By Peter Byrne, Leslie Houlden, Rev Prof Leslie Houlden
The better half Encyclopedia of Theology offers a finished consultant to trendy theological concept. a world workforce of theologians and practitioners of either the Christian and Jewish faiths examine and examine facets of theology in forty eight self-contained articles. Neither partisan and denominational, nor indifferent and summary, this significant other explores the assets and purposes of theology within the mild of Christianity's position within the glossy world.The StructureThe spouse Encyclopedia of Theology is split into six components. the 1st 3 take care of significant foundational features of Western theological reflection:* the Hebrew and Christian Bible* the culture* the contribution of PhilosophyThe moment 1/2 the spouse is worried with application:* on the subject of Spirituality* when it comes to modern Ethics* in terms of matters in and elements of present-day theological constructionThe forty eight essays are descriptive, informative and analytical; their wide-ranging content material is sure right into a unified standpoint by way of the editors' normal advent and the introductions to every of the six elements. on the finish of every article, there are feedback for extra studying and the paintings is concluded with a accomplished index.This spouse Encyclopedia is a useful resource of reference for college kids, academics and either lay and clerical practitioners of Christian and Jewish theology.Key positive factors* vast assurance - includes forty eight in-depth essays protecting either the background and alertness of Western theological suggestion* overseas Authorship - written in non-technical language by means of a unique crew of editors and authors from either Christian and Jewish faiths* Balanced strategy - discusses and analyses the main concerns with out implementing any unmarried standpoint* truly offered - on the finish of every article, there are feedback for extra analyzing and the paintings incorporates a complete index
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Nevertheless even the oracles themselves, as we find them in Amos or Isaiah or Ezekiel, imply a social context—a gathering of Israelites for worship or business, into which the prophetic word erupted, contradicting people’s expectations and confounding their assurance of enjoying divine favour. It is clear that the oracles of the ‘classical’ (or ‘writing’) prophets were precisely designed with the known thoughts of their intended audience in mind. But it is also clear that the form of these utterances often cleverly exploited the audience’s expectations.
Other narrative books also contain what seem to have been originally independent legends or folk memories—stories about prophets, for example, in the books of Samuel and Kings (see 1 Sam. 9–10; 1 Kgs. 13, 18–22; 2 Kgs. 1–2). It was not until the fifth century that all the disparate materials in the Pentateuch came together to form the five books as we now have them, and much that was then included was certainly later than the early sections just mentioned. In the meanwhile, Israelite historiography had developed to a degree of sophistication unparalleled among the other nations in the ancient Near East.
In that case few of the books were Scripture until at least the fifth century, and some not until a couple of centuries later still. An interesting phenomenon is the ‘Book of the Twelve’, seen as a unit by Ben Sira (Ecclus. 48:10). This obviously postdates the latest of the individual books of the minor prophets (Malachi), though some think there were earlier collections—a ‘Book of the Six’ (or two such books), or a ‘Book of the Nine’. 17 THE BIBLE Whatever the details, the collection witnesses to a way of seeing the prophets comparable to what we have already observed for the Torah and the Psalms.