With Amos and Hosea, in the middle of the eighth century before Christ, began that notable succession of religious thinkers whose utterances have been given permanent form in the prophetic books of the Old Testament. As we know from their writings, they were men of remarkable breadth, insight, and power. While their greatest service to the world of their day, and for ours, was in the sphere of constructive religious thought, they were interested in the practical problems of human life, and touched it at many points. Their conviction that righteousness and sincerity were the fundamental elements of true life made them unsparing critics of social wrongs, idolatry, formalism, and worldliness; preachers of faith in God and love to man, and statesmanlike advisers on questions of public policy.
The Messages of the Earlier Prophets contains analysis and paraphrase of the following prophetic writings in the order of their original appearance:
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Charles Foster Kent (1867–1925) was born in Palmyra, New York, and educated at Yale, Yale Divinity School, and the University of Berlin. After working as an instructor at the University of Chicago and a professor of biblical literature and history at Brown University, he became Woolsey Professor of Biblical Literature at Yale University in 1901. He was a prolific author and editor, and his works include The Wise Men of Ancient Israel and Their Proverbs, Origin and Permanent Value of the Old Testament, Israel’s Laws and Legal Precedents, and Israel’s Historical and Biographical Narratives.
Frank Knight Sanders (1861–1933) received his PhD from Yale University in 1889 and was instructor in biblical literature and Semitic languages there from 1888 to 1891, then professor of biblical history and archaeology and dean of the divinity faculty at Yale University from 1901 to 1905. In 1908, he became the president of Washburn College in Topeka, Kansas. He was a member of the American Oriental Society, the Society of Biblical Literature and Exegesis, the Archaeological Institute of America, and the Religious Education Association, of which he was the first president. His works include The Teacher’s Life of Christ, Studies in the Apostolic Age, and Outlines for the Study of Biblical History and Literature.