This course focuses on the writings of the minor prophets, including the background, message, purposes and theme of each. Emphasis is upon the essential message and teaching of each book, shaped by the relationship of the individual prophets with the God of Israel, together with their personality and background. 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 were 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 Minor 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: 

Heschel, Abraham J. The Prophets. 1st Perennial Classics ed. New York: Perennial, 2001. ISBN 9780060936990.  

The Bible – preferably the New King James Version (also consult other translations).

Additional Readings: 

Some additional reference books may be helpful for this course:

Walton, John H. Chronological and Background Charts of the Old Testament. Rev. ed. Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1994. ISBN 9780310481614.

Aharoni, Yohanan and Michael Avi-Yonah et al. The Carta Bible Atlas. 5th ed. Jerusalem: Carta, 2011. ISBN 9789652208149.

Recommended Booklets
Armageddon and Beyond (LCG)
Prophecy Fulfilled: Gods Hand in World Affairs (LCG)
The Bible: Fact or Fiction (LCG)
The Middle East in Prophecy (LCG)
The United States and Great Britain in Prophecy (LCG)
Who Controls the Weather? (LCG)


This course includes a series of lectures by Peter Nathan. Links to the lectures are in included on the respective lesson webpages. Additional material will be posted in the Files section of a lesson on the right side of the lesson webpage.

Course Calendar: 
week Topics
1 Welcome and Overview
2 Hosea
3 Joel and Amos
4 Obadiah, Jonah and Micah
5 Nahum and Habakkuk
6 Zephaniah and Haggai
7 Zechariah
8 Malachi
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 begin this course, students must complete an Icebreaker assignment, which is the posting of a short autobiography on a class discussion board. The purposes of the Icebreaker are for you to introduce yourself to your classmates, to verify your enrollment in this course, and to promote student interaction. The Icebreaker is due no later than the eighth day of the semester. Students must submit their autobiography post and two reply postings in response to two other classmates. For full credit, all three posts must be submitted by the due date. This assignment is worth 50 points.

Reading assignments
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 webpage 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, and multiple–choice questions covering lectures, readings, vocabulary words, geographical terms and places and discussion topics.

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.