Saturday, October 16, 2010

Prophecy after the Prophets

I will be offering an upper level seminar at Briercrest College and Seminary next semester on early Christian prophecy within its early Jewish and Greco-Roman contexts. The course will be cross-listed in the college as BLST415 Advanced Studies in New Testament Literature, and in the seminary as BT829 New Testament Specialty: Prophecy after the Prophets.

The questions we will consider include the following:

  • What happened to prophecy between the Old and New Testaments? Did it cease only to be restored in the New Testament? Was it transformed or did it continue unchanged? What is the relationship between Old Testament prophecy and early Jewish apocalyptic literature (including the book of Revelation)?
  • Perceptions of past prophecy: How did early Jews and Christians interpret the written prophets? In what ways did respect for the “Prophets” as Scripture shape how early Jews and Christians viewed contemporary inspired experiences?
  • Future prophets: What role did prophets play in Jewish expectations of the future? How did early Jews and Christians understand Malachi’s prediction of the return of the prophet Elijah, and Deuteronomy’s prediction of a “prophet like Moses”?
  • Jesus the prophet: What sort of prophet was Jesus? How does the title “prophet” relate to the title “Messiah”?
  • Christian prophets in history: What role, if any, did Christian prophets play in the transmission of the Jesus tradition? What role did Christian male and female prophets play in Paul’s churches? How would Christian prophecy have been viewed in comparison with Greco-Roman conceptions of prophecy?
  • Christian prophets and theology: Are all Christians prophets? What is the relationship between prophecy and tongues? What are the characteristics of Christian prophets? How are prophets different from apostles? Is Christian prophecy different from Old Testament prophecy?
  • What happened to prophecy after the New Testament?
I will post the syllabus when it is complete. (My next major task is deciding on the readings--the single most important part of designing a successful seminar. Any recommendations?)

The course is currently scheduled on Friday's between 9:00 a.m. - 12:00 p.m., so you'll need to be in the Caronport area if you'd like to participate.

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