Grace Theological Journal 1 (1980) 77-96.
[Copyright © 1980 Grace Theological Seminary; cited with permission;
digitally prepared for use at
A THEOLOGY OF
A STUDY IN JEREMIAH
RONALD E. MANAHAN
A large corpus of material on false prophets is contained in the
book of Jeremiah. This material furnishes opportunity for under-
standing the theological perspective from which these pseudoprophets
spoke and acted. The question is: What theological conceptions did
they hold? A survey of recent prophetic and pseudoprophetic research
indicates that analysis of historical contexts and audience response
helps to answer the question. The present proposal is that a tentative
reconstruction of pseudoprophet theology can be developed if atten-
tion is given to: (1) audience response, (2) origin of pseudo prophets'
revelations, (3) characterization of pseudo prophets, and (4) pseudo-
prophet quotations. Accordingly this analysis indicates that pseudo-
if prophets held to a “Para-Covenantal" theology built on hopes attached
to the temple and the dynasty.
condition and Mosaic Covenant infractions were of no consequence.
They spoke only in part of Yahweh's covenant with his people. Thus,
due warning is given those who speak or hear only a part of God’s
revelation to man, an error too prevalent in contemporary speaking
and hearing of God’s Word.
* * *
WHILE the term pseudoprophet has its origin in the LXX, so
numerous are the mentions of these prophets who oppose
Yahweh's work and will that the term yeudoprofh<thj serves as a
meaningful title for such persons.1 From a survey of the OT record
there is clear indication that false prophets persisted throughout
false prophets by canonical prophets, the complex problem of dis-
tinguishing between true and false prophets, and the belief that
l Concerning the LXX translators' usage of yeudoprofh<thj on ten occasions, J. L.
Crenshaw, Prophetic Conflict (BZAW 124; Berlin: de Gruyter, 1971) 1, says: "In ten
places the attack by one prophet upon another was so severe that the Septuagint
translators used the word pseudoprophetes to translate nabi."
78 GRACE THEOLOGICAL JOURNAL
understanding the theological conceptions of false prophets enhances
understanding of canonical prophets, raises the question: What theo-
logical conceptions did pseudoprophets hold?
Though the length of this paper prohibits a complete treatment
of all OT references to false prophets, the book of Jeremiah furnishes
the necessary data to begin answering the above question. Several
reasons may be cited for this selection. This book contains a volume
of material on false prophets, enough data to make a judicious, if
cautious, analysis. Further, an especially sharp contrast between true
and false prophets is presented, cursorily indicated by the fact that of
the ten times the LXX translators used yeudoprofh<thj, nine are in
Jeremiah.2 Still another reason for selecting this book is that the
rapidly changing international political climate of Jeremiah's time
seemed to demand religious explanations for
situation; one would expect to find such explanations, and one is not
disappointed. Both true and false prophets offered explanations, and
these provide further material for answering the questions regarding
the theological conceptions of false prophets.
If the book of Jeremiah is to be utilized as suggested above, the
text of the book must be taken seriously. Gerstenberger's pessimistic
judgment that the "facts and figures" are not necessarily identifiable
with "historical events" must be abandoned.3 Admittedly, a number
of textual questions arise in this book, but they certainly do not
warrant the judgment of Gerstenberger.4
As already indicated, the international climate of Jeremiah's day
was stormy. While a detailed history of Jeremiah's day would serve
no particular function here, Klein's summary seems to be consistent
with the international political picture:
Jeremiah lived at a time when the principal roles in the monotonous
drama of Middle Eastern politics were changing hands in quite unex-
pected ways. Old powers were too exhausted to bear the weight of
2 The ten references (MT) where the LXX uses yeudoprofh<thj are Jer ; 26:7,
8, 11, 16; 27:9; 28:1; 29:1, 8 and Zech 13:2.
JBL 82 (1963) 393, gloomily observes: "Jeremiah is looked upon as a religious genius,
the champion of personal, inner, and spiritual religion. The basic fallacy of this
viewpoint is the presupposition that the 'facts and figures' in Jer. are identical with
'historical events,' or, that they, at least, permit easy access to that which 'really
happened' during Jeremiah's lifetime."
4 For a discussion of textual matters relating to Jeremiah see the following: C. von
Orelli, The Prophecies of
Jeremiah, trans. J. S. Banks (
1889); J. Bright, Jeremiah (AB 21; Garden City: Doubleday, 1965); E. C. Rust,
Covenant and Hope (Waco: Word, 1972); J. G. Janzen, Studies in the Text of
Jeremiah (HSM 6; Cambridge: Harvard University, 1973). As an example of a recent
treatment of this subject see E. Tov, "Exegetical Notes on the Hebrew Vorlage of the
LXX of Jeremiah 27 (34)," ZAW 91 (1979) 73-93.
MANAHAN: PSEUDOPROPHETS IN JEREMIAH 79
events, and new powers were eagerly responding to the invitation of
chance. The effect of these
conditions was sharply felt in
acy was gone (612 B.C.), it had been replaced by the menacing threat
of Babylonian-Egyptian tensions.
A better perspective of pseudoprophet theology will be gained
through an understanding of recent false prophet interpretation. This
brief survey will be the concern of the first section. Thereupon will
follow an appraisal of the pertinent data from Jeremiah. In the final
section, the conclusions of this study will be presented.
RECENT INTERPRETATIONS OF PSEUDOPROPHETS
Several observations help to illumine recent commentary on
pseudoprophets. Prophetic research in general has moved about three
centers of concern: the man, the message, and audience response
reflecting popular religion.6 While all three of these areas are related,
the chronology of their popularity as centers of research is in the
order given above.
Holscher emphasized that all prophecy was ecstatic, and Lind-
blom posited the notion that ecstacy was the central factor in
understanding prophecy.7 Emphasis of this sort necessitated that
the prophet as man be the focus of research in order to articulate
prophetic phenomena. Mowinckel concluded that, whereas earlier
prophets had emphasized their prophetic movement as being prompted
by the Spirit of Yahweh, later prophets stressed the importance of
receiving the Word of Yahweh. By this assessment Mowinckel
suggested that in the later prophets the true could be distinguished
5 W. C. Klein, "Commentary on Jeremiah," ATR 45 (1963) 122.
6 Crenshaw, Prophetic Conflict, 5ff. Note also the discussion of Rust, Covenant
and Hope, 104.
7 Note ibid., 7;
C. Westermann, Basic
Forms of Prophetic Speech (
Fortress, 1965). In connection with focusing attention on the ecstatic experience of
prophecy, E. J. Young, My Servants. the Prophets (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1952)
164-65, concludes: "That the prophets were ecstatics was not first suggested by
Holscher. Before him, men like Giesebrecht, Knobel, and Stade had advanced the same
idea. The view, however, is really much older. We shall probably find the first
presentation of it in the writings of Philo. In his discussion of Genesis 15 Philo
identifies sleep which fell upon Abraham as an ecstacy. This ecstacy, he says, may take
different forms. It may be a madness which produces mental delusion (paranoian). It
may be extreme amazement at sudden and unexpected events. On the other hand it
may be mere passivity of the mind, but in its best form it is a divine possession or
frenzy. . . such as came upon the prophetic class."
80 GRACE THEOLOGICAL JOURNAL
from the false because the former, recipients of Yahweh's Word, were
rational guides leading the nation to right actions (those consistent
with Yahweh's nature and demands). The false were possessed of the
frenzied (i.e., irrational) Spirit of Yahweh and therefore were inade-
quate for presenting Yahweh's demands rationally.8
A number of scholars concentrated their efforts on the message.
The awareness of prophetic speech forms became the chief product of
this investigation. The lineage of this development of speech form
research can be traced through W. W. Baudissin, C. Steuernagel,
G. Holscher, H. Gunkel, H. Gressmann, J. Lindblom, L. Koehler,
E. Balla, R. B. Y. Scott, H. Wildberger, J. Hempel, H. W. Wolff, and
E. Wurthwein.9 In recent years, this area of research has proven
fertile. Men such as D. R. Hiliers10 and K. Baitzeril have concentrated
their efforts on the treaty orientation of prophetic literature. So
prevalent has been this concerted attention to the covenantal nature
of the literature that R. E. Clements has sounded a warning against
overemphasis: because the traditions lack unity, the covenant theme
cannot be traced throughout the prophets.12 On the other hand,
N. Habel has concentrated on the form of the call narratives.13 In all,
considerable attention has been given to the prophetic message.
A relatively new concept in the arena of prophetic research has
been the idea that audience response was conditioned by the tenets of
popular religion. Crenshaw believes that research in this area will
yield a great deal of new information for better understanding of the
prophets,14 and indicates approval of A. S. van der Woude's call to
attention to the important nature of prophetic quotations and quota-
tions of false prophets.15 These quotations provide an avenue of
8 See S. Mowinckel, "'The Spirit' and the 'Word' in the Pre-Exilic Reforming
Prophets," JBL 53 (1934) 199-227.
9 At least this is the reasoned judgment of Westermann, Basic Forms of Prophetic
10 D. R. Hillers, Treaty-Curses and the Old Testament Prophets (BibOr
Pontifical Biblical Institute, 1964) 1-89. See also F. C. Fensham, "Common Trends in
Curses of the Near Eastern Treaties and Kudurru-Inscriptions Compared With the
Maledictions of Amos and Isaiah," ZAW 75 (1963) 155-75.
11 K. Baltzer, The Covenant Formulary (Philadelphia: Fortress, 1971) 1-180.
12 R. E. Clements, Prophecy and Tradition (Atlanta: John Knox, 1975).
13 N. Habel, "The Form and Significance of the Call Narratives," ZAW 77 (1965)
14 Crenshaw, Prophetic Conflict, 13. Note, however, the opinion of A. Johnson,
The Cultic Prophet in
ISSee A. S. van der Woude, "Micah In Dispute With the Pseudoprophets," VT 19
(1969) 245, where he reasons: "Is it at all possible to give a somewhat exact description
of the theologoumena through which pseudo-prophetism exercised its influence on the
religious life in
say, if we could trace these theologoumena, we would be in a position to fathom the
MANAHAN: PSEUDOPROPHETS IN JEREMIAH 81
insight into the religious views held by the general populace. Cren-
shaw's research led him to conclude that
It is only as one becomes familiar with the voice of the people that he
can understand false prophecy. . . . The following will seek to show
that the vox populi is characterized by: (1) confidence in God's
faithfulness, (2) satisfaction with traditional religion, (3) defiance in the
face of prophets who hold a different view, (4) despair when hope
seems dead, (5) doubt as to the justice of God, and (6) historical
These three areas of concern (man, message, and audience
response) in prophetic research have produced corollary responses in
treatment of the pseudoprophets.17 These have come in the form of
three specific tendencies: (1) a denial of valid objective criteria for
distinguishing false from true prophets, (2) an attempt to understand
false prophets on the basis of the historical moment of the prophetic
word, and (3) a belief that distinguishing false from true prophets
requires an analysis of the nature of audience response conditioned
by the leading tenets of popular religion.
The first of these tendencies is seen in the work of J. Hempel
who "denied the validity of the criterion of fulfillment in distinguish-
ing true from false prophecy.”18 Non-fulfillment of prophetic utter-
ance was not necessarily an indication of false prophecy; it was only a
new occasion for the prophet to apply the traditional message in a
new way. The issue is not so much, then, the nature of prophetic
utterance as it is the prophet's ability to adapt.19 In this way Hempel
concentrated on the man, not so much the message. Von Rad agrees
in principle with Hempel's position, for in discussing Jeremiah's
encounters with pseudoprophets he concludes:
Deuteronomy too tries--not very successfully--to draw up objective
criteria by means of which the false prophet might be recognized
(Deut. XVIII.21). The contradiction between prophet and prophet,
spiritual climate against which the pre-Exilic canonical prophets made their stand. In
general it can be said that the pseudo prophets subscribed and conformed to the
established order not only politically but also in matters of religion."
16 Crenshaw, Prophetic Conflict, 24.
17 Ibid., 13.
18 Ibid., 14.
19 Cf. ibid., 15, where Hempel's position is analyzed accordingly. "It was this
'aliveness' of the spoken word and readiness of the prophet to adapt a previous word to
a new situation that prompted him to deny that the lack of fulfillment of a prediction
was in itself proof of false prophecy."
82 GRACE THEOLOGICAL JOURNAL
each speaking in the name of Yahweh (cf. Jer. XXVII. 4, XXVIII. 2),
must have been particularly confusing in the final period of the
Monarchy. . . . The falsity [i.e., of the prophets] cannot be seen either
in the office itself, or in their words themselves, or in the fallibility of
the man who spoke them. It could only be seen by the person who had
true insight into Yahweh's intentions for the time, and who on the basis
of this, was obliged to deny that the other had illumination.20
Von Rad's judgment also characterizes a second tendency, an
attempt to understand false prophets on the basis of the historical
moment of the prophetic word. The prophetic word is either weal or
woe, depending upon any given cultic adaptation of traditional
oracular material for a specific historical context (moment of his-
tory).21 Thus Overholt contends "that to be true the message of a
prophet must proclaim Yahweh's will in terms appropriate to the
concrete historical situation in which the prophet finds himself. . . .”22
How were prophets to be evaluated (in light of truth or falsity) if not
"in the dual light of an affirmation about their religious heritage and
a knowledge of the historical situation in which they lived?”23 A
religious heritage must, therefore, always be interpreted in light of a
changing historical context.
Overholt's understanding, while certainly agreeing in many
respects with von Rad's, also brings to the foreground a third
tendency in recent treatment of false prophets--a belief that distin-
guishing false from true necessitates an analysis of the nature of
audience response conditioned by the leading tenets of popular
religion. "We find," contends Overholt, "that when two apparently
equally compelling prophets of Yahweh were in conflict, the key to
the resolution of the problem lay in an interpretation of the people's
religious heritage.”24 Crenshaw has attempted this type of interpre-
tation and suggests that there were six leading tenets which character-
ized popular religion.25 Surely if no valid objective criteria exist for
differentiating false and true prophets, and if a true prophet is such
because his message matches Yahweh's will to a contemporary con-
text, then of necessity the historical context in which the message was
spoken must be understood. The voice of the people as reflected in
20 G. von Rad, Old Testament Theology (2 vols.;
1965), 2. 210, n. 27 (words in brackets are added). Others who agree in principle with
Hempel and von Rad are Crenshaw, Prophetic Conflict; 110-11, and T. W. Overholt,
"Jeremiah 27-29: The Question of False Prophecy," JAAR 35 (1967) 241-49.
21 This is the judgment of Crenshaw, Prophetic Conflict, 15, based on von Rad's
article, "Die Falschen Propheten," ZAW 53 (1933) 109-20.
22 Overholt, "Jeremiah 27-29," 248.
24 Ibid., 241.
25 See, above, 81.
MANAHAN: PSEUDOPROPHETS IN JEREMIAH 83
prophetic literature should then help explain the given historical
context and should supply the principle by which a pseudoprophet
could be detected.
The foregoing survey indicates that scholarship has made a
number of contributions to understanding pseudoprophets, namely,
recognizing the importance of analyzing the various historical con-
texts in which both false and true prophets spoke and underscoring
the notion that audience response will help greatly in understanding
the false prophet.
However, this survey also brings to light several deficiencies.
Much of recent scholarship has labored under a less than adequate
view of the biblical text.26 While many aspects of contemporary
understanding of pseudoprophets have been covered, one issue that
has received little attention is an analysis of the actual components of
pseudoprophet theology.27 This is true especially in the case of the
book of Jeremiah, a book very interested in pseudoprophets.
In order to discover the theological tenets of these prophets, an
adequate method is necessary. The statement and finds of this
method are the concerns of the following.
TENETS OF PSEUDOPROPHET THEOLOGY
A suggested methodology
A tentative reconstruction of pseudoprophet theology28 can be
developed if the following methodology is employed: analysis of (1)
the audience response, (2) the origin of the pseudoprophets' supposed
revelations, (3) the characterization of pseudoprophets in the text,
and (4) pseudoprophet quotations.
Before moving directly to the audience response, a word must be
said about the fact that Jeremiah's book ranges over many years, with
a number of historical and political changes. Perhaps a variety of
changes in the theological systems employed by false prophets are to
26 Cf. the observation on the importance of taking the text of the Bible seriously (p.
78) with the views of the Bible held by those such as von Rad, Old Testament
Theology, vol. 2; Crenshaw, Prophetic Conflict; and Overholt, "Jeremiah 27-29"; to
name a few.
27 Two who have made notable attempts, though from different perspectives, are
van der Woude, "Micah In Dispute With the Pseudo-prophets," and J. T. E. Renner,
"False and True Prophecy," Reformed Theological Review 25 (1966) 96-104. To be
sure, numerous others have made at least a partial attempt to deal with actual
theological tenets of pseudoprophetism.
28 Theology is here understood as that corpus of religious ideas which together
express a distinctive religious perspective.
84 GRACE THEOLOGICAL JOURNAL
be found. However, as one moves through the history recorded in
the book, he discovers a remarkable similarity among the pseudo-
prophets' theological views.29 Therefore, it is possible to talk in terms
of this book yielding a picture of the components of a unified
theology of pseudoprophets. Furthermore, a definition of a true
prophet is needed. True prophets may be regarded collectively as those
. . . persons whose entire life-style (words and actions) was submitted
to God's purposes and empowered by the Spirit and who served
variously as (1) God's channel of revelatory information to the subjects
of the mediatorial kingdom, (2) exhorters of obedience to mediatorial
kingdom regulations, and (3) pointers to the coming Messiah whose
work would merge the rulership of the mediatorial kingdom and the
office of God's spokesman in that kingdom into one person.30
The nation of
utterance (of whatever type) and to the changing historical situation.
For present purposes the concern with audience response is at points
where it may help in illuminating the religious state of the nation and
thereby cast light on the theological formulations of false prophets.31
Audience response may be categorized in two ways: by actions and by
29 Certainly, however, there were several
types of false prophets throughout
history; see Young, My Servants the Prophets, 125ff., and J. B. Payne, The Theology
of the Older Testament (Grand Rapids: Zondervan, 1962) 56, who says: "In actuality,
three major categories. There were Jezebel's outrightly pagan prophets, who served
Baal and Asherah (I Kings ); there were the hypocritical charlatans of Ahab's
court (22:6, 7), prophets for pay, a disgrace to the name of the Lord (Micah ; cf.
Amos ); and there were sincere prophets, who were well-meaning but still revela-
tionless, and hence mistaken (I Kings -18). "
30 R. Manahan, "Prophetic Office in Historical Perspective" (unpublished Th.M.
thesis, Grace Theological Seminary, 1977) 135-36.
31 For a recent discussion of audience response to Jeremiah's utterances see W. J.
Horwitz, "Audience Reaction to Jeremiah," CBQ 32 (1970) 555-64, where he describes
his methodology: "In this paper we have tried to discover what can be learned about
Jeremiah by examining the source most contemporary with him, the responses of his
audience." An article by D. R. Hillers, "A Convention in Hebrew Literature: The
Reaction to Bad News," ZAW 77 (1965) 86-90, also helps detail audience response by
drawing attention to Ugaritic parallels to bad-news reactions in the OT prophets, Jer
-23, 24; 49:23, and 50:43 especially being noteworthy. But T. Overholt, "Jeremiah 2
and the Problem of 'Audience Reaction,'" CBQ 41 (1979) 262-73 cautions that "the
consistency between the quotations and the prophet's message might well be explained
by his own conscious construction of his speeches: on the basis of his experience
Jeremiah may have selected from, altered, even created 'audience reactions' to serve as
foils for his indictment of the people."
MANAHAN: PSEUDOPROPHETS IN JEREMIAH 85
A survey of the book of Jeremiah indicates several features of
the actions of the nation. On at least two occasions the book
illustrates the religiously deviate ways of the nation by picturing them
as "well-fed lusty horses, each one neighing after his neighbor's wife"
(Jer 5:8) and ''as a well keeps its waters fresh, so she keeps fresh her
wickedness" (6:7). The actual situation which gave rise to these
illustrations is that the people refused correction from Yahweh (5:3),
refused to repent (8:6), closed their ears against Yahweh's word (both
king--36:23; 37:2-3--and subjects--, 25-27) filled the temple
complex with contemptible things (-31), did not speak truth
(-30; ; 8:6; 9:2-6), and sacrificed to other deities and served
them (; 12:6; ; ; 19:4; 32:29; 44:16-18). However, these
characteristics do not necessarily distinguish the people of Jeremiah's
day from those of a prior era. The nation's spiritual history had been
marred by numerous spiritual degradations.
But there are several features of the people's actions that seem to
characterize Jeremiah's day in particular. While the people had served
other deities, as noted above, they were nonetheless engaged in
offering sacrifices to Yahweh ().32 One of the judgments the
people seem to have made is that physical sacrifice (to whomever it
may be made) has a direct relationship to welfare and misfortune, in
Jer 44:16-18 is recorded an audience response (both by action and
word) to Jeremiah's statement to the Jews living in
word through Jeremiah was that sacrifice to other gods had brought
the outpouring of God's wrath (44:2-14). But the claim of the people
is that sacrifice to other gods brought prosperity and lack of sacrifice
to these same deities brought misfortune (44:16-18). Therefore, they
concluded, a continuation of pagan sacrifice was required. On an
earlier occasion () Yahweh had indicated that sacrifices to him
were not enough to avoid a coming judgment. Sacrifice alone would
were some deserters to Babylonian forces--38:19; 39:9) from the
king down had held that
was maintained in spite of obvious breaking of Yahweh's covenant
with this people (; -23; 43:4, 7). Yahweh's contention with
his people was that covenant breakage was the reason for judgment
From the above description two patterns emerge. The popular
conclusion was that good (weal) and misfortune (woe) were condi-
32 Both T. Laetsch, Bible Commentary: Jeremiah (St. Louis: Concordia, 1952) 87,
and C. F. Keil, The Prophecies of Jeremiah (Biblical Commentary on the Old
"The people had no shortcoming in the matter of sacrifice in the temple; but in this
service, as being mere outward service of works, the Lord has no pleasure, if the heart
is estranged from Him, rebels against His commandments."
86 GRACE THEOLOGICAL JOURNAL
tioned upon externals (i.e., sacrifices). The popular misunderstanding
was that weal and woe were not necessarily the outworking of
Yahweh's covenantal promises.
To be added to the above material on audience response are the
numerous quotations of the people. An analysis of these passages
yields the following assertions. To be expected is the obstinate refusal
of the people to follow in Yahweh's will (,17; ; ; ).
In addition, there is indication of an attachment to externals--the
temple (7:4), the religious functionaries (), and the law (8:8). In
these cases there is a confidence in the very presence of these objects.
In some way these objects attest to a higher religious truth. What
is especially striking in the audience quotations is the material
people desired peace (; 43:1-2); and this peace was thought of as
consistent with the nation's continuance. Numerous times the people
expressed confidence that
; 36:29; 37:9). Jeremiah was, in fact, considered a traitor and a
liar when he suggested otherwise (37:13; 38:4; 43:1-2). While on
occasion there may have been some loss of confidence (33:24),33 the
people generally did not conceive of
confidence in Yahweh's faithful execution of his promises (; -
22). They evidently understood that his faithful execution of promises
incorporated the preservation of
lament in captivity, "Harvest is past, summer is ended, and we are not
saved" (). That
not to evaluate their personal lives.
By fitting together the pieces of the audience response puzzle, the
following picture emerges. They believed:
(1) That weal and woe were conditioned on the physical act of
sacrifice, not on the entire covenant Yahweh made with his
(2) That Yahweh was faithful to his promises and that these
promises included preservation of the nation from Babylo-
(3) That Yahweh's faithful fulfillment of his promises and the
nation's fall were contradictory and thus cause for despair.34
(4) That the continuing presence of externals such as the temple,
law, and religious functionaries was evidence that Yahweh
33 Note von Orelli, The Prophecies of Jeremiah, 253.
34 Traces of these elements of contradiction and despair seem to be reflected in the
University 1969) 322. Laetsch in Bible Commentary: Jeremiah, 275, gives a succinct
evaluation of the relevance of the
extended discussion by U. Cassuto, Biblical and Oriental Studies, Vol. II: Bible and
Ancient Oriental Texts (Jerusalem: Magnes 1975) 229ff.
MANAHAN: PSEUDOPROPHETS IN JEREMIAH 87
would give weal, not woe, to his people.
(5) That moral degradation of the nation held no necessary
implications about Yahweh's faithful preservation of the
nation from Babylonian hands.35
Origin of pseudoprophet "revelation"
Once the issue of the national background from which both
Jeremiah and the false prophets spoke has been established, the
discussion can turn directly to issues relating to the pseudoprophets
themselves. For analyzing their theology it is best to begin with its
origin, "revelation." The amount of material on this subject is small
(fewer than 15 references) but nonetheless relevant. The references
divide into two groupings, those of the pseudoprophets' own opinion
and those containing reference to evaluation by others.
The personal testimony of the pseudoprophets is that by dreams
() they received divine information (yTim;laHA yTim;laHA). While this
word may refer to prophetic dreams, its usage in Deut 13:1-2 makes
clear that to dream a dream does not make one a true prophet.36 The
problem with using dreams as a claim to divine truth has been
captured by Naegelsbach: "The dream is farthest withdrawn from the
control of other men. Nothing is easier than to say: 'Last night I
dreamed this or that!' Who can refute it? These prophets made an
immoderate and questionable use of dreams.”37 Also, these false
prophets prefaced their utterances by, "The Lord has said" ().
That this expression was frequent is indicated by the several times the
book of Jeremiah recalls that these false prophets claimed to speak in
35 Interesting is the fact that while the chosen people were perplexed over the fall of
the nation, foreigners at least knew well enough the connection between sin and
subsequent fall (22:8-9).
36 See BDB 321, where cognates are also given.
37 Note Laetsch, Bible Commentary: Jeremiah, 200, and C. W. E. Naegelsbach,
The Book of the Prophet
Sons, 1915) 214. S. Cramer, "The Practice of Divination in the Old Testament"
(unpublished Old Testament Seminar paper, Grace Theological Seminary, Fall, 1973)
20-21, further explains that "the use of dreams, or inspirational divination, has been
regarded as the most direct means of divination. . . Often a dream was induced by
means of incubation. This was accomplished by sleeping in some sacred place where
gods or spirits would reveal knowledge to the sleeper. Possibly this is what Isaiah was
referring to when he spoke of those 'who remain among the graves, and lodge in the
monuments' (Is. 55:4)." Further references for study of the issue of divination and the
origin of the false prophets' message are T. W. Davies, Magic, Divination, and
Demonology (New York: KTAV, 1969); S. H. Hooke, Babylonian and Assyrian
Religion (London: Hutchinson's University Library, 1953); Johnson, The Cultic
Prophet in Ancient
Literature," JBL 92 (1973) 489-97; G. F. Oehler, Theology of the Old Testament (New
the Scriptures," BSac 128 (1971) 352-60.
88 GRACE THEOLOGICAL JOURNAL
Yahweh's name (; ; 27:15; 29:8-9; 29:21). To speak thus
would not only give a ring of authenticity to their words but would
make their fraudulent claim most difficult to detect alongside the true
prophets who also spoke in Yahweh's name.
Yahweh's evaluation (and Jeremiah's, also) is that the pseudo-
prophets' messages, while claiming authentication for oracular mate-
rial, did not originate in Yahweh's council (), and thus they were
not given by Yahweh (; 29:31).38 "But if they had stood in My
council, then they would have announced My words to My people"
(). A confrontation between Yahweh and false prophet was
Two other times Yahweh gives his evaluation of the origin of the
message of false prophets. "They speak a vision of their own imagi-
nations" (UrB;day; MBAli NvzoHE). In the origin of their message is
further described: "Is there anything in the hearts of the prophets who
prophecy falsehood, even these prophets of the deception of their
own heart.”39 The following verse indicates that the intention of such
doings is "to make My people forget My name by their dreams which
they relate to one another" (). Initially it appears that the origin
of their message is in their own heart, a deceptive human heart
(tmir;Ta; cf. 17:9, bqofA "crafty").40 But the context that follows goes on
to develop a fuller picture of the origin of pseudoprophet "revelation."
The leading traits of their "revelations" are mixing of falsity and truth
(23:28) and stealing Yahweh's words from other sources (23:30).
Laetsch has well summarized this passage:
Since I am the omnipresent God, let every prophet be honest and faith-
ful in preaching My Word--God, who knows the heart of man,
demands that man be honest. If a prophet has had a dream which he
would like to tell his neighbors, let him be honest enough to say: I am
telling you a dream of my own. And if a prophet has My Word, let him
speak My Word faithfully, literally, as truth, just as it has been given to
him, without alteration, without changing its sense in the least. How
dare man mingle the chaff of his own dreams into the pure wheat of
the Word of the omnipresent, omniscient Lord Jehovah in order to
38 While the discussion of
Yahweh," JBL 83 (1964) 279-86, is helpful in discussing especially Micaiah, Isaiah, and
Ezekiel, he overdraws the parallels between these prophets and Babylonian literature.
39 Jer is particularly problematic textually. Discussions of the textual diffi-
culties can be found in Keil, The Prophecies of Jeremiah, 362-63, and Naegelsbach,
The Book of the Prophet Jeremiah. 214-15. The major questions concern the double
interrogatives (ytamA and -hE) in the MT, whether the reading of the LXX, Syriac,
Targum, and Vg is preferable, and whether wye should be read wxe (ibid., 215).
40 Note W. L. Holladay (ed.), A Concise Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old
Testament (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1971) 281 and 395, where he suggests reading
tmir;Ta as tymir;Ta).
MANAHAN: PSEUDOPROPHETS IN JEREMIAH 89
find more ready and willing hearers! . . . Whatever truth they preached,
they did not obtain, as they claim, by divine revelation. They stole this
truth, 'a man from his neighbor,' from someone else, either directly
from a true prophet, or from some other false prophet who also had
stolen it, or from any other person.41
In summary, the book of Jeremiah declares that the origin of
pseudoprophet theology was through a mixture of purported dreams
and Yahweh's Word stolen from other sources, all of which sprang
out of the deceptive hearts of men whose intention was to make the
nation forget Yahweh's character.
A characterization of pseudoprophets
False prophet traits as depicted in the book of Jeremiah follow
the pattern established for the origin of their message. These traits
may be grouped for convenience into five divisions: (1) personal
immorality, (2) encouragement of evil, (3) confidence, (4) compati-
bility with the populace, and (5) ineffectiveness. The goal of this
analysis is to suggest the nature of a theology consistent with these
traits. Their theology evidently could legitimize such traits and was
compatible with them.
Personal immorality. Of course, not every false prophet is con-
demned for gross immorality. Hananiah in 28:1ff. is not so con-
demned, with the exception of the reference to his not speaking
Yahweh's word (28:15-16).
Two passages are worthy of discussion here: and 29:23. In
the first of these, the description of pseudoprophets is that they deal
falsely and are greedy of gain. Base gain replaced a desire to lead the
nation into obedience to covenant stipulations. Their desire for base
gain seems to serve as the reason for Yahweh's promise (v 12) that he
will turn valuables (houses, fields, etc.) over to others. As they sought
gain, so things they valued would be given to their enemies. Base gain
as a principle of operation led the false prophets to bring only
superficial healing ().42 They also made inaccurate analyses of the
degree of the nation's security ().
41 Laetsch, Bible Commentary: Jeremiah, 201.
42 The issue of prophets seeking gain is also suggested by Mic 3:11. In the Jer -
passage, the false prophets are cited for only superficially (note
Hebrew and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, 319, where he translates the
Niphal feminine participle hlAqan;, from llq, by "superficially") healing the wound of
the people. The nature of the wound is suggested by the same usage of this term, rb,w,
in Jer 4:6 and 6:1 where the word refers to the coming destruction from the north (note
W. Overholt, The
Threat of Falsehood [3 vols.;
Thus, the pseudoprophets gave only superficial treatment ("Peace, Peace") to the
impending national threat. Hillers, Treaty-Curses and the Old Testament Prophets, 64-
66, points out that this imagery of the wound not being given adequate treatment is set
90 GRACE THEOLOGICAL JOURNAL
The second of these passages, 29:23 (note also43), charges
two pseudoprophets with personal immorality. Jeremiah 29 records
"the words of the letter which Jeremiah the prophet sent from
Jerusalem to the rest of the elders of the exile, the priests, the
prophets, and all the people whom Nebuchadnezzar had taken into
themselves that they were quite well equipped with prophetic sources
(29:21). These false prophets, though in exile, evidently had been
declaring the perpetuity of the nation as indicated by the continued
existence of the temple and the Davidic throne.
Ahab and Zedekiah, says the letter, will face death by the hand
of the Babylonian king (29:21). This slaying will take the form of
roasting in the fire and will form the basis of a curse-form among the
exiles (29:22).45 The reason cited46 for their judgment is that "they
have acted foolishly in
neighbors' wives, and have spoken words in My name falsely" (29:23).
Clearly, personal immorality is the charge against these two false
prophets. Such looseness indicates that at least these prophets' level
of morality was not consistent with OT norms and may be suggestive
of a theological perspective from which such practices could arise
(perhaps confidence in
the moral obligations of Yahweh's treaty with the nation).
Encouragement of evil. Not unexpectedly, the pseudoprophets
are charged with the promotion of evil among the members of the
in treaty terminology (curse form). The wounds' incurable nature can be treated only
by the healing produced by conformity to treaty obligations in this case.
43 To be sure, charges pseudoprophets with "the committing of adultery."
Laetsch, Bible Commentary: Jeremiah, 198, concludes that the adultery here is of a
personal moral nature. However, Overholt, The Threat of Falsehood, 54-55, suggests
that the reference here may be to adultery as national apostasy, thus seeing the
out by the limited usage of hrAUrfEwa, "a horrible thing" (
and Aramaic Lexicon of the Old Testament, 380, suggests two roots, rUrfEwa and
yriUrfEwa, together occurring a total of four times) in the OT. Each of these passages
could be interpreted in terms of national apostasy.
44 The verses that follow, 29:16-20, are not included in the LXX. In this light note
the discussion of Naegelsbach, The Book of the Prophet Jeremiah, 249.
45 Much earlier, The Code of Hammurabi stipulated the punishment of burning for
one who was involved in immorality. According to Pritchard (ed.), ANET, 172, law
157 reads: "If a seignor has lain in the bosom of his mother after (the death of) his
father, they shall burn both of them," the word for burning being iqalu’usunuti from
qalu. Conceivably, use of fire for punishment of adultery was practiced by the
Babylonians much later. Compare Deut as the OT pattern.
46 Jer 29:33 uses the expression rw,xE Nfaya with a following verb (UWfA) in the
perfect to indicate cause or reason; note, GKC 318, n. 1.
MANAHAN: PSEUDOPROPHETS IN JEREMIAH 91
covenanted people. Two chapters (23 and 29) in Jeremiah clearly
make this point, the primary section occurring in 23:11ff. In this
passage false prophets are accused of strengthening "the hands of
evildoers, so that no one has turned back from his wickedness"
(). This was possible because of the position of leadership held
by these prophets. Out of the circle47 of the false prophets, ungodli-
ness48 had "gone forth into all the land" (). This was accom-
plished partially at least by their promotion of the continuing presence
of the temple as a tenet in their theology, requiring in the process
promotion of idolatry ( in comparison with -31 and 32:34).
In fact, they had taken the lead in such, indicated by the use of the
term UmyWiyA (from MyWi--"put, set, place") in 32:34. The word "they"
in v 34 refers to those enumerated in v 32. In light of this promotion
of evil it is not surprising that Shemaiah is judged, according to
29:32, for preaching "rebellion against the Lord."
From the personal corruption of the false prophets one would
expect corruption to be promoted among the people. Surprisingly the
very object which these prophets used as a leading point in their
theology (the temple) is the very channel through which further
corruption and idolatry is promoted.
Confidence. A third leading trait of false prophets in Jeremiah's
day was that of confidence. This trait is suggested by 23:31-32. Verse
31 suggests that these prophets took ("use", cf. MyHiq;l.oha) their tongues
and uttered oracles. They took the oracular initiative; they did not
have words put in their mouths by Yahweh. The fact that the word
"take" is a participle may indicate repeated orations, emphasizing
their readiness for opportunities to ejaculate their supposed divine
words. This eagerness to prophesy is further indicated in 23:32 by the
description of them as those who made "reckless boasting." The term
here is MtAUzHEpab;U, indicating "loose talk, boastful tales.”49 The picture
which emerges from these notes is that pseudoprophets were seeking
opportunities to speak and readily boasted of their ideas. This, added
47 This idea is suggested in by the use of Nmi (txeme) which originally signified
"separation" which "naturally derived on the one hand the sense of (taken) from
among. . ." (note GKC, § 119vw).
48 The word "ungodliness" (NASB, "pollution") is hPAnuHE, the verbal form being
employed in Jer 23:11 to describe the priests and prophets. The root JnH may have
several cognates such as the Ugaritic hnp and hanapu occurring once in the Amarna
literature. Each connotes something of a haughty impiety. Note C. H. Gordon,
49 While this term is problematic,
Lexicon, 291, does suggest this meaning. Note also the reference to this term by J.
Comparative Philology and the Text of the
Old Testament (
1968) 333, n. 261.
92 GRACE THEOLOGICAL JOURNAL
to their personal immorality and promotion of such, produces a
Compatibility with the populace. Jer 32:31-35 (cf. 5:31) suggests
this. Admittedly, this reference is a generalization about the religious
decline of the nation over a period of time (32:31). The results of their
spiritual decline are briefly catalogued with little explanation (32:33-
35). However, what is informative about this passage is its recogni-
tion that both the populace and the leaders (including prophets) were
involved in this decline. This may be taken to imply that there existed
a level of compatibility between the theological perspective of the
populace and that of the false prophets. The same compatibility may
be indicated as well by the numerous correspondences between these
prophets and the people (such as their mutual moral decline). This
trait alone is sobering in light of the religious ideas of the populace as
previously described. When, however, this characteristic is added to
the above, the magnitude of opposition to the true prophets becomes
Furthermore, the compatibility of pseudoprophet and populace
may indicate that on occasion these prophets "stole" ideas from the
populace and incorporated them in their oracles and that the people
may have taken, of course, their religious ideas from the prophets.
This exchange of ideas would create solidarity of opposition that
would make Jeremiah's ministry most difficult.
Ineffectiveness. While the false prophets were confident and
boastful, no doubt encouraged by the acceptance of the populace,
they were nonetheless ineffective. This may, in fact, be their primary
trait. Several indications suggest this idea (note 4:9; ; ). The
leading indication is the repeated reference to these men as prophets
of deceit and falsehood (5:3150; ; ; 20:651; ; ; 27:10;
27:14; 27:16; 28:15). In each of these references the term byri is used
in connection with the pseudoprophets. This term is found through-
50 On the understanding of the parallelism in this verse, W. L. Holladay, "'The
Priests Scrape Out On Their Hands,' Jeremiah V 31," VT 15 (1965) 111-13 suggests
that the translation of the first part of the verse might best be read: "The prophets have
prophesied falsely, and the priests deconsecrate themselves," based on his interpreta-
tion of dy xlm as technical terminology employed in the consecration of a priest.
51 There is disagreement over the status of Pashur as prophet. E. W. Nicholson,
The Book of the Prophet
Jeremiah. Chapters 1-25 (
New English Bible;
Pashur is not a prophet while Naegelsbach, The Book of the Prophet Jeremiah, 187,
suggests that he is. The comment of Jer 20:6 would tend to support Naegelsbach. For
some help in understanding the renaming of Pashur see W. L. Holladay, "The
Covenant With the Patriarchs Overturned: Jeremiah's Intention In 'Terror On Every
Side' (Jer. 20:1-6)," JBL 91 (1972) 305-20 and D. L. Christensen, "'Terror on Every
Side' In Jeremiah," JBL 92 (1973) 498-502.
MANAHAN: PSEUDOPROPHETS IN JEREMIAH 93
out the OT but is much more frequent in Jeremiah.52 This calls for
special attention to the term.53
The term means "deceit, falsehood.”54 However, very often the
term is set in a legal context. If such is the case, one would expect
Jeremiah to employ the term within its legal setting and perhaps build
upon and enlarge it.55 This is especially important in light of Jere-
miah's self-analysis that he is always indicting and accusing his people
(note byri, ).56 Jeremiah employs this legal term as a description
of the ineffectiveness of the pseudoprophet
will not fall to foreign enemies.57 The false prophets claim, "all is
well," but the actual events are to the contrary. Their words do not
have power to effect events as they predict (cf. -15; 27:10; 27:14-
17). Certainly the words of pseudoprophets were prevarications but
they were also marked by ineffectiveness, lack of power to achieve the
The message of the pseudoprophets glossed over the real issue,
that of obedience to covenant stipulations (23:13-22 and 7:3ff.).
Because they did, these words, when trusted in, resulted in the actual
of action diametrically opposed to that which would have been
necessary to avoid the coming destruction of the city, temple and
land."58 While their perspective allowed them to pronounce security,
it was a security built on the wrong basis. Rather than building on
Yahweh’s covenant stipulations (cf. -22 with Deuteronomy 28
and especially Deut 29:19), they built their security only upon the
hopes attached to the Davidic throne (2 Sam 7:13ff. in comparison
with Ps 89:30-37) and thus to the continuance of the place of David's
52 According to this writer's count, the term in all forms occurs 113 times in the OT
and 34 times in Jeremiah alone. Note
dantiae (Graz: Akademische, 1955) 1232-33.
53 So Overholt, The Threat of Falsehood, I.
The root rqw has several cognates (Arabic, Syriac, Aramaic, and Assyrian). Gordon,
UT, 494 does list, though does not define, a suggested root sqr (no. 2475) in Ugaritic.
55 Note the discussion of Overholt, The Threat of Falsehood, 76ff. He says: "We
might expect that in the process of employing the noun seqer as one of the important
concepts in his theological vocabulary, Jeremiah would not lose sight of the predomi-
nant legal sense in which the term was usually employed, but would rather build upon
and enlarge it" (ibid., 91).
56 For discussion of this point see J. Bright, "A Prophet's Lament and Its Answer,
Jeremiahs 15:10-21," Int 28 (1974) 59-74.
57 Overholt, The Threat of Falsehood, 92.
58 Ibid. An interesting study is also involved in Yahweh's usage of bOF and hfArA
in connection with the false prophets, 22:13-17 and , for example. Note also
the contrast between Isa 55:11 (Yahweh's word is not empty, void --qyr) and the
futility (lbh) to which the false prophets' words lead, see Renner, "False and True
94 GRACE THEOLOGICAL JOURNAL
demands of the Mosaic treaty.
Pseudoprophet quotations. The sources for discussion here are
2:26-27; 6:14; 8:11; 14:13; 23:17; 26:8, 9, 11; 27:9, 14, 16; 28:2-4, 11;
29:24; and 37:19 ( was previously discussed59). The first of these
references suggests the contradictory thought pattern of the people
and false prophets; they served other gods but imagined that in times
of distress this practice would not keep Yahweh from responding to
their cry.60 Based on the other references, the following formulation
seems to be legitimate.
The leading claim of the pseudoprophets was "Peace! Peace!"
(; ) and that the people would have "peace" (; ). In
the case of and the "peace" promised by the false prophets is
set in the context of treaty terminology.61 In the face of breach of the
Mosaic Covenant they proclaimed the general welfare of the people,
thus promoting the notion of security.62 They seemingly understood
that covenant breach had little to do with welfare or the lack of it. Jer
23:17 presents this very picture. Those who despised Yahweh and
walked in obstinate rebellion against him were told by the pseudo-
prophets, "You will have peace. . . Calamity will not come upon
you." On this issue of a non-calamitous future these prophets laid
particular stress: "You will not see the sword nor will you have
famine, but I will give you lasting peace in this place" (). The
words "lasting peace" (literally, "peace of truth," tm,x< MOlw;) empha-
size that this promised peace was an assured, steadfast, predictable
outcome.63 All this evidently was uttered under the menacing threat
of drought (14:1).
From these observations the theological formulation of pseudo-
prophets was that the welfare of the people was assured, in spite of
obvious covenant infractions and menacing threats (for example
drought and removal of temple vessels). The other quotations of false
prophets all fit this mold. In spite of continuing disobedience and
increasing international threats against security, they claimed that no
calamity, sword, or famine will interrupt (). The people will not
serve the king of
59 See p. 87.
60 Keil, The Prophecies of Jeremiah, 68-69, points out that this reference is a
generalization about all periods of the nation's history and that, therefore, the reference
61See the discussion on p. 89, n. 42. On the issue of covenant confession on the
part of the people see Rust, Covenant and Hope, 99-105.
62 The employment of the term MlowA is to be understood in the wider Ancient Near
Eastern meaning of a "settled well-being." Note as an example the use of the Akkadian
63 Cf. Keil, The Prophecies of Jeremiah, 249; von Orelli, The Prophecies of
Jeremiah, 122; Naegelsbach, The Book of the Prophet Jeremiah, 149.
MANAHAN: PSEUDOPROPHETS IN JEREMIAH 95
14; 37:19). Even the setback to security suffered in 597 B.C. will soon
be rectified, they claimed (27:16; 28:2-4, 11). On these bases they
rejected Jeremiah's oracles against
ing a short exile (26:8-11; 29:24).
Of special importance among the many quotations is that from
the mouth of Hananiah in chap. 28. He predicts the return of two
items that may symbolize the essence of his theology--the temple
vessels and the former king. The return of these seemed to mean for
him the breaking of the yoke of the king of
continuing security of the capital of the Southern Kingdom. That he
should cite these two items would imply that the proclamation of
security required the existence of the temple and the presence of
continuing kingship. Putting together these ideas with other quota-
tions, it appears that the factors which supported a Peace Theology
were the temple and the dynasty. These components became a "Para-
Covenantal" theology built on dynastic and temple hopes.
Jeremiah also spoke a "Covenant Theology" based on the bless-
ings and curses of the Mosaic treaty. Certainly Jeremiah also knew
that the nation possessed a secure future (cf. 33:6-9) but this did not
blind him to the stipulations of the covenant.
The fact that both proclaimed a theology built on covenants
made the judgmental nature of Jeremiah's word all the more unac-
ceptable. Pseudoprophets had proof texts too! This pictures all too
clearly the insidious nature of falsehood and clearly implies a number
of current-day applications.
The theology of the pseudoprophets in Jeremiah may be described
as a "Para-Covenantal" theology built on the hopes attached to the
temple64 and the dynasty. This is in basic conformity with the
religious ideas held by the populace. Pseudoprophets and the pop-
ulace encouraged each other and together rejected the theology of
This "Para-Covenantal" theology (originating in a mixture of
claimed dreams and Yahweh's words) was built on the assumption
realistic proclamation of such theology was peace. Futhermore, Mosaic
Covenant infractions were really of no consequence in this theology.
This theology, distorted as it was, could exist alongside rebellion
against Yahweh's demands. Given the perspective of pseudoprophet
theology with its attendant proof texts, Jeremiah gained little hearing.
64 An interesting interpretation of the importance of the temple vessels in the
theological formulations of the people is given by P. R. Ackroyd, "The Temple Vessels
Continuity Theme," Studies in the
Religion of Ancient
Brill, 1972) 166ff.; note especially 175-77.
96 GRACE THEOLOGICAL JOURNAL
Practically speaking, the appeal of this false theology was its
approximation to certain elements in Yahweh's covenantal dealings
with his people. Because it approximated correct theology, its results
were all the more devastating. The pseudoprophets spoke of Yahweh’s
work and will partially, not fully. Their theological distortion was
primarily in not speaking Yahweh's demands; they spoke only of
Present-day parallels may be seen among those who speak part
of the counsel of God and who, by not speaking all of it, have not
really spoken it at all. These same characteristics are found among
those whose "words" sound somehow orthodox but whose content
behind those words is ominously unorthodox.
This study of Jeremiah brings to the surface several points
worthy of note. One is that understanding carefully the nature of the
book requires understanding the plentiful material on pseudoprophets.
Material so common to a corpus of literature must be studied
seriously to aid in interpreting the book. The relative absence of
writing on pseudoprophets in Jeremiah undoubtedly impoverishes a
worthy understanding of the book.
Further, this canonical material on pseudoprophets furnishes at
least a two-fold warning and a godly example. The two-fold warning
is a warning to the one who speaks and the one who hears God’s
revelation. The one who speaks the revelation (in any age) must speak
all of it, not just a part. He is warned that the desire to be heard and
followed is not the end of speaking the revelation. The end is
speaking the particulars of God's Word fully, clearly in terms of the
whole (the very context in which God gave meaning to the particu-
lars).65 As well, there is due warning for those who hear the revela-
tion. The hearer must want to hear the whole of the matter, not just
those parts that justify his present theological ideas and their sub-
sequent activities. And he must know the revelation adequately
enough to know when the whole has not been spoken. Too commonly
the Church has been plagued by speakers whose perversion is to
speak the revelation only in part and hearers who prefer only a part
or who do not know that only a part has been spoken.
But just as surely this study highlights the sterling example of
Jeremiah who spoke faithfully and fully the whole of Yahweh’s
counsel, spoke it whatever the consequence. His example encourages
those who measure success by how fully and faithfully they have
spoken the Word of the living God, not simply by how pleasant are
the consequences that result from speaking.
65 So S. J. De Vries, Prophet Against Prophet (Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1978)
148, observes concerning OT false and true prophets: "The basic conflict is always
between covenant integrity and political opportunism.”
This material is cited with gracious permission from:
Grace Theological Seminary
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