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. 

THL 212 or consent of instructor

Nathan, Peter G.

Associate Professor of Theology
Full Time
B.A. (1972), Ambassador University; M.T.S. (1992), Southern Methodist University; M.St. (2012), University of Cambridge.
Subject Matter: 

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.

Course Credit: 
3 semester hours
Instructional Objectives: 

On successful completion of this course, a student should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate the skills necessary for effective Bible study and understanding and explaining biblical passages contextually;
  2. Identify the sociocultural world in which the prophets wrote;
  3. Appreciate the real purposes of prophecy;
  4. Understand the key words associated with prophecy;
  5. 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;
  6. Deepen one’s understanding of history and contemporary world events; and
  7. Develop a sense of urgency as prophetic events unfold.
Required Texts: 

Bible - New King James

Heschel, Abraham J. The Prophets. New York: Harper Perennial Modern Classics, 2001. ISBN 9780060936990.

Additional Readings: 

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.

Course Calendar: 

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

Course Requirements: 

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.

Icebreaker Assignment
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 Exercises
Reading assignments are integrated into the lesson webpages.

Discussion Forums
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.

Writing Assignments
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.

Course Evaluation
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 

Students With Disabilities
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities have a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. Students having a disability requiring an accommodation should inform the instructor by email (on the “Course Info” page click on the instructor’s name and then select “Send Email”).

Technology Access
This course requires web access and the student has to have an established e-mail account. The Adobe Acrobat Reader is necessary to view documents that are PDF files. One can download the reader free at

Course Evaluation
Student input is welcome for improving this course. Making suggestions by e-mail is helpful. Our goal in this course is to facilitate the successful achievement of all instructional objectives by all students. At the end of the course students have the opportunity of assessing the course. We want to make e-learning courses as effective as we can. We may also ask some other questions concerning a student’s experience in distance learning to help us improve our program. We appreciate students letting us know how we can improve our products and services for them and other distance learners.

Withdrawing From or Dropping This Course
It is the responsibility of a student to drop a course if he or she cannot meet the requirements of the course. Any student who stops attending a course without officially withdrawing from it risks receiving a punitive grade for that course. Withdrawal requests may be conveyed in any manner to the course professor, Registrar, or Vice President of Academic Affairs. This action is sufficient for ensuring any refund owed you. Please note the following: If a student drops a course on or before the “Last day to withdraw from a course without a grade penalty” as published in the University Academic Calendar, even if his or her work is not of a passing grade, then a “W” is recorded. If a course is dropped after that date, but before the last 21 calendar days of the semester, then the instructor determines the grade. The faculty member will at this time record a grade of “W” if passing (not computed in GPA) or “WF” if failing (computed in GPA). Students who drop a course, yet remain in one or more other courses during the last 18 calendar days of the semester, will receive a grade of “WF.” Students who completely withdraw from the University at any time during the semester may be given a grade of “W” on all courses. If students do not initiate the withdrawal process, the instructor is required to initiate the administrative process and to record a grade of “W” or “WF” for the course depending on the date the faculty member drops the student from the course. Students who register for a course as an audit, but then withdraw will be assigned a grade of “W” for the course.