When I chose The Message of the Twelve: Hearing the Voice of the Minor Prophets (which I received free from B&H Publishers in exchange for an honest review), I was looking forward to learning more about the twelve books in the Bible written by the minor prophets.
Based on the brief description I read about the book, I anticipated reading about each of these twelve books and how the messages from these prophets continue to apply to us today. This is exactly what happened, except I got much more detail than I expected. The book is divided into two parts: part one discusses the historical context of the books, and part two goes into detail about each book.
The main premise is that the minor prophets have a relevant message for the church today. Prosperity during the time of these prophets led to spiritual complacency, a condition that is prevalent in our world today. The basic messages of the prophets were blessings for obedience and curses for disobedience. These messages were each framed in new and innovative ways in order to get the audience’s attention.
This book actually reads like an advanced textbook and includes lots of details, references, and footnotes. In fact, I’ve had this book for three months and have read a little here and there because it is a very slow read and is filled with lots of unfamiliar religious words (like syncretism, apostacy, eschatalogical, exegetical). There are some maps throughout the book, however they were not very helpful because they’re very small, cover a large area, and utilize graduations of the same neutral color to distinguish various routes.
I persevered and completed the book. It is an excellent book for anyone wanting to study the minor prophets in depth, however I have to admit that it wasn’t an enjoyable read and the sections applying the material to our lives today (which I was most interested in) were very short conclusions to each chapter.