how to tell the biblical story in a way that makes a difference

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Cherylu, I appreciate the fact that there is disagreement about the identity of the “saints of the Most High”, but it seems to me very unlikely that in this context they are thought of as angelic beings:

  • the four beasts represent human kingdoms; in Daniel (cf. 2:44) and in Jewish apocalyptic generally a sequence of earthly kingdoms is eventually replaced by the rule of God over a restored Israel;
  • I don’t think there’s any precedent for the idea that the nations serve and obey angelic powers;
  • I’m also not sure that there is any precedent for an earthly king such as Antiochus Epiphanes making war against a community of angels—the nearest we get in Daniel is the heavenly conflict between singular angelic representatives of the nations (10:18-21);
  • the attempt to “change the times and the Law” (7:25) makes little sense if this is a war against angelic powers; 
  • kingdom is given to the “people of the saints of the Most High”, so even if the “holy ones” are angels, Israel is in view here (7:27);
  • the rest of Daniel (especially chapters 11-12) are about the conflict between Antiochus and the “wise” in Israel.

And even if Daniel is speaking of Him as representative of the people, I still see absolutely no problem with Him still being both fully divine and fully human.

That may be the case, but the question is where or how is it stated that Jesus is divine. It is commonly argued that by calling Jesus “Lord” the New Testament directly identifies Jesus with YHWH. What I have attempted to show in this post is that the New Testament consistently regards lordship as a status that is given to Jesus as a consequence of his obedience unto death. The Son of Man theme supports that: Daniel’s son of man represents persecuted Jews who remain loyal to the covenant and are vindicated before the throne of God and given the right to rule and be served by the nations.

So my point is that the lordship theme cannot be used as proof that Jesus was and always had been God. It means something different. There may be other ways of establishing the pre-existent divinity of Jesus—I have no objection in principle to that contention. But we fundamentally misunderstand what the New Testament is saying if we think that “Jesus is Lord” means “Jesus is God”. It doesn’t. It means “Jesus has been given the authority of God”.