The Prophetic Literature


This subject is a critical study of the prophetic literature of the Old Testament. It examines the prophetic writings against their varied historical, social, political and religious contexts, and it also explores critical issues associated with their interpretation. The subject examines the major theological and ethical themes of the prophetic writings and critically evaluates their contemporary relevance. Special attention is given to a discrete collection of prophetic texts. Exegetical and interpretive competence is further developed and refined through the critical review and creative application of historical, socio-cultural, rhetorical, poetic and ideological methods of analysis to a range of prophetic texts.


One Semester


Semester 1 every odd year

Subject Points



This subject can be used as the compulsory language subject for Bachelor of Theology (BTh)

Delivery Mode

On site at St Francis College Milton; or Externally – log in to listen and participate or view the lecture via video later.


THL105 and either THL202 or THL209 recommended

Redditt, P.L., (2008), Introduction to the Prophets ISBN 9780802828965

Nogalski, J.D., (2015), Interpreting prophetic literature: historical and exegetical tools for reading the prophets ISBN 9780664261207 

The year of publication and ISBN given corresponds to the copy placed in Closed Reserve at the Roscoe Library; there may be other valid ISBNs that differ because of a different publisher or format. Please contact your lecturer or the Roscoe Library staff to confirm text before purchasing. If purchasing, we recommend that you use

Prescribed Texts

Exegesis 60%

Research Essay 40%



This subject will cover the following topics

  • A scholarly survey of the prophetic literature (Major and Minor Prophets)

  • The historical, social, political and religious contexts of the prophetic literature

  • The contextual nature of prophecy in the social, political and religious life of Israel

  • The date, provenance, growth and composition of the prophetic writings

  • The literary styles and structure of various prophetic materials

  • The redaction and formation of one of the four major prophetic books (Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel or the Twelve)

  • Major theological and ethical themes in the prophetic writings and their contemporary relevance

  • Recent interpretive approaches in relation to prophetic texts

  • Exegesis and interpretation of prophetic texts

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • be able to demonstrate a critical and informed understanding of issues relating to the interpretation of the prophetic literature;

  • be able to demonstrate a critical and informed understanding of the distinctive literature of the biblical prophets from the pre-exilic, exilic and post-exilic periods;

  • be able to discuss the contextual nature of prophecy in the social, political and religious life of Israel;

  • be able to discuss major theological and ethical themes in the prophetic literature and critically evaluate their contemporary relevance;

  • be able to demonstrate advanced competence in the exegesis and interpretation of biblical texts through critical engagement with primary biblical materials and constructive engagement with secondary literature; and

  • be able to demonstrate self-guided learning, including advanced research, writing and communication skills.