The Sermons, Epistles and Apocalypses of Israel's Prophets: From the Beginning of the Assyrian Period to the End of the Maccabean Struggle

The Sermons, Epistles and Apocalypses of Israel's Prophets: From the Beginning of the Assyrian Period to the End of the Maccabean Struggle

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The Sermons, Epistles and Apocalypses of Israel's Prophets: From the Beginning of the Assyrian Period to the End of the Maccabean Struggle

The Sermons, Epistles and Apocalypses of Israel's Prophets: From the Beginning of the Assyrian Period to the End of the Maccabean Struggle

Read FREE!

Excerpt

The prophets stand at the head of the different groups of teachers whose work and teachings are recorded in the Old Testament. Through their open minds and deep personal experiences came the eternal truths that are the foundations of Israel's faith. A clear understanding of their aims and methods and messages is the key that unlocks the mysteries of the older Scriptures. They also were the forerunners who prepared the way for the advent and work of the great Prophet-Teacher of Nazareth. Their spirit and principles are still a perennial source of inspiration and helpfulness to a growing group of men and women who are to-day grappling with the great political, civic, and social problems whose right solution is essential to the strength and efficiency of our modern civilization. For twenty or twenty-five centuries, therefore, the prophets have been a potent force in the life and thought of mankind; and their influence is to-day waxing rather than waning.

To understand these sturdy heroes of the faith it is essential to study them in their chronological order and in the light of the historical conditions amidst which each labored. The present volume aims to make this study possible and practicable. The voluminous additions of later editors and scribes have been relegated to a secondary place in order that the original teachings of each prophet may stand forth in clear relief. An effort has also been made to indicate, by the form in which they are printed, the highly poetic content and structure of the individual prophecies.

Modern biblical scholarship has made vast and valuable contributions, not only to the interpretation, but also to the recovery of the original text of the prophetic writings. The many repetitions and inconsistencies in the traditional Hebrew text and the wide variations between the different versions of the prophetic books reveal the necessity of a sane and careful reconstruction. At the same time it is equally important to guard against doubtful conjecture and the tendency to impose upon the prophets the canons employed in determining modern literary unity and form.

My debt to the scholars who have worked in different departments of this vast field is too great to be acknowledged in minute detail. Chief among . . .

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