Thursday, December 08, 2016

The lone prophet

If we are to understand the recent trend in the history of scholarship to concentrate on the prophetic literature, we must first keep in sight the point from which it departed. This point of departure is the fixation on the person of the prophet in both the ecclesial and the scholarly understanding of the prophets of the Hebrew Bible. This approach was dominant into the twenty-first century and in some cases continues even today. This fixation has a long prehistory and finds its beginnings in the biblical tradition itself. Poetic self-reflection, prophetic miracles or sign-acts, and narratives about the prophets draw attention to the person of the prophet as mediator of God’s word. Here, the prophet is usually portrayed as a lone voice in the wilderness, disowned by the world, despairing of God and his mission. At the same time, the headings of the prophetic books ensure a historicization that places individual prophets at certain phases in the history of Israel and Judah.—The Prophets of Israel, page 112

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