The Timely Twelve

On the minor prophets.

L.R.V.D. is an executive editor of Ministry


THE minor prophets aren't considered minor because of less effective ministries or messages than those of the major prophets. This designation is given because, generally, their writings were shorter in length. Sometimes they have been treated as one book, making up the Old Testament twelve. The study of these minor prophets is often neglected, however, in favor of the study of the writings of the major prophets.

Because they are so often over looked, we begin a series of studies on the minor prophets in this issue, which will run through this year, in cooperation with the Academy of Adventist Ministers. For those who are members of the Academy of Adventist Ministers, or who may be attracted by this study program into joining the organization, arrangements have been made for you to receive academy credit similar to that granted last year for the "Dare to Study Daniel" series. An AAM study guide will be provided with each lesson. Upon completion of this series, if you have sent your response to the study guide for each lesson to the academy for evaluation, you will be allowed two hours' credit, which is the equivalent of a year's study requirement for member ship (50 hours).

Of course, you don't have to join the academy to follow this series on your own, although we recommend such a procedure if you wish evaluation of your responses and academy credit. Our major purpose in running this series is to build a new appreciation for the messages of the minor prophets and to demonstrate how timely they really are.

The major prophets are presented in chronological order. It would seem to be consistent for the minor prophets also to be arranged chronologically and, although some will disagree, I view them as loosely arranged chronologically in periods surrounding the great national crises.

That places the ministries of Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, and Jonah in the crisis period before the fall of Samaria. Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, and Zephaniah serve in the period prior to the Babylonian captivity. And Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi minister during the postexilic crisis.

These crisis periods are quite similar to the crisis we face in these final days of earth's history, and the minor prophets were given insights that carry specific weight in counseling God's people today. Lack of morality, materialism, social evils, and commercialism characterize both their day and ours. Thus it becomes especially worthwhile for us to share together the divine revelations given the timely twelve.

L. R. V. D.

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L.R.V.D. is an executive editor of Ministry

January 1975

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