Re: [GTh] 24 Prophets
----- Original Message -----
From: "sarban" <sarban@...>
Sent: Friday, November 07, 2003 6:26 AM
Subject: Re: [GTh] 24 Prophets
> ----- Original Message -----
> From: "Maurice Cormier" <cobby@...>
> To: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
> Sent: Friday, November 07, 2003 10:17 AM
> Subject: [GTh] 24 Prophets
> > Greetings all ...
> > Could someone give me a bit of a hand with Logion # 52. (My memory seems
> > to be slipping on this one.)
> > Logion # 52 refers to the "24" prophets. Today, we tend to divide the
> > Old Testament prophets into the so-called "minor prophets" and the
> > "major prophets". They are:
> > A) Minor Prophets: Hosea,Joel,Amos,Obadiah,Jonah,Micah,Nahum,Habakkuk,
> > Zephaniah,Haggai,Zechariah,and Malachi.
> > B) Major Prophets: Isaiah,Jeremiah,Lamentations,Ezekiel,and Daniel
> > These total 17 in all. However, as I recall, several other books of the
> > Old Testament are also considered to be "Books of the Prophets" in
> > Jewish tradition ... the total of which (again as I but vaguely recall
> > now) added to the 17 mentioned above (minor and major) gives us a total
> > of 24.
> > Can anyone identify the 7 other Books which in Jewish tradition
> > generally make up "The Prophets" bringing the total up to 24?
> It is possible that the 24 prophets refer to the 24 books of the
> Hebrew Bible (equal in content to the Protestant OT but counting
> the 12 minor prophets as one book 1 & 2 Samuel as one book
> 1 & 2 Kings as one book 1 & 2 Chronicles as one book and
> Ezra-Nehemiah as one book. )
Yes, there apparently were many late first century CE Jews who
believed that all the scriptures had been written under prophetic
inspiration, i.e., by prophet--with at least some of them believing that the
scriptures total 24 books.
In "Canon of the OT" ( Interpreter's Dictionary of the Bible, Vol. 1,
R.H. Pfeiffer states, "It was, however, generally believed that prophecy
came to an end soon after the death of Ezra when the men of the Great
Synagogue collected the scriptures; no book known to have been written later
than Exra or Alexander the Great (in Jewish chronology this is paractiacally
equivalent; cf. Seder Olam Rabba 30) could be deemed inspired. The earliest
statements of this doctrine date from ca. A.D. 90, and are found in II (IV)
Esd. 14 (*the twenty-four books of the OT* (my emphasis) were dictated,
together with seventy esoteric apocalypses, to five scribes by Ezra in forty
However, I am not convinced that this is the solution as to why there are
said to be 24 prophets in GTh 52,
For one thing, even if one assumes that there are 24 books in the Jewish
sacred scriptures, first century CE Jews would not have believed that there
were 24 authors, a separate one for each book (e.g., the one book containing
the twelve minor prophets would have been taken to have been written by
twelve authors, i.e., the twelve minor prophets, while the first five books
(the Torah or Pentateuch) would have been taken to have had only one author,
i.e., Moses). So, this fails to explain why there are said to be 24
prophets in GTh 52.
For another thing, in a recent post, Mike points out that there are 24
blocks in GTh and that 8 of them have an odd number of lines and 16 have an
even number of lines.
This is reminiscent of the priestly courses--of which there were 24, 8 from
descendents of Ithimar and 16 from descendents of Eleazar (I Chronicles
Perhaps, then, there are said to have been 24 prophets in GTh 52 to indicate
that there had been one prophet for each priestly course. In this case, the
intent might be to imply that the prophets constitute the true priesthood.
This would be in line with some other elements of GTh thought, e.g., the
belief that circumcision of the spirit is the true circumcision.
In any event, besides the usage of the number 24, there is another aspect to
GTh 52 that I also find rather mysterious and difficult of understanding.
This is the declaration of the disciples, to Jesus, that "all of them (i.e.,
the prophets) spoke in You."
I suspect that, this means, when a prophet spoke, it was really Jesus
If so, then the disciples are identifying Jesus as being the Logos.
For example, in Heres (259), Philo states, "Now with every good man it is
the holy Logos which assures him his gift of prophecy. For a prophet (being
a spokesman) has no utterance of his own, but all his utterance came from
some somewhere else, the echoes of another's voice."
What is your understanding of this cryptic phrase, "all of them spoke in
You."? Do you agree that, it means, when a prophet spoke, it was really
Jesus speaking? If not, what do you think it does mean?
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