Discerning the Dynamics of Jeremiah 1-25

Discerning The Dynamics of Jeremiah 1-25 (MT)
Mark O’Brien OP

The book of Jeremiah contains a rich mix of prophecies in poetic form and in prose form, as well as prose narrative. Questions that have long preoccupied readers is how the book was assembled and for what purpose. If many hands were involved, is the final product a loose collection or is there some overall purpose and meaning in it? Consideration of these questions are complicated by the fact that the Hebrew (Masoretic Text or MT) and Greek (Septuagint or LXX) versions differ not only in length but in arrangement. The focus of this study is chapters 1ñ25 of the MT version, commonly regarded as comprising the first half of the book. By paying attention to what is called the ‘Dynamics of the Text’, namely how individual passages relate to their immediate and wider contexts, a new understanding of these chapters emerges. The reader is able to discern how effectively they portray the dramatic unfolding of Jeremiah’s’ prophetic vocation, and how his relationships with God and God’s people form an integral part of the book’s presentation of the Word of God.

Mark A O’Brien OP is currently Associate Professor of Biblical Studies in the University of Divinity, Melbourne, and teaches at two of its campuses; Catholic Theological College (CTC) and Yarra Theological Union (YTU). He is a member of the Dominican Order (Order of Preachers) and completed a License in Biblical Studies (LSS) at the Pontifical Biblical Institute in Rome (1976), and a Doctor of Theology (DTheol) at the University of Divinity (1987). He has also lectured in the Catholic Institute of Sydney (CIS), a member of the Sydney College of Divinity, Blackfriars Hall, Oxford University, and the National Catholic Institute of Theology (NCIT) in Karachi, Pakistan. His most recent book is Restoring the Right Relationship: The Bible on Divine Righteousness. Adelaide: ATF Press, 2014.