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Dr. Michael Shepherd, assistant professor of biblical studies at Cedarville University.

Nothing Minor About These Biblical Books

by Nicole Hackett, Student Public Relations Writer

The 12 minor prophets in the Bible are easily overlooked, sandwiched between Daniel and his tale of survival in a lion’s den and the beginning of the New Testament. But Dr. Michael Shepherd, associate professor of biblical studies at Cedarville University, reexamines these lesser known writings in his book “A Commentary on the Book of the Twelve: The Minor Prophets,” published June 2018.

“It is commonly recognized among biblical scholars that the 12 prophets were transmitted together in antiquity. All of the historical evidence bears witness to this,” Shepherd said. While scholarly essays have expounded on this, many commentaries look at the 12 in sections. Making his commentary unique, Dr. Shepherd argues for one composing author for the entire 12.

"Dr. Shepherd has two significant insights that will benefit his readers,” said Dr. Jason Lee, dean of the school of biblical and theological studies and professor of theological studies at Cedarville. “First, he makes a compelling case for reading the books as a unified work. Second, he explains the value of Hosea 3:4-5 for understanding all of the 12 (minor prophets).”

Hoping that people will no longer see these prophets as merely sermons for ancient people, Shepherd shows how the minor prophets were also intended for future generations by creating images of Christ and his kingdom. “The New Testament authors went to the Book of the Twelve to understand and explain Jesus, and so should we,” Shepherd noted.

Located in southwest Ohio, Cedarville University is an accredited, Christ-centered, Baptist institution with an enrollment of 4,193 undergraduate, graduate and online students in more than 150 areas of study. Founded in 1887, Cedarville is recognized nationally for its authentic Christian community, rigorous academic programs, strong graduation and retention rates, accredited professional and health science offerings and leading student satisfaction ratings. For more information about the University, visit

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