New book covers 12 minor prophets

CEDARVILLE — The 12 minor prophets in the Bible are easily overlooked, sandwiched between Daniel and his tale of survival in a lion’s den and the beginning of the New Testament.

But Dr. Michael Shepherd, associate professor of biblical studies at Cedarville University, reexamines these lesser known writings in his book “A Commentary on the Book of the Twelve: The Minor Prophets,” published June 2018.

“It is commonly recognized among biblical scholars that the 12 prophets were transmitted together in antiquity. All of the historical evidence bears witness to this,” Shepherd said. While scholarly essays have expounded on this, many commentaries look at the 12 in sections. Making his commentary unique, Shepherd argues for one composing author for the entire 12.

“Dr. Shepherd has two significant insights that will benefit his readers,” said Dr. Jason Lee, dean of the school of biblical and theological studies and professor of theological studies at Cedarville. “First, he makes a compelling case for reading the books as a unified work. Second, he explains the value of Hosea 3:4-5 for understanding all of the 12 (minor prophets).”

Hoping that people will no longer see these prophets as merely sermons for ancient people, Shepherd shows how the minor prophets were also intended for future generations by creating images of Christ and his kingdom.

“The New Testament authors went to the Book of the Twelve to understand and explain Jesus, and so should we,” Shepherd said.