Prophetic Books

What does it mean to be a prophet? The prophetic books of the Old Testament, Isaiah to Malachi, answer this question in a remarkable way. Contrary to the way we normally think of prophets - those who simply told the future - prophets in the Bible did at least two things. Yes, they told the future, in the sense that they predicted what was going to happen, but they also proclaimed concepts, warnings and blessings from God that had particular relevance for the time at hand, not simply for the future. They were God's emissaries, his mouthpiece, chosen to proclaim his message.

But do proclamations from thousands of years ago have any significance for Christians today? God was speaking to ancient Israel, so what does that have to do with us? And how are we to understand the prophets' words, especially those that seem cryptic or confusing?

  • Explore the role and significance of the prophets who ministered in ancient Israel during the Assyrian Judgment, the Babylonian Judgment and the period of Israel's restoration.
  • Describe the major themes prevalent throughout the prophetic books.
  • Summarize the structure, content, original meaning and modern application of the books from Isaiah to Malachi.