He Gave Us Prophets

He Gave Us Prophets cover art
Instructor: Dr. Richard L. Pratt, Jr.
Lessons: 8
Discipline: Old Testament
Course Group: Hermeneutics

Prophecy is both exciting and frustrating. Most Christians are intrigued by biblical predictions, but at a loss when it comes to understanding them. Feeling overwhelmed by its complicated history and literature, we often disregard this part of the Bible.

But God did not give us prophecy just so that we would ignore it. And prophecy is extremely valuable to us when we interpret it rightly. When we understand the prophets' motivations and methods, we are better equipped to discover the significance of their words for today.

Course Goals:

  • Explain the role of prophecy throughout the Bible.
  • Survey the major genres and functions of biblical prophecy.
  • Provide a biblical, responsible method for interpreting prophecy and applying it in the modern world.

36 min.

Lesson 1: Essential Hermeneutical Perspectives

Explores the confusion about prophecy, a prophet's experience, original meaning and New Testament perspectives on Old Testament prophecy.
67 min.

Forum 1: Essential Hermeneutical Perspectives

A companion video to lesson 1 of the same series that asks the following questions:
  • What makes prophetic books so difficult to understand?
  • Did the Holy Spirit dictate his revelations to the prophets?
  • What is organic inspiration?
  • To what extent did the prophets understand their own prophecies?
  • Why is it important to search for the original meaning of biblical passages?
  • Why should we avoid reading the prophetic texts atomistically, or in isolation from their literary context?
  • What is the danger in reading prophetic texts ahistorically, or in isolation from their historic context?
  • What is grammatico-historical exegesis?
  • How can we draw practical modern applications from biblical prophecy without ignoring the prophet's original intention?
  • How did the Old Testament prophets understand the "day of the Lord"?
67 min.

Forum 1: Essential Hermeneutical Perspectives

A companion video to lesson 1 of the same series that asks the following questions:
  • What makes prophetic books so difficult to understand?
  • Did the Holy Spirit dictate his revelations to the prophets?
  • What is organic inspiration?
  • To what extent did the prophets understand their own prophecies?
  • Why is it important to search for the original meaning of biblical passages?
  • Why should we avoid reading the prophetic texts atomistically, or in isolation from their literary context?
  • What is the danger in reading prophetic texts ahistorically, or in isolation from their historic context?
  • What is grammatico-historical exegesis?
  • How can we draw practical modern applications from biblical prophecy without ignoring the prophet's original intention?
  • How did the Old Testament prophets understand the "day of the Lord"?
33 min.

Lesson 2: A Prophet's Job

Explores the job titles, transitions and expectations of a prophet.
57 min.

Forum 2: A Prophet's Job

A companion video to lesson 2 of the same series that asks the following questions:
  • How is the job of a prophet different from that of a simple fortune teller?
  • What does the Hebrew word "nabi" (nah-VEE) communicate about the role of prophets?
  • In what ways were prophets called to be seers?
  • In what ways were prophets called to be messengers?
  • What regulations for kingship did Israel's kings violate, leading to an increase in the number of prophets during the monarchical period?
  • What role did the prophets play in holding Israel and its leaders accountable to God's law?
  • Why was there so much prophetic activity prior to God's exiles of Israel and Judah from the Promised Land?
  • What were the major concerns of the post-exilic prophets?
  • What is the relationship between divine covenants and ancient Near Eastern treaties?
  • How was the prophetic office related to the covenant God established with Israel?
  • How did the prophets serve as God's covenant ambassadors or emissaries?
57 min.

Forum 2: A Prophet's Job

A companion video to lesson 2 of the same series that asks the following questions:
  • How is the job of a prophet different from that of a simple fortune teller?
  • What does the Hebrew word "nabi" (nah-VEE) communicate about the role of prophets?
  • In what ways were prophets called to be seers?
  • In what ways were prophets called to be messengers?
  • What regulations for kingship did Israel's kings violate, leading to an increase in the number of prophets during the monarchical period?
  • What role did the prophets play in holding Israel and its leaders accountable to God's law?
  • Why was there so much prophetic activity prior to God's exiles of Israel and Judah from the Promised Land?
  • What were the major concerns of the post-exilic prophets?
  • What is the relationship between divine covenants and ancient Near Eastern treaties?
  • How was the prophetic office related to the covenant God established with Israel?
  • How did the prophets serve as God's covenant ambassadors or emissaries?
44 min.

Lesson 3: The People of the Covenant

Examines humanity and covenant, Israel and covenant as well as salvation and covenant.
71 min.

Forum 3: The People of the Covenant

A companion video to lesson 3 of the same series that asks the following questions:
  • In what ways were God's covenants with Adam and Noah more universal than later covenants?
  • What is the covenant of works?
  • If God promised natural stability in his covenant with Noah, why do we still experience so many natural disasters?
  • How can people today serve as God's image and live out his mandate to fill the earth and rule over it?
  • Why are God's covenants with Abraham, Moses and David understood to be more national in character?
  • How did Old Testament prophets depend on Moses' covenant?
  • Why did God choose David's royal line to be a permanent dynasty in Israel?
  • How is the new covenant similar to and different from the covenants of the Old Testament?
  • What did God intend to convey to the nation of Israel through Hosea's marriage to Gomer and their children's names?
  • What is the invisible church?
  • Why did the prophets so frequently call Israel to "circumcise their hearts" to the Lord?
71 min.

Forum 3: The People of the Covenant

A companion video to lesson 3 of the same series that asks the following questions:
  • In what ways were God's covenants with Adam and Noah more universal than later covenants?
  • What is the covenant of works?
  • If God promised natural stability in his covenant with Noah, why do we still experience so many natural disasters?
  • How can people today serve as God's image and live out his mandate to fill the earth and rule over it?
  • Why are God's covenants with Abraham, Moses and David understood to be more national in character?
  • How did Old Testament prophets depend on Moses' covenant?
  • Why did God choose David's royal line to be a permanent dynasty in Israel?
  • How is the new covenant similar to and different from the covenants of the Old Testament?
  • What did God intend to convey to the nation of Israel through Hosea's marriage to Gomer and their children's names?
  • What is the invisible church?
  • Why did the prophets so frequently call Israel to "circumcise their hearts" to the Lord?
42 min.

Lesson 4: Dynamics of the Covenants

Explores covenant ideals, judgments and blessings.
61 min.

Forum 4: Dynamics of the Covenants

A companion video to lesson 4 of the same series that asks the following questions:
  • What is a covenant?
  • How has the discovery of ancient Near Eastern treaties helped us understand biblical covenants?
  • How do all biblical covenants display God's benevolence?
  • Are divine covenants unconditional, or do they include an element of human responsibility?
  • In what ways did biblical covenants require loyalty?
  • How do the Ten Commandments demonstrate that God's relationship with his people is based on his grace and mercy?
  • What is the relationship between faith and works in the Christian life?
  • What is saving faith?
  • What does Leviticus 26 teach us about God's patience in bringing divine judgment?
  • If some of God's blessings are contingent on our obedience, does this mean that our good works contribute to our salvation?
  • How did God promise to bless Israel and Judah after the judgment of exile?
61 min.

Forum 4: Dynamics of the Covenants

A companion video to lesson 4 of the same series that asks the following questions:
  • What is a covenant?
  • How has the discovery of ancient Near Eastern treaties helped us understand biblical covenants?
  • How do all biblical covenants display God's benevolence?
  • Are divine covenants unconditional, or do they include an element of human responsibility?
  • In what ways did biblical covenants require loyalty?
  • How do the Ten Commandments demonstrate that God's relationship with his people is based on his grace and mercy?
  • What is the relationship between faith and works in the Christian life?
  • What is saving faith?
  • What does Leviticus 26 teach us about God's patience in bringing divine judgment?
  • If some of God's blessings are contingent on our obedience, does this mean that our good works contribute to our salvation?
  • How did God promise to bless Israel and Judah after the judgment of exile?
44 min.

Lesson 5: Historical Analysis of Prophecy

Examines how Old Testament history provides the context for properly understanding Old Testament prophecy.
42 min.

Lesson 6: Literary Analysis of the Prophets

Examines three different kinds of literature within Old Testament prophecy: historical narratives, communication with God and communication with people.
48 min.

Lesson 7: The Purpose of Predictions

Explores four topics related to prophetic words about the future: God's sovereignty, human contingencies, degrees of certainty, and desired outcomes.
48 min.

Lesson 8: Unfolding Eschatology

Focuses on how prophetic eschatology developed through the historical periods of: Moses, the early prophets, the later prophets, and the New Testament.