Old Testament Prophetic Texts

BA (Hons) in Theology - Year 1
COURSE UNIT 315 - 8315


The unit reflects on the nature of Old Testament prophecy and prophetic literature against the background of prophetism in the Ancient Near East.  Students engage in more detailed work on three Old Testament prophetic books, of which two belong to the major and one to the minor prophets.  Of the three selected books, a general overview is given in which the historical background and the main theological issues are discussed.  Different scholarly opinions and approaches are evaluated and students are required to actively participate in exegesis of selected passages.  Opportunities will be provided in class to discuss the present day application of the text, both on an individual and corporate level.


To introduce students to the prophetic literature of the Old Testament and to develop their skills in exegesis.


Category of outcome

By the end of this unit students should be able to:

Knowledge and understanding

·      Give evidence of ample knowledge of the main prophetic books, including their historical backgrounds and major themes

Intellectual skills

·      Critically discuss the nature of OT prophecy

·      Discuss scholarly issues in the study of the prophetic literature

Practical and Transferable skills; Personal qualities

·      Engage in detailed exegesis of prophetic texts with the help of relevant commentaries, to formulate their own opinion and to justify it

·      Apply the materials studied to situations in the Church and the world


Assessment task


Weighting within unit



10 minutes + discussion


2000 words






·         315:



·         8315:

Exposition of a passage from the Major Prophets, to be discussed in a small group

An essay



3000 words

2000 words




pass / fail*

·         315:

·         8315:

An essay

An essay

and a learning journal*


* Distance learning students are required to pass this element. So long as this element has been passed, they will be eligible for compensation if the overall unit mark is within the compensation zone (30-39%), and the compensatable credit allowance as set out in the Degree Regulations has not been exceeded.




Available on which programme(s)?

BA in Theology


·         OT Prophets – characteristics; comparisons with other Ancient Near Eastern texts

·         Amos

·         Jeremiah

·         Ezekiel

·         Preaching the Prophets

Teaching method

Lectures and group work

Additional eLearning content

Unit materials are available at Spurgeon’s Online to support student learning


Written feedback within 15 working days from submission

Date of approval (for office use)


Information updated on

December 2015

Indicative reading

Barton, John, Oracles of God: Perceptions of Ancient Prophecy in Israel after the Exile. 2nd edn (London: Darton, Longman and Todd, 2007)

Chisholm, R.B., Handbook on the Prophets (Grand Rapids: Baker, 2002)

Clements, Ronald E., Old Testament Prophecy (Louisville: Westminster John Knox, 1996)

Goldingay, John, God's Prophet, God's Servant: A Study in Jeremiah and Isaiah 40-55 new edn (Carlisle: Paternoster, 1994)

Gordon, Robert P. (ed.), The Place is too Small for Us: The Israelite prophets in Recent Scholarship (Winona Lake: Eisenbrauns, 1995)

Kent, Grenville J.R., Paul J. Kissling and Laurence A. Turner (eds), He Began with Moses...: Preaching the Old Testament Today (Nottingham: IVP, 2010)

LaSor, William S., David A. Hubbard and Frederick W. Bush, Old Testament Survey: The Message, Form, and Background of the Old Testament, 2nd edn (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1996)

Peels, Hendrik G.L., and S.D. Snyman (eds), The Lion Has Roared: Theological Themes in the Prophetic Literature of the Old Testament (Eugene, OR: Pickwick, 2012)

Redditt, Paul L., Introduction to the Prophets (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2008)

Seitz, Christopher R., Prophecy and Hermeneutics: Toward a New Introduction to the Prophets (Grand Rapids: Baker Academic, 2007)

Selman, Martin, Preaching the Prophets (London: Spurgeon’s College, 2006)

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Old Testament Prophetic Texts

BA (Hons) in Theology - Year 1
Course Unit 315 - 8315





Hours of Learning:



Dr Hetty Lalleman

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