Each volume consists of four parts:
-- an introduction that addresses the key issues raised by the writing; the literary genre, structure, and character of the writing; the occasional and situational context of the writing, including its wider social and historical context; and the theological and ethical significance of the writing within these several contexts
-- a commentary on the text, organized by literary units, covering literary analysis, exegetical analysis, and theological and ethical analysis
-- an annotated bibliography
-- a brief subject index
Gowan takes full account of the most important current scholarship and secondary literature, while not attempting to engage in technical academic debate. The fundamental concern of this and every volume is analysis and discussion of the literary, sociohistorical, theological, and ethical dimensions of the biblical texts themselves. Each volume attends to issues of special concern to students of the Bible: literary genre, structure and character of the writing, occasion and situational context of the writing, wider social and historical context, the theological and ethical significance of the writing within these several contexts, and the like.
Daniel--one of the most misused books of the Bible--is read in this commentary as a powerful message concerning hope and responsibility for believers who, for various reasons, have to face the theological question, "Who's in charge here?" The book of Daniel insists that the God of Israel is in charge, in spite of what circumstances may indicate; then finds ways, through story and vision, to reassure the faithful that there is a future for them after all.
The commentary shows that what might be taken as just "Sunday school stories"--the lions' den and the fiery furnace--do raise issues from real life that have faced believers time and again across the centuries. It also helps readers to understand how to read Daniel's predictions of the future in a way that is most faithful to Scripture as a whole.
The author explores the widely disparate meanings that have been attributed to the visions in the book. He investigates four basic interpretations that form the basis of reading the Book of Daniel.