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The Prophets (Perennial Classics) [Paperback]

By Abraham J. Heschel (Author)
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Item description for The Prophets (Perennial Classics) by Abraham J. Heschel...

The Prophets provides a unique opportunity for readers of the Old Testament, both Christian and Jewish, to gain fresh and deep knowledge of Israel's profound understanding of the prophetic movement. The author's profound understanding of the prophets also opens the door to new insight into the philosophy of religion.

Publishers Description
Abraham Heschel is a seminal name in religious studies and the author of Man Is Not Alone and God in Search of Man. When The Prophets was first published in 1962, it was immediately recognized as a masterpiece of biblical scholarship.The Prophets provides a unique opportunity for readers of the Old Testament, both Christian and Jewish, to gain fresh and deep knowledge of Israel's prophetic movement. The author's profound understanding of the prophets also opens the door to new insight into the philosophy of religion.

Citations And Professional Reviews
The Prophets (Perennial Classics) by Abraham J. Heschel has been reviewed by professional book reviewers and journalists at the following establishments -
  • Newsweek - 11/03/2008 page 16
  • Wilson Public Library Catalog - 01/01/2004 page 75

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Item Specifications...

Studio: Harper Perennial Modern Classics
Pages   704
Est. Packaging Dimensions:   Length: 8.06" Width: 5.3" Height: 1.22"
Weight:   1.1 lbs.
Binding  Softcover
Release Date   Jun 1, 2003
Publisher   Harper Collins Publishers
ISBN  0060936991  
ISBN13  9780060936990  

Availability  0 units.

More About Abraham J. Heschel

Register your artisan biography and upload your photo! Abraham J. Heschel (1907-1972), born in Poland, moved to the United States in 1940. A professor at the Jewish Theological Seminary in New York, Heschel became an active and well-known participant in the Civil Rights movement and the protests against the Vietnam War.

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Product Categories

1Books > Subjects > Literature & Fiction > Classics > Greek
2Books > Subjects > Nonfiction > Philosophy > Religious
3Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Authors, A-Z > ( H ) > Heschel, Abraham Joshua
4Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Bible & Other Sacred Texts > Bible > Old Testament
5Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Christian Living > General
6Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Commentaries > Old Testament
7Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > General
8Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > Criticism & Interpretation > Old Testament
9Books > Subjects > Religion & Spirituality > Christianity > Reference > General

Christian Product Categories
Books > Christian Living > Practical Life > General

Reviews - What do customers think about The Prophets (Perennial Classics)?

A Standard Reference in the Field  Feb 26, 2006
A wonderful, two-volume set that has become a standard reference in the field of the "classical," literary, Hebrew prophets, their prophecies, and their personalities. Amos, Hosea, Isaiah (Isa. 1-39), Micah, Jeremiah, Habakkuk, and Second Isaiah (Isa. 40-66) are analyzed with particular care given to their humanity as they encounter God and men in assuming their respective missions.

Heschel describes his focus in writing: "What I have aimed at is an understanding of what it means to think, feel, respond, and act as a prophet (Introduction). For this Jewish rabbi and seminary professor, "the prophet is a person, not a mircrophone. He is endowed with a mission, with the power of a word not his own that accounts for his greatness--but also with temperament, concern, character, and individuality. As there was no resisting the impact of divine inspiration, so at times there was no resisting the vortex of his own temperament. The word of God reverberated in the voice of man" (Introduction). This examination of the prophets' humanity is most compelling throughout the work with the first chapter, "What Manner of Man is the Prophet?," being worth the price of the set to me.

The second volume addresses at least sixteen different aspects of the prophetic experience, among them: "theology and philosophy of pathos," "meaning and mystery of wrath," "sympathy," "ecstasy," "poetry," and "inspiration." An examination of prophets from other cultural contexts is also included.

Highly recommended to all theologically- and philosophically-minded readers who are interested in gaining a comprehensive understanding of the Hebrew prophets from a Jewish perspective.
Increased my understanding and appreciation of God's love  Nov 21, 2005
Heschel's treatise on Old Testament prophets and prophecy greatly increased, even changed, my appreciation and understanding of God. God is a loving Father whose judgment and punishment are intended to turn men back to their Creator and Savior. He is patient, quick to forgive and even quicker to relent--sparing those who turn to Him--from the judgment He proclaimed.

The 2 volumes are not "easy reading" even for those who are familiar with the Scriptures. I had to read it through twice in order to feel I grasped Heschel's insights and commentary. But the time and effort are amply rewarded when we can say, in awe, "My God, How Great Thou Art."
A Sociological Approach  Jun 30, 2004
If you're looking to find some reading that will stretch you limitations, this book will do nicely. First of all, this is not a commentary about the books of the prophets so don't buy it if that's what you're looking for. This book is largely a look at the sociological and psychological aspects of being a prophet.

This book challenges you to look at the world from a probable perspective of the man and not necessarily the mission, although these subjects are covered at an aggregate level.

The author transports the vivid reader into the mind of a prophet and helps one understand the frustrations, depression, and sense of injustice that the propet may have felt. The prophet is not dehumanized to demigod status like most other readings on the subject. The prophet is viewed as sympathetic to God and in tune with the message. These men feel the emotion.

What I find most appealing is that the author allows God to have emotions which I find refreshing in light of the influence that Maimonides (whom I enjoy abundantly) has had on Judaic thought.

The only negative, if any, is that this is not the most easy read, but what philosphy student likes light reading!

"The Prophets" addresses only half of a really great story.  Oct 21, 2003
Although it could be more, this book is only an in depth historical study of the prophets from a Jewish perspective. However, as Christians, we know that Jesus came to fulfill the law and the prophets. The prophets in this study were warning the Jewish people, but they were also foretelling the good news about Jesus Christ, the Messiah. Yet, Heschel ignores this essential purpose of God for the prophets. Yes, the prophets had a profound place in the history of the Jewish people, and, even though Heschel ignores the truth, and glosses over key verses like Isaiah 7:14, the prophets' message is not confined to that small time or that people in history, as Heschel would have us believe, but is still relevant to all of us today to point the way to Jesus Christ as the Savior and Deliverer of the whole world.
Hearing Voices...  May 23, 2003
Rabbi Abraham Heschel is an intellectual and prophetic hero of mine. Any one who would stand up to the pope and say 'I'd rather die than convert' (when trying to get the Roman Catholic Church to drop 'conversion of the Jews' as an official aim of the church) has the sort of integrity of belief and identity that I aspire to and most likely will never attain.

Heschel's book `The Prophets' became an almost instant classic. Simply reading through the chapter titles and subtitles (a partial list of titles appears at the bottom of this review) will give a sense of the breadth and depth of this work.

Heschel sees an urgent need for prophets and prophecy in today's world. 'The things that horrified the prophets are even now daily occurrences all over the world.' In examining the prophecies of Amos, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Nathan, &c, he discerns the common strands of the word of God in all that they said and did, and teaches the reader how to discern similar prophetic aspects in today's world.

`The prophet is human, yet he employs note one octave too high for our ears.'

The Bible says, let him who has ears to hear, listen. Alas, ordinarily we do not have the hearing range to be able to give adequate attention and comprehension to today's prophetic voices. Most often the voice of the prophet is one we do not want to hear (look at how the Israelites reacted to their prophets!). Prophets were often seen as doom-sayers and problematic people.

Indeed, every prediction of disaster is in itself an exhortation to repentance. The prophet is sent not only to upbraid, but to 'strengthen the weak hands and make firm the feeble knees.'

Every prophetic utterance, according to Heschel, has to have within its core a message of hope. Without hope, without a promise to greater community and participation in the love of God, there is no true prophecy. The road may be hard and long, involving pain and even death, but in the end, the prophet's goal is greater life for all.

`To be a prophet is both a distinction and an affliction.'

Being a prophet has never been a chosen profession. Indeed, like Jonah, we'll often go to extraordinary lengths to avoid even the smallest call to prophecy. Prophetic voices are inconvenient, not least of which to the person charged to be the speaker of that voice. Yet the prophet is much more than a mouthpiece.

`The prophet claims to be far more than a messenger. He is a person who stands in the presence of God.'

The prophet becomes one with God in many ways, yet remains a human being. This creates a tension in the prophet, as Heschel writes about Isaiah:

`Indeed, two sympathies dwell in a prophet's soul: sympathy for God and sympathy for the people. Speaking to the people, he is emotionally at one with God; in the presence of God, beholding a vision, he is emotionally at one with the people.'

Yet prophecy has its limits.

`A prophet can give man a new word, but not a new heart.... Prophecy is not God's only instrument. What prophecy fails to bring about, the new covenant will accomplish: the complete transformation of every individual.'

It was the prophet who, long before ideas of political unity and divers peoples living together in community, first conceived of the idea of a unity that binds all human beings together.

Read and prepare to be enlightened, inspired, irritated, and educated.

Chapters include:
- What manner of man is the prophet?
- History
- Chastisement
- Justice
- The Theology of Pathos
- The Philosophy of Pathos
- Anthropopathy
- The Meaning and Mystery of Wrath
- Religion of Sympathy
- Prophecy and Ecstasy
- Prophecy and Poetic Inspiration
- Prophecy and Psychosis (there is a fine line between prophecy and madness, after all!)

`This, then, is the ultimate category of prophetic theology: involvement, attentiveness, concern. Prophetic religion may be defined, not as what man does with his ultimate concern, but rather what man does with God's concern.'


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