The “Missio Dei” As An Integrative Motif In The Book Of Jeremiah -- By: Jerry Hwang

Journal: Bulletin for Biblical Research
Volume: BBR 23:4 (NA 2013)
Article: The “Missio Dei” As An Integrative Motif In The Book Of Jeremiah
Author: Jerry Hwang


The “Missio Dei” As An Integrative Motif In The Book Of Jeremiah

Jerry Hwang

Singapore Bible College

The theme of missio Dei in the book of Jeremiah has been overlooked in mission studies and OT scholarship even though Jeremiah is uniquely commissioned as a “prophet to the nations” (Jer 1:5). The missio Dei imparts literary and theological coherence to a sprawling book as a unifying link among the significant themes of Jeremiah’s prophecy: personal suffering in the prophetic task, a catalytic divine word that judges and saves God’s people, theodicy in the face of impending exile, and the final restoration of both Israel and the nations.

Key Words: Jeremiah, nations, oracles, restoration, judgment, mission

Jeremiah of Anathoth is unique in the OT for being appointed as “a prophet to the nations” (Jer 1:5). Despite this calling to an international ministry, the theme of the missio Dei in the book of Jeremiah has received scant attention in both mission studies and OT scholarship.1 The seminal books on the missio Dei by Howard Peskett and Vinoth Ramachandra, Andreas Köstenberger and Peter O’Brien, and David Bosch focus on the NT.2 The detailed study of mission in the OT by Christopher Wright treats Isaiah at length but makes comparatively few references to Jeremiah.3 Though

the notion of God’s sending out his messengers for the purposes of proclamation lies at the heart of the missio Dei,4 biblical theologians of mission have not yet provided a systematic treatment of the words of the prophet whom Yahweh repeatedly “sends” (שׁלח) in order to “speak” (דבר) to many different peoples (e.g., Jer 1:7).

OT scholarship has tended toward issues other than the theme of missio Dei in Jeremiah. The well-known differences between the LXX and MT versions of Jeremiah have led to much study of the transmission history of the book,5 whereas theological and literary tensions have provided an impetus for proposals that investigate the book’s underlying sources and traditions.6 Though more recent research has centered on the final form,7 no study has yet been unde...

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