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The first thing to be established is the meaning of Act Note that additional verse references, unless otherwise noted, are also from Acts chapter I believe to do this, one must at least consider as well v. If masculine, it refers back to "this one" i. Jesus , if neuter, it refers back to the previous sentence, "this assertion [of an appointed Judge]" being the idea. In context, it probably does not matter much, as even the masculine reference is directly relating back to the "Judge" just noted, which is already referring back to Jesus.

What is critical to the discussion here is this judgeship reference. The subject of the testimony is "to Him" or "to this" see notes above , which relates to Jesus being made Judge. That is, we are going to be looking for Hebrew Scripture references to a supreme Judge specifically and best if ordained by God , or judgement by the Messiah Jesus is considered the Christ, v.

Though this last reference most Christians, and arguably Peter, would also be a reference to Jesus being God Himself. Through this Judge's name, forgiveness of sins is received by the act of believing Him v. Note that to Peter, the "name of him" is the same name as that of God and the Holy Spirit, as preached to Peter by Christ Mt , but also note that "Jesus Christ" means "Savior Messiah," so a reference to "Savior" or "Joshua" or "Messiah" would suffice for Hebrew Scripture references if one wanted to get particular.

However, "receive through the name of" is a statement about receiving forgiveness on behalf of the Person Himself that one is believing upon, not necessarily the specific "name" of that Person though the name identifies the proper Person. There are at least eight possible meanings to "all the prophets. This means first of all identifying that body of texts. The Nevi'im "Prophets" are traditionally split into two categories, each containing four books:.

Note: Daniel is considered in the Ketuvim "Writings" in Hebrew Scriptures, though most Christians consider him more of a prophet as well. Now, given above organization of Hebrew Scriptures for the Nevi'im, the eight possible meanings of "all the prophets" are:. Note also that part of the argument given in the other answer advocating that view revolves around Luke's usage of the term.

While I would agree Luke wrote Acts, I would also maintain that Luke is essentially quoting or at least paraphrasing Peter here v.

Additionally, the proof text given of Luke seems to argue against it referring to the totality of Scripture, as there is essentially an order given. To requote NKJV :. And beginning at Moses and all the Prophets, He expounded to them in all the Scriptures the things concerning Himself. The Greek majority text is there are some textual variants here—spelling of Moses' name, aorist [NA28] vs.

Now if "all the Scriptures" means the total body of all Scriptures Torah, Nevi'im, Ketuvim , the implication of "beginning" at two points is showing the order of His exposition: The Law, the Prophets, then the Writings i. However, "all the Scriptures" in this context could be a reference to all the writings from those two categories, that is, He began at Moses and expounded from the Torah, then He began at the Prophets and expounded from them i. In either case, however, the statement of "all the prophets" would not be referring to all of Scripture, and that seems an unlikely interpretation given the construction of the sentence.

What I have not yet been able to establish is how early the Former Prophets were 1 grouped as an organizational unit so related to [2] above and 2 when they were first referred to themselves as "prophets," nor 3 how early the Latter Prophets were grouped as an organizational unit also related to [2]. This is inferring from Act especially cf.

If so, this would isolate the Books of Samuel and perhaps Judges, if authored by him as an earlier understood division of the Former Prophets, being composed by him and possibly David for the later periods. Examination of the Hebrew Scriptures should help isolate Peter's meaning further. In chapter 7 we see the Person bearing the name of the Lord v. In chapter 9, we see forgiveness v. Both instances testify to the character of the Person bearing the name of the Lord to forgive those who believe our point 2. As best I can tell, there is no reference in Joshua to the coming Judge, though Joshua which means "Savior" himself is appointed by God to lead and judge the people , and it is he who is central to enacting the judgments for both Achan and the Gibeonites.

So if one holds to typology, then Joshua is picturing the appointed Judge of God. This places at least one direct "name" to the Judge. The whole book of Judges serves as showing human judges being appointed by the Judge to enact judgement. YHWH is again noted as judge in 1 Sam cf. The LORD will judge the ends of the earth. This is the first clear reference to some coming king and anointed one, and given in the context such that YHWH's judging implies to be through this individual though that is not explicit here. Even before Israel asked for a king to judge them 1 Sam , 20 , God already had a king in mind for them.

7. The Prophets - Biblical Timeline

The king that will rule is found to come from the line of David, who himself was judge of Israel 2 Sam , but the more importantly the line through which the throne would find its final establishment forever 2 Sam :. In 1 Sam , the book of Judges is referenced as a demonstration of God's forgiving of sins when people turn to him. God's name associated with judgment and forgiveness of sins received to those turning to Him is found throughout Solomon's prayer of 1 Kg Pause to summarize : The testimony of the Former Prophets indicates that if Peter is referring to the Former Prophets at all, then he must be referring to them as either a single unit, or possibly a reference to Samuel only since it does contain the relevant points.

Across the four of them there is further testimony to all the relevant points. It remains to be determined if the Latter Prophets show the relevant points, at least as a group. Isaiah has many references to the YHWH judging , , et. The zeal of the LORD of hosts will perform this. Chapter 11 also speaks of an individual given judgement that is from the line of Jesse i.

David's line; v. But another key verse bringing into focus the Person is But then the ch. The people who dwell in it [Zion, Jerusalem, v. But that iniquities forgiveness is received through the human instrument bearing God's name, we find Isa cf. He shall see the labor of His soul, and be satisfied.

The Prophetic Imagination

Justifying many is an act of judgment, while bearing iniquity is not imposing the iniquity upon them. This Servant is earlier revealed in —. This Servant is chosen of God, above kings, performs judgment, bears iniquities, and forgives the iniquities of God's other servant, namely Israel Isa The connections to the Servant, the King, the coming Judge, and His role in forgiveness could be continued, but the point I think is made connecting the points of the Judge to come.

While there are other passages in the book, chapter 33 contains the essential elements spread out in verses, first v. And the "good thing" of v. This forgiveness is found in a new covenant God is to make with Israel Similar themes are also found in Hosea , Joel , 12, Micah , Zech and probably others, but I must end somewhere. The evidence bears out that Peter must be referring to "all the prophets" as either options 2, 3, 4, or 5 suggest in the Nevi'im writings, since the relevant points are not contained within each of the writings of the Former Prophets though all the relevant features can be found within each of the four books of the Latter Prophets and Samuel.

The only conclusive statement is that 3 or 5 could be accurate: Peter could be focusing on the four books of the Latter Prophets alone, since those divisions are historically evident, and those writers clearly deemed prophets; or including Samuel, as he also is evidently recognized as an actual prophet and the composer of some of the writings contained in that group. I tend to lean presently toward Peter's reference being to the Books of Samuel as the first recognized prophet during the kingdom of Israel and the four Latter Books as the bodies of writing he refers to.

With Luke, usage varies slightly from case to case. If there is a dominant sense, though, it is that "all the prophets" refers to the inspired authors of Israel's scriptures, inclusively. Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets , He [Jesus] explained to them [Cleopas and friend] the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

In both uses in Acts, it is "the Scriptures" as a whole that appears to be in mind, rather than specific "prophetic" books like Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, and The Twelve. Commentators on Acts -- so far as I'm aware -- are thus not very interested in pinning down specific proof texts that might have been in mind. Ben Zvi ; Dixon On the other hand, it can be said that neither of the two images of 'the prophets' was a complete invention: both derive from real prophetic activity. The prophetic function of encouraging the king and the people in threatening circumstances is behind the image of the prophets as 'false and deceptive smooth-talkers'.

This image of the false prophet is a caricature of the prophetic function of guarding the safety and well-being of the king and the nation. The prophetic function to remind the addressees of their duties and the criticism of behaviour that poses a threat to the well-being of the state, is behind the image of the prophets as 'Yahweh's servants' warning the people.

The latter is also a caricature. These two images will now be discussed in greater detail. The image of prophets as false and deceptive smooth-talkers. Later theological reflection on the events of the early 6th century led to the development of the image of the prophets as false and deceptive smooth-talkers De Jong These events, as mentioned above, implied the total failure of prophecy. Of course, it is possible that prophets had been wrong in the past. But, for the first time in the theological reflection of Judah, these prophetic mistakes led to the development of the image of 'the prophets' as generally untrustworthy Carroll The prophets are dismissed as false, as misleaders of the society e.

Is ; Jr ; Mi , they are depicted as madmen cf. These negative views are epitomised in Zechariah , where the declaration of any young person to be a prophet would be dealt with severely by his parents and all future claims to function as a prophet would cause shame. A common feature of these texts is the open and, quite often, extreme hostility shown towards social institutions in pre-exilic Judah.

The fact that such an image developed can only be explained from the theological reflection on the disastrous events at the beginning of the 6th century. Sweeney Indeed, these events were interpreted as a result of Yahweh's anger; he had punished his people because of their wickedness. The theological reflection on these events found its expression in different ways. One variant was thus to blame the prophets who, as it was judged in retrospect, had encouraged kings and people and proclaimed the well-being of the state, despite the grave sins of the people.

Instead of warning the people of the coming disaster, the prophets had falsely encouraged them and thus had caused the disaster to strike. This view of the prophet as a liar is also prominent in the book of Jeremiah. Here, the criticism of the prophets is put into the mouth of Jeremiah who initially is portrayed as not being a prophet himself.

The image of prophets as true servants of Yahweh. Am 26 and the stereotypical phrase, 'thus says Yahweh Such a positive attitude is epitomised by the story of Eldad and Medad in Numbers Carroll In this story, Moses approved of the spirit of prophecy and said: 'Are you jealous for my sake?

Would that all Yahweh's people were prophets, and that Yahweh would put his spirit on them' v. It would be difficult to find a more positive evaluation of prophecy than such a statement attributed to the greatest prophet who had ever lived in Israel's memory Dt ; cf. With the designation 'true servants of Yahweh', the prophets are presented as belonging to a past stage of the history of Israel and Judah, that is, until the end of Judah as a state. The passages that refer to the prophets in this way have different accents De Jong Firstly, within the book of Jeremiah we find that, from the time of Moses until the end of the state of Judah in the 6th century, Yahweh has continuously sent the prophets as his servants to the people in order to urge the people to turn away from their evil ways, but the people nevertheless refused to listen to them.

Secondly, the prophets are part of the narrative framework of 2 Kings: the end of the states of Israel and Judah is narrated by means of the typical pattern of 'prediction and fulfilment'. This book thus presents the prophets as predicting the harsh punishment Yahweh is going to bring over Judah and Israel 2 Ki ; ; ; cf. Ezk Thirdly, the prophets are sometimes described as mediators of Yahweh's law and, as such, are portrayed as the successors of Moses, mediator of the law par excellence 2 Ki Once again it can be emphasised that the image of the prophets as 'servants of Yahweh' is connected to the prophetic practice.

However, as in the case of the prophets as false prophets and liars, the image of the prophets as 'servants of Yahweh' is a one-dimensional picture aiming to explain the disasters that had befallen Israel and Judah. Because the people had persistently refused to listen to the prophets, who had urged them to refrain from their evil ways and to obey Yahweh, their sinful behaviour brought this divine punishment upon them. This image presents the prophets as something of the past, from Moses to Jeremiah, and it is therefore an exilic or post-exilic construct.

Connecting the two traditions. Although both of these traditions occur in the book of Jeremiah, they are nowhere really connected. In all probability these two traditions must have developed separately. Both of these images, namely that of the prophet as a deceiving liar and that of the prophet as Yahweh's true servant, give the impression that they refer to the prophets in general De Jong Those prophets who are depicted as false prophets are thus to be blamed for the disaster and those prophets who are depicted as Yahweh's servants are excused for what had happened.

In this context, the disaster was interpreted as the result of the constant rejection of the prophets who were sent by Yahweh. The only text in the HB that, in one way or another, brings these two traditions together is Deuteronomy Lange ; Weippert On the one hand, there will be a 'prophet like Moses', who is the true spokesperson of Yahweh Dt and, on the other hand, there will be a prophet who speaks in the name of other gods or who pretends to speak in Yahweh's name Dt The dichotomy of cultic prophets who prophesy peace and true prophets who prophesy doom, is part of the biblical portrayal of the prophets, but does not necessarily reflect prophecy as a socio-historical phenomenon De Jong In Judah and Israel, as in Mari, Mesopotamia and in the ancient Near East, the prophetic function included support of the king and people, announcements of the eradication of the nations' adversaries, criticism of the king or the political leaders, and political direction cf.

Kratz When a prophet declared a tragedy, they did not stand in conflict with the state, but functioned as a custodian of the well-being of the state. The tradition of the prophets as oppositional figures envisaging the irreversible collapse of society is an invention of later theological reflection. Such predictions make no sense without a system of divination, aiming at the well-being of state, king and people. These predictions thus only make sense when they are understood as a theological reflection on the past.

In this article I have outlined the fact that the portrayal of characters in the prophetic books cannot be taken as reliable depictions of historical figures belonging to a distinct type of prophet. From these scrolls emerges the idea of a single institution of 'prophecy'. Instead of taking the concepts of the 'great prophet' or the 'classical prophet' as a point of departure, the relationship between the prophetic books and the so-called 'historical prophets' must first be explored. The material that was being added with each new copying of a collection of 'words of Isaiah' or 'sayings of Jeremiah' was the voice of social and political philosophy.

The tradents responsible for this process were reflecting on the interaction of social justice and political fortune. During this process the 'prophetic' figures were made to replicate the function of their literary creators. The prophetic books of the HB indeed grapple with foundational theological questions of evil and righteousness Sweeney These books attempt to come to grips with the problems posed by the Babylonian destruction of Jerusalem and the Temple, as well as the prospects for the restoration of both in the aftermath of the Babylonian exile.

Of course, the very long history of the prophetic books - c. Is Yahweh indeed a righteous deity? What are Judah's and Israel's responsibilities in relation to Yahweh? These questions and others are addressed throughout the prophetic books and they are just as significant today for both Jews and Christians. Ackerman, S. Albertz, R. Jahrhundert v. Allen, L. Auld, A. Davies ed. Becker, U. Ben Zvi, E. Floyd eds. Carroll, R. Davies, P. Reid ed. Essays in honor of Gene M.

Tucker , JSOT suppl. De Jong, M.

A comparative study of the earliest stages of the Isaiah tradition and the Neo-Assyrian prophets , VT suppl. Dixon, H. Carter eds. Fischer, G. Freedman, D. Gitay ed. The diversity of contemporary issues in scholarship, SBL Semeia studies , pp.

Gottwald, N. Grabbe, L. Greenberg, M. Huffmon, H. Nissinen ed. Jeremias, J. Betz et al. Keown, G. Koch, K. Kratz, R. Frevel Hrsg. Lange, A. Lundbom, J. Millard, A. Dell, G.

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Von Koh eds. Otto, E. Achenbach, M. Otto Hrsg. Petersen, D. Redditt, P.

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Schmid, K. Gertz Hrsg. Sweeney, M. Van der Toorn, K. Weippert, M. Magen Hrsg. Weippert Millard and Weippert Numbers ; Deuteronomy , Auld gives an outline of the usage of this term. In reference to David: 2 Chronicles and Nehemiah , The dating of this text has always been a highly debated issue. Vor allem in den neuassyrischen Prophetien dient sie der Legitimation der amtierenden Dynastie '.

Becker and Weippert Lange In this vision he sees a hand, stretched out to him, holding a written scroll; he is then ordered to take the scroll and eat it, in order that he may speak God's words Ezk It is an unusual calling narrative: the familiar motif of God touching the prophet's mouth Is ; Jr is replaced by the consumption of a scroll written by God.

This new motif - or the new visionary experience - would only occur at a time in which people like Ezekiel were familiar with the phenomenon of a written collection of prophetic oracles. He knew such oracles precisely because he was a priest. Greenberg infers that when the verb tense is taken together with the differential sympathy toward the people and the anger toward their misleaders, the possibility that, in verses , we have a post-exilic version of a polemic against false prophecy gains weight.

Historically this oracle seems to presuppose the fall of Jerusalem in BCE. Allen infers that with regard to authorship there is a strong scholarly consensus that its composition is to be credited to Ezekiel's 'school'. Firstly, there seems to be literary dependence on Zephaniah , 8. Secondly, there are also clear verbal comparisons with Ezekiel For example, 2 Kings ; ; ; ; Ezra ; Jeremiah ; ; ; ; ; ; Daniel , 10; Amos ; Zechariah Lange infers as follows: ' Der dtr Redaktor abstrahiert dabei in schon von DtrP in das DtrG eingetragenes Prophetenbild und stellt es dem DtrG als programmatisches Interpretament voran.

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