STUDY GUIDE FOR ADDITIONAL READING ASSIGNMENT 4
Old Testament Prophecy, by Frank Knight Sanders
NOTE REGARDING LIBERAL TENDENCIES
As you read this text, you should be aware that the author shows liberal tendencies, and some of his comments express opinions that Third Millennium does not share. For example: 1) he sometimes gives the impression that he believes the prophetical books of the Bible contain errors and contradictions. Third Millennium clearly holds to the inspiration and inerrancy of all the Scriptures. 2) He also tends to give dates for some of the books much later than evangelicals tend to give. 3) Thirdly, he breaks up the book of Isaiah into many sections, spread over many years, by several different authors. 4) Finally, he places less emphasis on how the Old Testament points to Christ than evangelicals do.
Having said this, the reading has many valuable insights and a lot of helpful information. An important part of studying theology includes developing the capacity to read books that do not totally conform to our standards, and to discern what is valid and what is not valid. To help you in this process, we will quote some of the more liberal comments in the study guides so that you can learn to identify them.
1. When Cyrus gave permission for the Jews to return to Jerusalem from captivity in Babylon, did they all want to return?
2. What did Haggai and Zechariah encourage the Jews to do in Jerusalem?
Notice the comment on page 64:
"Haggai and Zechariah seem to have been confident that God would speedily open the way for Zerubbabel to be the fulfiller of the Messianic hopes expressed since Isaiah's time. It seems very clear, one may say in all reverence, that in this respect they went beyond what Jehovah had revealed to them. Their God-given task was to build the Temple, and to reconstruct the community. It seemed to them that the next step must be the realization of dynastic hopes in Zerubbabel; but this turned out not to be a part of God's plan."
Do you agree or disagree? Why? Do you think this differs from the more conservative evangelical view? How?
3. After the Babylonian exile, when was the new temple finished?
1. Obadiah deals with a disaster that has come upon what people?
2. Mention key themes of Malachi.
1. Describe the key concept of the message of each prophet:
Notice the comments on pages 73 and 74:
On page 73, the author says that Jonah was written "about 300 B.C."
Also: "The book of Jonah is clearly a parable."
On page 74, he says Daniel was written in the "Third Century B.C."
Also: "The Daniel stories probably passed from mouth to mouth much earlier than the well-established date of the book of Daniel as a whole. Their inaccuracies regarding the events of the exile make it certain that the knowledge regarding those days was traditional.
How do you think these comments differ from the more conservative evangelical view?
1. According to the author, how many centuries were spanned by the prophets?
2. The author says, "Each prophetic message started from some deep conviction about _____."
3. The author says, "During the exile and ever after, the Jewish community was a ______ rather than a nation."
4. The author says, "When the prophet Hosea grasped the wonderful truth that Jehovah's greatest attribute was not His power or His righteousness but his unquenchable, unchanging love, he really made the ________ idea inevitable."
5. The author says, "Hence Isaiah both proclaimed that there would be a repentant, righteous ______ and declared that Jehovah would give this ________ a fitting leadership, that it might become His true agent in blessing the world."
Notice the comment on page 85:
" One contribution of supreme importance to true religious thinking was the direct, definite insistence of the prophets of the eighth century upon character as the fundamental element in true religion, the distinctive element in God Himself, the essential expression of the Divine in life."
Do you agree? Why or why not? Do you think this differs from the more conservative evangelical view? How?
6. According to the author, what is the conception that unifies all prophetic thinking?