The so-called Minor Prophets or the Book of the Twelve include some of the most important, and yet neglected writings in the Hebrew Bible. While these twelve prophets held a ministerial voice throughout one of the most formative periods in the history of Israel—a period that stretched more than three centuries—today their voice has been largely eclipsed by an assumed contemporary irrelevance. It is here that The Message of the Twelve: Hearing the Voice of the Minor Prophets by Gary E. Yates and Richard Alan Fuhr seeks to awaken misinformed ears to hear the lasting relevance of this neglected section of the Old Testament.
The Message of the Twelve is divided into two major sections. The opening chapters provide the reader with background material needed to properly understand the Minor Prophets. This includes the historical background, the role of the Twelve, the literary genre and rhetorical nature of the writings, and canonical unity of the Twelve such as various themes, motifs, and patterns discovered therein. The second section of the book focuses more narrowly on each of the twelve books within the Minor Prophets (Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi). It is here that the reader will discover the bulk of the book. Each chapter examines the historical setting and structure of the individual book, followed by a detailed exposition of the message and an analysis of the theological themes—especially as it relates to the contemporary application in conjunction with the whole of Scripture.
This book is a goldmine of practical riches for the contemporary audience. It is clearly and unashamedly targeted towards pastors and students, and would make an excellent companion resource in the library of either. The thing that I appreciated most about this volume is the practical emphasis that Yates and Fuhr carried throughout. They targeted their audience and executed a well-distilled and practical volume because of it. The reader will find numerous maps, charts, and diagrams throughout to help visually connect the dots that Yates and Fuhr are establishing. The exposition section in each book likewise could provide the reader with “preachable” segments for a sermon series or a Sunday school setting. Thus, the reader is not only woken to the voice of the Minor Prophets, but they are likewise equipped to awaken others.
The Message of the Twelve: Hearing the Voice of the Minor Prophets by Gary E. Yates and Richard Alan Fuhr is a timely book that deserves to be read and utilized broadly. If you are studying, planning to study, teaching, or planning to teach on the Minor Prophets this is a book that should not be overlooked. It will both encourage and ignite a newfound passion for what we can only hope will have been a formerly neglected section of the Old Testament. It comes highly recommended!
I received a review copy of this book in exchange for and honest review. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255: “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.