Article

Book of the Twelve Prophets

Marvin A. Sweeney

in Biblical Studies

ISBN: 9780195393361
Published online September 2010 | | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1093/obo/9780195393361-0016
Book of the Twelve Prophets

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The book of the Twelve Prophets is the fourth of the major prophetic books of the Tanakh (the canonical Jewish version of the Hebrew Bible [b. Baba Batra 14b]). It is a hybrid composition insofar as it consists of twelve individual prophetic compositions that are identified as discrete prophetic books within the book of the Twelve. The Talmud identifies the book of the Twelve as a single prophetic book called Tĕrê ‛āśār, Aramaic for “the Twelve,” although the Talmud calls for scribes to leave three blank lines between each of the individual twelve prophetic books (instead of the four lines normally prescribed for separating biblical books) to signal their distinctive characters (b. Baba Batra 13b). Christianity counts the Twelve Prophets as twelve individual prophetic books, and refers to them as the Dodekapropheton (Greek for “twelve prophets”) or simply as “the Minor Prophets,” indicating their relative length when compared to the Major Prophets. Most contemporary Bibles follow the order of the Jewish Masoretic traditions: Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah, Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Current printed editions of the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Bible from the 3rd and 2nd centuries bce, present a different order that follows the Codex Vaticanus: Hosea, Amos, Micah, Joel, Obadiah, Jonah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi. Ancient Greek manuscripts and canon lists, however, display a variety of orders for the Twelve Prophets.

Article.  10789 words. 

Subjects: Biblical Studies

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