05 July 2010

Jul 5

Reference links:
Old Testament

We have reached a new book: the Books of Chronicles. That means it's time for another overview.
Chronicles summarizes and reviews the deuteronomic history of the foregoing books, adding only minor details here and there, and therefore does not "supplement" the history to any noteworthy degree.
However, the book provides a different perspective than the books of Samuel and Kings. The books of Chronicles have a more religious/moral perspective:
The principal aim of the writer appears to be to present moral and religious truth. He does not give prominence to political occurrences, as is done in the books of Samuel and Kings, but to religious institutions, such as the details of the temple service.
Chronicles was composed after the Babylonian captivity, that is, at least two to three hundred years after the latest of the events described in the books of Kings.
The time of the composition of the Chronicles is believed to have been subsequent to the Babylonian captivity, possibly between 450 and 435 B.C., though Martin Nothwas of the opinion that it dated from the 3rd century B.C.; and Gary Knoppers, while acknowledging that Chronicles theoretically could be written anywhere between 500 - 250 B.C., tends to see it as probably dating between 325 and 275 B.C.). The contents of Chronicles, both as to matter and form, correspond closely with this idea.

Being written at a different time in history, the Books of Chronicles have a different perspective on the events of the past.
Often the Chronicles paint a somewhat more positive picture of the same events. This corresponds to their time of composition: Samuel and Kings were probably completed during the exile, at a time when the history of the newly wiped out Hebrew kingdoms was still fresh in the minds of the writers, a period largely considered a colossal failure. The Chronicles, on the other hand, were written much later, after the restoration of the Jewish community in Palestine, at a time when the kingdoms were beginning to be regarded as the nostalgic past, something to be at least partially imitated, not something to be avoided.
Authorship is generally attributed to Ezra, although most modern scholars believe it was written later.

As for today's content, it's all genealogy. Dull, dull genealogy. Whose only purpose was to explain how "all" the people of the world were related.

New Testament

Has there been a movie made about Paul's life? It seems like there must have been, but if not, there should be. Today's reading is full of good movie fodder.

Because of a conspiracy against his life, Paul is taken by night to Caesarea. He gets this treatment because (a) he is a Roman citizen and (b) the Roman officials think that the accusations of the Jews are bunk. At the end of today's reading, Paul is imprisoned at Herod's headquarters in Caesarea.

Psalms and Proverbs

Intelligent people are always ready to learn.
Their ears are open for knowledge.
I am of the opinion that being ready to learn is often the difference between being smart and being intelligent.