"Content analysis"—which is a computer-assisted form of textual analysis-is used to examine divine activity in six prophetic texts, comparing God's activity to that of humans. In this methodologically innovative study, the author concludes, in the light of quantitative data, that God is harsher to non-Israelites than to Israelites in all the texts, and much kinder to Israelites in Joel than in the typical prophet. God and humans are involved in much the same kinds of physical and mental processes, but to considerably different degrees. Griffin argues persuasively that the God of the prophets is not the "wholly other" of some theologies, but neither do his actions follow exactly the human pattern.
William Paul Griffin is professor of Old Testament and Hebrew at Evangel University in Springfield, Missouri. He received his BA in biblical studies from Evangel University in 1985, his MDiv from Harvard University in 1988, and his PhD from Emory University in 1995. He is a member of the Society of Biblical Literature.