Prophetic Bibliography

Here’s a few books that we had to read through in our general prophetic course. I believe that most prophetic works can be grouped into one of four sections: Historical Setting, Commentary, Literary Study, Method Study. Personally, I believe that Historical, and Method studies should be read and considered first. As you will see most literary works use literary studies to undermine Scripture. The few all-encompassing commentaries are flawed for they cannot capture true commentary depth in one volume.

Historical Setting
Within historical studies you have those that only handle the history, and those that also handle the message in context.
  • Bullock, Hassell. An Introduction to the Old Testament Prophetic Books (Moody, 2007)
    • Purpose: To establish "the broad picture, with the individual prophets in their historical and theological niche." Historical Setting only.
  • VanGemeren, Willem, Interpreting the Prophetic Word (Zondervan, 1990)
    • Purpose: To introduce prophetic phenomenon in Israel, and the message of the minor / major prophets. Historical setting of prophets from Moses to final prophets.
  • Ben Zvi, Ehud and Michael H. Floyd. Writings and Speech in Israelite and Ancient Near Eastern Prophecy (Society of Biblical Literature, 2000)
    • Purpose: To show how prophecy began orally and existed orally, before being written.

Method Study
  • Smith, Gary. Interpreting Prophetic Literature (Kregel, 2014).
    • Purpose: To provide a guide to grasping OT prophets both for historical studies, and for bible studies.

As previously mentioned, one volume commentaries do not provide the needed depth that normal commentaries provide. Nevertheless, these were required reading in one of my courses.
  • Chisholm, Robert. Handbook on the Prophets (Baker, 2002)
    • Purpose:  “gives an overview of the prophets’ message through a running commentary...”  
  • McConville, Gordon. Exploring the Old Testament, vol. 4 (IVP, 2003)
    • Purpose: The book is stated to deliver introductory level information for each prophetic book, via a commentary and theological interpretation.

Literary Study
When it comes to studying the literature of the prophets, most delve into the use of literary studies to validate, or invalidate Israelite prophets.
  • Petersen, David. The Prophetic Literature (Westminster John Knox, 2002)
    • Purpose:  wants to answer the question of what counts as prophetic literature: two answers the canonical answer and the authorial answer. He utilizes the literary study to advocate for Persian construct of the OT.  
  • Sweeney, Marvin. The Prophetic Literature IBT (Abingdon, 2006)
    • Purpose: seeks to examine the prophetic books in the light of both synchronic and diachronic analysis. Like Petersen, he finds that the OT is a Persian period construct.
  • Lundbom, Jack R. The Hebrew Prophets: An Introduction (Fortress Press, 2010)
    • Purpose:  Lundbom uses literary surveys to study the genres and literary techniques that prophets utilize within their messages.

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