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Handbook on the Prophets Paperback – July 1, 2009

ISBN-13: 978-0801038600 ISBN-10: 080103860X

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Handbook on the Prophets + The Message of the Prophets: A Survey of the Prophetic and Apocalyptic Books of the Old Testament
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 512 pages
  • Publisher: Baker Academic (July 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 080103860X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0801038600
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1.2 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.1 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #496,012 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

From the Back Cover

The prophetic books of the Bible contain some of the most difficult passages in the entire Old Testament. Handbook on the Prophets provides a thorough and insightful introduction for students of Old Testament prophetic literature. Robert Chisholm guides readers through the important and often complex writings of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Lamentations, Ezekiel, Daniel, and the Minor Prophets, examining the content, structure, and theological message of each book. Rather than attempting to provide a detailed verse-by-verse commentary, this handbook focuses on the prevailing themes and central messages of the prophetic books. It considers how the message of the prophets would have been heard in their respective historical communities and the prophets' continuing importance for contemporary study.

"An excellent contribution. . . . [Chisholm] has provided an accessible commentary that offers an overview of the message of the biblical text with sensitivity to the historical context of the prophet."--Mark J. Boda, Review of Biblical Literature

"An accessible introduction of the prophetic books for those who desire a better understanding of the message of the prophets. . . . [Chisholm's] discussion of the context of the prophetic books is very helpful."--Claude Mariottini, Review & Expositor

"An extremely useful tool for serious study of the Old Testament. . . . Commentaries of this nature and especially of this quality not only bridge the chasm between the technicalities of scholarship and the practical situations of preaching, teaching, and worship in churches, but also begin to disturb the status quo in which the use of and reliance upon translations and paraphrases has dulled the church's sense of responsibility toward the study of the Hebrew text. This is one of the most praiseworthy aspects of Chisholm's work. . . . Chisholm deserves much praise for the extent and depth of his commentary."--J. C. Lubbe, Old Testament Essays

"Chisholm proceeds chapter by chapter through each prophetic book (as well as Lamentations and Daniel) and provides an often-detailed summary of its contents plus an analysis of literary themes, linguistic notes, and occasionally historical contexts."--Tyler Mayfield, Religious Studies Review

About the Author

Robert B. Chisholm Jr. (Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary) is professor of Old Testament and chair of the department at Dallas Theological Seminary in Dallas, Texas. He is the author of Interpreting the Minor Prophets and From Exegesis to Exposition: A Practical Guide to Using Biblical Hebrew.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

23 of 24 people found the following review helpful By FrKurt Messick HALL OF FAMEVINE VOICE on December 26, 2003
Format: Hardcover
Like the other books in this series, 'Handbook on the Prophets' is a highly useful and accessible text. Baker Book House also published 'Handbook on the Pentateuch' many years ago, which has become a widely read book, and 'Handbook on the Historical Books' just a few years ago. Chisholm's book is a welcome part of this collection.
This is not a verse by verse commentary on the prophetic books of the Hebrew scripture. Rather, this is a more general commentary that looks as pericopes (logical blocks of text that flow together) as units. Each chapter (or, in the case of the minor prophets, sub-chapter) has an introduction that gives the basic historical and social background, pertinent linguistic and literary information, and general structural and contextual themes.
The longest chapter, as befits its subject among the prophets, is on Isaiah. This gives a good indication of the kind of commentary Chisholm produces. In the discussion on the authorship of Isaiah, he puts forward the theory that the author of 'First Isaiah' (Isaiah 1-39) is different from the author of 'Second Isaiah' (Isaiah 40-66); perhaps there is even an 'Third Isaiah' (Isaiah 56-66) distinct from the other two. However, Chisholm prefers the more traditional idea that there is but one author of Isaiah. Rather than dealing with the multiple-author theory, he rather sets it forward as a scholarly possibility, but concentrates his writing on the single-author text. From this, one can see from this that Chisholm's interpretative framework is a more traditional and conservative one, but not one that does excludes alternatives.
One of the strengths of this text lies in the bibliographies -- this commentary is not a book by scholars for scholars, but does not ignore that consideration.
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14 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Brett V. on December 13, 2005
Format: Hardcover
(PLEASE NOTE - THIS REVIEW WAS POSTED UNDER JOSH PLAZAK'S NAME, MY ROOMMATE, ACCIDENTALLY)

Chisholm's commentary proved insightful and will be a good resource for me in the future regarding my studies in The Word. I look forward to reading some more of his work now that I am a little more familiar with his hermeneutical slant and doctrinal leanings.

The overall outlines of each prophetical book was helpful. However, he or the editor grouped the Minor Prophets in one large heading which made it difficult to reference them as single books (the tops of the pages only said "Minor Prophets" and not the specific minor prophet). Even so, the outlines of some of the books by Chisholm were unique when compared to other scholars' outlines, making it helpful to see the book more comprehensively.

Chisholm made helpful textual analyses throughout his commentary, citing various places where questionable translating occurred in certain versions (often the NIV). He also showed his acumen analyzing the Hebrew text itself. These were often very technical footnotes which would be of value, I would assume, for those who are well versed in studying the ancient Hebrew text.

His one leaning that seemed questionable, though, was his tendency that seemed to generalize large portions of prophetical scripture as merely language used for exaggerated effect. It is not that Chisholm did not evaluate and comment on various opinions on texts that he believed were better off seen as exaggerations - he did take time to do this. However, in some cases his stance to see certain passages as merely "exaggerations for effect" seemed to ignore or not account better for specific details that implicitly seemed to require more of an explanation that one of hyperbole.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful A Kid's Review on December 14, 2005
Format: Hardcover
Throughout the semester the text Chisholm's Handbook on the prophets has been a valuable resource for me as far as research and collecting a different opinion goes. This book offers a thorough and insightful introduction for any student studying the Old Testament Prophetic literature. Rather than attempting to provide a detailed verse-by-verse commentary, this handbook focused on the prevailing themes and central messages of the prophetic books. In the text, Chisholm starts every chapter with a brief analysis of the historical and social setting of the book under discussion. Chisholm works his way through the writings describing the structure, content, and important concepts found in the text. Chisholm made it vital to examine and review critical issues whenever they are important for the interpretation of a particular passage. However, he focused more broadly on the theological themes that characterize the work as a whole. Students in seminary and of the advanced biblical studies would find this volume enlightening and extremely helpful as they make their way through the prophetical books. This handbook on the prophets will also be a good resource for pastors and teachers to use in their teaching and research of this portion of scripture.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By DrPhilS on April 17, 2009
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I appreciate Chisolm's commitment to the Biblical text, and to the grammatical-historical setting. I have used the book primarily in connection with teaching through Isaiah. I also use Chisolm's "From Exegesis to Exposition" to help with grammatical matters.
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By L. Christian on August 26, 2013
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book is not light reading. It is a serious study of the Old Testament Prophets their time and their work. It is a great resource when working your way through any study of the books written by the prophets. It give you insight to general time frame of prophecies, the context into which the prophecies were written, and the subsequent fulfillment of those prophecies.
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More About the Author

Robert B. Chisholm, Jr. (Th.D., Dallas Theological Seminary) is Associate Professor Old Testament Studies at Dallas Theological Seminary. He is the author of "Hosea" and "Joel" in the Bible Knowledge Commentary.

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