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"Major" prophets vs. "Minor" prophets

Discussion in 'Baptist Theology & Bible Study' started by wpe3bql, May 28, 2015.

  1. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql Member

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    Is there a very precise, objective set of standards by which a certain OT prophetic book is a "Major" prophet's (usually Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel & Daniel) in distinction to a book that is relegated to being written by a so-called "Minor" prophet (usually Hosea - Malachi)?

    The only "standard" I've ever seen was that of a particular book's length, or possibly when that book was written.

    To add a bit more confusion to this subject, there are some "scholars" who insist that most (if not ALL) OT prophetic books were written much later than traditionally thought.

    Moreover, many of these same "scholars" will tell you that either a book wasn't really written by the person for whom it was named; or, even worse, most of these prophetic books are merely allegories whose validity is about as equivalent to Aesop's fables.

    So.... Is there, in fact, an absolute set of criteria to determine whether a certain OT book is a "Major" prophet and by no means a "Minor" prophet (or vice versa?
     
  2. Revmitchell

    Revmitchell Well-Known Member

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    Yes, the size of the book.
     
  3. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql Member

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    By "size" do you mean the number of words in the original language of the book? The number of verses and/or chapters the book has?

    If it's the number of chapters, then Zechariah (14 chapters) should be a "Major" prophet.
     
  4. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O. Well-Known Member

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  5. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql Member

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  6. Scarlett O.

    Scarlett O. Well-Known Member

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    Probably because of it's link with the book of Jeremiah and both having the same author.
     
  7. Greektim

    Greektim Well-Known Member

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    The 12 minor prophets have been grouped together for a long time as the book of the 12... like BCE. And Daniel was not considered a prophet at all but part of the writings. So Isa, Jer, and Eze are significantly longer than the other 12.
     
  8. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql Member

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    "Size Matters!" ..... I guess. :thumbsup:
     
  9. Greektim

    Greektim Well-Known Member

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    It does when everything is written on scrolls which has space limitations.
     
  10. wpe3bql

    wpe3bql Member

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    Scrolls tend to use up a lot of bandwidth, don't they.
     
  11. preachinjesus

    preachinjesus Well-Known Member

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    It is also helpful to consider the Hebrew order of the OT:

    [​IMG]

    This order better visualizes the intent and layout of the books. That said, the difference between the 12 minor prophets and the three (four) major prophets is indeed their length. I still consider Daniel an Major Prophet. Lamentations (a book of poetry) is included alongside Jeremiah as it is his work.

    Good thread.
     
    #11 preachinjesus, May 29, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2015
  12. kyredneck

    kyredneck Well-Known Member

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  13. Greektim

    Greektim Well-Known Member

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    This was my point... the Hebrew Bible has in part played a role in why we have 12 minor prophets.

    I disagree w/ Daniel being a prophetic book. Prophecy is simply tell God's message. It may or may not be about the future, but it is certainly God's messenger preaching to God's people about covenant fidelity. Daniel is not about that. Daniel is the beginnings of what would later become apocalyptic literature. Thus it fits well in the writings. And it is mostly narrative but not about a prophetic ministry (like Jonah) but his ministry in Babylon and Persian. Of course, there are prophecies in Daniel, but then there are also some in Deuteronomy.
     
  14. Van

    Van Well-Known Member

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    #14 Van, May 29, 2015
    Last edited by a moderator: May 29, 2015
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