Mourtzios Chr. Ioannis, TheTradition of Exodus according to the Prophets of the Old Testament. Historical-Theological Study, Thessaloniki: Pournaras Press, 2002, pages 290.
The tradition of the Israelites’ Exodus from Egypt is one of the most important parts of the biblical history and theology and runs through almost the whole of the O. T.. Exodus is a landmark in Israel’s life with a liberating and soteriological dimension since it helped and contributed to the creation of the national and religious identity of the people of Israel. Ioannis Mourtzios examines in his study the tradition of Exodus in the prophetic literature of the O. T..
After the introduction, the writer divides his material in two chapters. In the first, he analyzes and presents the tradition of Exodus, the way it is delivered to us in the homonym book of the O. T.. The tradition of Exodus, through the miraculous events (burning bush, “plagues” of the Pharaoh, crossing of the Red Sea, “signs” in the desert), God’s constant intervention, the epiphanies, the revelation of God’s name, the law-giving, the Sinai Testament, is the basis for understanding the fundamental parameters of the whole of the O. T. theology.
In the second chapter of the book, the writer studies the tradition of Exodus in the prophets. The events of Exodus, with their highly theological content, passed in the thought of the prophets and constituted the basis for their preaching on sin and the religious comparativism of the Israelites. The chapter is divided in two parts. In the first part, the tradition of Exodus is examined in the pre-captivity prophecy, that is, Amos, Hosea, Micah, First-Isaiah, Jeremiah. In the conclusions of the first part, the writer underlines that Hosea’s numerous reports to the early history of Israel, as compared to the other prophets, Amos, Micah, First-Isaiah and Jeremiah, show how painful the conditions were in the North and how much greater importance the historical traditions had in northern Israel than in the southern. In the second part, Io. Mourtzios examines the tradition of Exodus in the under captivity and post-captivity prophecy, that is, Ezekiel, Second-Isaiah, Third-Isaiah, Baruch.
In his general conclusions, the writer stresses that the tradition of Exodus has an intense theological character, which has influenced in many ways all the texts of the O. T. and especially the prophetic ones, going through the occult ones, at the same time, as it is also stated in the appendix of the book, where the writer presents the effect of the tradition of Exodus on Jubilees, the Ethiopian Enoch, the Assumption of Moses and the Syrian Revelation of Baruch. According to the writer, the Church is, by its nature, a society of exodus. The nature of the Church, with its life, teaching and faith in the resurrection, seems to be in a constant exodus throughout history.
The book closes with an index of names and topics, an index of biblical passages, an extensive bibliography on the issue, a summary in English and an appendix.