Okay, so, if you just saw the title of this book, what do you think the subject matter concerns? Come on now, be honest! How many thought it dealt with the twelve apostles? I’ll bet a very high percentage. If you went with the twelve apostles, you were mistaken.
Now the full title: The Message of the Twelve: Hearing the Voice of the Minor Prophets. It’s all about the last twelve books of the Old Testament. The book is written by Richard Alan Fuhr, Jr. and Gary E. Yates. Both are professors at Liberty University School of Divinity. Fuhr deals in biblical studies and Yates in Old Testament studies. The book is published by B&H Academic.
If you have never applied yourself to a study of the minor prophets (as I suspect many have not) and you have a desire to do so, but don’t know where to begin, this is definitely a volume, if not THE volume, with which to begin. Although it’s been written by two scholars, it is designed for pastors, teachers and even personal study.
The book has two major sections although they are not designated as such in the Table of Contents. Chapters one through four comprise introductory matter familiarizing us with the twelve minor prophets and their world. Then in chapters five through sixteen Fuhr and Yates take us through a book-by-book study of each of the prophets in biblical order. Each of these twelve chapters follows a similar arrangement – Introduction, Structure, Exposition and Theological Message and Application. Scattered throughout the volume are diagnostic charts to assist in the understanding of the prophet. There is an extensive bibliography at the end for those who wish to dig in even deeper.
To gain the maximum understanding, my suggestion for using this book is to read and digest chapters 1-4 and then systematically study chapters 5-16. Have your favorite Bible and a notepad beside you when you commence. While this is not the be-all, end-all commentary on the minor prophets, it is comprehensive and you will leave this book feeling like a “minor scholar” on the minor prophets.
Pastors and teachers should rush to procure this volume especially if the minor prophets are in their near future.
Disclaimer: This book was provided to me by B&H Publishing for a fair and honest review.