First and Second Chronicles (Interpretation) by Tuell

book chron i

Here’s a moderately critical work that’s one of the best in the Interpretation Bible Commentary series. Steven Tuell, who has also written a succinct commentary on Ezekiel that has been well received, writes on First and Second Chronicles here. Though you might consider a work of 250 pages on both books of Chronicles a little too brief, he makes good use of every page. To my mind, the best contributions of this book are the theological reflection on and a big-picture presentation of Chronicles.

The Introduction begins by opining the diminished acceptance of Chronicles compared to other books of the Bible. He explains that to many Chronicles is little more “than a dull rewrite of Samuel and Kings”. The author works against that comman viewpoint and champions Chronicles as a unique book of the Bible that covers the broadest historical range of any book in the Bible – from Adam to the Babylonian Captivity. Though I don’t care for the label “Deuteronomistic history” as a description of Joshua through Kings, he gives good explanation of how they interact, are similar, and are different. He highlights how Chronicles uses other scriptures widely. In fact, he says, “the most distinctive feature of Chronicles is the large degree to which it reproduces other biblical texts”. He looks at Chronicles as it relates to Ezra and Nehemiah, and from there launches into an explanation of date and composition. The dating he explains is more conservative than what you might expect in a more critical series. The brief section on the theology in Chronicles is just a preview of what you will find in the commentary itself.

While this commentary might not be my first choice when I’m digging into a passage in Chronicles, I still see it as a great second choice and one that I will enjoy consulting. What I see in the commentary proper is of distinct value.

I received this book free from the publisher. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.

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