Zdravko Stefanovic, professor of biblical studies, recently published his third book, Daniel: Wisdom for the Wise. Released by Pacific Press Publishing Association, the work is a chapter-by-chapter text-based commentary of the book of Daniel.
While writing the book, Stefanovic refrained from letting his own ideas influence how he read the text, allowing it to speak clearly to him.
“We are so prompt to read our own ideas into the text and let the Bible say those ideas back to us,” he says.
Stefanovic likened the process of writing the commentary to being an artist, saying, “You must pay attention to the details, but keep in mind they are part of the overall picture as well.”
Stefanovic chose the book of Daniel for several reasons. First, because of its importance to the Seventh-day Adventist Church. According to Stefanovic, no other denomination has published as much literature on the book as Adventists.
Second, Daniel is one of a few bilingual books in the Bible, originally written in both Hebrew and Aramaic—an ancient language which Stefanovic studied extensively in graduate school. The combination of such a fascinating book and personal interest inspired him.
Third, choosing Daniel was a request from his brother, Ranko Stefanovic, chair of the Department of Religion at Andrews University. In 2002, Ranko published a chapter-by-chapter text-based commentary on the book of Revelation. Ranko then asked Stefanovic to compose a similarly styled commentary to be packaged as a set with his own book, Revelations of Jesus Christ.
Multiple cross-cultural experiences have enabled Stefanovic to better understand the cultural aspects of the book of Daniel. Stefanovic has lived in Bosnia (the former Yugoslavia), France, Switzerland, Michigan, the Philippines, and mainland Asia.
Stefanovic has written several books, including The Aramaic of Daniel in the Light of Old Aramaic, a linguistic study of the book of Daniel, and Bridging East and West: Joseph Wolff’s Vision of Global Advent Mission, a life study of Joseph Wolff. n