One of the first looming projects I learned of when I returned from maternity leave in January was a Life Connections piece on the Minor Prophets. (Cue scary music here.) In general, I don’t think many people do a whole lot of studying in the Minor Prophets. Other than commentaries, I don’t think LifeWay has any product in print that deals exclusively with these men that ended the Old Testament. The task of completing a 13-week study on JUST the Minor Prophets scared me more than just a little–as I think it did Agonistes and Nomad as well.
I was just glad I didn’t have to write it. That daunting assignment went to one of our favorite writers–and a great guy I had the pleasure to meet at one of our writers’ conferences–Barry Cram. Barry has worked with great diligence and full-fledged passion on our Soul Cafe series, and if anyone could write this, it was Barry!
The second week in September, we finally finished the monumental project and all breathed a hefty sigh of relief. Life Connections is always a beast, long and packed with information and teaching sessions. There is a leader book AND a learner book. But it’s also a wonderfully helpful series for truly STUDYING the Bible. Digging deeper. Knowing context. Discovering the intricacies that lie within the great Book we sometimes read randomly and without fervor.
Barry concentrates on how the words of the Minor Prophets fit into the Larger Story of the Bible, particularly how they fortold Christ. The first chapter is about Jesus walking on the Emmaus Road with His disciples. He used this time to explain how the Law and the Prophets fortold everything He had done–His life, His message, and His death and resurrection. We know that if Christ thought the Prophets were important, we should too!
The remaining twelve chapters each focus on one book of the Bible, from Hosea to Malachi. Working our way through, we can discover that all the Larger Story themes–beauty, adventure, Enemy, Hero, battles–are found within the texts of these thin books.
It’s been a delight and a learning experience for me to dive deeper into the Minor Prophets books. I hope you’ll be interested in studying these Twelve Timeless Voices when the study releases in November.