On-line version ISSN 2309-9089
Print version ISSN 1015-8758
Acta theol. vol.33 n.2 Bloemfontein Jan. 2013
H.G.L. Peels and S.D. Snyman (Editors), The Lion has roared. Theological themes in the prophetic literature of the Old Testament. Eugene, OR.: Pickwick Publications, 2012. Paperback. xiii + 241 pages. ISBN 978-1-61097-659-6 http://dx.doi.org/10.4314/actat.v33i2.19
The subtitle Theological themes in the prophetic literature of the Old Testament implies that the book is not merely an introduction to the prophetic literature of the Old Testament. The Lion has roared is intended to provide an overview of the core message and most important theological themes in each of the so-called Writing Prophets in the Old Testament. The chapters which are allocated to the different prophetic books deal successively with the historical setting of the book, the content and structure of the book and the theology of the book. In some instances the relevance of the specific book for our time is also addressed. The short summaries of the themes of the individual prophets, for instance "Amos, prophet of God's justice," is extremely useful. A single phrase brings the most important theological theme of each prophet to mind.
The discussions of the various prophets are preceded by a preface, an introduction and a chapter dealing with the identity of the prophets and their activities. Every chapter concludes with a short bibliography. The reader is also provided with as list of the contributors to the book and an index of Scriptural references.
When compared to similar books on the prophetic literature which have been published since 2000, less space is allocated to the so-called Major Prophets in The Lion has roared than is customary. The contributors to the book have nonetheless succeeded in providing the reader with a full overview of these prophets. The so-called Minor Prophets are treated individually and not as part of The Book of the Twelve. Although the book of Daniel strictly speaking does not belong to the Latter Prophets, a chapter on that book is included since Daniel is considered a prophetic book par excellance by many.
The prophetic books are arranged according to their respective time of origin. It is conceded that the order is debatable since historical precision is in most cases unattainable and that the prophetic books have a long history. The book of Isaiah is, however, treated in a different manner. Instead of considering the entire book of Isaiah in one chapter, two chapters are allocated to it. One chapter deals with the words of Isaiah, son of Amoz. The other chapter considers Isaiah 40-66, which was written against the background of the Babylonian exile and its aftermath. If the book of Isaiah had been treated in the same way as the other prophetic books had been treated, it would have the advantage that the different themes that occur throughout the book could have been presented more comprehensively.
Scholars from a wide range of evangelical and reformed institutes in eight different countries in four continents contributed to the book. The Lion has roared is a welcome addition to the literature on the prophetic corpus. The hope expressed by the editors that the book will serve as a textbook for academics, students, pastors and lay people who have an interest in the prophetic literature, will definitely be realized.
Dr MD Terblanche
Part-time lecturer, Department Old Testament
University of the Freestate