45. The Elusive Prophet: The Prophet as a Historical Person, Literary Character and Anonymous Artist

Author(s): Edited by Johannes C. de Moor
Year of publication: 2001

The Israelite prophets as historical persons, as literary characters and as anonymous artists. Whereas modern methods of literary analysis have brought the artistic qualities of the books of the Prophets increasingly into focus during the past century, various modes of deconstruction have made the historical prophets themselves an ever more elusive phenomenon. Passages in the Old Testament describing their work and experiences are not read as biography anymore, but as literary fiction intended to picture the prophets as heroes of faith. The real ‘prophets’ were the anonymous artists who were responsible for the final editing of the legacy of the historical prophets and who often used the authority of their predecessors to promulgate their own theological views. This volume brings together studies about this theme by members of the British and Dutch societies for Old Testament study. Attempts to recover some of the biographical data and authentic experiences of the prophets alternate with penetrating analyses of the theological depth and stylistic virtuosity of the prophetic books.The volume will be particularly useful to all those interested in the interpretation of the prophetic books of the Old Testament.

order here