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Reading the Prophets as Christian Scripture

A Literary, Canonical, and Theological Introduction

series: Reading Christian Scripture

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Southwestern Journal of Theology 2022 Book Award (Honorable Mention, Biblical Studies)

This survey textbook is grounded in the view that the prophetic books of the Old Testament should be read as Christian Scripture. Although it covers critical issues such as authorship, background, and history, its primary focus is on the message and theology of the prophetic books and the contribution they make to the Christian canon. Particular attention is given to literary issues, such as the structure of each prophetic book. Full-color illustrations, diagrams, and artwork bring the text to life. Additional resources for instructors and students are available through Textbook eSources.


1. Introduction
Part 1: The Context of the Prophets
2. The Theological Context of the Prophets
3. The Historical Context of the Prophets
Part 2: The Old Testament Prophet
4. The Role of the Old Testament Prophet
5. False Prophets and the Prophets of the Nations
6. The Message of the Prophets
7. The Persuasive Strategies of the Prophets
8. From Prophetic Word to Biblical Book
Part 3: The Prophetic Books
9. Isaiah
10. Jeremiah
11. Ezekiel
12. Daniel
13. Hosea
14. Joel
15. Amos
16. Obadiah
17. Jonah
18. Micah
19. Nahum
20. Habakkuk
21. Zephaniah
22. Haggai
23. Zechariah
24. Malachi


"In a very readable style, this volume provides a helpful introduction to prophecy in ancient Israel and to the prophetic books of the Old Testament. Tully consistently mines relevant theological lessons for Christians and connects the prophetic message to the trajectory of redemption into the New Testament. Well organized, with maps, informative sidebars, and thoughtful questions, Reading the Prophets as Christian Scripture will be a useful textbook and reference book."

M. Daniel Carroll R., Scripture Press Ministries Professor of Biblical Studies and Pedagogy, Wheaton College and Graduate School

"Eric Tully's Reading the Prophets as Christian Scripture offers evangelical students a user-friendly introduction to the Old Testament prophetic books. It surveys the rich theological and historical contexts of the various books, before exploring the phenomena of prophecy and introducing each prophetic book. Great charts, time lines, maps, and pictures add to the book's value. Also appealing is Tully's modeling of how to read individual prophetic books as Christian Scripture."

Marion Taylor, professor of Old Testament, Wycliffe College, University of Toronto

"If the Prophets are to be read, understood, and proclaimed as Scripture for the people of God, then Eric Tully has done the church a great service by writing this book. Tully takes a conservative approach to matters of authorship and date and writes to evangelical audiences, all the while interacting with critical scholarship and explaining his interpretive decisions. The book is accessible and full of useful information, and it possesses a pastoral focus to help students of Scripture comprehend and apply what are often considered puzzling texts of the Bible."

Bo H. Lim, professor of Old Testament, Seattle Pacific University

"At its most basic, this book is a highly readable introduction to the Old Testament Prophets. As such, it covers the standard topics of introductions, including questions of authorship, date, historical and theological contexts, structure, and canon. But to read the Prophets as Scripture is not to impose some esoteric interpretative key but (as Tully makes luminously clear) to read the texts as they are, as they claim to be. The deceptive simplicity of the prose makes this book suitable for first-year seminary students, while the patient unpacking of structural and theological themes proves wonderfully stimulating for more advanced readers."

D. A. Carson, emeritus professor of New Testament, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

"Eric Tully's Reading the Prophets as Christian Scripture takes a deep yet accessible dive into the prophetic literature. Covering a wide range of material, Tully guides readers through a thick interpretive forest for the sake of understanding one of the Bible's more challenging sections. The Prophets often intimidate readers. Even St. Augustine had some initial trouble with Isaiah, leaving him befuddled. Students of the Bible through the centuries have known of Augustine's frustration. So, the question remains: How can we understand unless someone teaches us? Tully's introduction takes its place as an answer to this question. Students and teachers alike will benefit from Tully's clear guidance and excellent teaching."

Mark S. Gignilliat, professor of divinity, Beeson Divinity School

"It is rare to find a volume on the prophetic books that merges the literary, canonical, and theological aspects of the Prophets in such a lucid way. The interpretive framework allows the reader to consider both the ancient and contemporary significance with ease and clarity. Tully serves visual learners especially well. Excellent data is compiled into tables and displayed graphically in figures, in sections entitled 'Thinking Visually,' and these illumine the facts and make hard concepts accessible to the serious student. I will use this as a textbook in the classes I teach on the Prophets."

Donna Petter, associate professor of Old Testament and director of the Hebrew Language Program, Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary

"Eric Tully's Reading the Prophets as Christian Scripture invites readers to encounter the prophetic books of the Old Testament afresh. Like the prophets of old, Tully is highly visual as well as creative, with the goal of making the Prophets accessible to contemporary readers without ignoring recent debates and challenging issues. This volume provides a helpful interpretive framework for understanding the prophets as people and books before introducing the prophetic texts from Isaiah to Malachi. A superb primer for those who have always wanted to understand the Prophets."

Mark J. Boda, professor of Old Testament, McMaster Divinity College

"This book beautifully fulfills its stated purpose. It is a clear and concise but also thorough introduction to the Prophets. It opens up their world, describing their historical context and the theological conflicts that swirled around them. It also explores their rhetoric and the question of how oral messages, in which the prophetic word came in the form of sermons and spoken oracles, transitioned into becoming a set of canonical, written texts. Tully also includes a careful introduction to each prophetic book. The whole discussion is framed for the Christian reader and aims to show that the Prophets speak to the church. Finally, the book is beautifully laid out and easy to read, which adds considerably to its value."

Duane A. Garrett, professor of Old Testament, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

The Author

  1. Eric J. Tully
    © 2016 TIU, Kathleen Murray

    Eric J. Tully

    Eric J. Tully (PhD, University of Wisconsin-Madison) is associate professor of Old Testament and Semitic languages and director of the PhD (Theological Studies) program at Trinity Evangelical Divinity School in Deerfield, Illinois. He is the author of The...

    Continue reading about Eric J. Tully


Southwestern Journal of Theology 2022 Book Award (Honorable Mention, Biblical Studies)