This course deals with the role and function of biblical or “major” prophets with a focus on the prophecies found in Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel. Emphasis is on the historical background of each prophet and the writing of each book as well as their prophetic meaning. Upon completion, students should be able to use analysis tools to read, understand, and explain these biblical writings.
Prophecy forms a major part of Scripture, by which Holy men of God where inspired to convey the mind of God to His people, past, present and future. The Old Testament Books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel are referred to as the Major Prophets, a classification based on the size of the books and not the content or message of their writings. This section of Scripture provides a useful segue into the study of prophecy in the Bible, helping us appreciate the purposes of prophecy, its relationship to the Law of God and its relevance to us in the 21st century.
Peter Nathan served as a faculty member in Theology for seven years at Ambassador College/University. As a faculty member in 1990. he led a group of students to participate in the Tel Mozan Expedition, Syria, which was directed by Giorgio Buccellati and Marilyn Kelly-Buccellati. His studies at Southern Methodist University focused largely on Hebrew and Old Testament Exegesis. Most recently he has completed a Master’s program at University of Cambridge focusing on Jewish Christian relations, with an emphasis on early Church history and the “Parting of the Ways.” Subsequent to the time at Ambassador University, he focused on education of young adults within church communities, providing seminars in Biblical Studies to help lay a foundation for future roles in the ministry. In addition he has written and published numerous articles on the identity of the early church, which carefully examined and challenged many of the commonly held assumptions relating to that era of time. The place and use of the Dead Sea Scrolls in understanding the early church environment has been a special interest. Ordained to the ministry of the Church of God in 1973, he has pastored churches in diverse parts of the world and has been deeply involved in ministry to the developing world. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature, the American Schools of Oriental Research and the International Patristics Society. As well as serving on the Living University Administrative Council, Mr. Nathan serves as the University's Chair of the Theology Department, and Vice Chair of the Learning Resources Committee.
On successful completion of this course, a student should be able to:
- Demonstrate the skills necessary for effective Bible study and understanding and explaining biblical passages contextually;
- Identify the sociocultural world in which the prophets wrote;
- Appreciate the real purposes of prophecy;
- Understand the key words associated with prophecy;
- Provide an understanding of the Major Prophets and show how their prophecies have been not only fulfilled in the past but can relate to our lifetime;
- Deepen one’s understanding of history and contemporary world events; and
- Develop a sense of urgency as prophetic events unfold.
Bible - New King James
Heschel, Abraham J. The Prophets. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2001. ISBN 9780060936990.
The following are supplemental (optional) resourses for your use:
Walton, Robert C. Chronological and Background Charts of the Old Testament. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 1994. ISBN 9780310481614.
Aharoni, Yohanan, Michael Avi-Yonah, Anson F. Fainey, Ze'ev Safrai, and R. Steven Notley. The Carta Bible Atlas. 5th ed. Jerusalem: Carta the Israel Map and Pub. Co., Ltd., 2011. ISBN 9789652208149.
This course includes a series of lectures by Peter Nathan. Links to the lectures are in lessons on the respective Lesson pages. Additional material will be posted in the Files section of a Lesson on the right side of the Lesson page.
Welcome and Overview
Lesson 1 Define Prophecy and its types
Lesson 2 Prophets—their office, function and calling
Lesson 3 Scope of Biblical Prophecy
Lesson 4 Language of Biblical Prophecy
Lesson 5 Keys to understanding Prophecy
Exam 1 (Lessons 1-5), proctored, closed book
Lesson 6 Background to the study of Isaiah
Lesson 7 Topical study of Isaiah
Lesson 8 Topical study of Isaiah
Lesson 9 Background to Jeremiah
Lesson 10 Topical study of Jeremiah
Exam 2 (Lessons 6-10), proctored, closed book
Lesson 11 Topical study of Jeremiah
Lesson 12 Background to Ezekiel
Lesson 13 Topical study of Ezekiel
Lesson 14 Topical study of Ezekiel
Lesson 15 Review of Major Prophets
Exam 3 (Lessons 11-15), proctored, closed book
Due Dates and Extensions
Submit assignments on or before posted due dates. Students must complete the course by the last official day of instruction as set forth in the academic calendar.
To officially begin this course you must complete an icebreaker assignment by which you introduce yourself to your classmates through posting a short autobiography on the Icebreaker discussion forum.
Reading assignments are integrated into the lesson webpages.
For each discussion forum you will be asked to post your thoughts and insights on the discussion topic. You are invited to comment on the postings of others. This is your opportunity to participate in interactive dialog. In addition to being thoughtful responses, be sure to keep the postings positive and helpful.
There is one essay due at the end of the course. Submit your essay utilizing MLA style as set forth in Writing Research Papers: A Complete Guide by Lester & Lester. The Files feature on the “What I Have Learned” Assignment Submission page lets you submit your work so your instructor can have it handy for download, review and grading.
Quizzes and Examinations
Each lesson has an associated online quiz. These range from 10-20 questions. They are open book quizzes and there is no time limit, but under no circumstances are students to print the quiz. An open book quiz is not a workbook exercise. It is a test where the student can consult his or her notes and books. Quizzes are objective tests which may include true/false, matching, multiple–choice questions covering lectures, readings, vocabulary words, geographical terms and places and discussion topics.
There are three exams which will draw multiple questions from quizzes and class material. These are proctored examinations that are to be taken online. A proctored exam is one that is overseen by an impartial individual (called a proctor) who monitors or supervises a student while he or she is taking an exam. The proctor ensures the security and integrity of the exam process for all involved.
Complete the course evaluation to provide feedback on your course experience. Near the end of the semester, an ALERT on your student dashboard will notify you when the evaluation is available for completion. Because the survey is anonymous, in order to have the ascribed points allocated, post a notice on the assignment text board for your instructor noting that you have completed the evaluation.
A course grade will be determined based on the number of points a student has earned over the semester as follows:
Icebreaker Assignment (30 points)
Discussion Forums (300 points)
Quizzes (fifteen at 20 points each, for a total of 300 points)
Exam 1 (100 points) [timed, proctored, closed book]
Exam 2 (100 points) [timed, proctored, closed book]
Exam 3 (100 points) [timed, proctored, closed book]
“What I Have Learned” Essay (40 points)
Course Evaluation (30 points)
Total 1,000 points
Grades are assigned as follows:
A = 900 – 1000 points
B = 800 – 899 points
C = 700 – 799 points
D = 600 – 699 points
F = below 600 points