Glatt-Gilad on Chronicles

“When one speaks of a consensus document, a number of theoretical models are possible for explaining its conception and emergence. One such model is represented by the Pentateuch, namely, a collective anthology that incorporates older diverse strands aIld integrates them into a more contemporary framework. A second model is furnished by the American constitution, which attempted to bridge various conflicting interests and points of view current at the time of its composition. The overarching principle of compromise precluded anyone side from attaining all of its aspirations. Returning to our subject matter, the production of Chronicles appears to have been guided by yet a third model, in which the work was focused a priori on the linchpins that together had come to form the most basic common denominators of national identity: the Jerusalem temple, the Davidic monarchy, and the Mosaic Torah. The Chronicler’s emphasis on unity would account for his essentially selective use of older materials. By way of contrast to the first two models just mentioned, however, the Chronicler also aimed at inclusivism, though not by incorporating different views side by side or by negotiating between various ideologies but, rather, by highlighting and developing one particular outlook that had the greatest chance of resonating on the popular level. In so reconstructing Israel’s history, the Chronicler may very well have been aiming for a more expeditious acceptance of his own work than the written Torah itself had achieved only after an extended period of gestation.”

Glatt-Gilad, David A. “Chronicles as Consensus Literature.” Pages 67-75 in What Was Authoritative for Chronicles? Edited by Ehud Ben Zvi & Diana Edelman. Winona Lake, Ind.: Eisenbrauns, 2011.

About Benj

I’m a native North Jerseyan, transplanted to Pennsylvania...lived and taught in Eastern Europe for six years…Old Testament professor, ordained minister, occasional liturgist…husband to Corrie…father to Daniel and Elizabeth.
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