“I find this to be an engaging monograph. It is grounded in thorough research and careful historical and textual investigation. It highlights problems with which the OT scholar, historian of religion, philosopher of religion, and theologian must deal. The introduction, ‘Prophet versus Prophet,’ sets up the problem as that of human limitation and divine sovereignty, ‘which combine to create tension within prophetic circles so that a clarification of the conflict between prophets demands that attention be given to both factors’ (p. 4 ). After a summary of research pertinent to the subject, the author moves on to a description of ‘The Crisis of the Faith’ in ch. 2. … Ch. 3, ‘Prophecy’s Inability to Face the Challenge,’ begins with an excellent exegetical analysis of 1 Kings 13. The purpose of the chapter is to argue that the OT gives no criterion, whether pertaining to the message or to the person of the messenger, adequate to distinguish true from false prophecy. In ch. 4 Crenshaw maintains that false prophecy was inevitable. Certain sociohistorical factors often occasioned a shift from true to false prophecy.… Furthermore, false prophecy could contribute to the divine purpose, false prophecy originating in God’s ‘demonism.’ … In the last chapter, ‘Israel Seeks a Solution,’ Crenshaw discusses reasons for the failure of prophecy in ancient Israel. The basic reason was ‘lack of any means of validating a message claimed to be of divine origin’ (p. 103). Prophecy placed upon Israel’s history a weight it could not bear, and wisdom and apocalyptic filled the void. After a helpful conclusion, the book ends with two excursuses, one on false prophecy in the NT period and one in the problem of authority in wisdom and prophetic literature.” — James G. Williams, Journal of Biblical Literature
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