I was studying Isaiah chapter two today and in the process of studying I came across some books and websites about How To Study Prophecy. Now that was a new one. The more I learn then more i know that I knew little to begin with.
Here are come quotes that I have been learning about understanding Propbecy.
The prophets were God’s servants in time applying God’s word during crises in the covenant relation between God and his people. They spoke a language their contemporaries could understand and in forms suited to their audience.
The prophetic speech is poetic, imaginative, full of similes and metaphors. It is the language of pictures and windows, drawn from the cultural context of the day. Through his servants, the prophets, God the Father pulled back the curtain of the new age and allowed his children, before and after Christ, to grasp a little of the glory prepared for them. The prophets were God’s messengers out of time, for they spoke of the visions of God.
Biblical language of God is metaphorical. Through figures of speech (as Creator, King, Father) humans express something of the reality of God in human figures..
The prophets were real human beings who shared their lives with their contemporaries in a cultural context.
They received a vision of God but spoke of it in a language that people could understand.
The prophets painted multifaceted pictures representing the acts of God from their days until the full inauguration of the kingdom of God The prophetic word has a bearing on the historical context of the prophet, but its relevance goes far beyond what the prophet said and how it was fulfilled.
The prophetic oracles are God’s word to each new generation in its own historical context. Each generation can find its identity in the history and progression of fulfillment while living in the hope of the great future God has prepared for his people. Each generation must get involved in the interpretation and application of the prophetic word so that it, too, may contribute to the progress of redemption.
Interpretation of the prophetic word requires both an understanding of the social world of Israel and a sensitivity to God’s accommodation to human language and images.
The prophet was primarily God’s spokesperson, and his voice was the voice of God. He spoke with the authority of the One who sent him. The prophet was aware of his distinct call and of belonging to a prophetic tradition.
Prophetic dialogue helps us understand the reality and difficulty of the prophetic mission. It is as if the prophet allows us to “‘overhear’ what was initially a transaction between him and the Lord.
The prophets, as God’s spokespersons, were communicators of the word. They spoke the message of God in ways that their contemporaries recognized as “prophetic”; they were “poets with a ‘message.’
The prophets used the art of persuasion in convincing their contemporaries of the certainty of judgment and the reality of God’s salvation.
Literary works written in verse, in particular verse writing of high quality, great beauty, emotional sincerity or intensity, or profound insight.