Rev. Dr. Karl C. Schaffenburg discusses the structure of the OT after the 5 books of Torah.
The Writings, Prophets, and Wisdom Literature Writings
- Wisdom Literature
- Psalms, Proverbs, Ecclesiastes
- included in history narratives, but not in books named for a prophet (e.g. Elijah)
- no prophets before a unified monarchy - about 1000 BC
- Within about 75 years of the destruction of the Jewish State, the prophets disappear
- The prophets spoke to those in power, because the king spoke for the people, the king personified the people
- Prophets don’t want to be a prophet
- Remind us that God is personal
Minor Prophets (the 12)
- Hosea - Seer
- ro’eh- Diviner ‘isha elohim - man of God - doesn’t say much - is prophetic by what he does or how he acts
- navi - nevi’im - Prophet
Types of Prophecy
- Symbolic Action Reports - behavior designed to convey a message - Jacob walking naked for three years
- Commissioning Report - Call Narrative - “Here is how God called me…”
- Vision Report - Something that is happening or is about to happen - not exactly future telling - prophetic time is essentially time-less
- Legends - Narrative stories with teaching elements - Elijah, Elisha for example
- History - Retelling of History - The attack on Jerusalem
- Biography - Life of the prophet - Jeremiah for example
- Divinatory Chronicle - Prophet as Diviner - Poetic - Indictment and Judgement
Three Major Themes of all Prophecy
- Covenant and Imperium - Prophets remind the people of things they’ve already agreed to with the Lord. Call back to covenant, back to faithfulness to God.
- Ethical Norms - Call to recognize the people failure to uphold the ethical or social justice norms or agreements. God’s requirement
- Hope - Despite shortcomings and falling short in faith - The prophets focus on destruction is still more focused on restoration of the people and covenant with God
- Apocalyptic - pulling the curtain aside to reveal a deeper reality
-- Found in the OT in Daniel
- Wisdom Literature
- Psalms, Proverbs, Job
- Hebrew Wisdom Lit. - as opposed other Wis. Lit.
- Says almost nothing about history of Israel, but talks about how the just and wise person is to live
- Enlightenment - Wisdom
- Teaching oriented
- Wisdom Personified - typically with a female pronoun
-- In OT - Wisdom is created by God - Not a person of the Trinity
Common Themes In Wisdom Literature
- Cosmic Order - Divinely ordained order in the natural world, human beings are a part of nature and not separate from it.
- Creation - The LORD is the author of all creation determining boundaries and keeping creation within those boundaries, but humans have free choice
- Wisdom - The rules can be discovered by humans. Practical knowledge. Human wisdom has its limits. Human task and divine gift.
-Human Choice has Consequences - Two ways - Follow God or follow our own way - Wisdom or Folly
- The Problem of Evil - Why is there suffering? God does not will evil. People can ask questions.
- Wisdom Personified - Creature of the LORD not a Goddess - metaphor
Overall Arch of the OT in the Bible
- Salvation History - The foreshadowing and requirements at Jesus the messiah
- Christian Typology - Type (theologically) - something that is foreshadowed in the OT then fulfilled in the NT