The Hebrew Prophets
Research the topics of Authorship & Dating one of the Writing Prophets. Seek and use Academic / Scholarly Journal articles, Critical Commentaries with an Editor, and/or other non-biased scholarly resources. The textbook for the class is New Oxford Annotated Bible with Apocrypha. The class is The Hebrew Prophets. (3 Pages Minimum / 5 Scholarly Resources Minimum)
The Nature and Time and of Hebrew Prophesy
The word “prophet” generally suggests one who predicts or foretells the future, and this is one
function of the Hebrew prophets. Christian scriptures, for example, interpret promises by the prophets of a future messianic figure as applying to Jesus. But typically when the prophets foretell the future it is related to a circumstance in their own time. It is an announcement of a future calamity resulting from some contemporary failure of the people, or some future saving act in spite of their failure.
Most often, however, “prophecy” and “prophet” are related to a specific and present ethical or
religious situation. In practice, as we shall see, the prophets are social or religious critics for the most part, and their work is time-bound in nature. Moses, who is certainly not listed among the prophets, is called one by reprojection: “Never since has there arisen a prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the LORD knew face to face” (Deuteronomy 34.10).
This is presumably because Moses addressed the Egyptian king on the matter of Israelite slavery, or the Israelites themselves on issues arising in the wilderness sojourn. One thinks of the prophet Nathan challenging King David on the Bathsheba affair (2 Samuel 11.27b-12.15), or the prophet
Elijah confronts King Ahab (1 Kings 16.29-21.29) on several distinguishable issues, or Micaiah predicts defeat in a war situation (1 Kings 22.1-28).
Amos speaks out on issues of social and economic injustice as he witnessed them. Hosea addresses the loss of social focus in his day. It is this usage people have in mind when they speak of Martin Luther King, Jr. as a prophet. This is the more appropriate meaning in discussing the Hebrew prophets.
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