Prophetic books

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The prophetic books are a division of the Christian Bible, grouping 18 books (Catholic and Orthodox canon) or 17 books (Protestant canon, excluding Baruch) in the Old Testament.[1] In terms of the Tanakh, it includes the Latter Prophets from the Nevi'im, with the addition of Lamentations (which in the Tanakh is one of the Five Megillot) and Daniel, both of which are included among the books of the Hebrew Ketuvim.[2]

The prophetic books are named as such because prophets are traditionally attributed as authors.[3] However, modern scholars think that the books as they have been handed down to the present time are the work of successive generations of writers who took their inspiration the messages of these prophets.[4] These authors were active between 750 BC and 450 BC.[5] The first six of the books are known as the major prophets, while the last 12 are known as the minor prophets. These names do not imply that the major prophets are more important than the minor prophets, but refer to the major prophetic books being much longer than the minor ones.[3] The books of Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel have 66, 52 and 48 chapters, respectively, while the minor prophets merely have 1 to 14 chapters per book.[6]

Incidentally, outside of the prophetic books, prophets also feature as characters in other books of the Hebrew Bible.


The major prophets in Christianity are:

In Judaism, only Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel are counted amongst the 'major prophets'. Baruch, a Septuagintal book, is considered canonical only in Roman Catholicism, Eastern Orthodoxy, and Oriental Orthodox churches but apocryphal in Protestant Christianity and in Judaism.[1]

The minor prophets are the same in Christianity as in Judaism (however, in Jewish Bibles they are grouped as one single book, titled "The Twelve"):[1]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b c Coogan, Michael D., ed. (2007). The New Oxford Annotated Bible with the Apocryphal/Deuterocanonical Books: New Revised Standard Version. Oxford: Oxford University Press. pp. 455, 969. ISBN 9780195288803. Retrieved 28 December 2021.
  2. ^ Sweeney, M.A. (2014). Reading Prophetic Books: Form, Intertextuality, and Reception in Prophetic and Post-Biblical Literature. Forschungen zum Alten Testament. Mohr Siebeck. p. 21. ISBN 978-3-16-152374-8. Retrieved 13 August 2018.
  3. ^ a b Major and Minor Prophetic Books of the Bible
  4. ^ "profetenboeken". (in Dutch). Netherlands Bible Society. Retrieved 28 December 2021.
  5. ^ Books Resources[permanent dead link]
  6. ^ "Bible Navigation Menu". Retrieved 28 December 2021.