Tradition and Interpretation

By G. W. Anderson | Go to book overview
may be mistaken, however, if we suppose that these men of later times recaptured for themselves or can recapture for us the sharpness and hardness of a prophet's word as it sounded during his own times. Zimmerli103 has indicated the kind of literary and theological losses which are associated with actualization. Imagery can lose its sharpness and its original force, as, for example, the images which relate to the journey home in Deutero-Isaiah do in the Jerusalem context of Trito- Isaiah. Language which was bold and striking when fully integrated into its original framework of meaning may be reduced to the rather flabby language which is the coin of conventional piety.Jesus said to his contemporaries that their forefathers had killed the prophets and that they had built tombs for them ( Luke 11:47 f.). When we say that the witness of the pre-exilic prophets was accepted and developed by pious men of later times, we should not forget that they believed themselves to stand on the other side of the judgement which the pre-exilic prophets had proclaimed and that this was more comfortable than standing under that judgement. If we are to recover the challenge of the words of these prophets, we have to understand them against the circumstances of their times, and so there are high theological reasons for not resiling from the task of recovering their ipsissima verba.
BIBLIOGRAPHY
(Works mentioned in the body of the essay are not listed here)
CHILDS B. S. Isaiah and the Assyrian Crisis, SBT 2nd series, iii, 1967.
CRENSHAW J. L. Prophetic Conflict. Its Effect upon Israelite Religion, BZAW 124, 1971.
EICHRODT W. Ezekiel, London, 1970; ETr of Der Prophet Hesekiel, ATD xxiii/ 2, Göttingen, 1959, 1966.
GOTTWALD H. K. All the Kingdoms of the Earth. Israelite Prophecy and International Relations in the Ancient Near East, New York, 1964.
HAMMERSHAIME E. Some Aspects of Old Testament Prophecy from Isaiah to Malachi. Publications de la Société des Sciences et des Lettres d'Aarhus, Série de Théologie 4, 1966.
____________________
103
W. Zimmerli, "'Zur Sprache Tritojesajas'", Gottes Offembarung. Gesammelte Aufsätze sum Alten Testament, Munich, 1963, pp. 217-33.

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