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Form 3 CRE Notes On Selected Old Testament Prophets And Their Teachings

Grade/Class: Form 3

Subject: CRE

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Summary

TOPIC 3: SELECTED OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS AND THEIR TEACHINGS
Definition of terms:
Prophet: This is a person who speaks and acts on behalf of God. They have been given different titles that illustrate the character and nature of a prophet. They include:
-Man of God.
- Servant of Yahweh
-Watchman of God’s word.
-A seer
-Man of spirit.
- Nabii
-Interpreter of God’s word
Prophets were mediators between God and people.
Prophesy: This is the act /process of delivering the truth as revealed by God.
Is Prophetic utterance which is inspired by the Holy Spirit?
In the Old Testament and New Testament, prophesy was God’s way of guiding his people to live according to his will and covenant way of life.
Involves predictions of future events.

CATEGORIES OF PROPHETS
(i) True prophets
- There are prophets who acted on behalf of God and their messages came to pass/were fulfilled.
- These prophets upheld the covenant way of life.
(ii) False prophets
- These were prophets who claimed to speak in Yahweh’s yet their messages were never fulfilled (iii) Major Prophets
- These are prophets whose work or writing is celebrate/detailed given to them by God i.e
Isaiah, Daniel, Lamentation, Jeremiah, Ezekiel.
(iv) Minor Prophets
- Their work is brief/short oracles e.g
-Hosea Jonah Hagai
-Joel Micah Zephania
-Amos Nahum Malachi
-Obadiah Habakuk
(v) Canonical Prophets
These are prophets whose work has been recorded under their names e.g Jeremiah.
(vi) Non-canonical prophet.
- These are prophets who were closely related to places of worship
- They assisted priests in their duties.

IMPORTANCE OF PROPHETS
(i) They acted as mediators between God and him.
(ii) They communicated God’s message to the people by revealing his plan.
(iii) Preached practical monotheism/Yahweism
(iv) They used to condemn evils in the society in the effort to restore justice in the society.
(v) They taught people about the nature of God.
(vi) They also anointed Kings (some of them)
(vii) They also acted as conscience of Kings and people in society.
(viii) Some of the prophets acted as the priest e.g Isaiah.
(ix) They foretold and warned people of judgement for their disobedience to God.
(x) They gave hope of restoration to the people if they repented.
(xi) Prophet taught people about the covenant way of life and reminded them of their responsibilities.

Qualities of the Prophets
(i) They heard God’s voice calling them to be his spokes- person through; Dreams, strange object and visions.
(ii) They positively responded to the call with obedience.
(iii)They stood for the covenant way of life.
(iv) They spoke and acted with authority and courage regardless of the consequences.
(v) They condemned all types of evils in the society.
(vi) They ha d faith in Yahweh.
(vii) They led righteous life.
(viii) They also acted as mediators to the people.
(ix) They challenged the false prophets.
(x) They communicated God’s message to the people sometimes through strange symbolic ways.
(xi) They were prayerful and always sought God’s kindness and revelation.
(xii) They faced rejection and persecution from the people.
(xiii) Their prophecies came to pass.

Characteristics of false prophets.
(i) They challenged the work of the true prophets.
(ii) They gave messages full of untruth to please the kings and ruler of that time.
(iii) They were self-appointed and cheated people and made them believe that they were working for God.
(iv) They challenged the law of the Lord through Moses. 20
(v) They led people to the worship of other gods and immorality.
(vi) They promised peace while that was not true without demanding for obedience of God’s law.
(vii) They were not guided by Yahweh but by their own wisdom.
(viii) They offered shallow optism which was devoid of moral conduct.
(ix) They demanded payment for their services.
THE WRITING OF PROPHETIC MESSAGES.
-The messages were written by the prophets themselves.
-The inspired writers put the continuous prose on scrolls into chapters and verses for easy reading and understanding.
-The prophetic messages were written as prophetic saying/poetic passages conveying some teaching, prediction, threat or promise/oracles spoken by either God or by the prophet in the name of God.
-The prophetic message were written as prophetic narratives in the first person where the prophet relates his own experience and mainly his vocation e.g Jerusalem, Isaiah 6
-The prophetic messages were written as prophetic narratives told in the third person recounting events in the prophet’s life and also touching on the social, political and religious background.
-The prophet’s disciples gathered the writings’ put down oracles, sermons, and prose and poetic materials.
-Some prophets like Jeremiah dictated their messages to their secretaries i.e. Baruch.

CONTENT OF THE MESSAGES
There are generally three different types of messages in the prophetic books.
i).The prophetic sayings

These are oracles/ prophesy either by God or by the prophet in God’s name.
- Are also regarded as poetic baggage’s conveying some teaching, prediction or a promise, example include: Isaiah 28, 29-13-14, Amos 1.

(ii) Narratives in the first person.
- In the narratives, the prophet relates his own experience for example Isaiah who explains his experience of God’s presence in the temple of Jerusalem.

(iii) Narratives in the third person.
These are narratives explaining events in the prophet’s life or the conditions under which he worked.

THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE OLD TESTAMENT AND THE NEW TESTAMENT.
(i) The theme of salvation in the Old Testament becomes a reality in the New Testament, in the passion of Jesus Christ.
(ii) Jesus upheld the Law of Moses and argued that he didn’t come to abolish the law but to fulfil it.
(iii) The prophets in the Old Testament condemned insincere worship, similarly Jesus condemned outward observances of the law.
(iv) The coming of John the Baptist fulfilled the Old Testament prophesy of a fore runner of the Messiah.
(v) The Old Testament prophesies about the coming of a Messiah who would bring salvation to Israel is repeated (echoed) by Simeon and Ama, in the temple; during the presentation of Jesus Christ.
(vi) The prophesy of the new covenant found in the Old Testament is inaugurated by Jesus.
(vii)The prophesy of the suffering servant of God is fulfilled by Jesus through his passion.
(viii) John the Baptist’s coming brought an end to the Old Testament and the beginning to the New Testament eras, as the greatest of the prophets.

COMPARISON BETWEEN TRADITIONAL AFRICAN AND OLD TESTAMENT PROPHETS.
Similarities.
(i) Both were mediators between God and the People
(ii) Both were called by God to pass messages to the people.
(iii) Both had supernatural powers because they communicated to God through dreams, visions and sometimes trances.
(iv) In both they were people with high integrity, moral standards and obedient to God’s call.
(v) In both cases, some prophets performed the roles of healers and political leaders.
(vi) They both condemned social evils and injustices.
(vii) Both felt some irritable force to carry out God’s message.
(viii) In both cases some prophets were consulted to settle disputes.
(ix) Both were consulted to interpret God’s message
(x) In both cases, prophesy lead people in religious ceremonies.
(xi) They were both charismatic.

DIFFERENCES
(i) The Old Testament prophets received their messages from God while some traditional African prophets their messages from spirits and ancestors.
(ii) In some traditional African communities, the prophetic office was hereditary whereas in the Old Testament it wasn’t.
(iii) In traditional African Communities, the prophets concerned with personal ,individual and community issues, while in the old testament, the prophets were concerned with issues affecting the nation and even international.
(iv) The Old Testament prophets were mostly rejected by their own people whereas the Traditional African Prophets were liked and respected.
(v) The prophesies of the Old Testament prophets were written down while that of the Traditional African prophets were preserved orally.

 

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