The Prophets

Episodes

EpisodeTitleFirst
Broadcast
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01Jonah20130812

In the first of his series of off-beat Biblical portraits, Clive Lawton tells the story of Jonah and the whale. Or should it be a fish? At one level Jonah is a knockabout tale of strange events, but at its core it is a story of universal assertions and values, surprising in its inclusivity and judgements. Jonah is a cantankerous character who doesn't seem to fit in with God's plans. And yet he is still called upon to be a prophet. What, then, does the function involve? It certainly seems that being a prophet is no guarantee of insight or moral depth. How would we relate to such mythical figures if they were still around today and how relevant are their thoughts and ideas in a modern context?

Producer: Mark Savage.

02Isaiah20130813

In the second of his series of off-beat Biblical portraits, Clive Lawton profiles Isaiah, the supreme literary prophet or, possibly, prophets. There is a dispute about whether Isaiah is one, two or even three distinct personalities as his story covers several different epochs. His words reverberate around the world, not least as having been taken up so solidly by Christians as prophecies of the coming of Jesus as the Messiah. How would we relate to such mythical figures if they were still around today and how relevant are their thoughts and ideas in a modern context?

Producer: Mark Savage.

03Elijah20130814

In the third of his series of off-beat Biblical portraits, Clive Lawton tells the story of Elijah, a miracle-working, thundering wild-eyed and somewhat anti-social itinerant. Elijah is very much the prototype Old Testament prophet and only one of two people in the Jewish Bible who, strangely, doesn't die. As a result, he is thought to be almost still hovering around, ready to intervene when the right time comes. Jews open their doors to Elijah each Passover and pour him a cup of wine. He has a special seat at every circumcision and they sing of him at the end of every Sabbath.

Producer: Mark Savage.

04Miriam20130815

In the fourth of his series of off-beat Biblical portraits, Clive Lawton tells the story of Miriam the Prophetess. Miriam is one of the few women in the Bible to be called a prophetess though it's not entirely clear what that means. In some ways, she is an essential counterbalance to Moses who is always referred to by the Jews as the greatest of the prophets and the transmitter of the core of Jewish teaching and tradition, the Torah. However, without Miriam and her resourcefulness Moses would not have survived, and according to rabbinic tradition without Miriam, Moses would not even have been born.

Producer: Mark Savage.

05Samuel20130816

05Samuel20130816

In his final off-beat portrait of a Biblical prophet, Clive Lawton tells the story of Samuel, who went from being the last of the judges - a fairly sloppy and incompetent system of government - to being the first prophet to work with (and against) duly constituted kings. Samuel invented the constitutional system whereby the king was subject to the law and could be held to account and set in train all those 'speaking truth to power' thereafter. High drama as he argues with the Jews about whether or not having a king is such a good idea; even higher drama when he wrenches the kingdom from his first nominee, Saul - and a really odd moment when Saul uses a witch to conjure him back from the dead.

Producer: Mark Savage.

05Samuel20130816

In his final off-beat portrait of a Biblical prophet, Clive Lawton tells the story of Samuel, who went from being the last of the judges - a fairly sloppy and incompetent system of government - to being the first prophet to work with (and against) duly constituted kings. Samuel invented the constitutional system whereby the king was subject to the law and could be held to account and set in train all those 'speaking truth to power' thereafter. High drama as he argues with the Jews about whether or not having a king is such a good idea; even higher drama when he wrenches the kingdom from his first nominee, Saul - and a really odd moment when Saul uses a witch to conjure him back from the dead.

Producer: Mark Savage.

05 LASTSamuel20130816

In his final off-beat portrait of a Biblical prophet, Clive Lawton tells the story of Samuel, who went from being the last of the judges - a fairly sloppy and incompetent system of government - to being the first prophet to work with (and against) duly constituted kings. Samuel invented the constitutional system whereby the king was subject to the law and could be held to account and set in train all those 'speaking truth to power' thereafter. High drama as he argues with the Jews about whether or not having a king is such a good idea; even higher drama when he wrenches the kingdom from his first nominee, Saul - and a really odd moment when Saul uses a witch to conjure him back from the dead.

Producer: Mark Savage.