Book of Chronicles — what is it actually?
Posted: Mon Oct 26, 2015 12:03 am
Admittedly, the genealogies in Chronicles are not endless. They end after chapter 9 and are followed by something which is not necessarily fables.according as I did exhort thee to remain in Ephesus — I going on to Macedonia — that thou mightest charge certain not to teach any other thing, nor to give heed to fables and endless genealogies, that cause questions rather than the building up of God that is in faith
In Tanakh the book was last of khetubim in most mss even though it seems mostly related to Samuel & Kings. In Septuagint mss it had its current place after Kings but there, it is called Παραλειπομενων — part pl pres mp masc/fem/neut gen of παραλειπω — omit/leave out/neglect, that is omitted stuff. So I was struck by this hypothesis:
If this hypothesis is true, it would mean that a substantial share of the content of todays bibles is crap. Holy crap.Assumption 1: The OT text was influenced by an effort to standardize the text at some point before the Septuagint translation was made.
Assumption 2: Several scribes disagreed with the officially sanctioned text.
Assumption 3: Scribes wanted to produce at least two different kinds of scrolls — one kind for consumers and one for preservation of the text (e.g. Origen's Hexapla).
In order to handle this situation a scribe who produced a collection of scrolls to serve as exemplars would note false readings in a separate book, so that future scribes could restore the original text when the political situation allowed. So, Chronicles is a list of things that were falsely included in various biblical books, particularly Samuel & Kings.
Since I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere, or any similar opinion, I would like to hear some arguments against it from the Internet population before I make up my mind.
My arguments in favour of Chronicles' canonicity:
܀ Chronicles contain a lot of references to other scriptures. It would be unlike a commission of hypocrites to cite sources when they don't have to. (1 Chr 9:1; 24:6; 27:24; 29:29; 2 Chr 13:22; 16:11; 20:34; 21:12; 25:26; 26:22; 27:7; 33:18; 35:27.)
܀ Rashi made a commentary to Chronicles.
܀ Mat 23:25 seems to allude to 2 Chr 24:20-22.
My arguments in favour of Chronicles being a list of false readings:
- It contradicts stories in Kings. Did Saul throw himself on his sword (1 Chr 10:4 canceling 1 Sam 31:4) or was he stabbed by an Amalekite (2 Sam 1:8-10)?
- Jerobeam's army has 800,000 men (Chr 13:3) and other exagregations that one would expect from oral tradition.
- Why would the history of the kings be repeated — first in Kings and then in Chronicles (and then again in Jeremiah)?
- There is only one tiny fragment of Chronicles among the Dead Sea Scrolls.
- Philostorgius mentioned that Wulfila translated all the books of the OT except that of Kings. Since the Gothic translation was literal and serious, probably there is a good reason for omitting it (or some of it).
What do you say?