Study Resources for Kings and Chronicles

Those of us who are using the Christian Light Publications Sunday School booklets will be studying excerpts from the OT books of Kings and Chronicles during September and October. (You can purchase an e-book teachers’ guide here.)

How can you best prepare to be a contributing class member or teacher as you study these books?

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First, nothing beats prayerfully reading and re-reading Scripture itself. See here for Bible reading tips that are sure to increase your understanding.

That said, don’t imagine the “just me and Jesus” approach to Bible interpretation is best! Carefully reading what other Bible students have discovered about Scripture can bring amazing payoffs! (See here for “Why I Use Commentaries” and other study resources.)

So here are some resources I would consider for studying Kings and Chronicles. A good commentary or two will be helpful:

Kings:

  • 1 & 2 Kings (Understanding the Bible Commentary Series) Buy on Amazon Iain Provan’s commentary on 1 and 2 Kings. This is an obvious choice—many reviewers agree it is the single best commentary on Kings, it is designed for ordinary Bible students, the author believes that Kings is historically trustworthy, and it is even cheap. (I own this one but have not used it much yet.)
  • You will also find Dale Ralph Davis’s expository commentaries (1 Kings, 2 Kings) both theologically insightful and entertaining. (I own five of Davis’s commentaries and have enjoyed using the ones on 1 and 2 Samuel.)
  • For more Kings commentaries, see my OT Detailed Lists.

Chronicles:

Books on the history of the nation of Israel might also be helpful. (Note that these span much or all of Israel’s biblical history, not just the time of Kings and Chronicles.) Here are some history books I would consider:

Many online resources are also available, but I have not reviewed many for usefulness. (While I use online Bibles and concordances regularly, I usually stick to print or e-books for commentaries and other resources. Often these have been edited and tested more carefully.) However, here are two online resources from basically reputable sources—a tiny hint of much more you might find:

What other resources would you suggest? Share your favorite resources in the comments below. Thank you!


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2 thoughts on “Study Resources for Kings and Chronicles”

  1. Dwight, I hereby challenge you to tackle Song of Solomon, or Song of Songs. I had to read it (again) last week as one of the appointed lexions. Most of what I read in preparation suggests that no one is quite sure about how it even made it into the canon. I’m also intrigued by the books that didn’t make it. Several years ago the New York Public Library had an exhibition of medieval manuscripts. Many of them were the Bible, and some were opened to books I had never heard of. I do know that much of the Old Testament was cobbled together by Ezra after the exilic period, hence the discrepancies in the creation story in Genesis, among others. Any light you can shed will be a blessing to my geriatric befuddled brain. Wishing you and yours all of God’s good blessings, Madelyn

    1. Madelyn, you are raising a host of worthy and challenging questions! I have a book on my shelf that would address the central topic you raise. The book is called “The Old Testament Canon of the New Testament Church,” by Roger Beckwith. I haven’t read it yet, I confess, though I’ve often seen it referenced in other writings.

      I’m not sure of exactly how S of S made it into the canon, but I’m glad it’s there. And I don’t think it is just to be taken allegorically, either, though that has been the justification that some have used when they assert its canonicity.

      For a readable, poetic, and informed commentary on S of S, I suggest “The Message of the Song of Songs,” by Tom Gledhill: http://amzn.to/1PMCrCT I bought it once as a gift and browsed it before I gave it away, and was impressed.

      Ah, for more time to delve into such matters!

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