Nov 21, 2009

Recent Research in Chronicles

Rodney K. Duke, “Recent Research in Chronicles,” Currents in Biblical Research 8 (2009): 10–50.

From the abstract:

“This article surveys trends in Chronicles scholarship from 1994 to 2007. Most of the trends established by 1993 have continued with more depth and focus, although with a few challenges. These trends include: refining the distinctions between Chronicles and Ezra-Nehemia as coming from separate authors/editors; recognizing the integral role of the genealogies; and examining the literary artistry of the Chronicler. Newer trends include: pursuing the interplay between orality, on the one hand, and textuality and literacy, on the other; and bringing insights from an increasing sociological understanding of the Persian and Hellenistic periods in general. Recent years have also seen a wealth of new commentaries” (p. 10).

Duke, building on the earlier work of Kleinig, “Recent Research in Chronicles,” Currents in Research: Biblical Studies 2 (1994): 43–76, notes three trends which “have continued in the following years with increasing focus and breadth” (p. 41).

1. A shift from historical to literary analysis.

2. A shift from diachronic source and redactional analyses to more synchronic, canonical analyses.

3. A newly forming trend to move from thematic analyses to theological synthesis (pp. 68–69).

“As a result, numerous articles and monographs have been produced and major commentary series have been adding to, or even replacing, volumes on Chronicles. The significant newer tendencies have been to date Chronicles later, even down to Hellenistic times, and to try to place Chronicles better into its sociological and literary context as scholars gain a fuller understanding of the Persian and Hellenistic periods. Chronicles indeed has come into its own as a biblical book worthy of study” (p. 41).

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