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Major on the Minor Prophets
The Minor Prophets are the neglected child of the canonical family, but seriously, there is some good stuff there.
The Minor Prophets include Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi.
Each book has something interesting and unique and the collection as a whole is worth studying in its own right.
For me, Amos is perhaps my favourite book of the OT (though I find it hard to choose between it and Daniel). Obadiah has the only explicit mention of God’s kingdom (Obad. 21). Jonah has a whale of a tale. Habakkuk 2:4 is a verse that was very important to Paul and you cannot understand Pentecost without Joel 3!
Well, here are three things to help you get into the Minor Prophets.
First, my former PhD student, Dr. Brian Wright, a church-planter in Florida, has written a series of children’s books on the minor prophets. Check out an interview he did on them with the Two Cities Podcast. Seriously, the quiz at the beginning is worth the listen itself!
Second, for something a bit creative, I recommend John Goldingay’s The Lost Letters to the Twelve Prophets: Imagining the Minor Prophets' World, written as a series of imaginary letters to the twelve Minor Prophets. The letters make clear the issues these prophets of Israel were dealing with or deliver the news they were responding to in their writings. For example:
To Hosea: Why did you marry someone you knew might be unfaithful?
To Joel: It looks as if a locust epidemic is on the way: what should we do?
To Amos: What should we do about the war crimes of peoples around us?
To Obadiah: The Edomites have occupied our land and pushed us out: what's up with that?
To Jonah: When is God going to fulfill his undertaking to destroy Nineveh?
To Micah: Will God always be angry with us as a people?
To Nahum: When is God going to fulfill his undertaking to destroy Nineveh?
To Habakkuk: When is God going to do something about injustice in Judah?
To Zephaniah: What do you mean by "the day of the Lord"?
To Haggai: When is God going to fulfill his promises about rebuilding the temple?
To Zechariah: Should Jeshua be High Priest when he has been in an unclean land?
To Malachi: Why does serving God seem pointless?
More than a survey of the text, each chapter offers theological insights that help frame the message of the Minor Prophets for preaching and living in our world today. This introduction contextualizes the Minor Prophets within a larger biblical-theological framework, illuminating these twelve books as masterful works of literature that address the realities of human life with unblinking honesty and uncompromising hope.
If you are looking for some good books on the minor prophets, then check out this Logos sale on several commentary series!
Zondervan is renowned for study resources, including the Word Biblical Commentary series and the NIV Application Commentary series. And right now, you can save big on their top titles! Sale ends 1 October 23.