Why is the Book of Daniel Not Considered to Be One of the Minor Prophets?

bookslover

Puritan Board Doctor
As we all know, the minor prophetical books are "minor" not because their messages are any less important than those of the major prophetical books, but because of their length.

So, at 12 chapters, shouldn't Daniel be one of the minor prophets? Isaiah has 66, Jeremiah has 52, and Ezekiel has 48. It seems to me that, at 12, Daniel is not in their league, length-wise.
 

VictorBravo

Administrator
Staff member
Broader spectrum than the other minors, probably.

Plus, Nebuchadnezzar wrote part of it. The king of Babylon writing Scripture always amazes me.
 

C. M. Sheffield

Puritan Board Graduate
As we all know, the minor prophetical books are "minor" not because their messages are any less important than those of the major prophetical books, but because of their length.

So, at 12 chapters, shouldn't Daniel be one of the minor prophets? Isaiah has 66, Jeremiah has 52, and Ezekiel has 48. It seems to me that, at 12, Daniel is not in their league, length-wise.
Because the book is apocalyptic in nature (i.e. not merely prophetic). It is the only book of the Old Testament that gives us a view of consummation of all things. Daniel in the Old Testament and Revelation in the New Testament are the only truly apocalyptic works in Holy Scripture.
 
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Charles Johnson

Puritan Board Sophomore
Because the book is apocalyptic in nature (i.e. not merely prophetic). It is the only book of the Old Testament that gives us a view of consumption of all things. Daniel in the Old Testament and Revelation in the New Testament are the only truly apocalyptic works in Holy Scripture.
Assume you mean consummation?
 

Romans922

Puritan Board Professor
Because the book is not part of the prophets in the OT. That is the Hebrew OT which is completely different order than our English bibles. The Hebrew OT is arranged theologically, not more chronological. As such, Daniel is part of the writings/psalms. As Jesus says in Luke giving the OT divisions: Law, Prophets, Psalms (writings). Not Pentateuch, historical books, poetry, prophets.


Writings are mostly the poetic books as we know them, but also include Ruth, Daniel, Lamentations, and 1/2 Chronicles. Chronicles is the end of the OT. The writings section is teaching the people of God how to live as His people. Daniel is part of the writings because that book teaches the child of God how to live a godly life in the midst of certain circumstances.

As for prophets, the early prophets in Jesus’ division of the OT are Joshua, Judges, Samuel, Kings. The latter prophets: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and the 12 minor prophets as you stated above.
 
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JP Wallace

Puritan Board Sophomore
Because the book is apocalyptic in nature (i.e. not merely prophetic). It is the only book of the Old Testament that gives us a view of consummation of all things. Daniel in the Old Testament and Revelation in the New Testament are the only truly apocalyptic works in Holy Scripture.
Chris,
Wouldn't you say that at least some portions of other books are apocalytic, I thinking of sections of Zechariah, Amos and Joel, and also perhaps such as Isaiah 61 (end of particularly)?
 

Jack K

Puritan Board Doctor
The actual division between the "Major" and "Minor" Prophets is not based on the length of the writings. It comes instead from the Israelite practice of combining the final twelve into a single book, the Book of the Twelve. We don't do that anymore, having book binding that's more efficient than scrolls, but we still like to delineate. So, custom has labelled some as "Major Prophets" and what was formerly the Book of the Twelve as "Minor Prophets." The labels work well enough, since the Major Prophets are mostly longer writings, but it doesn't mean every Major Prophet is necessarily longer than every Minor Prophet.
 

Contra_Mundum

Pilgrim, Alien, Stranger
Staff member
As another data-point, our designation "major/minor" is largely a reference to the size of the book. The minor prophets (as we call them) are known collectively in the Hebrew tradition as "the Twelve," Hosea-Malachi originally collected in a single scroll. In other words, they are all small enough to fill one long parchment.

The "major prophets" as we call them, are the writing prophets from Isaiah through Daniel (the book of Lamentations is typically categorized apart as one of the Poetic books). The Hebrews called all the books after Moses "the Prophets," excepting "the Writings," which had more than poetry in it, including compositions as diverse as Lamentations and Ruth). The Prophets contained the "former" prophets, including Joshua, Judges, I-IV Kings (no "Samuels"); and then the "latter" prophets, i.e. the larger writing prophets. These would be mostly the same as the "major" prophets, but we've incorporated Daniel in that category.
 

Puritan Sailor

Puritan Board Doctor
In addition to what Andrew and Bruce said, the placement of Daniel in the Hebrew Canon also helps us in how to read it. It is lumped together with Esther, Ezra, and Nehemiah, all dealing with a major themes of hope and faithfulness to God after the Exile.
 
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