Paul K. Hooker

Paul K. Hooker is associate dean for ministerial formation and advanced studies at Austin Presbyterian Theological Seminary.

According to the scholarship of the mid-20th century, Micah 6:1-8 is—like similar passages in Isaiah, Jeremiah and Amos—a “covenant lawsuit.” The name of the literary genre is taken from the Hebrew word rib (pronounced, “reev”), frequently translated “debate” or “controversy” or, in most of these passages, “complaint” or “case.” Such language conjures up the image of God as plaintiff and Israel as defendant, gathered before some court that would (imagine this) have authority over both. Personally, I think such a literal reading of the “lawsuit” form stretches the theology farther than it will go, but my point for the moment is that a rib is the sound of God complaining.
January 27, 2014

What do these words from Isaiah ben Amoz mean for us? My first instinct is to meditate on Isaiah 9 in light of its historical situation, which is bound up with the geopolitics of the late 8th century BCE.
January 21, 2014