Book review

The Old Testament book of Chronicles presents unique problems to students of the Bible. Here Dr. Roddy Braun takes a fresh look at the biblical text and sheds light upon its meaning for God's people in both Old Testament times and today. Taking careful note of Chronicles' dependency upon earlier Old Testament writings, he leads the serious Bible student through such issues as:

  • The relation of 1 Chronicles to parallel passages in Samuel and Kings
  • What "the Chronicler" intended to convey with his own independent contributions to Israel's history and theology
  • The role of Solomon's temple as a uniting force for the Chronicler, who faced the reality of the division between Israel in the north and Judah in the south
  • The book's emphasis upon God's covenant with David as reaching its goal in the construction of the temple.

Dr. Braun investigates thoroughly the effect of God's covenant with David in this important part of Scripture. Did the tragic division of the kingdom following Solomon's death mean God had forsaken the covenant? Were the northern tribes too a part of that "all Israel" that was being summoned to return to faithful observance of the priestly services at Solomon's temple in Jerusalem? What was the meaning of such a summons at the time of the Exile, when both Israel and Judah lay in ruins? Such questions are explored with an expert's eye to history and background, theology, and textual considerations.

The author-with his remarkable combination of scholarly insights and pastoral experience-also notes the themes of unity, joy, and generosity in worship emphasized by the Chronicler. He was apparently anxious not simply to reunite the kingdom, but also to restore spiritual depth and enthusiastic support to worship-issues that continue to be vital to the people of God today.

Word Biblical Commentary Vol., 14, 1 Chronicles  (braun), 359pp by Roddy L. Braun

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Roddy L. Braun
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