An exploration into the world and the message of the Old Testament prophets, analyzing the genre, structure, history, and possible original audiences of the prophets. The centrality of God’s mission in the prophetic books will be emphasized, for the major purpose of this course is to emphasize the relevance of the prophetic messages for our contemporary society.
(1)The student will acquire the ability to interpret biblical passages in prophetic books using basic exegetical methods and tools. (2). The student will be able to situate the prophets within their historical age, outlining their political, social and religious concerns. (3). The student will be able to appreciate the artistry and literary devices employed in the transmission of prophetic oracles. (4). The student will recognize the dominant theological themes and theologies within the prophetic books. (5). the student will be able to articulate the relevance of the prophetic message to the modern reader particularly the reoccurring global issues such as ethics, politics, violence, justice, human rights, gender and ecology in the prophetic writings. (6). The student will appreciate the descriptions of God’s mission to the world through the understanding of the prophetic writings from the perspective of mission.
The message of the Old Testament prophets is the pinnacle of Old Testament revelation, and thus there is the need to understand the historical background, literary character, artistry, themes and the dominant message of each prophetic book. Similarly, the presence of Messiah prophecies in the prophetic books and their later fulfillment in the New Testament clearly justify the need to study and understand the Old Testament prophets. This exercise on the Hebrew prophets is expected to also reinvigorate the spirituality and missiological commitments of the students to God’s mission.
The course is committed to the study of God’s word through the diligent study of Hebrew prophets.
The study is missiologically-driven by its quest to read and understand Old Testament prophets from the perspective of mission.
The prophet writings occupy an important part of divine revelation to ancient Israelites. The contextual character of their messages is underscored since all the prophets wrote to address the challenges of some specific historical contexts. Thus God’s message of salvation in the prophetic writing is contextually-driven. However, the canonical context of the prophetic writings is also underscored in the course since the full implications of their writings are only realized in the New Testament.
God’s message of salvation in ancient Israel’s prophetic writings has an intercultural dimension particularly in the presentation of God’s message of judgment and restoration to the nations. This intercultural dimension of God’s message in the prophetic writings already fulfills the intercultural requirements for courses of Missional University.
The God of the Old Testament reveals himself in the prophetic books as a God of mission who is practically involved with the suffering and pains of his people. The prophetic writings present God’s works with practical implications for daily living. Similarly, the rhetoric and appeals of the prophetic writings have also practical significance and relevance to the modern world.
The prophetic writings encourage experiential encounter between God and his people. The course seeks to reenact this experiential encounter in the life of the student thereby encouraging a vibrant spiritual experience in the reading, interpreting and study of the prophetic writings.