The Christian Studies Blog


Join us for a guest lecture: The Reign of God in the Book of Daniel

Posted by Dawn Bond on April 2, 2018 at 9:47 AM

At noon on Wednesday, April 4, Austin Graduate School of Theology will host a brown-bag lecture by Dr. Choon-Leong Seow, Distinguished Professor of Hebrew Bible at Vanderbilt University on the topic “The Reign of God in the Book of Daniel.”

Everyone interested in the subject is welcome to bring a lunch and join us in the Hocott Student Commons.

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Topics: About Austin Grad, Biblical Narrative, Old Testament, Scripture Passage

The Chronicler as a Writer

Posted by Dr. Mark Shipp on February 8, 2018 at 11:33 AM

What is the Chronicler up to as a writer? He quotes Bible passages, expands them homiletically, he omits sections not of interest to him, and he interprets them according to his approach as a theological preacher in the post-exilic era. Not unlike what we do! The Chronicler takes the Bible and ancient historical documents, and he interprets them for the discouraged community of believers in the Persian Empire.

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Topics: Scripture Passage, Old Testament, Teaching Moment

Return, Restoration, and Renewal in Chronicles and Today

Posted by Dr. Mark Shipp on October 3, 2017 at 9:30 AM

Last week I explored restoration as a concept in the book of Chronicles and now I'm going to jump into the return, restoration, and renewal in both Chronicles and today.

One of the Chronicler’s main concerns is “all Israel,” north and south, as a unified community. To the Chronicler, Israel was an ideal entity, a twelve tribe whole, in contrast with the fractured remnants which are his reality in the post-exilic age. This concern for the restoration of all Israel and to demonstrate the continuity of the post-exilic community with pre-exilic Israel is demonstrated already in the genealogies of 1 Chron 1-9.

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Topics: Old Testament, Restoration Movement

Restoration in the Book of Chronicles

Posted by Dr. Mark Shipp on September 28, 2017 at 9:30 AM

It is ironic that those of us in the American Restoration Movement, who have emphasized the restoration of biblical doctrine and practices, the unity of the Spirit, and the life of faith have missed the most obvious model for restoration in the Bible. The Chronicler’s vision of restoration includes Israel as a faithful, worshipping community, a community which seeks to recover scripture, and the unity of God’s people. Nothing could be more pertinent to the ideals of Restorationism.

One of the Chronicler’s main concerns is indeed with the restoration of all Israel—politically, socially, and religiously—in the post-exilic age. The way the Chronicler promotes his concerns is by the re-telling of the biblical story from the death of Saul to the exile of Judah. The story of the kings of Judah is presented much like a medieval painting of the Passion Narrative: the characters are biblical, but their dress and ambience are medieval and out of sync with the era in which they lived. This “contemporizing historiography” served the valuable function of telling the ancient stories through the lens of modern concerns. In light of its concern for return, renewal and restoration, Chronicles should resonate strongly with those of us in the American Restoration tradition.

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Topics: Old Testament, Restoration Movement

Why are David & Solomon Whitewashed in Chronicles? (part 2)

Posted by Dr. Mark Shipp on August 31, 2017 at 9:30 AM


Eariler this week I wrote in detail through part one why David and Solomon's  accounts of idolatry, adultery, murder, intrigue, and oppression were whitewashed from its source in Samuel and Kings -- and presented as virtually sinless. 

What does all this mean? The following points are, I think, clear: 1) Chronicles uses Samuel and Kings as the source for roughly 50% of the writing; 2) almost anything negative about David, and everything negative about Solomon, has been expunged from the Chronicler’s account; 3) David and Solomon are together the twin ideal monarchs in Israel’s early history; 4) David is the initiator and planner, and Solomon is the executor, of the temple building and organization of the Levites; and 5) the Chronicler is not concerned with temple matters alone, but with the totality of the covenant with David, including God’s eternal choice of the line of David.

As I began by asking, why was it important for the Jews in exile to hear of the faults and foibles of their forebears, but for the post-exilic Jews to hear accounts of their faithfulness and successes? I think the answer to this question is partially the difference in historical setting.

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Topics: Old Testament, Teaching Moment

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