This unit provides a detailed study of the writings of the four “major” prophets of the Old Testament - Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel. The student will gain an overview of the nature of the genre of the prophetic literature and its place in the canon of the Old Testament. The unit will further examine the personalities, historical and cultural background, social setting and theology of the four “major” prophets. Selected passages from the Book of Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Daniel will be chosen for exegesis. In its conclusion, the unit will address the reception of the prophetic writings in later Christian and Jewish tradition and address the question of public proclamation of the prophetic message.

Unit code: BA9400A

Unit status: Approved (Minor revision)

Points: 24.0

Unit level: Postgraduate Elective

Unit discipline: Old Testament

Proposing College: St Athanasius College

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Learning outcomes


Describe and discuss the content, historical context and themes of Prophetic Literature in general and Major Prophets in particular


Analyse the theology of Prophetic Literature


Articulate the reception of the Major Prophets in later Christian and Jewish tradition


Critically evaluate the modern scholarly approaches to the Major Prophets


Apply the message of the Major Prophets to contemporary issues

Unit sequence

An advanced Old Testament unit. Pre-requisite: An Old Testament Introduction unit


The unit will engage students in analysis and theological reflection through the presentation of lectures, readings and engaging discussion

Indicative Bibliography

  • Blekinsopp, Joseph. Opening the Sealed Book: Interpretation of the Book of Isaiah in Late Antiquity. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2006.
  • Childs, Brevard. The Book of Isaiah. Old Testament Library. Louisville, KY: Westminster Press, 2001.
  • Childs, Brevard. The Struggle to Understand Isaiah as Christian Scripture. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2004.
  • Collins, John J. Daniel: A Commentary on the Book of Daniel. Hermeneia. Minneapolis: Fortress, 1993.
  • Smith, Gary V. The Prophets as Preachers: An Introduction to the Hebrew Prophets. Nashville: Broadman&Holman, 1994.
  • Stulman, Louis. J*eremiah*. Abingdon Old Testament Commentary: Nashville: Abingdon, 2005.
  • Thompson, J.A. The Book of Jeremiah. New International Commentary on the Old Testament. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1980.
  • VanGemern, Willem A. Interpreting the Prophetic World. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1990.
  • Walton, John H. Ancient Israel Literature in Its Cultural Context: A Survey of Parallels between Biblical and ancient Near Eastern Texts. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1989.
  • Wright, Christopher J.H. The Message of Ezekiel: A New Heart and a New Spirit. Downers Grove, IL: InterVersity, 2001.


Type Description Word count Weight (%)
Essay 2000 30.0
Essay 2000 30.0
Essay 3000 40.0

Unit approved for the University of Divinity by Prof Albert Haddad on 6 Sep, 2023

Unit record last updated: 2023-09-06 15:59:09 +1000