Wednesday, September 10, 2008

The Chain of Prophetic Continuity in the Old Testament

There is a clear scriptural chain of prophetic continuity through the complete Old Testament revelation. Luke referred to this chain when he wrote of Jesus talking with the disciples on the road to Emmaus:

  • "Beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, he explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning himself.” Luke 24:27

This same chain of prophets was referred to by the Jewish historian Josephus when he wrote:

  • “From Artaxerxes to our own time the complete history has been written but has not been deemed worthy of equal credit with the earlier records because of the failure of the exact succession of the prophets.” Against Apion 1:8

This concept eliminates the possibility of canonicity and the inspiration for the Apocrypha. The word Apocrypha comes from the Greek word apokryphos which is built on the Greek word krypto which means “secret or hidden”. They were given this name by Jerome around 400 AD because they are books that are rarely seen. They were written between 400-200 BC after the inspired Old Testament canon was closed.

Old Testament revelation can be traced through a series of prophets who form a prophetic chain through the Old Testament beginning with Moses (1440 BC) and ending with Nehemiah who compiled the final books after Malachi closed Old Testament Revelation around 432 BC. Scripture identifies these prophets as Moses, Joshua, Samuel, Nathan, Ahijah, Iddo, Jehu, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Ezra and Nehemiah.

  1. Moses -Genesis, Exodus, Revelation, Leviticus, Deuteronomy (Nehemiah 9:14Luke 24:27
  2. Joshua - End of Deuteronomy, book of Joshua
  3. Samuel - Samuel wrote an early history of Samuel and David (1 Chron. 29:29)
  4. Nathan & Gad - Nathan and Gad recorded events in the reign of David (1 Chron. 29:292 Chron. 12:15)
  5. Nathan, Ahijah, Iddo - Nathan, Ahijah and Iddo wrote of the events during the reign of Solomon (2 Chron. 9:29-31)
  6. Shemaiah, Iddo - Shemaiah and Iddo chronicled the events in the reign of Rehoboam (2 Chron. 12:15)
  7. Iddo - Iddo wrote of the events of the reign of Abijah (2 Chron. 13:22)
  8. Jehu - Jehu wrote of the events of the reign of Jehoshaphat (2 Chron. 20:34)
  9. Isaiah - Isaiah wrote of the events of the reign of Hezekiah (2 Chron. 32:32
  10. (Hozai?) - An unknown prophet (possibly Hozai) wrote of Manasseh’s reign (2 Chron. 33:19)
  11. Jeremiah - Jeremiah prophesied and recorded the final days of Judah during the reigns beginning with Josiah through Jehoiakim through Zedekiah (Jeremiah 1:1-3)
  12. Ezekiel - Ezekiel prophecied and recorded events from July 5, 593 until April 28, 573 BC during the Babylonian captivity (Ezek. 1:2; 40:1)
  13. Daniel - Daniel prophesied and recorded events from 605-536 B.C. This included the time of Jehoiakim of Judah, and Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon until Cyrus and Darius of the Medo-Persians (Daniel 1:1; 10:1)
  14. Ezra - Ezra returns to Jerusalem with the exiles with the written revelation and teaches the people. Ezra taught the word of God and recorded events (Ezra 6:18; 7:11; 9:4
  15. Zechariah - Zechariah prophesied to the Jews who returned from Babylon and recorded events in 520 BC (Zechariah 1:1)
  16. Malachi - Malachi closed the time of revelation around 432 BC – until the coming of “the prophet Elijah”, or, John the Baptist (Malachi 4:5)
  17. Nehemiah - Nehemiah was governor in Jerusalem for two terms (445-432 and a second term somewhere between the years 430-407). Nehemiah compiled the final prophetic books with all the previous revelation into an organized collection of written revelation known to Christians today as the Old Testament (Nehemiah 1:1; 5:14;13:6)

On Thursday or Friday we will take a look at the Apocrypha. I believe we should be familar with the Apocrypha. One of the greatest stories is recorded in the book of Maccabees concerning the Maccabean revolt.

Galyn Wiemers

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