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Products>A Mouth Full of Fire: The Word of God in the Words of Jeremiah (New Studies in Biblical Theology, vol. 29 | NSBT)

A Mouth Full of Fire: The Word of God in the Words of Jeremiah (New Studies in Biblical Theology, vol. 29 | NSBT)

, 2012
ISBN: 9780830826308
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“I am putting my words as a fire in your mouth; these people are tinder and it will consume them” (Jeremiah 5:14). In the book of Jeremiah, not only is the vocabulary of “word” and “words” uniquely prevalent, but formulae marking divine speech also play an unprecedented role in giving the book’s final form its narrative and theological shape. Indeed, “the word of the Lord” is arguably the main character and a theology that is both distinctive and powerful, which can be seen to emerge from the unfolding narrative.

Andrew Shead examines Jeremiah’s use of “word” language. He sees the prophet’s formation as an embodiment of the word of God. A Mouth Full of Fire examines Jeremiah’s covenant preaching and the crisis it precipitates concerning the recognition of true prophecy. Shead shows, in the “oracles of hope,” how the power of the word of God is finally made manifest. He forces this reading of Jeremiah to bear on some issues in contemporary theology, including the problem of divine agency and the doctrine of Scripture. He then engages Jeremiah’s doctrine of the word of God in conversation with Karl Barth, and concludes that the prophet’s major contribution emerges from his careful differentiation of “word” and “words.”

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Resource Experts

Key Features

  • Contains scholarly and accessible volumes written by well-respected Biblical scholars
  • Includes notes that interact with the best of recent research and significant literature
  • Engages the immense challenges facing today’s church
  • Offers new insights and challenges established positions
  • Encourages Christians to better understand their Bibles through biblical theology


  • Introduction: An Exercise in Theological Interpretation
  • Word and Words in Jeremiah
  • Structuring Jeremiah as a Narrative About the Word of God
  • Word and Speaker
  • Word and Hearers
  • Word and Power
  • Word and Permanence
  • From the Book of Jeremiah to the Doctrine of Word of God

Top Highlights

“1. The word of God is the subject of the book of Jeremiah, addressing us just as it once addressed him.” (Page 62)

“We shall first consider the singular. When Jeremiah uses the expression ‘the word’, it is almost always the word of God, not the word of humans, and it is almost always heard, rather than spoken.” (Page 55)

“3. The fact that the words of Jeremiah are human words does not prevent them from conveying the word of God.” (Page 63)

“In the case of ‘words’, plural, the picture is more heterogeneous, but a clear pattern nevertheless emerges: the words of God are normally spoken or written down, and they are normally rejected by their listeners.” (Page 57)

“To recapitulate: what is heard and obeyed is described in Jeremiah as the word of God, and when that word is spoken or written by the prophet the words that come out are the words of God. And this remains true whether or not those words were the precise ones given in the initial revelation.” (Page 61)

Praise for the Print Edition

This is a very significant book for the study of Jeremiah specifically, as well as for its contributions to biblical theology and the doctrine of Scripture.

—Ray Van Neste, Preaching

Shead’s book is an important contribution to the theological interpretation of the Bible. Those in the evangelical and confessional wings of the church will especially appreciate this illuminating engagement of the World of God in Jeremiah.

—Larry R. Helyer, Journal of the Evangelical Theological Society

  • Title: A Mouth Full of Fire: The Word of God in the Words of Jeremiah
  • Author: Andrew G. Shead
  • Series: New Studies in Biblical Theology
  • Volume: 29
  • Publishers: Apollos, IVP
  • Print Publication Date: 2012
  • Logos Release Date: 2015
  • Pages: 321
  • Language: English
  • Resources: 1
  • Format: Digital › Logos Research Edition
  • Subjects: Bible. O.T. Jeremiah › Criticism, interpretation, etc; Word of God (Christian theology); Word (Theology)
  • ISBNs: 9780830826308, 9781844745968, 9780830884155, 0830826300, 1844745961, 0830884157
  • Resource ID: LLS:NSBT29
  • Resource Type: Monograph
  • Metadata Last Updated: 2022-09-30T01:54:04Z

Andrew G. Shead is head of Old Testament at Moore College, Sydney, where he lectures in Hebrew, Old Testament and music. He is the author of The Open Book and the Sealed Book: Jeremiah 32 in Its Greek and Hebrew Recensions (Sheffield Academic Press) and numerous articles, essays and reviews.

Sample Pages from the Print Edition


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  1. Blair



    This book would appeal to those doing an in-depth study of Jeremiah, preaching, or the Word of God. It would also provide insights for those wishing to better understand the ministry of a prophet and their relationship to the word of the Lord. It may not appeal to others. As with many in this series, it may appear a dry and somewhat laborious read to begin with (although I didn't find it so), but persistence will yield invaluable understanding that, I would wager, you will not find elsewhere. This is phenomenal book. I've had it on my shelf for several years, but it is one of those that, with divine timing, speaks far more than its cover suggests. I am indebted to Dr Shead for his profound insights. This review was for the hard copy.


Digital list price: $29.99
Save $10.00 (33%)