2017 · Bible Geek · David's Life · Scripture

Bible Geek: Does the Book of Chronicles Whitewash David’s Life?

bible-geek-logo

The book of Chronicles was known as “Events of Past Times” or “Acts of the Days” and was written around 520 or 530 BC, post exile by a Chronicler (perhaps Ezra or Nehemiah,) to remind the Israelites of the period of God’s favour and to encourage them to return to Jerusalem to rebuild a godly life. That is why the book can appear politically white washed, focussing less on sin, (except to warn of the deadly danger of idols and turning away from God again,) and focussing more on the good old days of David’ reign when everything was grand. It doesn’t dodge the issues of David’s sin, as these stories were already well known. Instead, the writer *gathers up “the threads of the old national life broken by the Captivity,” and shows the people that they can have their God and their nation back.

Major themes the book are centred around is Godly dominion over the people, righteous worship and obedience to the Covenant set out in the legal book of Deuteronomy. For that reason you will read a lot of detail about how the temple functioned and was set up. The books act as an instruction manual. Faith and hope and how the people of Isra’el belong to God (shown through the genealogies) are also main themes. The books were written using multiple historical documents and are considered accurate, solid historical Biblical canon without challenge, unlike the Song of Solomon, whose usefulness as Scripture has been hotly debated by both Judaism and Christianity throughout Church history.

Chronicles only talks about the the Kings of Judah as it is the Judean remnant that is being addressed. At this stage in history, the northern Kingdoms of Isra’el had long since been taken captive by the now overthrown Assyria, and there was a strong temptation for the people to retain their familiar lives in Babylon rather than step into the scary unknown. The land of milk and honey still waited for Israel to return, the people simply needed to be motivated to take it. [Ref: read the books of Ezra and Nehemiah for more on that period of Jewish history. It’s an amazing era which profoundly illustrates God’s undying mercy and love for His people, against the odds.]

A great deal of the book reiterates the content of 1 and 2 Kings, however there are chapters and verses which add to the picture we already see. It has a specific historical role and is loved by Bible scholars who like to focus on Godly leadership as it applies to our time. It has a lot to give, even without the books of Kings in the background to fill out the complete history.

I thoroughly recommend reading “Parallel Passages of the Historical Books” from the Companion Bible http://www.therain.org/appendixes/app56.html to help piece all the verses together. It takes in more than just Kings and Chronicles.

chronicles-whitewash white_spacer

From: *Easton Illustrated Dictionary:
The writer gathers up “the threads of the old national life broken by the Captivity.” The sources whence the chronicler compiled his work were public records, registers, and genealogical tables belonging to the Jews. These are referred to in the course of the book (1 Chr. 27:24; 29:29; 2 Chr. 9:29; 12:15; 13:22; 20:34; 24:27; 26:22; 32:32; 33:18, 19; 27:7; 35:25).

As compared with Samuel and Kings, the Book of Chronicles omits many particulars there recorded (2 Sam. 6:20-23; 9; 11; 14-19, etc.), and includes many things peculiar to itself (1 Chr. 12; 22; 23-26; 27; 28; 29, etc.). Twenty whole chapters, and twenty-four parts of chapters, are occupied with matter not found elsewhere. It also records many things in fuller detail, as (e.g.) the list of David’s heroes (1 Chr. 12:1-37), the removal of the ark from Kirjath-jearim to Mount Zion (1 Chr. 13; 15:2-24; 16:4-43; comp. 2 Sam. 6), Uzziah’s leprosy and its cause (2 Chr. 26:16-21; comp. 2 Kings 15:5), etc.

It has also been observed that another peculiarity of the book is that it substitutes modern and more common expressions for those that had then become unusual or obsolete. This is seen particularly in the substitution of modern names of places, such as were in use in the writer’s day, for the old names; thus Gezer (1 Chr. 20:4) is used instead of Gob (2 Sam. 21:18), etc. The Books of Chronicles are ranked among the khethubim or hagiographa. They are alluded to, though not directly quoted, in the New Testament (Heb. 5:4; Matt. 12:42; 23:35; Luke 1:5; 11:31, 51).

29200701_mr3x3xrrr

Further Helpful Reading


kdpcpyrght

Creative Commons License
The King David Project by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0).
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://cateartios.wixsite.com/kingdavidproject.

Please note that this does NOT apply to any of the images on this site except for the free Psalm images which are marked as free. Most photos are purchased stock photos. It is ILLEGAL for you to take and use them, whether for yourself, commercially or for a non-profit venture such as a church or Bible Study. If you have not bought these photos from the source, the stock photography company has every right to sue you.

2017 · Bible Geek · Scripture

Bible Geek: How to Keep Scripture in Context

bible-geek-logo

“A text out of context, is pretext.”

If you try and prove a point by using only a phrase or a few words out of Scripture, you are using the Word for a purpose that it had never been intended for.

To keep the Word of God in context, you must:

  1. understand and quote the whole verse;
  2. take careful note of who it is addressed to, it may not be relevant to your audience within it’s prophetic or cultural context;
  3. take into account the meaning of the verses before and behind it;
  4. consider the message of the entire chapter;
  5. know and consider the section of the book of the Bible that your verse is in, and how that affects it;
  6. know what the book it is in, is all about (for example, a prophetic book is very different from an Epistle;) and
  7. understanding the Testament the book is in, (Old or New Testament.) Without that understanding, you won’t be able to accurately attribute the requirements for salvation, worship etc., in that time.

 

unknownAdapted from the work of Dr David Pawson, http://davidpawson.org

“A speaker and author with uncompromising faithfulness to the Holy Scriptures, David brings clarity and a message of urgency to Christians to uncover hidden treasures in God’s Word.”

2017 · Bible Geek · Research · Video Resources

Bible Geek: Free Online Video Resources for Studying King David

 

bible-geek-logo

Months ago, I put together a Bibliography of many of the resources I have used to study David so far… that list may be helpful to you, but this one is far easier to work through. This post is a list of the best Youtube videos I’ve watched and found helpful.

Enjoy!
29200701_mr3x3xrrr
The Oriental Institute: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCitjN1GDlEVcLz-fAy5VIpg
Including but not limited to:

  • Eric Cline | 1177 BC: The Year Civilization Collapsed
  • Irving Finkel | The Ark Before Noah: A Great Adventure
  • Aren Maeir | New Light on the Biblical Philistines: Recent Study on the Frenemies of Ancient Israel
  • Felix Höflmayer | Chronologies of Collapse: Climate Change
  • Ancient Economies Miniseries – Prestige and the Ritual Economy of Chalcolithic Caanan
  • Ancient Economies Miniseries – The Archaeology of Farming and Herding – Gil Stein
  • Ancient Economies – Shopkeepers and the Bazaar Economy – Emmanuel Mayer
  • Death’s Dominion: Chalcolithic Religion and the Ritual Economy of the Southern Levant
  • Exploring the Roots of Mesopotamian Civilization: Excavations at Tell Zeidan, Syria
  • Ancient Economies – Persepolis and the Economy of Achemenid Persia – Matt Stolper

29200701_mr3x3xrrr
Professor Corey Auen: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC4NhiBRR6IaM6JfeDizolqw/videos?shelf_id=0&view=0&sort=dd

  • Trade and Travel
  • GB 102 Israel’s Western Neighbours: The Canaanites, Philistines and Phoenicians
  • GB 102 Israel’s Eastern Neighbours
  • Early Near Eastern Roots of Western Civilisation

29200701_mr3x3xrrr
University of Cambridge: Translations and Literature in Ancient Mesopotamia – Martin Worthington: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P8es-Q6dE3E

Yale Lecture 2: The Dark Ages: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDNTsdtbKy8

Whitman College: Bronze Age Collapse: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9cPGBeH8PbY
29200701_mr3x3xrrr

University of Chicago: Health Care and Epidemics in Antiquity: The Example of Ancient Mesopotamia: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Yw_4Cghic_w
29200701_mr3x3xrrr
Primitive Technology Channel: The Sling and Forge Blower videos. https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCAL3JXZSzSm8AlZyD3nQdBA
29200701_mr3x3xrrr
TED Talks:

29200701_mr3x3xrrr
Bruce Gore: https://www.youtube.com/user/GoreBruce/videos

  • Egypt and the Israelite Judges
  • Assyrian Empire
  • Hittites and the Era of the Judges

29200701_mr3x3xrrr
Michael Levy: music videos: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJ1X6F7lGMEadnNETSzTv8A

 


kdpcpyrght

Creative Commons License
The King David Project by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0).
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://cateartios.wixsite.com/kingdavidproject.

Please note that this does NOT apply to any of the images on this site except for the free Psalm images which are marked as free. Most photos are purchased stock photos. It is ILLEGAL for you to take and use them, whether for yourself, commercially or for a non-profit venture such as a church or Bible Study. If you have not bought these photos from the source, the stock photography company has every right to sue you.

2017 · Bible Geek · David's Life · Research

Why There is So Little Archaeological Evidence of David

Mesha Stele Moab
Mesha Stele Moab: Louvre Image Credit in Copyright

There are anti-Semitic and anti-Bible arguments out there that David did not exist, as no archaeological evidence has been found of him. This has slowly changed. We have tablets from Moab which mention the House of David and the City of David has been found exactly where the books of Samuel locate it. Aside from a refusal to allow the Temple Mount to be excavated by archaeologists, there are practical reasons why more hasn’t been discovered.

  • David’s era (around 1000 BC) is classed as “pre-history” due to the lack of written records which recorded events. Even though we have many artefacts from this time and before that, they only provide glimpses and hints as to what happened, and many crucial facts which would give us a clear picture of life in that era are missing for all the cultures in the Near East.
  • The Laws handed down through Moses produced a dramatically different culture than that of the surrounding nations. Whereas pagan Kings built victory and commemorative steles which heralded their achievements and displayed their devotion to their gods, the Lord’s command to not make graven images (idols) would have stopped righteous Israeli Kings from following the same practice. Pagan Kings associated their success, and justified their actions and right to rule by their close association with their gods. Stele’s often show the Kings with a god in very close proximity to them, blessing their actions. Israel absolutely could not do this without breaking the Law’s given by their God, Yahweh. Archaeologists who do not consider the impact of the Laws in the Torah may deny the existence of David if they are expecting to find artefacts such as steles.
  • David was a humble King who attributed his successes to the Lord, therefore it is doubtful that he would have built his own version of a stele, sans a god image. However, if his military victories had been recorded in any fashion, humble or otherwise, the evidence would have been destroyed by the sacking of Jerusalem and the palaces by Babylon when Judah was taken into captivity in 587 B.C. The only evidence we have of subsequent kings such as Hezekiah, comes from other nations because of this.
  • Isra’el’s records may have been recorded on hide scrolls rather than clay tablets, which mean they would not have survived time (3000 years).
  • After the Late Bronze Age Collapse, all the nations from Cyprus in the Mediterranean through to Egypt, Assyrian, Tyre, and Babylon were thrown into disarray and forced into a long term survival mode. This collapse occurred during the era of the Book of Judges (1200 BC) and the effects lasted into and past David’s time. Some nations took 300 years to recover. Before and during the collapse, there were many diplomatic letters send back and forth between Kings, such as between the Kings of Egypt and Ugarit, which provide useful accounts of what occurred in the Near East during this time. These letters were well preserved on baked clay tablets, but in the dark age that followed the collapse, this ceased. Thus that kind of evidence was not generated in David’s time, or not generated the same way. Again, if hide had been used rather than clay, it’s rotted away to nothing.

Who knows, there could be much more evidence of David out there waiting to come to light…

To stay in the loop, I recommend the Biblical Archaeological Society web site, which I am thoroughly enjoying. However, note that this is a secular site which does not support a Biblical worldview and can be antagonistic towards it. I use it to find cold, clinical discovery facts.

http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org        (This is neither a requested or sponsored post.)

29200701_mr3x3xrrr

Evidence of David:

  1. Tel Dan Stele Image Credit יעל י
    Tel Dan Stele Image Credit יעל י

    Tel Dan Stele

    It is worth noting that David’s name means beloved, so that would fit the criticism regardless.
    “‘David’ Found at Dan,” Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 1994.
Philip R. Davies, “‘House of David’ Built on Sand: The Sins of the Biblical Maximizers,” Biblical
    Archaeology Review, July/August 1994.
David Noel Freedman and Jeffrey C. Geoghegan, “‘House of David’ Is There!” Biblical
    Archaeology Review, March/April 1995.
Ryan Byrne, “Archaeological Views: Letting David Go,” Biblical Archaeology Review,
    July/August 2008.
    “Strata: A House Divided: Davies and Maeir on the Tel Dan Stela,” Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 2013.
    Avraham Biran, “Dan,” in Ephraim Stern, ed., The New Encyclopedia of Archaeological Excavations in the Holy Land, vol. 5 (Jerusalem: Israel Exploration Society and Biblical Archaeology Society, 2008).

  2. Mesha Stele: Housed at the Louvre Museum
    http://www.louvre.fr/en/oeuvre-notices/mesha-stele
    http://www.biblicalarchaeology.org/daily/biblical-artifacts/artifacts-and-the-bible/moabite-stone-mesha-stele/


kdpcpyrght

Creative Commons License
The King David Project by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0).
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://cateartios.wixsite.com/kingdavidproject.

Special Note: the image of the Mesha Stele has come from the Louvre Museum web site.

Photographs credited © Musée du Louvre / [etc.] are the exclusive property of the Musée du Louvre and are used by the Musée du Louvre with the permission of their authors or rightsholders.
Photographs credited © RMN, Musée du Louvre / [etc.] are the property of the RMN.
Non-commercial re-use is authorized, provided the source and author are acknowledged.

2017 · Bible Geek

Bible Geek: How Hermeneutics Helps

bible-geek-logo

This is the kind of wording that scares most of us: “Hermeneutics was initially applied to the interpretation, or exegesis, of scripture. The terms “hermeneutics” and “exegesis” are sometimes used interchangeably. Hermeneutics is a wider discipline which includes written, verbal, and non-verbal communication. Exegesis focuses primarily upon texts.” Click here for the source.

Let me re-write that in English. Hermeneutics is the study of how we interpret the Bible. Exegesis means actually interpreting it (verb), which includes preaching, teaching through Bible studies, or writing books on the Bible. So what’s with all the big words? Well, when any topic becomes academic, it gathers more letters than most of us can cope with. 😉

Bible Q&A says this: “Hermeneutics is reading the Bible rightly, so that we see who God is and become human again.” It helps stop the vain arguments and foolish disputes which are mentioned in Titus 3. When, like me, you need to understand an Old Testament subject through both Jewish and Christian eyes, it’s a helpful area to study.

Read the article from Bible Q&A

Do a free study course on hermeneutics.


kdpcpyrght

This is not a sponsored or requested promotional post.

Creative Commons License
The King David Project by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0).
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://cateartios.wixsite.com/kingdavidproject.

Please note that this does NOT apply to any of the images on this site except for the free Psalm images which are marked as free. Most photos are purchased stock photos. It is ILLEGAL for you to take and use them, whether for yourself, commercially or for a non-profit venture such as a church or Bible Study. If you have not bought these photos from the source, the stock photography company has every right to sue you.

2017 · Bible Geek

Bible Geek: What is Apologetics?

bible-geek-logo

Whenever I go into my local Christian Book Shop and head for the Old Testament row to look for David, I am alone… only once have I ever found anyone else in that aisle and he was lost. 😦  Why? Because that is the aisle with the B.I.G. words and the commentaries and all the serious looking Pastor’s material that looks stuffy and scary. The good news is, I am discovering that some of these huge words have a whole heap of awesome behind them. My current favourite word is apologetics.

It’s a crazy kind of a word, because it always makes me wonder what the author is apologising for. It’s not like that. All it means is defending the Christian faith. Apologetics teaches us how to answer all those sticky questions like, how do you prove God is real? Why is there so much suffering in the world? Why doesn’t a nice God stop war and make sure babies don’t die of cancer?

Here’s one of the challenges I am facing this year and you may want to make it your own: pick up a beginners book on apologetics and see how well it arms you to share your faith with others. In 1 Peter 3:15 we’re encouraged “to make a defense to everyone who asks you to give an account for the hope that is in you.”

There is a trick to picking study books. I need to take my time and have a good look through to make sure I can understand the writer’s language. If they are too academic, they are hard work!

I have found I can’t buy study books online unless I have read an excerpt of at least one long, or two short chapters: not including the introduction. Introductions can be especially posh language-wise. Get to the meat of the book and if you can understand it, then that may be the one for you. If you can, research multiple points of view and see which one best suits you.

Happy reading!
29200701_mr3x3xrrr

A Deeper Explanation from Bible.org

The word “apologetics” derives from the Greek word apologia, which was originally used of a speech of defense or an answer given in reply. In ancient Athens it referred to a defense made in the courtroom as part of the normal judicial procedure. After the accusation, the defendant was allowed to refute the charges with a defense or reply (apologia). The accused would attempt to “speak away” (apo—away, logia—speech) the accusation.1 The classic example of such an apologia was Socrates’ defense against the charge of preaching strange gods, a defense retold by his most famous pupil, Plato, in a dialogue called The Apology (in Greek, hē apologia).

a-simple-magnifying-glass-wachinThe word appears 17 times in noun or verb form in the New Testament, and both the noun (apologia) and verb form (apologeomai) can be translated “defense” or “vindication” in every case.

Usually the word is used to refer to a speech made in one’s own defense. For example, in one passage Luke says that a Jew named Alexander tried to “make a defense” before an angry crowd in Ephesus that was incited by idol-makers whose business was threatened by Paul’s preaching (Acts 19:33). Elsewhere Luke always uses the word in reference to situations in which Christians, and in particular the apostle Paul, are put on trial for proclaiming their faith in Christ and have to defend their message against the charge of being unlawful (Luke 12:11; 21:14; Acts 22:1; 24:10; 25:8, 16; 26:2, 24).”  Read the full article by clicking here.


kdpcpyrght

Creative Commons License
The King David Project by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0).
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://cateartios.wixsite.com/kingdavidproject.

Please note that this does NOT apply to any of the images on this site except for the free Psalm images which are marked as free. Most photos are purchased stock photos. It is ILLEGAL for you to take and use them, whether for yourself, commercially or for a non-profit venture such as a church or Bible Study. If you have not bought these photos from the source, the stock photography company has every right to sue you.

2016 · Bible Geek · Scripture

Bible Geek: Names and Keeping the Bible Real

bible-geek-logo

We easily become complacent about the familiar. When I was writing my first Christian novel, The Dragon Tree, I decided to use the Hebrew names of the people in the Bible who I was portraying. It was a device to snap readers out of their preconceived views of those figures and place them into a new mindset; but it was also done as a sign of respect. I hate seeing beloved people regarded as “characters.” They become fictional. We can lose sight of the humanity of those in the Word, and this can lead to ungodly behaviour, such as excessive judgement about their life events.

Consider this, when you enter Heaven, what name would you like to be called by? I would like to be known as Cate, because that is my name. Over times names morph as culture and pronunciation changes, but I would still like my name to sound like it is now, the way I know it. For that reason, I dug around to find out what King David’s name would have sounded like and would be written as. In my head, I use that, not King David.

I sometimes write his name as Daviyd. It is not the only version though. In Yiddish, or as used by the Ashkenazi Jews (who are part of my lineage), his name is Dovid, some call him Dawid. In parts of the Middle East, the slang word for David is Daud. Dod or dowd, appears to the the root of the word, David. What does it mean? According to the Strongs Concordance of Hebrew words, it may mean beloved. As the youngest son of Jesse, that would be apt. [Strongs reference 1732]
David
As for the word king, this caused me a great deal of confusion. Not all words are clear to me and there are many reference sources. I had to standardise and just use Strongs. The term most used by the Rabbis is Melek [Strongs reference 4430]. It is pronounced as it sounds. Remember, that Hebrew is read from right to left, so King David is actually Daviyd Melek.

The other name which indicates the greatest respect is Hashem, which means “the Name.” You may be aware that Jews will not use the word God, Yahweh, and some won’t use Adonai (Lord.) This quote from eliyah.com explains why. “This is four Hebrew letters (Yod, He, Waw and He) called the “Tetragrammaton”. The four characters are the four Hebrew letters that correspond to YHWH and are transliterated IAUE or Yahweh. Yahweh is the name of the Almighty Father in Heaven that people commonly call “The LORD” or “God”. The reason we see “LORD” and “God” in our bibles is because of a Jewish tradition that the name Yahweh was not to be spoken, for fear that the name be blasphemed.”

In researching my Jewish heritage and studying David, I have watched a lot of Jewish television online and one day, I stumbled across a great video by Ari Goldwag, which was encouraging people to remember that Hashem (God) loves them, no matter what crisis points and stresses they hit in their day. It felt a little strange to see an “Hashem Loves You” sticker in the video, but the message was spot on!

LionOfJudah

Back in 2000, I had the joy of meeting a Messianic Rabbi and we were talking about the differences between my church and the Messianic congregations. I was telling him how I felt that some Christians had fallen into a vending machine form of Christianity. You put your offering and prayers in and the correct answer, just the way you want it, is expected to come out. There is a lack of respect for Who the Lord is; a lack of reverence and the fear of the Lord is often missing, and I include myself in that last one. We are very comfortable as Christians and while that is a good thing, it can be problematic. We take God for granted.

This is part of the reason why I love listening to the Rabbi’s point of view and reading my Messianic Bible. They say Hashem, they call David, Daviyd Melek and it pulls me up and makes me reconsider who I am thinking about, with respect. We need to use and love and speak the name of Jesus but we also need to remember WHO we are addressing and adjust our attitude from one of “do it my way,” to “Lord, YOUR will be done.”

Please see this page for more information. http://www.eliyah.com/names.html


kdpcpyrght

Creative Commons License
The King David Project by Cate Russell-Cole is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License (CC BY-SA 4.0).
Permissions beyond the scope of this license may be available at http://cateartios.wixsite.com/kingdavidproject.

Please note that this does NOT apply to any of the images on this site except for the free Psalm images which are marked as free. Most photos are purchased stock photos. It is ILLEGAL for you to take and use them, whether for yourself, commercially or for a non-profit venture such as a church or Bible Study. If you have not bought these photos from the source, the stock photography company has every right to sue you.