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 Post subject: Re: For those that have read the entire Bible
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 7:14 pm 
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PED is, of course, correct. His example of the NT genealogies of Christ is a good one. I think the genealogies in 1 Chronicles make a great case study as well. In general, they point to the connection between God's purposes in all of creation itself with the Davidic dynasty; and Christians are then able to extend that to Christ and even more so to the redemption of all of creation. You see that by first noting that 1-2 Chronicles, as a unit, are centered on the Temple Cult and proper worship as central to the people of God. If we accept a relatively early date for its composition, then it's scope is universal in that it covers (and so interprets) all of history from Adam until near the writers own day. This puts the Temple, and by metonymy the worship of God, and the center of history itself. Anyway, within that perspective we can look at the nine chapters of genealogies themselves. We see three very broad sections: 1) The genealogy of David (chps 1-3); 2) The houses of Israel (chps 4-7); and 3) The genealogy of Saul (chps 8-9). Looking at this in order:

Of David: This should come first because of the centrality and prominence of the Davidic King. There is a reason the Chronicler doesn't bother telling much at all the story of the Israelite kings after the kingdoms split. All he cares about is the real king. And that real king goes back to Adam through Abraham. The genealogy also explicitly connects Abraham to Adam through Seth, and all this should remind the reader very much of the first half of Genesis. The theological point is that the Davidic king (and indeed, the promise made to him in 1 Chron 17:11–14 and 2 Chron 6:16) are essentially connected to the promises made to Adam, esp in Gen 3:15, and later expanded to Abraham in Gen 12:1-3, etc. So David's kingdom ultimately is to become a redemptive kingdom, and all that reminds the reader of the role of Israel as a kingdom of priests (Exod 19 and repeated by Peter).

Anyway, we easily get from Abraham to Jacob and the Chronicler turns his attention to Judah and gives him the place of prominence (again ultimately because of David). It's worth noting that when he returns to David's line, in the latter part of chp 3, he traces that line through the restoration, again highlighting that God would be faithful to His promises. (And thus fulfillment of the promise would depend on God, not on Israel, even as they certainly had their obligations; but this is expanded historically by the mention and Jesus' institution of the New Covenant). I like how a commentator named Michael Wilcock summarizes this: "The framework of history is . . . seen to comprise three pairs of events. God creates all things; in due course Adam procreates the rest of mankind. God calls Abraham; in due course Israel sires the twelve patriarchs. God calls Moses; in due course David sets up the kingdom. In each of these three pairs, it is with the second member that the Chronicler is concerned" (The Message of Chronicles, 28).\

Next we turn to the houses of Israel. These chapters (4-7) can be subdivided as follows:

The family of Judah (again) (4:1-23)
The family of Simeon (4:24-43)
The families of the Transjordan (Chp 5)
The family of Levi (Chp 6)
The rest of Israel (Chp 7)

Again, Judah comes first because of its connection to David and the fact that they are the ruling tribe (per Jacob's prophecy). Simeon is probably recorded next because they shared the same land as Judah and the writer wants to make sure none of the nation is "lost." He is concerned with all of Israel, or with Israel as an entire nation. We see that next with the recording of the Transjordan tribes. Since they were on the other side of the river, it would have been easy to "forget" them, so to speak. The genealogy shows definitively that they still share in the promises and blessings of the entire nation (and this is more important given the fact that the book was written after the fall of Israel (i.e., the northern kingdom!) and fall and restoration of the southern kingdom! IF there ever was a time to forget them, this would have been it. But they were remembered and this all in the context of the salvific promises made to Adam, Abraham, and David. Levi is singled out for special consideration because of the general theme of the book: the centrality of purity of worship. God's people were to be a kingdom of priests, and so their own priests were of special consideration. This centrality is even more pronounced when you recognized the chiasm that is the entire genealogy:

A The lineage of David (chs. 1—3)
    B Judah and Simeon in the South (4:1-43)
      C The Transjordanian tribes to the north (ch. 5)
        D Levi (ch. 6)
      C' The other northern tribes (ch. 7)
    B' Benjamin in the South (ch. 8)
A' The lineage of Saul (ch. 9)The rest of the nation is nation is then briefly addressed.

I think that's just amazing.

Finally, it is appropriate for the Chronicler to address the genealogy of Saul. He was the first king of Israel even if not the Davidic king. In some ways his genealogy parallels David's, but the fact is, his genealogy ends abruptly with his death and the story picks up at the very end of chapter ten with this dramatic verse: "So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse." The story then turns to David.

For the reader who is then familiar with the general biblical history, this genealogy is far from boring. It is very, very much of a theological interpretation of that history, and it ties deeply into the life, work, and purpose of Jesus. It ties into His resurrection and later into Romans 9-11 and, of course, to the promise of His return. It's definitely not fascinating reading, but it is incredibly enriching in my opinion. The Church would be significantly impoverished without these nine chapters. It's not mere historical curiosity and the Jews being interested, as all ancient peoples were, in their lineage. It is a deeply theological interpretation of all of history and of the work of God and His chosen people, especially His chosen king, and we would do well to study it.

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 Post subject: Re: For those that have read the entire Bible
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 8:07 pm 
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Pro Ecclesia Dei wrote:
I could not disagree more with Doom. The genealogy of Christ, of course, is an obvious example, full of meaning, in the number of generations (3 sets of 14) in the particular persons named (Rahab of course, but of greatest doctrinal importance David)

Now the genealogies in the OT are not as readily apparent but still hold importance. Frankly "irrelevant to moderns" just screams at me "actually very important" because moderns frankly are the worst. .. Especially in their view on knowledge, and what is important therein



Wow, your post is filled with strawmen that don't actually come close to the points I was making.

So, long lists of genealogies are 'very important to modern people'? So, are you trying to tell me that whenever you meet a new person you introduce yourself by saying 'Hello, I'm Joshua son of....' and then proceed to give a long genealogy of the previous 200 generations of your family that takes 15 minutes to recite? You mean you don't do that? Then you know what I mean when I say that it is 'not very important in modern society to memorize long genealogical tables.'


There are some small exceptions to that rule. The first exception is in some very small rural communities where everyone knows everyone and so that if you come from 'the wrong family' everyone automatically hates you before they even meet you, because 'everyone knows' that members of the Jones family are all abusive alcoholics and all the girls of the Smith family drop out of school in the 8th grade when they get pregnant and then spend the rest of their lives living on welfare.

Another exception is among the superwealthy superelite, where being a member of families like the Kennedys or the Rockefellers means you get certain privileges that no one else gets, like free tickets to the Super Bowl every year or guaranteed admission to colleges like Harvard or Yale regardless of how bad your grades might be.

The third exception is among Indian tribes on reservations where only members of certain families get to serve on Tribal Council or whatnot.

The fourth exception is among Mormons.

Other than these small, and not very common exceptions, in modern life, it doesn't really matter who your family is because you're going to be judged on your own merits and not on the basis of what some ancestor of yours did 1500 years ago.

Because genealogies are not important to us today, except perhaps as a hobby or a curiosity, reading those long genealogical passages in the Old Testament is incredibly difficult for most modern readers to get through, except, I suppose for someone with autism or an addiction to methamphetamines or something that gives one a preternatural ability to concentrate on small details.

And that is why I will not hesitate to say, that if one has difficulty reading them, as most people do, it is better to skip them or quickly skim through them than it is to just put the Bible aside and never try to read it again, which is what most people do when they encounter these passages.

It is important to understand WHY these genealogies were important in Israelite society, to understand that in the Ancient Near East, your genealogy was everything, that it controlled your entire life and destiny, but they are not so important that we should actually try to memorize these genealogies ourselves.

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 Post subject: Re: For those that have read the entire Bible
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:17 pm 
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I do actually the genealogies of Christ (which are the most commented on genealogies) and the genealogies in Genesis. I don't enjoy the ones in Numbers or 1 Chronicles - though I fully admit that they're useful and divinely inspired. [In my mind, the primary thing those genealogies help us address is the true historicity of the events described in Scripture, but I'm sure that's not their only doctrinal importance. In fact, in some way they look forward to Christ's genealogies.]

Also, all I said was that Leviticus was boring for me -- not that it didn't contain valuable information. I know it's not all ceremonial law and I've studied some of its portions in connection with St. Thomas's treatise on Law in the Summa. Just as reading, it's not particularly fun. This is as opposed to Deuteronomy which are primarily discourses of Moses, and which I find fascinating reading.

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 Post subject: Re: For those that have read the entire Bible
PostPosted: Sun Sep 23, 2018 9:19 pm 
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theJack wrote:
PED is, of course, correct. His example of the NT genealogies of Christ is a good one. I think the genealogies in 1 Chronicles make a great case study as well. In general, they point to the connection between God's purposes in all of creation itself with the Davidic dynasty; and Christians are then able to extend that to Christ and even more so to the redemption of all of creation. You see that by first noting that 1-2 Chronicles, as a unit, are centered on the Temple Cult and proper worship as central to the people of God. If we accept a relatively early date for its composition, then it's scope is universal in that it covers (and so interprets) all of history from Adam until near the writers own day. This puts the Temple, and by metonymy the worship of God, and the center of history itself. Anyway, within that perspective we can look at the nine chapters of genealogies themselves. We see three very broad sections: 1) The genealogy of David (chps 1-3); 2) The houses of Israel (chps 4-7); and 3) The genealogy of Saul (chps 8-9). Looking at this in order:

Of David: This should come first because of the centrality and prominence of the Davidic King. There is a reason the Chronicler doesn't bother telling much at all the story of the Israelite kings after the kingdoms split. All he cares about is the real king. And that real king goes back to Adam through Abraham. The genealogy also explicitly connects Abraham to Adam through Seth, and all this should remind the reader very much of the first half of Genesis. The theological point is that the Davidic king (and indeed, the promise made to him in 1 Chron 17:11–14 and 2 Chron 6:16) are essentially connected to the promises made to Adam, esp in Gen 3:15, and later expanded to Abraham in Gen 12:1-3, etc. So David's kingdom ultimately is to become a redemptive kingdom, and all that reminds the reader of the role of Israel as a kingdom of priests (Exod 19 and repeated by Peter).

Anyway, we easily get from Abraham to Jacob and the Chronicler turns his attention to Judah and gives him the place of prominence (again ultimately because of David). It's worth noting that when he returns to David's line, in the latter part of chp 3, he traces that line through the restoration, again highlighting that God would be faithful to His promises. (And thus fulfillment of the promise would depend on God, not on Israel, even as they certainly had their obligations; but this is expanded historically by the mention and Jesus' institution of the New Covenant). I like how a commentator named Michael Wilcock summarizes this: "The framework of history is . . . seen to comprise three pairs of events. God creates all things; in due course Adam procreates the rest of mankind. God calls Abraham; in due course Israel sires the twelve patriarchs. God calls Moses; in due course David sets up the kingdom. In each of these three pairs, it is with the second member that the Chronicler is concerned" (The Message of Chronicles, 28).\

Next we turn to the houses of Israel. These chapters (4-7) can be subdivided as follows:

The family of Judah (again) (4:1-23)
The family of Simeon (4:24-43)
The families of the Transjordan (Chp 5)
The family of Levi (Chp 6)
The rest of Israel (Chp 7)

Again, Judah comes first because of its connection to David and the fact that they are the ruling tribe (per Jacob's prophecy). Simeon is probably recorded next because they shared the same land as Judah and the writer wants to make sure none of the nation is "lost." He is concerned with all of Israel, or with Israel as an entire nation. We see that next with the recording of the Transjordan tribes. Since they were on the other side of the river, it would have been easy to "forget" them, so to speak. The genealogy shows definitively that they still share in the promises and blessings of the entire nation (and this is more important given the fact that the book was written after the fall of Israel (i.e., the northern kingdom!) and fall and restoration of the southern kingdom! IF there ever was a time to forget them, this would have been it. But they were remembered and this all in the context of the salvific promises made to Adam, Abraham, and David. Levi is singled out for special consideration because of the general theme of the book: the centrality of purity of worship. God's people were to be a kingdom of priests, and so their own priests were of special consideration. This centrality is even more pronounced when you recognized the chiasm that is the entire genealogy:

A The lineage of David (chs. 1—3)
    B Judah and Simeon in the South (4:1-43)
      C The Transjordanian tribes to the north (ch. 5)
        D Levi (ch. 6)
      C' The other northern tribes (ch. 7)
    B' Benjamin in the South (ch. 8)
A' The lineage of Saul (ch. 9)The rest of the nation is nation is then briefly addressed.

I think that's just amazing.

Finally, it is appropriate for the Chronicler to address the genealogy of Saul. He was the first king of Israel even if not the Davidic king. In some ways his genealogy parallels David's, but the fact is, his genealogy ends abruptly with his death and the story picks up at the very end of chapter ten with this dramatic verse: "So the Lord put him to death and turned the kingdom over to David son of Jesse." The story then turns to David.

For the reader who is then familiar with the general biblical history, this genealogy is far from boring. It is very, very much of a theological interpretation of that history, and it ties deeply into the life, work, and purpose of Jesus. It ties into His resurrection and later into Romans 9-11 and, of course, to the promise of His return. It's definitely not fascinating reading, but it is incredibly enriching in my opinion. The Church would be significantly impoverished without these nine chapters. It's not mere historical curiosity and the Jews being interested, as all ancient peoples were, in their lineage. It is a deeply theological interpretation of all of history and of the work of God and His chosen people, especially His chosen king, and we would do well to study it.


Thank you!

This is fascinating and a great read. I had no idea.

I really appreciate you putting this together.

:clap:

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 Post subject: Re: For those that have read the entire Bible
PostPosted: Mon Sep 24, 2018 1:14 am 
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Doom, I stopped reading your post as soon as it became irrelevant, which was rather quickly.

Of course I don't introduce myself like that, but what does that have to do with it?

My point remains that what modern people deem relevant has little importance. What matters is whether the genealogies have significance, whether doctrinal (yes), historically (yes), literary (yes)

Even outside the Bible, you lose something by skipping such things. Yes you can read the Iliad without the catalogue of ships. You probably should with HS students. But you lose something, you are impeded by modern prejudice from truly entering into the work.

And it becomes an occasion to think critically of our own mores. Our generation is the most impious ever, and I mean that. I am not speaking of the virtue of religion, but piety... Honor for patria, for our forefathers, for God. There is something wrong that we care less and less about our own stories.

But of course none of that entails introducing yourself by a long winded genealogy. Ancients did not do that either, in ordinary speech. But you know that. So quit it with trying to build ever bigger strawmen

You never did point out my strawman before constructing a blatant one

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 Post subject: Re: For those that have read the entire Bible
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:43 pm 
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I read through the entire Bible (well, the Protestant books) this past Easter: I began on Ash Wednesday and finished on Holy Saturday.
I agree, there are some fairly "dry spots," the aforementioned Numbers and Leviticus passages being some of the hardest, and as someone mentioned earlier, Chronicles is pretty boring for quite some time.

Job had given me trouble the last time I had read through the entire Bible (several years ago), but this time around, I read Job out loud, and it made it so much easier! The language in Job is so thick, reading it aloud, you really get to hear the characters talking. I also read the Psalms out loud. (From a few different versions; I will admit to slipping into a British accent when I read from the King James Bible.)

The prophets can be slow going, but I found that Ezekiel really flew by. The New Testament is a pretty quick read, compared to the Old Testament, except I always find the middle of Acts a little slow going.

That's my report on my recent experience. Maybe next time, I'll try reading the Catholic Bible during Lent. Now THAT would be a challenge! (Of course, I really love Tobit and Sirach, so maybe it wouldn't be TOO difficult.)


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 Post subject: Re: For those that have read the entire Bible
PostPosted: Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:46 pm 
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It was a revelation to me when I read CSL on poetry and how it is much better to read it aloud. I can see how Job would qualify.

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 Post subject: Re: For those that have read the entire Bible
PostPosted: Tue Nov 13, 2018 5:31 pm 
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every day I read a few chapters of the Old and a few chapters of the New Testament. I start at Genesis and Matthew and read right through, and start over when finished; so I think I've read the Bible cover to cover at least 50 times, and I don't think one gets the full picture of God's revelation to man unless one does read it all the way through.....DDD


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