The role of a historian (2 Macc 2:29-2:31)

“The master builder of a new house must be concerned with the whole construction. However, the one who undertakes its painting and decoration has to consider only what is suitable for its adornment. Such in my judgment is the case with us. It is the duty of the original historian to occupy the ground, to discuss matters from every side, and to take trouble with details. However, the one who recasts the narrative should be allowed to strive for brevity of expression and to forego exhaustive treatment.”

Do not look for details in this presentation. That was the work of the original historian. This is something to remember when reading many of the books of the Bible. The builder of the house must be concerned with the whole construction. However, the painter only has to worry about how it looks. The original historian had to discuss matters from every side and go into the details. The painter, like himself, only is concerned with the narrative. He will be brief and not exhaustive in his presentation. He is not a historian, neither are any of the other biblical writers.

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