Does Daniel Remind You of Another Bible Character?


Joseph and His Brethren Welcomed by Pharaoh, by James Tissot

“I had a dream, and no one can interpret it. But I have heard it said of you that when you hear a dream you can interpret it.” (Genesis 41:15)

A holy man is held against his will in a hostile land, keeps his faith, loves God, and rises to power by interpreting dreams. Sound Familiar?  When you study Daniel you cannot help but notice the similarities between him and Joseph (Genesis 37-50). They were both taken from their homes at an early age; they were both taken to the king’s court; they both remained faithful to their God; they both encountered opposition; they both interpreted dreams; they both rose to a position of great power; neither had the opportunity to return to their home land.

Like Joseph, Daniel is about how God’s people are supposed to survive, and even prosper, in an alien land. It’s about how they keep their special identity when a society wants to erase it. And it’s about how God’s people must find strength in small groups.

I am already excited about chapter 3, the story of the fiery furnace. Don’t wait till Sunday — read ahead!

About Corey Sharpe

Where do we get our beliefs? Three theological perspectives have significantly shaped my Christian identity: Evangelicalism, the early Methodist tradition and liberation theology. From my coming to faith in a Baptist church and throughout my education in a Baptist school and college, I was nurtured by convictions that emphasized a spiritual rebirth, a personal relationship with Jesus Christ and the centrality of the Bible. Even when I disagree with certain aspects of evangelicalism, it has deeply influenced my sense of what it means to be a follower of Jesus Christ. My seminary studies spawned my interest in early Methodism, particularly its approach to spiritual formation. Its leaders were convinced that only a foundation of doctrine and discipline would lead to a meaningful transformation of the heart and mind. In other words, having the mind of Christ enables me to be more like Christ. Life in a suburban culture obscures the increasing gap between the poor and rich, as well as the Bible’s close identification with the poor. My doctoral work in socio-cultural context exposed me to liberation theology, which helps me see redemptive history as a history of oppressed groups, written from the perspective of the powerless, about a God who is actively involved with the poor in their struggles. I am now the pastor at Huntingtown United Methodist Church in Calvert County, Maryland. Together my wife and I are raising 4 young theologians.
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2 Responses to Does Daniel Remind You of Another Bible Character?

  1. Carol says:

    Never compared the two men, nor seen any connection. Am pondering!
    The story of Joseph is easier to read than Daniel, isn’t it?

  2. Janice says:

    I never compared the two men either, but the similarity that Corey has pointed out does make sense. I always like reading about Daniel and his three friends and their strength in standing up for the one and only God. When they went into that firey furnace they did not know God would save them, but they were determined to be faithful. Assuming we are all good Christians is it right to believe that God will always be there to rescue us? If this were true we would not need faith. We all will probably suffer in some way, but our eternal reward will be worth anything we go through.

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