Anatomy Of An Oracle -- By: Glenn A. Carnagey, Sr.

Journal: Chafer Theological Seminary Journal
Volume: CTSJ 007:1 (Jan 2001)
Article: Anatomy Of An Oracle
Author: Glenn A. Carnagey, Sr.

Anatomy Of An Oracle

Glenn A. Carnagey, Sr.*

Glenn A. Carnagey Jr.**

[*Editor's note: Dr. Glenn Carnagey, Sr., earned his B.A. at the University of Texas, Th.M. at Dallas Theological Seminary, and M.A. & Ph.D. at the University of Tulsa. He has done extensive archaeological work in the Near East at Abila of the Decapolis and at el-Muqatir (biblical Ai), edited a major archaeological journal, the NEAS Journal. Dr. Carnagey has pastored in Texas, Oklahoma, and Minnesota. He is a member of Chafer Seminary’s National Board of Advisors. His email address is: [email protected]]

[**Editor's note: Glenn A. Carnagey, Jr., has an A.B. in Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Chicago, and is a Ph.D. candidate in Egyptology at the University of Chicago. He is a Senior Consultant (system, network, firewall, and internet server administration). As a Ryerson Fellow, he worked with hieroglyphic epigraphy at key international research museums. His archaeological experience is wide-ranging (on-site work, directing computer operations, and journal editing). He is compiling The Catalogue of the Medinet Habu Ostraca for the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago.]


Ever since exegetes learned of the electrifying discoveries at Tel Marduk (Ebla), Syria, it was inevitable that Biblical connections would surface. The discovery of the Hebrew word for prophet, nāb̠îʾ (previously found in no other Semitic language), stirred considerable interest. The renewed interest in Biblical Prophecy and its setting in the Ancient Near East are certain to surround the new information from Ebla. This seems to be an excellent time to reassess the biblical corpus from a form critical perspective, defining precisely what vehicles the Holy Spirit utilized in revealing the Mind of Christ. Although this article provides some background information on developing form critical thought, it focuses on defining and illustrating the rich variety of forms in which Old Testament prophecy appears.

Historical Background

Insight into the occasionally obscure reports of the prophets is frequently. Sound prophetic exegesis benefits from having a comprehensive picture of both the contents and the form of Old and New Testament prophecy. This article seeks to explain the proper contribution which form criticism can make to exegesis.1 Neither form criticism nor exegesis can occur in a vacuum. Each

prophet faced specific circumstances as he fulfilled his divine commission to transmit God’s message. Knowing what is common in a form assists in...

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