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Hebrew Prophets and Their Social World, The: An Introduction (edition 2012)

by Victor H. Matthews

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Member:deusvitae
Title:Hebrew Prophets and Their Social World, The: An Introduction
Authors:Victor H. Matthews
Info:Baker Academic (2012), Edition: 2, Paperback, 256 pages
Collections:eBooks
Rating:****
Tags:Religious: Old Testament

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Hebrew Prophets and Their Social World, The: An Introduction by Victor H. Matthews

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An excellent contextual introduction to the prophets of the Hebrew Bible.

The author describes the function and role of the prophet in Israel based upon what is found in the Old Testament as well as ancient Near Eastern parallels. He describes the work of the early prophets based on what is recorded of them in the historical books of the Old Testament, and then systematically discusses the messages of the written prophets in terms of their original audiences.

On the whole this book does a great job of introducing the reader to the Hebrew prophets in their context, which is quite useful and necessary in light of how often the prophets are read and discussed only as they relate to later characters and events.

The author does break Isaiah up into First, Second, and Third Isaiah sections, and breaks Zechariah up into two sections as well. He understands Daniel only in terms of the Hellenistic period, and his conclusions about Malachi in terms of idolatry and sexual immorality seem strained and textually unjustified. The author unduly focuses on Christian expectation of later fulfillment of prophecy without noting how prevalent such was as a means of interpreting the prophets among Jewish communities in the first centuries BCE/CE as well.

Having said all of that, the book is still very much worth consideration in order to come to a better contextual understanding of the Hebrew prophets.

**--book received as early review edition ( )
  deusvitae | Nov 10, 2012 |
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0801048613, Paperback)

Victor Matthews, a veteran teacher and expert on the world of ancient Israel, introduces students to the Hebrew prophets and their social world. Drawing on archaeology and ancient Near Eastern texts, Matthews examines the prophets chronologically, placing them and their message into historical context. He explores pertinent aspects of historical geography, economic conditions, and social forces that influenced a prophet's life and message and explains why prophets served an integral purpose in the development of ancient Israelite religion. He also explores how prophets addressed their audience and employed rhetorical methods, images, and metaphors to communicate effectively. Logically organized, clearly written, and classroom friendly, this book meets the needs of beginning as well as advanced students. It is a substantially revised and expanded edition of the successful text Social World of the Hebrew Prophets.

(retrieved from Amazon Mon, 30 Sep 2013 13:52:26 -0400)

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