How the prophetic books came to us

Professor Daniel Block offers some helpful thoughts on the complex stages by which the prophetic books of the First Testament came to us:

1. The prophetic event: the prophet receives his message from God. 
2. The rhetorical event: the prophet transmits that message to his/her audience. 
3. The transcriptional event: the oracle is committed to written text. 
4. The narratorial event: the account of the circumstances of the prophetic event are added to the transcribed oracle, creating a complete literary unit. 
5. The compilation event: the literary units are gathered. 
6. The editorial event: the collection is organized and the individual oracles are stitched together by means of connective and correlative notes, resulting in a more or less coherent book.  
7. The nominal event: a formal heading is added to the book, identifying the prophet, the circumstances of ministry, and genre of the collection (e.g., Ezek 1:1–3). 
8. The updating process. 
9. The transmission process. 
10. The “canonicling” event.

Books like Isaiah did not fall out of the sky


Matthew said…
Hi Robin,

Could you provide the source info for these points so we can see how Prof. Block elaborates? This definitely seems like a helpful framework for understanding how prophetic books came to be what they are today. I'd like to see these points in more detail because I could use something like this for a discussion group I will be leading and can anticipate a number of questions. I figure that if Prof. Block has already answered them, then why do the work myself! :)

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