Biblical Division


Old Testament


Michael Williams

Reader 1

Arie C. Leder

Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Theology (Th.M)


Jeremiah, Lord, Feelings, Prophecy, Church


As indicated by Jeremiah’s title, “the weeping prophet,” the book of Jeremiah is full of a wide range of feelings. The agent of these feelings is not only Jeremiah, but also his community (the people of Judah) and the LORD. These feelings expressed in the book can be seen as part of the prophetic message. In fact, Jeremiah’s feelings are not only his own but are also representative of his community and the LORD. This representational nature of Jeremiah’s feelings is hinted at through the ambiguity of the emotional agent, is shown in the paralleled feelings and incitements thereof for different agents, is displayed through literary means, and is even stated explicitly in the text. These feelings are an integral part of Jeremiah’s prophetic task, in which he represents himself, his community, and the LORD. Responses are given to those who see Jeremiah’s feelings as solely his own or regard Jeremiah’s feelings as only being representative of those of the community or those of the LORD. Furthermore, this understanding of the representative nature of feelings as an essential part of the prophetic task is evaluated against the understanding of prophecy expressed by both Calvin and Brueggemann. Calvin’s understanding of prophecy as having a teaching function and Brueggemann’s understanding of prophecy as reinterpreting reality allow room for feelings in the prophetic task, and both understandings challenge and confirm the understanding of feelings as being prophetically representative. A fuller understanding of this multifaceted representational task is confirmed in and elucidated by the other prophetic literature. Furthermore, this understanding of the prophetic task provides insight into aspects of the incarnation and the derivative task of the church.



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