The Minor Prophets: A Theological Introduction, By Craig G. Bartholomew and Heath A. Thomas alt

The Minor Prophets

A Theological Introduction

by Craig G. Bartholomew and Heath A. Thomas

The Minor Prophets
  • Length: 400 pages
  • Published: September 19, 2023
  • Imprint: IVP Academic
  • Item Code: A0169
  • ISBN: 9781514001691

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The good news from the Minor Prophets is that, even in dire times, God speaks.

While the Minor Prophets are among the most succinct books of the Old Testament, their theological richness has much to offer us today. And not only did they have something to say to their original audience, but God continues to speak through their words in ways that are of utmost importance for the continued flourishing of God's people. In this unique introduction to the Minor Prophets, biblical scholars Craig Bartholomew and Heath Thomas survey the twelve books and explore the theological themes of each. Filled with helpful exegetical insights, this book is an invaluable guide for students, pastors, and scholars looking for a cohesive exploration of these often-overlooked books of the Hebrew Bible.

More than a survey of the text, each chapter offers theological insights that help frame the message of the Minor Prophets for preaching and living in our world today. This introduction contextualizes the Minor Prophets within a larger biblical-theological framework, illuminating these twelve books as masterful works of literature that address the realities of human life with unblinking honesty and uncompromising hope.

"Showing clarity and theological awareness, Craig Bartholomew and Heath Thomas open up these important books. With close attention to the text, they demonstrate the abiding significance of their message. This book deserves to be read widely and should have a place on any reading list on the Minor Prophets. Highly commended!"

David Firth, tutor in Old Testament at Trinity College, Bristol, and author of Including the Stranger: Foreigners in the Former Prophets

"This timely theological reading of the Twelve attends to the long impact they have had: in their original context; as practiced by Jesus of Nazareth; as read by New Testament authors; and in light of the concerns of our own time. It is an accessible introduction to the Twelve that adds more—highlighting key texts and themes arising in individual books and pointing out the connections that hint at their preservation as an anthology. Authors Bartholomew and Thomas, like prophets of old, listen for the voice of God. This volume is no mere academic exercise but will shape faithful action in its readers."

Jeanette Mathews, author of Performing Habakkuk and Prophets as Performers

"Bartholomew and Thomas have produced an impressive major resource for the study of the book of the Twelve. Concerned above all to bring the prophets' powerful message to today's church, they write with urgency and empathy about the contemporary world, convinced that this is what motivated the prophets in their own times. Firmly grounded in scholarship on the ancient Hebrew and Greek texts, and their interpretation in the church from the earliest Christian centuries, Bartholomew and Thomas offer sensitive, close readings of each book. At the same time, they attend to complex hermeneutical issues, notably the theological relationship of each book to the Twelve considered as a corpus, and also to the New Testament. This book should become indispensable for serious study of the Prophets."

Gordon McConville, professor emeritus of Old Testament at the University of Gloucestershire

"Bartholomew and Thomas have produced an accessible yet consummate guide to reading the minor prophetic books theologically, ranging from ancient Near Eastern background considerations to New Testament and early Christian interpretation. They help novices and experts alike navigate this collection of small and significant texts with helpful tables (who doesn't appreciate a good table?), thoughtful reflection, and pastoral hearts."

Brittany N. Melton, associate professor of biblical and theological studies at Palm Beach Atlantic University

"Craig Bartholomew and Heath Thomas have written an accessible, thoroughly researched, and theologically insightful introduction to the Minor Prophets. Christians of every stripe will find this volume invaluable as an entry point to these undervalued prophetic books. The authors have provided historical and contextual analysis with contemporary theological application, and they strike a balance between exacting scholarship and accessible writing."

Colin Toffelmire, associate professor of Old Testament at Ambrose University

"This new primer on the Minor Prophets provides the kind of orientation that is needed to engage with and embrace the message of these timely Old Testament books. This work is historically accurate and rhetorically sensitive, and yet builds the necessary theological framework for listening anew to these prophetic words in their inscripturated form for our present generation. Prepare to be challenged!"

Mark J. Boda, professor of Old Testament at McMaster Divinity College in Hamilton, Ontario

Read an Excerpt



1. Reading the Minor Prophets with the Church and in the Academy
2. The Ancient Word of Prophecy
3. Hosea: YHWH: Lover and Lion
4. Hosea 2: 14-23[16-25]: A Tale of Two Futures: Part Two
5. Joel: The Valley of Decision
6. The Day of the LORD
7. Amos: YHWH, the Master of Geopolitics, and the Affliction of Joseph
8. Amos and Creation: The Hymn Fragments
9. Obadiah: Edom's Fall and YHWH's Kingdom
10. Jonah: The Patient God
11. Spiritual Formation: Jonah and His Canticle 2:3[2]-10[9]
12. Micah: Divine Forgiveness and the Remnant
13. He Has Told You What Is Good: Micah 6:6-8
14. Nahum and Zephaniah: God, the Nations, and Israel
15. Habakkuk: A Protesting and Patient Faith
16. Faith in the Faithful God: Habakkuk 2:2-4
17. Zechariah: Prisoners of Hope
18. Zechariah 9:9-10: The King Receives His Kingdom
19. Haggai and Malachi: Restoration and Remembrance
20. The Theology of the Minor Prophets
21. The Minor Prophets and Jesus
22. The Theology of the Minor Prophets for Today


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Craig G. Bartholomew

Craig G. Bartholomew is director of the Kirby Laing Centre for Public Theology in Cambridge, UK. He has written and edited numerous books, including Contours of the Kuyperian Tradition, Introducing Biblical Hermeneutics, Beyond the Modern Age (with Bob Goudzwaard), The Drama of Scripture (with Michael Goheen), The Doctrine of Creation (with Bruce Ashford), and a commentary on Ecclesiastes.

Heath A. Thomas

Heath A. Thomas is the 16th President of Oklahoma Baptist University. He joined the OBU faculty in 2015, serving as dean of the Hobbs College of Theology and Ministry and the associate vice president for church relations. Thomas also served as interim dean of the Divisions of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Language and Literature, and the Floyd K. Clark Chair of Christian Leadership. Before coming to OBU, he served as director of Ph.D. studies and associate professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary in Wake Forest, North Carolina.