Laura Bernardini is director of coverage in CNN's Washington Bureau. The views expressed in this column belong to Bernardini.
A Catholic reads the Bible, week 19: Pete and Repeat
When we were kids, my brother and sister and I tended, like most siblings, to spend a lot of time together.
They were twins and I was the oldest. Since I was more than three years older, my sister would follow me around and would imitate my actions and outfits.
My Mom would call us "Pete and Repeat."
I hadn't thought of that in a while, until I started in on Chronicles this week.
Kings is Pete; Chronicles is Repeat.
That happens a lot in the Bible. Repetition, as I've mentioned before, is a common practice. But in Chronicles, entire stories are repeated, not just rules.
When I read the introduction to the chapter, I thought Chronicles would be revisionist history or at least, the same events but from a different perspective.
The chapter introduction in my Bible refers to the two books of Chronicles as a "supplement" or "expansion" to the Books of Kings. I see them as repeats.
That said, the second version piqued my interest. It's fascinating to see what is included and what is omitted.
The first 20 chapters start with a recap of the tribes and again who's who. (Or, more like, "who is the son of who," lineage being of utmost importance.)
Then we move on to a second version of King David's reign. David fights, fights, fights. It's a full recap of the battles.
It was interesting to note a big change in the plight of David's wife, Michal.
She received David's disapproval after she chastised him for dancing before the Lord. I was really upset about God's punishment of Michal in Kings, when she was told she would never have children.
In Chronicles, no punishment is listed. Did God change his mind? Or perhaps the writer of Chronicles found the punishment too harsh or insignificant to mention? Or was she just not important enough?
David's song of praise for the Lord is written out in Chronicles (Chapter 16), which I enjoyed. It made me look ahead and made me really anxious to get to Psalms (it can't come fast enough).
This prayer was joyous while being instructional. I wondered what it would sound like set to music as an entrance hymn or recessional at Mass.
It starts with praise of God and then a reminder that there is only one God.
Why didn't more people pay attention to the words of this prayer? Geesh, if they had, so many problems could have been avoided.
My favorite part was the simple summary of Chronicles:
"Give to the Lord, you families of nations,
give to the Lord glory and praise;
Give to the Lord the glory due his name!" (1 Chronicles 16:28-29)
As there are two books of the Chronicles, I can't wait to see what else repeats.