The students in my Sunday School class wanted to go learn about David. As a result I’m walking them through the David narratives. These stories about the founder of the dynasty which bears his name are so new to them. This makes me wonder about the effectiveness of Sunday School in our churches, but I must stop myself before going off topic. The point is that as new as they are to the students, they really are exciting.
On Sunday I had the opportunity to be very proud of one of the teens because she picked up on the two separate David introduction stories. We talked about the options for them, and although I’m not sure they completely understood ancient historiography and storytelling they at least understand that such contradictions should not startle them. This was extremely encouraging to me.
This coming Sunday we’ll be discussing David’s various adventures when he flees from Saul. We won’t cover all of them, since although we are moving pretty fast, and although this is only really a survey to help them know the overarching structure of the David Story (to borrow the title of Alter’s excellent translation and commentary), we are hardly moving fast enough to cover half the book of 1 Samuel in one hour. At any rate, we’ll cover the narratives from Jonathan meeting David until David manages to acquire his own priest, Abiathar, giving him a crucial advantage over Saul–he can talk to God.
Working my way through the David narratives again makes me very glad that I took Exegesis in 1 and 2 Samuel last semester. It was a fun class, and I learned a ton. It also makes me extremely disappointed that taking Heroic Traditions in the Bible at Andover Newton didn’t work into my schedule this summer.