and baked clay tablets and can be verified: opinions can be shown wrong by verifiable facts. Belshazzar's mother is not known; to discount or confirm blood relation exceeds available data. I note in support of above: Nebuchadnezzar is not related to Naram-sin, whom he calls his "ancient father". They also lived more than a millennium apart. Sargon was the grandfather of Naram-sin, not his "father." Sargon refers to "kings my fathers", without any blood relation to the preceding bloodline. At that event one must explain why these usages are correct, and Daniel is the exception to this usage. I have never seen this done. I actually own Miller's commentary, and he as well confirms what was said above. He writes, "'Father' may refer to one's immediate father, grandfather, ancestor, or as in the case of kings, a predecessor. Likewise 'son' may mean one's immediate offspring, grandson, descendant, or successor." That is stated in the paragraph just before the one you cite. I trust, however, you simply overlooked this. An opinion only carries weight so far as facts support it. Proveallthings (talk) 20:23, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

The germane WP:PAG is WP:FRINGE. Tgeorgescu (talk) 20:27, 23 August 2018 (UTC)
@Proveallthings: I did overlook Stephen Miller's reasoning, and I did it intentionally. And it's because me and you are attempting to do two different things right now. You're attempting to use evidence to find what is true. I'm attempting to survey the literature to find out what most scholars say about this particular question. That's because Wikipedia is not an encyclopedia of truth, but a service for summarizing what the scholarly community says.
If we were here to discover what is true together on the Wikipedia talk pages, then you would be doing what is right (marshalling the linguistic arguments), and I would be doing something wrong (just quoting a bunch of authorities and pointing out that "your side" here consists only of people with a particular theological set of commitments). So let me be clear. I'm not saying you're wrong about "father". You, and Kenneth Kitchen, might be right. I'm just saying that, in terms of the way Wikipedia weighs sources, Kenneth Kitchen's opinion is out on the fringes in the scholarly world. Alephb (talk) 21:36, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

Thank you for your kinder response. Per common knowledge, ancient Aramaic and Hebrew use the words in this manner, and this usage is ubiquitous in the Old and New Testaments. For example, Elisha, son of Shaphat, calls Elijah his ex officio father, for example. Editors have a responsibility to vet their sources, and also to not cherry pick data, and to provide correct page numbers for references. Not everything has consensus, and WP:COMMONSENSE applies. I understand verifiability, not truth, but the statements I have provided are indeed verifiable from multiple respected sources, and the languages didn't use grandfather/grandson. You note a Google search: perhaps you came up with a different result. Dougherty, an Assyriologist, writes "It was customary for Babylonian kings to refer to any one of their predecessors as their father" is actually the first hit to "Belshazzar" on Google books, before Hammer. Hammer does not propose this text as an error. Next is Seow, whom you omit (pp. 76, 77, as cited in the article), and who writes, "One should keep in mind that in the Semitic languages, 'father' is not limited to that of a biological or even adoptive parent. The term may be used simply of an ancestor or a progenitor... By the same token, the term 'son' is used of a descendant, a successor, or simply a member of a group or class", and he cited examples overlapping certain above. After that is Wiseman, Nebuchadrezzar and Babylon, pp. 11, 12, who denies it is an error and subscribes to the Nitocris hypothesis. Chavalas, in the references, also noted that Belshazzar is called the grandson of Nebuchadrezzar, which confirms to Aramaic usage of "son". So on my end, I'm left with your word that you were thourough, but what I see conflicts with your assessment. I can provide more references in my favor than I have. I cite sources that state things succinctly and accurately for the same of talk, for benefit of fellow editors. Cheers! Proveallthings (talk) 21:49, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

What I did, as I said above, was go through each book the bibliography section of the page Book of Daniel, in order, search within the book for "Belshazzar" and, if any of those results showed an opinion on the "son" question, quoted a bit of it. That's it. I was looking for a broad initial survey to try to put Kenneth Kitchen's opinion in perspective, using a method that couldn't be accused of cherry-picking, and which would include the sorts of books that Wikipedia already cited. So I searched within Barry Bandstra's book, then within Shaul Bar's book, and so on up to Paul Reddit. I've tried to be as clear as possible about exactly what I did, and if you try to replicate what I did you can see for yourself whether I cherry-picked at all. The goal of working so methodically was to try and see whether Kenneth Kitchen was representative of how other scholars tend to read this word (because sometimes he is and sometimes he isn't). I would have hoped that spelling out my exact procedure would have warded off accusations of cherry-picking, and it would have been easy enough for you to check my work if you wanted to. If you don't want to, that's fine, and if you have some other search you prefer, that's fine too, but it's simply not true that I left you with just my word on this. Alephb (talk) 22:27, 23 August 2018 (UTC)

Thank you for your response. I did check your work. I always assume good faith. But Chavalas, Dougherty, and Seow cited in the bibliography support what I am saying, though your remarks left the impression they do not. I replicated your Google search: early hits favorable to my viewpoint were not cited by you, as noted above. I do not know you and you do not know me: I intended perhaps your comments were more hastily researched. By mistake you omitted a pertinent comment from Miller. The Collins quote not only is absent on p. 37, it doesn't even turn up in the search of the whole book. In Expositor's, p.107 (not p.30, as you say), "rigidly" is not exactly a favorable qualification. Offhand, I can add also R.K. Harrison, Introduction, p. 1120, " the reference in Daniel 5:18 to Belshazzar as a son of Nebuchadnezzar is also correct according to Semitic usage, where the term 'son' could also mean 'grandson,' for which there was no separate word, or simply 'descendant,' 'offspring.' As far as ancient royalty was concerned, the interest was predominantly in the succession itself rather than the actual lineal relationship of individuals." Also, Assyriologist Alan Millard, "Of course, father may stand for grandfather or for a more remote ancestor in Semitic languages" and speculates that the mother of Belshazzar might even have been a daughter of Nebuchadnezzar ("Daniel in Babylon: An Accurate Record"). The NIV Cultural Studies Bible (C.S. Keener, J.H. Walton) in 2016, at Daniel 5, "In the Semitic languages 'father' and 'son' can be used of more distant forbears and descendants" and notes that the Black Obelisk (mentioned above) calls Jehu "son of Omri" "even though he had no blood relationship to him. He is simply being designated as the successor to a well-known king." (as relating to usage in Daniel 5). I would not use the latter in an article itself. So Seow, Dougherty, Kitchen, Miller, Millard, Chavalas, Keener & Walton, Harrison, Beaulieu are cited in support, thus far. I have no need of maintaining Kitchen as a source. Now, I believe your good intentions, though I speak thus. Cheers! Proveallthings (talk) 05:03, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Sorry, by "intention" you omitted a pertinent remark by Miller. Proveallthings (talk) 05:05, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Apologies. I found the Collins quote. Proveallthings (talk) 05:18, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

You did not check my work by replicating my search. You keep saying that you checked my work, but then you say things that show that you didn't. You are free to not check my work (I'm not asking you to), but on Wikipedia you are not free to keep misrepresenting what I did.
Let me repeat myself a third time, and see if I get through. I went to the Wikipedia article called Book of Daniel (you can find it by clicking on Book of Daniel), and searched inside of every source in the bibliography section, starting with Berry Bandstra. You can find the section I keep telling you I'm talking about by clicking here: [6]. Now, the people cited in that bibliography section -- I'll list them so you don't get confused and keep repeated your false accusations -- are Bandstra, Bar, Boyer, Brettler, Carroll, Cohn, Collins, Collins, Collins, Collins, Collins, Collins, Crawford, Cross, Davies, DeChant, Doukhan, Dunn, Godden, Grabbe, Grabbe, Grabbe, Hammer, Harrington, Hill, Hill, Horseley, Knibb, Levine, Lucas, Matthews, McDonald, Miller, Niskanen, Provan, and Reddit. I clicked through to each of those books, and only those books, and then searched within those books for the word "Belshazzar". If that search caused content to pop up in the initial search page that showed any opinion, pro or con, on what the word "son" meant in Daniel 5, I put an excerpt up on my list.
To take just the very first source you mention in the article above, Chavalas, I did not imply that I had looked at Chavalas. As I keep on saying I looked methodically through the section titled B-I-B-L-I-O-G-R-A-P-H-Y of the Wikipedia article entitled B-O-O-K O-F D-A-N-I-E-L, starting at B-A-N-D-S-T-R-A and stopping at R-E-D-D-I-T.
If you want to find other sources that were not on my list and discuss them, you can do that. That is a normal and healthy part of how Wikipedia discussion works. But don't keep misrepresenting what was or wasn't on my list. I have been very clear, from the first comment, about where I got the books I looked through. Alephb (talk) 21:18, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Thank you for your response. "I think you are looking at the wrong article bibliography" probably would have been fine, assuming good faith on my end. I tend to skim references when I perceive someone is being less than cordial. Therefore I did overlook you had referenced another article, so I apologize. I'm not focused on The Book of Daniel, but Belshazzar. I will go through that bibliography when I have time. Please forgive my mistake. For false allegations, I had no intent, however, so let's admit we got off on the wrong foot and be amicable. I will read more carefully in the future. To the topic at hand, I think enough references have been presented by me above to answer your demand for making the same claim without citing kitchen, which I have done. So let's start from there. Thank you for your patience. Cheers! Proveallthings (talk) 22:47, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

I will remind you that when you said you would like to see me make the same argument without Kitchen, and you yourself came across Miller who makes the same argument, you admit you intentionally overlooked it. Proveallthings (talk) 23:21, 24 August 2018 (UTC)

Daniel Bibliography: "Son"/father as Successor/predecessor; Grandson/grandfather: You stopped before Seow, pp. 76, 77. Carol, Crawford, Reid are from Eerdman's, which all hit at Chavalas article for Belshazzar. So what was said above about failure to mention still stands in that aspect, calling him "grandson." You also omitted mention of Doukhan, who calls Belshazzar the "grandson" of Nebuchad., p. 78. Your omission of Miller also is noted above. Provens uses "predecessor" in commentary for "father" (p.670), which you do not mention. Hill, which you mention.

Silent: Bandstra, Boyer,Brettler, Cross (Oxford; outdated information on Aramaic section), DeChant, Dunn, Godden, Grabbe, Knibb, Levine, Lucas, Matthews, McDonald, Rowland, Ryken, Ryken, Schwartz

Unavailable: Bar, Davies, Grabbe, Grabbe, Sacchi

Useless/indeterminate: Horseley (emperor Belshazzar), Niskanen

Daniel in Error: Collins, Hammer (superseding information neglected in both), Harrington.

Redditt is actually commenting on Baruch, which really does treat Belshazzar as the literal son of Nebuchad., both alive together, only notes he took "son" from Daniel.

So you noted Miller (intentionally omitting unfavorable information) and Hill, but omitted Doukhan, Chavalas, Provens. I am adding Seow, where I ended. Thus far I have turned up:

Son/father as grandson/grandfather, successor/predecessor: Seow, Wiseman, Dougherty, Kitchen, Miller, Millard, Chavalas, Keener & Walton, Harrison, Hill, Doukhan

Error: Collins, Harrington, Hammer, possibly Redditt.

My conclusion is that your list above and statements are overblown, giving a false impression of more numerous witnesses than there were (I do not say intentionally) and of greater consensus than was truly present. You admit you deliberately withheld information from one source, which very much undermined the premise of your argument. Cheers! Proveallthings (talk) 01:21, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

You admit you deliberately withheld information from one source, which very much undermined the premise of your argument. I don't think that's quite fair, given that I wasn't trying to make an argument about which position was true but trying to take a quick stab and doing a head-count of a basically random selection of scholars. But I'm sure both of us could keep pointing to things the other said that don't quite seem right to us, and I'm sure both of us could continue to make tweaks to each other's headcounts of scholars as they stand right now. But if you're game, I'd like to try a different avenue here for a bit and see if we make more headway. Maybe we'd get further if we regroup and head back to the actual wording in the article.
When it comes to how the article handles the "son" issue right now, is there anything specific you'd like to see changed? Because I have no objection to what the article currently says about the word "son". I also have no objection, in principle, to some tweaking of what the article says, depending on the details. Right now the article does show that the issue exists, but doesn't seem to me to force the issue either way. Is the article's current wording satisfactory to you? (On the "son" issue, I mean. I can see by looking above that you have some other issues with the article, but that's another story.) Alephb (talk) 02:49, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

Belshazzar was not in any sense a "son" of Nebuchadnezzar, to whom neither he nor his father were related.PiCo (talk) 11:07, 25 August 2018 (UTC)

Thank you both for your response. In General (PiCo) it is considerate before jumping into a discussion to familiarize youself with it first. Explanation of the Aramaic idiom of ex officio usage of "father" and "son" as "predecessor" and "successor" has already been discussed above, with ample citation from numerous sources. As for strict blood relation, I myself did not insist on it; the idiom does not require it. But if you want to maintain your POV, then this would suggest you know better about the language and that you know something of his parentage (i.e., the actual identity and lineage of his mother) that at this present moment no one else seems to know. In summary: in official capacity, the Aramaic (and Hebrew) words for "father" and "son" are used to designate a predecessor/successor within the same office, even in spite of actual blood relation. If the numerous references above are insufficient, I can provide more citations in support. In addition, you may simply consult the text and footnotes of the NIV, ESV, NLT, HCSB, VOICE, LEB, CSB, EXB, NASB, ERV, OJB, CEV, GNT where this usage is noted by the respective translation committees (I note for talk only).
My problem (Alephb) is that the article states "son" does not line up with known facts, when the Aramaic idiom is well known and published and verifiable, and that the position of "error" is no longer generally maintained. The note "the term is sometimes used loosely" based on Seow's commentary is so watered down in that statement (he notes what I am saying here) that the whole sentence leaves a false impression. If it is corrected without discussion, then it is putting on a bandaid that night be ripped off unnecessarily. In fact, similar obfuscation occurs multiple times in the article, but I don't wish to open multiple fronts. I hope this helps clarify. Cheers! Proveallthings (talk) 03:11, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
It's not Belshazzar who's claiming that Nebuchadnezzar is his father, it's the Book of Daniel - the error is being made by the book's author, writing in the 2nd century BC, long after the events and with no real knowledge of them. Which is the whole point of that paragraph - the Book of Daniel isn't a history book.PiCo (talk) 10:16, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
Proveallthings says: In addition, you may simply consult the text and footnotes of the NIV, ESV, NLT, HCSB, VOICE, LEB, CSB, EXB, NASB, ERV, OJB, CEV, GNT where this usage is noted by the respective translation committees. Anyone wanna hazard a guess as to what all these translations have in common? Two points to whoever figures it out first! Alephb (talk) 22:16, 28 August 2018 (UTC)
Thank you both for responding. Both of you are simply "Staying on message" despite ample number sources and supporting evidence from Assyrian and Babylonian inscriptions, supporting texts from the OT, 13 sources cited (including Seow, pp. 76, 77, PiCo's 'best' source noted above), and rather than verifying you both are resorting to underhanded debate tactics. I honestly don't care for the anti-Christian sentiment ("anyone wanna hazard a guess as to what all these translations have in common?") i.e., an apparent attack on Christians as being supposed deceivers, and neither PiCo nor Alephb qualify as WP:RS, especially not against documented sources. So Ad hominem attacks are as stating you have nothing constructive to contribute. Alephb deliberately witheld information contrary to his viewpoint, and managed to overlook at least three others in his 'process'. PiCo has asserted Daniel in error twice contrary to multiple points and sources above demonstrate.
Daniel 5 (more specifically 2:4-7:28) is written in Imperial Aramaic (current 8th-4th BCE) from the early Achaemenid period (affinity with 6th/5th BCE documents) and this has been the consensus of Aramaic scholars for a very long time. The philological arguments of S.D. Driver, G.R. Driver, and H.H. Rowley have all been superseded based upon discoveries over the last century. I don't know of any language scholar that still dates Daniel 5 to the Hellenistic era, much less the second century: Rosenthal, Kitchen, Kutscher the current standard (who supersedes Rowley, upholds Kitchen), Sokoloff, Folmer, Vasholz, et al. and held additionally by Wenham, Yamauchi, Harrison, Millard, Miller, etc. Accordingly, Collins (p. 70) contains philological arguments (J.A. Montgomery, 1927, H.H. Rowley, 1959) now superseded by K.A. Kitchen (1965), E.Y. Kutscher (1970), M.L. Folmer (1995), and E.M. Yamauchi (various)
It is implicit in Daniel 5 that Belshazzar is the second ruler (co-regent) in the kingdom. Hence he offers Daniel royal colors and the place of "third ruler." Nebuchadnezzar in context is clearly dead. Who then would be the first ruler? Nabonidus. Accordingly multiple scholars have noted this (Dougherty, Millard, Harrison, Miller, Wilson, Baldwin, Kitchen, etc., etc.), as I have also above. Belshazzar was entrusted with "kingship" (Verse Account; Bealieu, Dougherty, Seow, Harrison, Millard, Miller, Baldwin, etc.) In Akkadian-Aramaic bilingual inscriptions, the Akkadian word for "governor" is translated by the Aramaic word for "king" (Millard; also Greenfield, Shaffer) if you wish to be captious about titles in official usage. Cheers! Proveallthings (talk) 07:14, 29 August 2018 (UTC)
"Biblical inerrantist" is not synonymous with "Christian". Most historians of the Bible/Judaism/Christianity are either Christians or Jews who study the Bible full time. I cannot provide evidence for my claim, but my gut feeling is that your largely overstate your case through cherrypicking. WP:FRINGE might apply. Or WP:UNDUE. Anyway, what you state (namely that the Book of Daniel would be historically correct) might be the consensus among conservative evangelicals, but not in the secular academia. Oh, yes: many of the works you cite are too old for us. Told you that many times. Tgeorgescu (talk) 09:09, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

""Biblical inerrantist" is not synonymous with "Christian"." No, but it typically is synonymous with "fringe source" or "unreliable". Biblical inerrancy has been rejected by just about everyone, including the supporters of Evangelicalism.

Kenneth Kitchen is not a reliable source, due to his biased views. "Kitchen is an evangelical Christian, and has published frequently defending the historicity of the Old Testament. He is an outspoken critic of the documentary hypothesis, publishing various articles and books upholding his viewpoint, arguing from several kinds of evidence for his views showing that the depictions in the Bible of various historical eras and societies are consistent with historical data." The man has even supported the historicity of Solomon, based on zero evidence.

Yechezkel Kutscher died back in 1971. He was an expert on Mishnaic Hebrew.Dimadick (talk) 09:14, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

Proveallthings says, Alephb deliberately witheld information contrary to his viewpoint, and managed to overlook at least three others in his 'process'. Well, if they're going to repeat that, let me once again repeat that I'm not a fan of being misrepresented on talk pages.
Nor have I ever once said whether I think "son" is intended in a stricter or looser sense in this passage. What I did was do a quick straw poll of authors to try and figure out which ones are on which side of the debate. That's why I didn't try to quote the arguments of both sides in full. I've explained this enough times that the misrepresentation of what I did really should have stopped quite a while further back in this conversation.
As to what all those translations have in common, no, it's not that they're Christian. The NRSV was largely produced by Christians, and the NAB is the product of a large Christian denomination, and neither of these try to defend the historical accuracy of the word "son". It's not that "Christians" are "deceivers", it's that one subset of Protestants (honestly, and not deceptively) hold to WP:FRINGE views and repeat these in all sorts of translations. The list is irrelevant for Wikipedia purposes.
I find this statement by Proveallthings odd: I don't know of any language scholar that still dates Daniel 5 to the Hellenistic era, much less the second century. Proveallthings doesn't know of a single language scholar who holds to the consensus view on the authorship of Daniel? That's some selective reading right there.
Here's Daniel A. Machiela in Lester L. Grabbe; Gabriele Boccaccini; Jason M. Zurawski, eds. (25 February 2016). The Seleucid and Hasmonean Periods and the Apocalyptic Worldview. Bloomsbury Publishing. p. 150. ISBN 978-0-567-66615-4., "Most of the Aramaic Scrolls are very difficult to date on literary grounds, but a general consensus has emerged among experts that the earlier Aramaic works, such as parts of 1 Enoch (the Book of Watchers and the Astronomical Book), the court tales of Daniel, the Aramaic Levi Document, Tobit, the Visions of Amram, and perhaps the Book of Giants were composed in the third or early second centuries B.C.E." (The court tales of course include Daniel 5 and the third or early second centuries are Hellenistic). A similar statement about the consensus can be found here: [7].
And if we're still trying to build an encyclopedia that gives primacy to scholarly consensus, all these repetitions about the linguistic evidence for early Aramaic don't deserve much weight. As even Andrew Hill, who favors Proveallthings' view on "son", says, "There seems to be a growing consensus that Baldwin is correct in her observation that 'the date of Daniel cannot be decided on linguistic grounds.'" [8] Alephb (talk) 23:41, 29 August 2018 (UTC)

Thank you for response. No intent to misrepresent, I am sorry (Alephb) you feel that way. What if my straw poll omitted Collins, Hammer, and Harrington? What would you say? I will move past; I would rather be friends, besides. Forgive me the trouble. I am aware of ad hoc explanations and holdouts for a Maccabean date. I was referring specifically to philologists who have compared it with the DSS, Aramaic Inscriptions, the Elephantine Papyri, and more recently the bilingual Tell Fekhriyah insciption. I didn't just note Kitchen, either. I noted Rosenthal, Kutscher and Folmer, and can add Waltke, Vasholz, Stefanovic, Wenham, st al. Yes, Dimadick, Kutscher is the reigning standard despite his passing in 1971 (see for example Greenfield, "Dialects of Early Aramaic," Journal of Near Eastern Studies, p. 93). He was an Israeli philologist who wrote very important works on Aramaic as well, he didn't just "specialize" in Mishnaic Hebrew, his work "included" it. Assyriologist Alan Millard of Liverpool University notes, "The style of Aramaic in the book of Daniel is now widely agreed to belong to the Persian period" (Do Historical Matters Matter to Faith? p. 278). Alephb, the "consensus" in your second source cites Montgomery, 1927 in support; Collins follows Montgomery and Rawley, which is as I said, superseded by Rosenthal, Kutscher, Folmer, al. Unfortunately Grabbe et al. don't cite any source, so I can't investigate further but I will try to track it down. J. Baldwin, whom you reference, on pp. 34-39 actually devotes MUCH time upholding authorship during the Persian milieu and notes many modern commentators simply assert 2nd, 3rd BCE dates without reasons, hilighting "the way in which the linguistic argument [i.e., 2nd BCE date] is still being used, even though it has ceased to be so used by most Scholars who specialize in the original languages, Hebrew and Aramaic" and in specific qualification to her statement (which you adduce above), "...on linguistic grounds" is followed by "and that the increasing evidence does not favour a second-century, western origin." (p. 39). No, tgeorgescu, I don't cherry pick. Thank you for your concern. As I have said, superseding information is welcome. Proveallthings (talk) 04:37, 31 August 2018 (UTC)

As stated before "The Book of Daniel used older sources" solves this dilemma: it was written in 2nd century BCE and it used older sources. This should be fairly easy to understand. Tgeorgescu (talk) 09:28, 31 August 2018 (UTC)
The statement of consensus by Wright is perfectly clear about when scholars think the book was composed, and it's from 2016. Yes, that statement by Wright does redirect readers to a book from 1927, and a book from 1978, and a book from 1992 -- but the statement itself dates to 2016 and Wright is not the only scholar to recognize the consensus here. There's nothing abnormal about a scholar, speaking now, pointing out to readers that a book written several generations back still has some relevant information in it. On Wikipedia, we try to avoid basing articles on dated scholarship, but there's no embargo on up-to-date scholarship that happens itself to reference older scholarship. We'd be hamstringing ourself if we adopted rules that restrictive.
If there's any hope for this conversation to become productive, we really need to all acknowledge a few baseline facts here. (1) Most of the relevant experts have the Aramaic portions of Daniel between written before the Maccabees but in the Hellenistic period. (2) For the book as a whole, a consensus of the relevant experts have the book of Daniel assuming its final form in the Maccabean period (i.e. that's when the apocalyptic content gets added in). (3) Most commentators see the use of "son" in Daniel 5 as a historical mistake on the part of the author. Proveallthings is perfectly within his rights to think most scholars are wrong on all three questions, but if we can't agree that those are in fact what most scholars think then I think we'd all be wasting our time if we tried to follow the rapid-fire hopping from source to source any further.
I'd ask Proveallthings to indicate, for each of (1), (2), (3), whether they agree that the scholarly community does in fact think this way. This will give us a better understanding of just how deep this wide-ranging set of disagreements is, and maybe give us a way to move forward or else perhaps a way to decide that there's not much point in trying to hammer things out further. Alephb (talk) 16:44, 31 August 2018 (UTC)
Thank you. Millard's statement of consensus was from 2012. Consensus was essentially the same in 1993, when John J. Collins wrote, "the current consensus regards the Aramaic of Daniel as an example of Official Aramaic, which Fitzmyer dates from 700 to 200 BCE" (Journal of Biblical Literature, vol. 112, no. 4 (Winter, 1993), p. 771. He noted Fitzmeyer's idiosyncratic date for what reason I know not; Official (Imperial) Aramaic is 700-300 BCE. Consensus has not changed in the last few years, and there has been no landmark study, so I regard the sources you provided as aberrant. I can track the error of the one source to an outdated consensus following Montgomery, which was true for a time. Collin's own correction to this assessment (held in 1984, earlier) was just noted. So that is another red flag. I agree with you (contra editors who put arbitrary expiry dates on works) about older works, but WP:AGE does require editors to be sure its information has not been superseded. Montgomery's philological assessment has been superseded by Rosenthal, Kitchen, Kutscher, Folmer, Stefanovic, Coxon, Waltke, Vasholz. These are the significant studies. All are critical of the 2nd BCE date. Most note its affinity with 6th/5th BCE documents. Stefanovic specifically notes multiple Akkadianisms in Daniel resembling much older inscriptions that only had usage in Assyriological texts. None of them restrict to 330-165 BCE, as Grabbe, et al. I'm trying to retrace any philological argument adhering to a 330-165 BCE date, which most closely resembles the views of G.R. Driver, 1926 and prior, which has also been superseded. Cheers! Proveallthings (talk) 07:10, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
So, you want to redate Daniel to 6th century BCE? That's WP:FRINGE by our book. "In 2012 Crossway published an impressive collection of 21 essays defending the historical reliability of the Bible under the title Do Historical Matters Matter to Faith?" [9]. That's fringe indeed. No one engages in such pursuit if he/she does not have an axe to grind against WP:MAINSTREAM WP:SCHOLARSHIP. You cite evangelical scholars who have an irrational persuasion that the Bible must be historically correct, or else their own faith is in vain. Tgeorgescu (talk) 07:32, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
"Most of the relevant experts have the Aramaic portions of Daniel between written before the Maccabees but in the Hellenistic period." That does not particularly help. The Hellenistic period lasted from the 4th to the 1st century BC. And the Parthian Empire (247 BC–224 AD) used Aramaic as its lingua franca. There is some cultural continuity for centuries, following the end of the Achaemenid Empire.
Our own article on the Aramaic language notes that "Imperial Aramaic" did not simply die out in the 4th century BC. "For centuries after the fall of the Achaemenid Empire (in 331 BC), Imperial Aramaic – or near enough for it to be recognisable – would remain an influence on the various native Iranian languages. Aramaic script and – as ideograms – Aramaic vocabulary would survive as the essential characteristics of the Pahlavi scripts." Dimadick (talk) 07:49, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
@Proveallthings: Please answer these questions: do you believe that evangelical scholarship is the only game in town? Or do you have to take into account thumb rules like WP:CHOPSY? Tgeorgescu (talk) 11:54, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
I will admit I'm finding Proveallthings logic hard to follow right now. In particular, the attempts to argue that various 21st-century statements about current consensus are in some way indebted to early and "superseded" arguments strikes me as a very strange attempt to use WP:AGE as a way to do an end-run around very clear statements on up-to-date scholarly consensus. If the statements above (1), (2), and (3) do not accurately reflect recent scholarly consensus, I would ask Proveallthings to cite clear statements in reliable sources about what the current scholarly consensus is, rather than self-selecting a number of studies that Proveallthings prefers and thinks "supersede" them. Because so far in this conversation direct statements have been provided that (1), (2), and (3) do each in fact reflect the scholarly consensus. If we can't get clear statements against claims (1), (2), and (3), then all this listing of individual studies just reflects one particular editor's opinions about which scholars we should follow, which, as we keep saying, isn't how Wikipedia chooses article content. Alephb (talk) 18:54, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

Citing Collins (1993), Yale, for consensus was not good enough to pass your own personal WP:CHOPSY test? I said the Maccabean, 2nd century date for the Aramaic portion of Daniel is no longer maintained. Please stick to my actual words. The discussion among philologists has already moved on. I've noted the relevant majority of the philological evaluations in recent times following Montgomery. Imperial Aramaic is 700-300 BCE (Collins, 200 BCE is idiosyncratic of Fitzmyer). Simply using your own personal, "No true Scotsman" definition of what constitutes Academia is not constructive. Sometimes liberal views prevail, other times conservative. But you are attempting to stifle discussion by eliminating all viewpoints from discussion that are not strictly "secular" from particular institutions of your own choosing. I have presented by now more than 20 published sources for both arguments above. I will summarize again: Rosenthal, Kitchen, Kutscher, Folmer, Vasholz, Coxon, Stefanovic, Waltke, Wenham, also of relevance Millard, Baldwin, and Yamauchi. I have also noted in support of the other: Seow, Dougherty, Miller, Millard, Chavalas, Keener & Walton, Harrison, Beaulieu, Harrison, Doukhan, Baldwin. I can add more. Short answer, "no." Contrariwise, please remember that Wikipedia is not an ideological WP:BATTLEGROUND against evangelicals and fundamentalists.

Dimadick, thank you for the input. Citing Wikipedia but not reading the actual philological arguments means you are unknowingly leaving a false impression. The proportion of Akkadian and Old Persian (ended 300 BCE) loan words, and none from Middle Persian or the Hellenistic age (and the nature of said words) is one argument maintained against the later date. Akkadianisms matching the bilingual Tell Fekherye inscription (9th BCE, I believe) that represent forced, official usage not part of spoken vernacular is another point. Affinity with the Elephantine Papyri of the 6th/5th BCE century, and marked differences with the Aramaic of the DSS is a third. So 200 BCE or later is only possible, with multiple concessions needing to be made in order to make it work; it is not probable. Most of the analyses will strongly favor an earlier date without completely ruling out the (albeit improbable) later. Spoken languages do not simply freeze form, they continue to assimilate words from cultures they come in contact with. See, for instance, Kutscher's remarks on Greek loanwords in his article "Words and their History" (Ariel, vol. 25 (1969), pp. 64-74, " Hellenistic culture which inundated Western Asia as a result of the conquest of Alexander the Great left its mark on Hebrew in the large number of Greek borrowings." Qumran, which resisted outside influence, is the exception. Let me say again, dogmatically asserting "2nd BCE Daniel" for Daniel 5 goes far beyond the consensus of modern scholars. Folmer, for instance, notes that Ezra and Daniel share in all the hallmarks of the Aramaic language from the Achaemenid (not Hellenistic) period (c. 550-330 BCE) - The Aramaic Language in the Achaemenid Period, p. 753. Cheers! Proveallthings (talk) 21:05, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

@Proveallthings:. You say now, "I said the Maccabean, 2nd century date for the Aramaic portion of Daniel is no longer maintained. Please stick to my actual words." Okay. Here's your actual words: "I don't know of any language scholar that still dates Daniel 5 to the Hellenistic era, much less the second century." The newer claim you're making is true. The older claim at least appeared to show a serious lack of awareness of the consensus position. Perhaps we can be thankful for that small bit of progress.
Yes, saying that Daniel was entirely written in the 2nd century would go beyond the consensus of modern scholars. Saying that the book was assembled around 165 while containing earlier Aramaic material written in the Hellenistic (330 or later) period, on the other hand, would reflect the current consensus. I don't think anyone here has been arguing that the whole thing was written in its entirety, without the use of earlier sources, in the second century. Alephb (talk) 22:43, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

See Folmer, above. The "Achaemenid period" preceded the Hellenistic period. The latter follows from 330 BCE. You are reversing before 330 BCE to after. Collins, 1995, is of your opinion, to be sure. But the others not so much. To clarify: history relies on what is probable, not what is possible. 3rd BCE or later requires that the Aramaic freeze in place for 100-135 years (assuming 200-165 BCE), undergoing no modification, admit no Greek influence despite the upheaval of Macedonian conquests, as well as receive no effect from forced Hellenization under Antiochus IV. Kutscher, in so many words. Then, over the next 50 years (by 150 BCE), it suddenly morphs into Palestinisn Aramaic, then forks into Galilean Aramaic.

If we are able to accept this, the next hurfle to overcome is why Daniel resembles more closely the style of the 6th/5th BCE Elephantine papyri rather than purportedly contemporary documents. This has also been observed. So, it's possible my next comment will be in the form of Shakespearean English. But since that period came and went, and English has undergone such a modification, it is not probable. It is less probable that I could pull it off well, without making a host of linguistic mistakes, despite a very high degree of knowledge of that period English.

The article states 2nd BCE in relation to Daniel 5. Consensus is Imperial Aramaic, 700-300 BCE. This is misleading. Proveallthings (talk) 06:46, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

Let me spell out the WP:RULES: editors don't get to decide which view would be the majority view, instead editors follow WP:RS/AC. You either fulfill this requirement or beat it. Even then, a consensus among evangelical scholars won't do. Not because of an ideological fight against them, but because they are either a scholarly minority or WP:FRINGE. What does Millard says at the first footnote at [10]? He says: these are the best commentaries on Daniel, which I beg to disagree with and now let me list the scholars who agree with my minority opinion. What does [11] say? "This timely collection of scholarly essays equips Christians to defend the key doctrine of inerrancy against the skeptical attitudes of culture and the academy toward the Bible’s historical claims." By our book biblical inerrancy is WP:FRINGE/PS. Note the PS as in pseudohistory.

Robert Todd Carroll has developed a list of criteria to identify pseudo-historic works. He states that:

"Pseudohistory is purported history which:

  • Treats myths, legends, sagas and similar literature as literal truth
Millard is quite transparent in his wish to affirm biblical inerrancy, which makes his paper suspect as a WP:RS. He knows full well that from Ivy Plus to US state universities inerrantism is regarded as the stigma of cranks and kooks. Tgeorgescu (talk) 11:41, 3 September 2018 (UTC)
Consequently, anything Millard writes or claims is unreliable. Again, we need secular sources, not religious pseudohistorians. We should not rely on "reliable" sources like William F. Albright and his ilk.: "In the years since his death, Albright's methods and conclusions have been increasingly questioned. William Dever claims that "[Albright's] central theses have all been overturned, partly by further advances in Biblical criticism, but mostly by the continuing archaeological research of younger Americans and Israelis to whom he himself gave encouragement and momentum ... The irony is that, in the long run, it will have been the newer 'secular' archaeology that contributed the most to Biblical studies, not 'Biblical archaeology.'" "Dimadick (talk) 07:22, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
Yes, when one defends inerrantism a straightforward conclusion is that he/she is unable to critically evaluate his/her sources, which, according to historical method, defaults to pseudohistory. Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:24, 6 September 2018 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 25 August 2018

The article states that the account in the Book of Daniel is fictional, evidently citing some work by a certain Mr.Collins. There is no proof or evidence of the stated fictitiousness of said account, and thereby this article presents conjecture as fact, thus misleading the reader. I suggest it be changed to ", supposed by xxx to be fictitious," or the reference to it being fictitious to be removed altogether. Saldas elfstone (talk) 01:49, 25 August 2018 (UTC)


I would like to chime in here that the reason we know the Book of Daniel was written in the second century BC is because the prophecies in it are only accurate up until a certain date: 164 BC exactly. After that date, all of the prophecies are catastrophically wrong. The only way that you can arrive with a work containing accurate prophecies up to one, specific date and inaccurate prophecies thereafter is if the book was actually written at that date, making all the "predictions" prior to that point actually be history framed as predictions to make the actual predictions found later seem reliable. --Katolophyromai (talk) 15:41, 3 December 2017 (UTC)

Yes, this is the scholarly consensus and it has been the scholarly consensus for over a century now. The Book of Daniel is, in fact, regarded as probably the single book in Old Testament that is most obviously a forgery above all others, due to its anachronistic language, historical errors, inconsistencies, or other details. [12]

Quoted by Tgeorgescu (talk) 01:59, 25 August 2018 (UTC)
I agree with Saldas elfstone. The "fictional tale" statement clearly violates WP:NPOV, specifically "avoid stating opinions as facts". While Collins believes Daniel is fictional, Daniel is not fictional because Collins says it is. In addition, I note Tgeorgescu has reverted back to "fictional tale" at least 20 times (!), despite numerous attempts by other editors to make the statement more neutral in tone. The article is on Belshazzar, it is not a text-critical commentary in the book of Daniel. Proveallthings (talk) 07:38, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
See WP:YESPOV, WP:RS/AC, WP:FRINGE and WP:RGW. Tgeorgescu (talk) 07:43, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
Irrelevant. The Book of Daniel is a work of historical fiction, and Daniel never existed. He is as much a fictional character as Moses and Aaron. Dimadick (talk) 07:51, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
Proveallthings has proven that evangelical scholars dissent from mainstream history. But we already knew that Biblical inerrantists dissent from Biblical errancy. Tgeorgescu (talk) 09:07, 1 September 2018 (UTC)
Are they sincere in their beliefs? I am approaching middle-age, and the only Biblical inerrantists I have personally met are cynical, professional Christian priests, and a few mental patients at the local hospital. My first instinct whenever I hear someone express such beliefs is to assume a) he/she never read the Bible (most of the pious people I have met, have never opened any of the books in the collection) b) he/she is lying and trying to mislead the gullible. (I attended Sunday school as a child, and quickly noticed that several of the priest's teachings were actually contradicting one or more Biblical texts. Dimadick (talk) 10:00, 1 September 2018 (UTC)

Comment. I changed a couple of "fictional" to "biblical" without checking the talkpage first. IMO it's preferable per how we usually write about religious texts on WP. There's absolutely nothing wrong with including what sources say about historical/factual aspects, but BoD is primarily a religious text, not a work of history. Anyway, I don't intend to edit-war about it. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 09:27, 2 September 2018 (UTC)

I see "historical fiction" is back in the lead. Per the WP-link it fits really bad: "Historical fiction is a literary genre in which the plot takes place in a setting located in the past. Although the term is commonly used as a synonym for the historical novel, it can also be applied to other types of narrative, including theatre, opera, cinema and television, as well as video games and graphic novels." Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 15:10, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
How does it fit bad? It is a 2nd-century BC work, set in the 6th-century BC. Dimadick (talk) 21:27, 5 September 2018 (UTC)
Lack of WP:RS that refers to BoD as HF? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 10:24, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
WP:RS broadly concur that it isn't history; upon what it is there is less consensus. Tgeorgescu (talk) 21:43, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
Biblical must have some support? Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 22:25, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
WP:BLUE, however we have somehow to convey that this is one of the most fake books of the Bible. Tgeorgescu (talk) 22:50, 10 September 2018 (UTC)
You may have a point, I'm quite ignorant on that aspect. I'm comparing to stuff like David#Biblical_account and The_Exodus#Summary, where we recount the biblical story in one section, and then get on with other stuff. But there is no law that this article should do it exactly like that, for one thing IMO the "history" element here is a bit stronger. Gråbergs Gråa Sång (talk) 11:36, 11 September 2018 (UTC)

Some "biblical" texts are considered relatively reliable in historicity. The Books of Kings is heavily biased, but depicts several people and events which are known through the archaeological record. This is mostly not the case with the Book of Daniel. Dimadick (talk) 07:27, 5 September 2018 (UTC)

{{bottomLinkPreText}} {{bottomLinkText}}
Listen to this article