The prophets of the Old Testament offer some of the most compelling passages in all the Hebrew Scriptures. They promise a hopeful future, condemn an unjust status quo, and offer the reassurance of God’s present, and judgment to God’s people in uncertain times. This course is an orientation to and overview of the diverse body of prophetic material in Scripture from historical, literary, cultural, and theological perspectives.
The course will examine the place of the Biblical prophets in both Judaism and Christianity (including their use in cycles of liturgical reading) and will explore key themes in individual prophetic books and in the Prophets generally. We will delve into some key topics for the historical-critical study of the Prophets, and some ways in which Jewish and Christian interpretations diverge regarding which books qualify as “prophetic” and how we should read some key passages. The influence of the Prophets on Christian liturgy, music and art will also be considered.