During the fall of 2018, Crossway began the release of a new commentary series. The ESV Expository Commentary series will be a 12-volume set on the whole Bible, and I was honored to write the commentary on the Book of Daniel. This volume–number 7–contains Daniel and the Minor Prophets.
A Timeline of the Project
I was approached about this project in 2014. An email dated March 18, 2014 got the ball rolling, and on May 27, 2014 I signed a contract. But my personal relationship with the Book of Daniel began much earlier. From April 15, 2012 to August 26, 2012, I preached through Daniel at Kosmosdale Baptist Church, where I serve as the Preaching Pastor. I was also pursuing a PhD in Biblical Studies at Southern Seminary, zeroing in (slowly) on a topic. In 2013, I completed a dissertation entitled “Resurrection Hope in Daniel 12:2: An Exercise in Biblical Theology.” After graduating in December 2013, I hoped my work in the Book of Daniel could continue, somehow.
Then in March 2014, the opportunity arose to write a commentary on the book. The writing commenced! My friend Andrew Lindsey offered valuable feedback along the way as he carefully read through the manuscript. I completed the first draft in December 2014 and emailed it to the editors of the series. At 80,000 words, the commentary now needed the editing phase, revisions which happened at different junctures in 2015. In October 2015, I emailed my last revisions on the manuscript, which now stood at a trimmer 74,000 words. Hopefully all heresy and nonsense hit the cutting room floor.
My Hope for the Commentary
The pastoral aim and design of the ESV Expository Commentary series will be a great blessing to preachers, teachers, and students of Scripture. And I hope you will want to study and preach the Book of Daniel!
Writing on the Book of Daniel was both exciting and daunting. The book contains some beloved stories in the Old Testament, it is quoted or alluded to in the Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and Revelation, and it contains complex visions and tremendous hopes which find fulfillment and significance in the Messiah Jesus. Exciting!
But there are visions and prophecies in the book which are disputed and debated among scholars–matters like possible christophanies, the identification of the four kingdoms in Nebuchadnezzar’s dream, the descriptions about a fourth beast and a little horn in one of Daniel’s visions, the angelic announcement about seventy sevens, the anointed one who is cut off and makes a covenant, and the historical correspondences to the warring rulers in the book’s final vision. I waded into these waters anyway–and why not!
Maybe you–the Bible reader–find the Book of Daniel both exciting and daunting too. Would you join me on the journey as I explore twelve God-breathed chapters of God’s Word? The Book of Daniel has everything–captivity, warfare, intrigue, conspiracy, deliverance, visions, insanity, faithfulness, judgment, prayers, prophecies, and hope. With genres that span narrative and apocalyptic, the book invites the reader into an ancient world of harrowing history.