Monday, 9 February 2009
The witness of the Book of the Twelve
As part of my ongoing analysis of Seitz's Prophecy and Hermeneutics (see the summary of and intro to the thread so far here), I offer, in the most spartan form possible, a list of key theological realities testified to by the combined witness of the Book of the Twelve, realities perceived only when one goes beyond the fragmentary witness of the individual prophets (pp. 214-216):
-God's history is an organic whole, rather than episodic and disconnected;
-the nations other than Israel have a different, but parallel, place in God's economy;
-there is an ideal stance vis-à-vis God consisting in prayer and discernment;
-God is patient, but not patient without limit.
This, according to Seitz, is the theological telos to which all the prophets found in the Twelve, in all their individuality and historical particularity, are wishing to point us. Yet how did he get there? Is it enough to confess that all the prophets witness to “the selfsame divine reality”? On that score, Seitz concludes, “all are first and all are last, at one and the same time” (149). Yet how do we coordinate this varied witness and identify their kerygmatic core? For this we need to look closely at the nature of the Biblical witness, the subject of my next post.