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Book cover: Like Fire in the Bones: Listening for the Prophetic Word in Jeremiah (Brueggemann)

Like Fire in the Bones: Listening for the Prophetic Word in Jeremiah (Brueggemann)

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Be prepared to learn a great deal about the contemporary interpretation of the book of Jeremiah. There is no better guide to what is going on in Jeremianic studies than the opening essays of this volume. Even in this enterprise, however, Brueggemann does not lay out a dull scholarly review. His look at the work of others is always in order to say what matters about the book. Engaging others is not to summarize scholarship or to score points. It is in order to see the vision and hear the word.

Finally, there is an order to the arrangement of these essays, so that in reading through them in sequence one moves from a close look at how Jeremiah is being read and interpreted into a more detailed reading of texts and Jeremiah’s place in the larger scheme of things, prophetic and otherwise, and finally into an explicit and intense grappling with the word of the prophet for the contemporary community of faith. There is no requirement, however, to read these discrete essays in any order. Wherever you start, you will confront the prophet in all the fullness of his word from the Lord and have to wrestle with the inescapable challenge of that word to your own time and place.

“No scholar of this generation has had a greater fire in his bones for communicating the word of God than Walter Brueggemann. These essays on Jeremiah exemplify his insistence that criticism should lead to interpretation, and remind us again why prophets like Jeremiah still matter in the 21st century.”––John J. Collins, Holmes Professor of Old Testament, Yale

“Jeremiah, the longest book in the Bible, is neglected much too often by preacher and teacher alike. That neglect is due, in significant part, to the prophet's often-sharp words that strike too close to home, in his own generation and in ours. It is telling that the prophet Jeremiah, the focus of these essays that span much of Walter Brueggemann’s prophetic ministry, has been in his head and heart for such a long time. Again and again, Brueggemann’s own words have mirrored Jeremiah to us, and the times in which we presently live could profit from hearing them again.” ––Terence E. Fretheim, Elva B. Lovell Professor of Old Testament, Luther Seminary

Like Fire in the Bones: Listening for the Prophetic Word in Jeremiah
Author: Walter Brueggemann
Editor: Patrick D. Miller
Publisher: Fortress Press (2006)

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