Israel’s Scripture: The Prophets

Texts: Amos 5:14-15, 24; Zechariah 7:8-12; Malachi 3:1-5

Days 27-29 in Around the Bible in Eighty Days.

When Jesus characterized Israel’s Scripture as the “Law, the Prophets, and the Psalms” (Luke 24:44). The previous two classes discussed the Torah (Law) and Wisdom (which is typically included among the “Psalms” and often called “The Writings” in traditional Judaism). The third category is the Prophets, the third major categorization of Scripture in the life of Israel.

This category, in the Hebrew Bible, includes (1) the Former Prophets (the history books from Joshua to 2 Kings), (2) the Latter Prophets (the major writing prophets), and (3) the Book of Twelve (typically called the minor prophets).

Who are the prophets? What did they do? How did they serve Israel, and how did they form Israel’s faith and life with God? What is the theological function of the prophetic message in the life of Israel?

The prophets hold Israel accountable to their commitment to the covenant made with God at Sinai.  They remember Israel’s history, prosecute their offenses, and promise hope. They speak for God in both judgment and hope, and they remind Israel who their God is. Through their word, God guides Israel into the future.

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