Adaptable for Life: The Message of the OT for Contemporary Readers, Session II
This session offers a preview of select chapters from the forthcoming volume Adaptable for Life: The Message of the OT for Contemporary Readers. The volume is intended to be an up to date, accurate, accessible and user-friendly textbook designed to introduce sophomore level undergraduate students to the books of the Old Testament. As the title suggests, emphasis falls on the enduring significance of these texts to contemporary communities of faith as well as contemporary culture as a whole. Those of us who teach introductory-level courses on the OT often struggle to find a textbook suitable for such a class. This textbook will attempt to fill that niche. This is an opportunity for teachers of such courses to get a feel for the book and to offer feedback before the book goes to press.
Kilnam Cha, Abilene Christian University, “The Psalms: How Can We Sing the Songs of YHWH in a Foreign Land?”
How could Israel sing the songs of YHWH during the Babylonian Exile and the second temple era when Israel experienced unimaginable atrocities? That is a crucial interpretive key to understanding the Psalter. Grown over a long period (over hundreds of years), the Psalter in its current form reflects multiple editorial layers and Israel’s continual attempt to stand before God. When faced with defeats and merciless enslavement at the national level, Israel reformulated its theology. The Psalter is a clear example of such an endeavor for Israel to stay faithful to YHWH.
Phillip Camp, Lipscomb University, “Ezra-Nehemiah as a Word of God to the Church Today”
Ezra–Nehemiah recounts the struggle of the Jews to reestablish themselves in the land as the community of God’s people in the face of external threats and internal struggles. Ezra, the priest, and Nehemiah, the governor of the province of Judah, are the primary agents in this attempted restoration. Far from being simply a history of what happened “back-then,” Ezra-Nehemiah can speak God’s word into the life of the church today, teaching us how to reorient ourselves on God and guiding us in being a God-centered community, particularly in a time when the church is being moved to margins socially and culturally.
Jordan Guy, Harding University, “Feasting on the Leftovers: Why We Must Include 1-2 Chronicles in Our Survey Classes!”
Who likes leftovers? The Greek translators of 1-2 Chronicles renamed it Paraleipomena or “leftovers,” because it contained “things omitted” from Samuel-Kings. No midrashic composition was ever written for Chronicles. The Church Fathers primarily quoted it to supplement their historical reconstructions of Israel. Even today many preachers, Sunday school teachers, and college professors have difficulty justifying time spent in 1-2 Chronicles. Therefore, the purpose of this session is to illuminate the unique and relevant messages of Chronicles and to provide some methods for practical application within an undergraduate context.
Kevin Youngblood and Kilnam Cha, Harding University; Abilene Christian University, Co-Conveners
- Kilnam Cha, Abilene Christian University, “The Psalms: How Can We Sing the Songs of YHWH in a Foreign Land?”
- Phillip Camp, Lipscomb University, “Ezra-Nehemiah as a Word of God to the Church Today”
- Jordan Guy, Harding University, “Feasting on the Leftovers: Why We Must Include 1-2 Chronicles in Our Survey Classes!”