2 Chronicles 28:5-15 and the Parable of the Good Samaritan -- By: F. Scott Spencer

Journal: Westminster Theological Journal
Volume: WTJ 46:2 (Fall 1984)
Article: 2 Chronicles 28:5-15 and the Parable of the Good Samaritan
Author: F. Scott Spencer

2 Chronicles 28:5-15 and the
Parable of the Good Samaritan*

F. Scott Spencer

Amid admirable aspirations of comprehensive coverage, biblical scholarship has, nonetheless, largely ignored the contribution of the books of Chronicles to scriptural study. We may trace the matrix of such neglect as far back as the LXX tradition which labelled the Chronicler’s works, paraleipomenōn—”the things left out.” Concerning this Greek designation, H. G. M. Williamson remarks:

Such a name is clearly misleading, however, for it obscures the fact that Chronicles also repeats much material from Samuel and Kings and, more importantly, it fails to do justice to the Chronicler’s own positive purpose which he had in writing and which has determined his selection and arrangement of material. Indeed, it may be said that the influence of this misnomer in LXX and V on the Christian church has contributed significantly to the undervaluing and consequent neglect of these books until comparatively recent times.1

The modern revival of interest in Chronicles studies owes almost exclusively to OT scholars, which is logical enough considering the presence of Chronicles in the Hebrew canon. But what of NT scholarship as it seeks to understand its discipline against the backdrop of OT influence? The NT student readily admits the prevalence of OT quotations, terminology, and themes in the NT, but what about the place of Chronicles in this intertestamental relationship?

* I wish to thank Professor R. B. Dillard for his gracious encouragement, helpful insights, and most of all, the inspiration to pursue Chronicles studies as an extremely important facet of biblical interpretation; and Professor M. Silva for his patient editorial guidance and inspiration to explicate the vital link between OT and NT.

In a typical table listing all NT citations of the OT, the books of Chronicles are conspicuous only by their absence.2 Even if we expand the list to include allusions and associations, the Chronicler fares no better. To be sure, the NT writers obviously mention David, Solomon, and the temple, but these OT references are usually attributed to Samuel-Kings with scarcely a side glance at the Chronicler’s input.3

Is this really a fair assessment of the Chronicler’s impact on the NT authors? At least one pleasant exception to an otherwise negative appraisal emerges in the connection between a passage unique to the Chronicler in 2 Chron 28:5–15

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