The good news from the Minor Prophets is that, even in dire times, God speaks.
While the Minor Prophets are among the most succinct books of the Old Testament, their theological richness has much to offer us today. And not only did they have something to say to their original audience, but God continues to speak through their words in ways that are of utmost importance for the continued flourishing of God's people. In this unique introduction to the Minor Prophets, biblical scholars Craig Bartholomew and Heath Thomas survey the twelve books and explore the theological themes of each. Filled with helpful exegetical insights, this book is an invaluable guide for students, pastors, and scholars looking for a cohesive exploration of these often-overlooked books of the Hebrew Bible.
More than a survey of the text, each chapter offers theological insights that help frame the message of the Minor Prophets for preaching and living in our world today. This introduction contextualizes the Minor Prophets within a larger biblical-theological framework, illuminating these twelve books as masterful works of literature that address the realities of human life with unblinking honesty and uncompromising hope.
"Showing clarity and theological awareness, Craig Bartholomew and Heath Thomas open up these important books. With close attention to the text, they demonstrate the abiding significance of their message. This book deserves to be read widely and should have a place on any reading list on the Minor Prophets. Highly commended!"
"This timely theological reading of the Twelve attends to the long impact they have had: in their original context; as practiced by Jesus of Nazareth; as read by New Testament authors; and in light of the concerns of our own time. It is an accessible introduction to the Twelve that adds more—highlighting key texts and themes arising in individual books and pointing out the connections that hint at their preservation as an anthology. Authors Bartholomew and Thomas, like prophets of old, listen for the voice of God. This volume is no mere academic exercise but will shape faithful action in its readers."
"Bartholomew and Thomas have produced an impressive major resource for the study of the book of the Twelve. Concerned above all to bring the prophets' powerful message to today's church, they write with urgency and empathy about the contemporary world, convinced that this is what motivated the prophets in their own times. Firmly grounded in scholarship on the ancient Hebrew and Greek texts, and their interpretation in the church from the earliest Christian centuries, Bartholomew and Thomas offer sensitive, close readings of each book. At the same time, they attend to complex hermeneutical issues, notably the theological relationship of each book to the Twelve considered as a corpus, and also to the New Testament. This book should become indispensable for serious study of the Prophets."
"Bartholomew and Thomas have produced an accessible yet consummate guide to reading the minor prophetic books theologically, ranging from ancient Near Eastern background considerations to New Testament and early Christian interpretation. They help novices and experts alike navigate this collection of small and significant texts with helpful tables (who doesn't appreciate a good table?), thoughtful reflection, and pastoral hearts."
"Craig Bartholomew and Heath Thomas have written an accessible, thoroughly researched, and theologically insightful introduction to the Minor Prophets. Christians of every stripe will find this volume invaluable as an entry point to these undervalued prophetic books. The authors have provided historical and contextual analysis with contemporary theological application, and they strike a balance between exacting scholarship and accessible writing."
"This new primer on the Minor Prophets provides the kind of orientation that is needed to engage with and embrace the message of these timely Old Testament books. This work is historically accurate and rhetorically sensitive, and yet builds the necessary theological framework for listening anew to these prophetic words in their inscripturated form for our present generation. Prepare to be challenged!"
1. Reading the Minor Prophets with the Church and in the Academy
2. The Ancient Word of Prophecy
3. Hosea: YHWH: Lover and Lion
4. Hosea 2: 14-23[16-25]: A Tale of Two Futures: Part Two
5. Joel: The Valley of Decision
6. The Day of the LORD
7. Amos: YHWH, the Master of Geopolitics, and the Affliction of Joseph
8. Amos and Creation: The Hymn Fragments
9. Obadiah: Edom's Fall and YHWH's Kingdom
10. Jonah: The Patient God
11. Spiritual Formation: Jonah and His Canticle 2:3-10
12. Micah: Divine Forgiveness and the Remnant
13. He Has Told You What Is Good: Micah 6:6-8
14. Nahum and Zephaniah: God, the Nations, and Israel
15. Habakkuk: A Protesting and Patient Faith
16. Faith in the Faithful God: Habakkuk 2:2-4
17. Zechariah: Prisoners of Hope
18. Zechariah 9:9-10: The King Receives His Kingdom
19. Haggai and Malachi: Restoration and Remembrance
20. The Theology of the Minor Prophets
21. The Minor Prophets and Jesus
22. The Theology of the Minor Prophets for Today