Is Chronicles just an unnecessary rehash?

While II Chronicles and I Kings have similarities in their history, there are yet differences.

I believe that God wanted to preserve the histories of Israel, and He wanted to preserve it in a concise manner. Greek translators regarded Chronicles as “the presentation of matters which had been omitted in the earlier scriptures, as written not to supersede the older books, but to supplement them…that brought the scriptures up to date [to the writer’s time], and made them complete” (Willis J. Beecher, biblestudytools.com).

Because Chronicles is pivotal in the historicity of Israel, many secularists try to discredit Chronicles. It is so pivotal that, as Beecher put it, “to discredit Chronicles is to discredit practically all parts of the Old Testament and New Testament” (ibid).

Therefore, the similarities between Kings and Chronicles stand as an apologetic approach to the whole of the Bible. Here, Chronicles, like the gospels, is an historical piece of writing that serves to be consistent among several authors and previous (well known public) documents. Just as the gospels reflect four different viewpoints of the life and ministry of Jesus, so are the books of I Kings and II Chronicles. Ichthys.com put it this way, like the gospel of John, which was compiled from earlier written sources, “the writer of Chronicles leaves some things out…and is free (led by the Spirit), to put in additional details which expand on the story…” This perhaps could be the reason why the Greek translators gave Chronicles a name which means, “the things left over” (which some debate is a poorly chosen representation for Chronicles).

The writers gave Chronicles different theological purposes than that of Kings. Peter Enns gave the example of the way David’s throne is said to be his in Samuel, and God’s in Chronicles. Although it is a significant difference, they are both theologically correct. Said both ways, this makes the point more affective.

Enns went on to say that, “Chronicles is not an ‘objective history’ as we might expect as modern readers. It is a ‘theological history’ and the sooner we accept this the more quickly we truly understand this fascinating book” (Peter Enns, thecenterforbiblestudies.org).

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