Peter Leithart – 1-2 Chronicles Commentary – Q & A

chronicles commentary leithartPeter J. Leithart (Ph.D, University of Cambridge) is president of Theopolis Institute and an adjunct senior fellow of theology at New Saint Andrews College in Moscow, Idaho. He is also the author of the newly-released 1-2 Chronicles volume in the Brazos Theological Commentary series.

Dr. Leithart is the author of many books including Defending Constantine, Traces of the Trinity, and Gratitude: An Intellectual History. See a full list of his books on his Amazon author page. He is a blog writer and columnist for firstthings.com, and he has published articles in many periodicals, both popular and academic.

Ordained in the Communion of Reformed Evangelical Churches (CREC), Dr. Leithart pastored Reformed Heritage Presbyterian Church (now Trinity Presbyterian Church) in Birmingham, Alabama, and Trinity Reformed Church in Moscow, Idaho.

Dr. Leithart and his wife, Noel, have ten children and twelve grandchildren.

1. What previous research and/or personal interests led you to this project and helped prepare you to write this commentary on 1-2 Chronicles?

I have published commentaries on 1 & 2 Samuel and 1 & 2 Kings. I wanted to finish out the “1s & 2s” of the Old Testament, and jumped at the opportunity to do a volume in the Brazos Theological Commentary Series.

2. Who is the intended audience for this commentary? Would it benefit pastors? professors? students? lay Christians in the local church?

It’s not a technical commentary. I had pastors and students in mind, and worked to show how the book of Chronicles is preachable. I hope that lay Christians will enjoy and be edified by the book too.

3. What is unique about this commentary? What contribution does it make to studies of 1-2 Chronicles?

Perhaps three things make it unique. First, I believe that Chronicles is organized as a “recapitulation” of the prior history of the Old Testament, moving from Genesis-like genealogies, through an exodus and conquest period, into a cyclical period like that of the Judges, moving toward the coming of a new David, the “anointed” emperor Cyrus.

Second, I emphasize the importance of music in Chronicles, a major innovation in Israel’s worship in the time of David and Solomon.

Third, Chronicles devotes considerable space to describing the organization of the temple personnel and tasks. With my tongue slightly in my cheek, I call it a “vindication of bureaucracy.” It shows that the people of God are supposed to be an organized community, a polity with clear lines of authority and regular procedures.

4. What section or passage of this commentary was particularly memorable to research and write? Why?

I enjoyed working on the genealogies. Although they can be confusing and somewhat dry, I discovered that there are embedded narratives and theologically significant patterns. The account of the reign of Ahaz in 2 Chronicles 28 is very moving.

5. What personally edified you in writing this commentary, increasing your affections for Christ?

I was impressed once again with the Lord’s unswerving faithfulness to Israel, which climaxes with the work of Christ. Working through a very different version of David than appears in 1 & 2 Samuel, I was once again awed by the ways David foreshadows his greater descendant.

6. Besides your commentary, what are your top recommended books (commentaries or otherwise) on 1-2 Chronicles?

William Johnstone’s two-volume commentary was far and away the most helpful to me. Sara Japhet’s is a classic critical commentary. I also found helpful insights in Scott Hahn’s and Mark Boda’s commentaries.

7. What is next for you? What project are you currently working on? How can people follow your work and ministry?

I have finished a draft for a small book on the Ten Commandments. Longer term, I’m working on a commentary on Leviticus and a study of the theology of creation.

Own Peter Leithart’s 1-2 Chronicles commentary

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