2 out of 4 stars
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Among students of the Christian Bible, the prophetic visions in the book of Daniel are relatively well known. They have been translated, scrutinized, and interpreted by many theologians and historians over the years, and one popular explanation is widely taught. As a member of a church, author Thomas Daniels has heard these interpretations time and time again. However, something didn't feel right to him. He boldly decided to do his own research, and the discoveries presented in his resulting book, First Three of the Last Four Visions of Daniel, are revolutionary.
The author slowly discovered his findings through decades of research. One thing that made a major difference in his methods, as opposed to other interpreters, was that he didn't just study scripture; he prayed and asked God directly for answers. As a result, some of his most exciting discoveries came in bursts of revelation. For example, from hearing a single word clearly and with divine inspiration, he identified the fourth beast, previously a mystery, in Daniel's vision of the four great beasts emerging from a tumultuous sea. Other discoveries include the clarification of dates, time spans, kings and kingdoms, and decrees that are different than the popular interpretations. All were based on both spiritual aid and a rigorous study of history.
I admired the author's confidence in his interpretations, despite going against the grain. He was unapologetic about the proposed truth of his revelations. His convincing interpretations could truly change the way that Daniel's visions are viewed by students of the Bible. I also appreciated his thorough examination of historical details to support his claims, ranging from regional wars to specific decrees issued by particular kings. The scope of his research shone in the book.
Unfortunately, this book was extremely repetitive and poorly organized. Not only does the author repeat each revelation several times, but he also repeats specific details, such as names, dates, time spans, and even passages of scripture, to make the same points. Although this could be done to really solidify the author's arguments, I found it unnecessary. His unique revelations alone speak volumes. These points were made throughout the book in various sections, and the content of each section did not always match its title. Additionally, I found that the author did much more telling than showing, which further slowed down the reading experience. The book's length of 558 pages, in addition to a preface and references, could easily be cut in half. Changing these aspects would make the book much more appealing and, as a result, reach a wider audience.
Although I was impressed by this book's conclusions and found them to be revolutionary, I didn't particularly enjoy the experience of reading the book as a whole. Additionally, the book did not appear professionally edited, and its numerous errors were distracting. Therefore, I rate First Three of the Last Four Visions of Daniel 2 out of 4 stars. Other readers who appreciate this work as it is currently written will eagerly anticipate the forthcoming second book, which goes into more depth on Daniel's final vision. This book is not just for Christians, though they will find its contents interesting, but also for theologians, historians, and those interested in the interpretations of prophetic visions.
First Three of the Last Four Visions of Daniel
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