Discourse Analysis and The Problem of Judges

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On Wednesday Night, October 10th, Pastor Corbin will lead the discussion of the timeline of Judges and how the technique of Discourse analysis helps us understand it. 1 Kings 6:1 famously states, “Now it came about in the four hundred and eightieth year after the sons of Israel came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel…that he began to build the house of the Lord.” In other words, 1 Kings says that there were 480 years between the Exodus and Solomon’s 4th year as king. Further, when you add up the time of all the other events apart from the book of Judges, there is enough space for around 250 years AT MOST for the period of the Judges.

But the problem is, adding up all the years listed in the book of Judges results in a time of around 400 years. So, what is a Bible-believing Christian to do? Reinterpret 1 Kings based on what Judges appears to be on the surface? Reinterpret Judges to force it to fit? Or say that Bible contradicts itself?

Too often, our tendency as Christians- everyone from the scholars to the lay person- is to take the easy way out and just say Judges must overlap or 1 Kings must be symbolic and really mean a larger number without any indication in the text. We sacrifice taking the text seriously as it is written (a rejection of Inspiration) in order to maintain that it must fit together (an acceptance of Inerrancy).

On Wednesday night, we will examine the book of Judges through the technique of discourse analysis, the technique of reading the Bible in larger sections as the original author intended instead of only verse-by-verse. Sometimes taking individual verses from the Bible for study is extremely helpful, but it cannot be the only way we read the Bible. By taking a step back and looking for how the author of Judges order the book of Judges in its larger sections, we will be able to learn a lot about its timeline. In doing so, we will see why as believers we must commit to doing the hard work of trying to learn more and studying the scripture more effectively, to understand how it could make sense as it is written and reading larger blocks at a time as well.

Before we look in-depth for a solution on Wednesday night….

Judges and 1 Kings 6:1 should be interpreted by...

  • Knowing what each says and Looking for more information. (92%, 11 Votes)
  • Taking both as true, admitting we can't know. (8%, 1 Votes)
  • Reinterpreting Judges (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Reinterpreting 1 Kings 6:1 (0%, 0 Votes)
  • Saying the Bible has contradictions (0%, 0 Votes)

Total Voters: 12

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