There has been a constant attempt to date the book of Daniel much later than it was written. The critic recognizes that the prophecies contained within the book are so specific that either they are inspired by God or they are the work of men writing after the events occurred. They must be, therefore, fictionalized accounts that bear little resemblance to the actual events of history. Princeton Professor Robert Dick Wilson met these charges head on:
“The critic draws too much on our credulity, when he asks us to believe that the contemporaries of the heroic Judas Maccabeus would have been encouraged for their deadly conflict by any old wives’ fables, or the cunningly devised craftiness of any nameless writer of fiction, however brilliant. People do not die for fiction, however brilliant. People do not die for fiction but for faith. The writer of the First Book of Maccabees, the best and only first-class Jewish authority upon the history of the wars of the Jews against the Seleucids, states that Mattathias stirred up his followers to revolt against the tyrant by an appeal to the deliverance of the three children from Nebuchadnezzar’s wrath. To have had any effect upon the auditors, they must not merely have known of, but have believed as true, the story to which he appeals by way of example to prove God’s interest in his people. To have believed it, they must have known it. So, also, when the writer of First Maccabees uses the story of the den of lions and Daniel’s deliverance from it to encourage his readers, not he only, but they, must have believed in the actuality of that story” (Wilson, Studies in the Book of Daniel, G.P. Putnam, 1917).