Malachi with Julia O’Brien

Dr. Julia O’Brien (Lancaster Theological Seminary) guides us through Malachi. We discuss:

  • What do we know about Malachi and the historical context of the book?
  • Major themes of the book including the corrupt priesthood, Malachi’s tone and frustrated attitude, and the repeated use of family language and metaphors
  • Issues involved in translating gendered language in the Bible
  • How disputations structure the book’s development
  • Malachi’s place in Jewish and Christian canons and how Malachi is related to the Book of the Twelve
  • How Malachi has been interpreted and its value for today including the importance of religious institutions, and behavior/practice.
  • Whether Malachi is talking about marriage or using marriage as a metaphor (2:14–15)
  • How God’s destruction of Edom demonstrates God’s love for Israel (1:2–5)
  • God’s accusation of the Priests and the importance of the sacrificial system (1:6–2:9)
  • Issues involved in translating 2:16, which has often been translated as “I hate divorce” and if this passage is about marriage or idolatry?
  • The messenger whom God is sending (3:1) and the tradition of Eijah’s return (4:5)
  • God’s invitation to test him by bringing the tithe (3:10)

Works by Dr. Julia O’Brien

  • The Oxford Handbook of the Minor Prophets. Edited by Julia O’Brien. Oxford University Press, 2021.
  • Micah. Liturgical Press, 2015
  • Challenging Prophetic Metaphor. Westminster John Knox, 2008
  • Nahum through Malachi. AOTC. Abingdon, 2004
  • Nahum. Sheffield Academic, 2001
  • Priest and Levite in Malachi. Scholars Press, 1990

Julia O’Brien Recommends

  • Joerg Rieger, Theology in the Capitalocene: Ecology, Identity, Class, and Solidarity. Fortress, 2022.
  • Cli-Fi (Climate Fiction) books and movies such as
    • Richard Powers, The Overstory, Norton, 2018
    • The movie, Dune

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This episode is co-sponsored by Samford University and the Alabama Humanities Alliance, a state affiliate of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations expressed in this episode do not necessarily represent those of the Alabama Humanities Alliance, the National Endowment for the Humanities or Samford University.