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1 and 2 Chronicles for Everyone
by John Goldingay
Publisher:SPCK (Society for Promoting Christian Knowledge)
Published:03 March 2012
'...Chronicles is an alternative and much shorter version of the story that occupies Genesis to Kings.' (p. 3) which is that '...a community that is faithful to God finds that God is faithful in return.' (p. 5). With the insights of both a Pastor and an academic teacher, Professor Goldingay provides a commentary which is more of an overview of most of these two books of the Old Testament. 'Most' because several parts of the text are summarised - so one needs a Bible at hand. The translation is his own, and reads well.
After 'Contents', which indicate how he has divided the text into fifty-five sections or topics, there are useful maps of the area and of Jerusalem, followed by 'Acknowledgments' and a short 'Introduction'. There is a 'Glossary' of thirty items; e.g. 'authority', 'Torah' & 'Yahweh'. It is surprising to see the Holy Name in print, since, certainly in Britain, the Churches have listened to the request of the Jewish community that it be not used. His explanation for using it repeatedly is not convincing.
Each section invariably begins with the 'I've been reading a novel...' (p. 118), 'Most Sundays I stand...' (p. 72), 'One Mother's Day...' (p.189) 'convention' - which gets both boring and irritating and does not necessarily add anything of value to his following reflection.
In the 'Introduction', he is worried lest 'you may read me instead of the Scriptures.' (p. 2). Used properly, this personal commentary will help one appreciate and understand the Scriptures which were so important for Paul and the members of the Early Church. With the reservations mentioned above, it may be recommended.
Reviewer: J.Nicholas Latham (21/07/12)