General Objective: The goal of this course is to introduce students to the phenomena of biblical prophecy, understanding of the role of the prophet, and the forms of prophetic activity undertaken as well as to present an overview of the prophetic books of the Old Testament taking into account their historical context and theological meaning.
Course Outline: I. An introduction to prophetic literature: a) the Ancient Near Eastern context of biblical prophecy, b) the phenomena of prophecy in the Bible, c) prophetic books in the Hebrew and Christian canons, d) forms of prophetic activity as well as literary genres in the prophetic books, e) reading and understanding the prophetic message in Judaism and Christianity. II. The prophetic books are to be discussed in the chronological order rather than a canonical one. It will be established on the basis of the content of the books dealing with the time and circumstances of each individual prophet. The books will be classified in groups in order to show their authors’ teaching in line with their common historical background. III. Eschatology and apocalyptic a) Isaiah’s Apocalypses [Isaiah chs. 24-27; 34-35], b) Deutero-Zechariah (Zechariah chs. 9-14), c) Book of Daniel. IV. The message of the Book of Lamentations and Book of Baruch. Those belonging to the group of historical-didactic writings but due to their link to the person of prophet Jeremiah by his traditional authorship (Lamentations) or the link to the person of the author, prophet Jeremiah’s secretary (Baruch), will be discussed in connection with corpus propheticum.
Bibliography: Bible (Prophetic Books) Chalmers, Aaron. Interpreting the Prophets: Reading, Understanding and Preaching from the Worlds of the Prophets. Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2015. Blenkinsopp, Joseph. A History of Prophecy in Israel. 3rd Edition. Louisville: John Knox Press, 1999. Heschel, Abraham. The Prophets. Peabody: Hendrickson Publishers, 2007 .
Learning Outcomes: Upon completion of the course, students are expected to: a) understand the nature of the biblical prophecy, b) be able to place each prophet within the historical, political, geographical, cultural and social framework, c) be able to read the prophetic literature within its historical, cultural and theological contexts, and d) examine some of the major theological themes of the Biblical prophets.