When approaching the literary genres of the Old Testament, there is no genre as challenging as the prophetic books. These challenges include:
- What does the prophetic book mean within its historical context?
- How do we interpret the prophecy and its application?
- How do we communicate the truth of these books to a modern church?
These are some of the challenges that are helpfully tackled in Gary V. Smith’s Interpreting the Prophetic Books: An Exegetical Handbook.
Smith has given us a concise and helpful resource to begin our study of the Old Testament prophetic books. The book provides guidelines on how to begin analyzing prophecies in light of the time of their fulfillment and their literary type. Smith then goes on to explain the major prophetic themes in the Old Testament books of prophecy. He then goes on to list some helpful ideas in preparing to interpret the prophecy. These resources include historical setting, textual criticism issues, and recommended commentaries for each prophetic book. This provides a great starting point for further study. Smith also addresses general interpretive issues with the prophetic books before going into helpful chapters on how to preach and apply the prophetic books.
Interpreting the Prophetic Books is a great starting resource for anyone seeking to study and preach from this literary genre in the Old Testament. Smith provides great insight and resources that help his readers to truly begin to dive deep into the prophecy of God’s Word.