Daniel 1: What’s in a Name?


Episode Description

Listen in as Ryan and I reunite at Broadleaf Video Production’s studio to kick off an engaging journey through the Book of Daniel. This conversation takes a closer look at the theme of influence in the biblical narrative, highlighting how Daniel and his companions emerge as unexpected influencers in Babylonian society. We’re excited to unpack the contrasts between the God of Israel and the gods of Babylon, and we’re inviting you, our listeners, to read along, ponder the text, and bring forth questions that will spark a thought-provoking discussion on the relevance of this ancient text to our modern lives.

In this session, we tackle the profound impact of cultural identity and the significance of name changes for Daniel and his friends. The renaming of these young men by the Babylonians is not a mere administrative act but a deliberate attempt to reshape their identities and integrate them into a new society. We draw parallels to personal experiences and historical instances, like the poignant narrative of “Roots,” to illustrate the powerful link between names and self-identity. As we explore these changes, we consider how they served as a strategy to sever ties to the past and promote assimilation into the Babylonian way of life.

Rounding off our discussion, we delve into the tales of Daniel’s resistance to cultural assimilation, particularly through his adherence to dietary laws. The choice of vegetables and water over royal delicacies becomes a symbol of steadfast faith and commitment to God’s commandments. This act of defiance underscores the broader implications for the Israelites returning from exile, with Daniel as a model for living a faithful life in a non-believing society. Moreover, we explore how Daniel’s wisdom and divine gifts of dream interpretation pave the way for future narratives and demonstrate the power of influence through personal conviction and integrity. So tune in, as we reflect on these themes and more, discovering the timeless lessons embedded within the Book of Daniel.


(00:11) The Bible Bistro

Daniel Chapter 1 explores influence, contrasting God and Babylonian gods, and encourages reader engagement.

(09:13) Cultural Identity and Name Change

Babylonian name changes aimed to reshape identities and assimilate Daniel and his companions into a new culture.

(17:35) Exploring Daniel’s Resistance to Cultural Assimilation

Daniel’s adherence to faith and dietary laws in Babylonian culture, and its implications for living faithfully in a pagan society.

(27:57) Daniel’s Test and Influence in Babylon

Daniel and his friends opt for vegetables and water over the king’s food, leading to divine blessings and showcasing the power of personal convictions.

(36:23) The Influence of Faith and Wisdom

Daniel’s influence from weakness, cultural creation, wisdom, and steadfast faith in a dominant society.


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