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Reading the Twelve as One: Hosea 1–3 as an Introduction to Book of the Twelve (The Minor Prophets)

Craig Bowman
Rochester College

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The opening chapters of Hosea, positionally and rhetorically, set a tone
and a rhythm for the whole Book of the Twelve, especially if the final
editor of the BT strategically ordered the prophetic books that follow
Hosea around a few key terms that are based in Hosea 1–3. Thus, a
reading strategy emerges, which when discerned clarifies the rhetorical
function of the Hosea prologue as a guide for reading the book of the
Minor Prophets together as one. Incorporating recent work by Odil
Steck, emphasizing the intrinsic "reading directions and reading
paths" supplied by the BT itself, and by William Schniedewind regarding
the most plausible periods for the formation of biblical textuality,
literacy, and preservation, this paper argues for a simpler model of
composition, redaction, and editing for the BT compliant with internal
rhetorical clues within the BT itself and with external evidence for
the development of writing and reading within the social history of
ancient Israel.

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Volume 26 Issue 1

Current Issue:
VOLUME 26, No. 1
Spring 2023



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