"It would be difficult to imagine a better book to be used as an introductory text in a course on Israelite prophecy or to be put into the hands of a layman who wishes to discover the message and legacy of the prophetic movement. In this book one really does 'meet the prophets' in their own day and in ours." - Lawrence E. Toombs, Professor of Religion and Culture, Wilfrid Laurier University
"John Miller has made an important contribution to biblical studies in his comprehensive treatment of the prophetic literature. Particularly helpful is the author's ability to bridge the gap between the classical prophets and our own day. Scholar and student alike will find useful insights in this sensitive study." - John H. C. Neeb, Professor of Old Testament, Language and Literature, Huron College
"The books of the biblical prophets are among the most provocative ever written, and yet they are by no means easy reading. A first impression is that they are anthologies of sorts, but, lacking as they do 'introductions' or 'tables of contents,' we are often confused as to where a given segment begins and ends, or what its context might be. Even the voracious Luther once complained that in perusing these books we are compelled to jump from topic to topic until we can scarcely endure it! His advice was to read them in small doses.
"My hope is that the following pages will help in surmounting these and other difficulties and bring about a meaningful encounter with these unique writings. Other excellent studies attempt to do the same, of course. Why yet another?
"Most introductions to the prophets, I have found, concentrate on interpreting their messages within the context of the world in which they were initially presented. This is essential, and the following study seeks to do this too. More help is often needed, however, in understanding the prophetic books (their compositional histories), as well as the unique prophetic personalities referred to by these books as their primary source. Nor, in my opinion, is enough attention generally paid to the ongoing relevance of these books for those who transmitted them or for today, or to the overall shape and thrust of the prophetic movement as a whole. If there is anything unique about the following study, it is the degree perhaps to which it addresses this wider range of subjects in a sequentially clear and meaningful way.
"I must quickly add, however, that not all of the prophetic books are given equal time and attention in what follows. Most students agree that not all deserve this, for some are more substantive by far than others. To this latter category belong: Amos, Hosea, Micah, Isaiah of Jerusalem (chs. 1-39), Jeremiah, Ezekiel and the so-called Second Isaiah (chs. 40-55). Without totally neglecting the others these then are the writings on which we will be focusing." - from A Note to the Reader by the author.
John W. Miller is a professor at Conrad Grebel College and Chair of the department of religious studies
at the University of Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. Dr.
Miller is the author of The Christian Way, A Chris-
tian Approach to Sexuality, and Step by Step
through the Parables. Publications on the prophets
include a scholarly monograph on Jeremiah and
Ezekiel and essays on the Servant Songs in Isaiah and
"Envisioning the World's Future: Neglected Prophetic