Speaking Truth to Power: The Thunderous Messages of the Hebrew Prophets and What They Mean Today (Speaker: Steve Ruth)

Steve Ruth

In all of literature there are few parallels to the soaring rhetoric and poetry of the Hebrew prophets. They speak to us clearly today after almost three millennia: Amos in 800 BC crying seeking help for the poor and the disenfranchised (“let justice flow like a river”); Hosea comparing his country to a prostitute; Isaiah and Micah seeking to turn swords into plowshares; Ezekiel’s “dry bones” commentary of hope and recovery; and dozens more familiar examples. The prophets didn’t ask for the job, but accomplished it with great zeal and persuasiveness. Jesus and St. Paul quoted them often and the prophets’ messages are used (and misused) in today’s political debates frequently.  The lecture will also describe the settings and situations which caused these messages to be proclaimed, against kings and nobles, the rich and the entitled–the haves of that time– in favor of the poor and the sick, the dispossessed, the aliens the refugees—the have nots.

We will cover prophetic themes which are still alive today: sharing the wealth of nations, protection for immigrants and resident aliens, punishment of the corrupt; equity in taxation; promises of victory to the just and many more.  No religious background or affiliation is required.

A/V requirements: LCD Projector, Screen, Laptop