Guide - Introduction
WebQuest was designed by Frances Moore and the Team at WebQuest
Direct to complement the Year 6 Unit
7: The Story of God's People particularly Section 4 "The Prophets and the
It was designed in 2004, revised in 2007; and, in 2012 drastic changes
were made to Activity 4 to enhance the characteristics of a WebQuest
(Problem-based learning, Roles and Perspectives, higher order thinking
skills and collaboration).
The content for this WebQuest was based on the work of the RE Team at the Catholic
Schools Office (Maitland-Newcastle, NSW) for this unit particularly the culminating activity.
Students in Year 9 within the Diocese of
Maitland-Newcastle will re-visit the idea of Prophets.
WebQuest is suitable for students in Years 6 - 9 and only becomes a
WebQuest with Activity 4. You can do the other sections leading up to
Activity 4 without doing the full WebQuest, but if you want your
students to do Higher Order Thinking Skills and Problem-Based Learning,
then it is essential that the students undertake Activity 4 onwards.
4. Prophets in Australia - in our History and today?
|This section is essential for the
The Big Question: "Are there Prophets in Australia - in our History
Students are to take on ROLES or PERSPECTIVES:
1. Championing the Prophet
2. Championing the Hero
3. Championing the "Good" Person, and,
4. Championing the Leader.
- The Bible: A
collection of books of a variety of literary forms/text types (narrative...) telling the
story, memories and reflections of the ancestors of the People of God over two millennium.
The authors of the Bible often wrote stories and events passed down over
decades/centuries. These writings often revealed more about the writers than about the
original people/stories/events. Retelling stories about the ancestors gave the People hope
and courage. The church recognises the authors of the Bible as people inspired by God to
reveal important truths for humanity.
- The Hebrew Scriptures:
The Sacred writings (46 books) of the Hebrew People commonly (though
inappropriately as it can denigrate the Hebrew/Jewish scriptures) called "Old"
Testament. The "New" Testament is often called the Christian Scriptures.
- Prophet: A
spokesperson for God speaking out against and challenging the people against the evils of
the time such as false worship and injustice. A social commentator in times of crisis.
© Catholic Schools Office, Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, Unit 7, Stage 3
© Catholic Schools Office, Diocese
of Maitland-Newcastle, Unit 3, Stage 5 - Voice of the Prophets
- Word 'prophet' has its roots in a
Greek/Latin word fas, fare, fessus, meaning "to speak". In Hebrew the word for
prophet means 'one who is called' or 'one who calls'.
- Prophets of some kind were common in all
religions of the ancient world.
- The 'Age of Prophets' of Israel dates from
approximately 922 B.C. to 400 B.C., from the division of the Kingdom of
Israel into two kingdoms until after the Jews resettled in Judah.
- Contrary to the popular idea that prophets
primarily predicted the future (which they sometimes did) the main role of the prophets in
Israel was to serve as spokespersons for God. While speaking God's word for the present it
was natural that their message had future implications since the future is inextricably
bound up with the present.
- The prophets experienced a call from God -
an overwhelming conviction that they were to deliver God's message, not their own, to the
- The message came to the prophets in various
ways - sometimes in dreams or visions, sometimes by hearing, often by clear internal
- The prophets were often afraid and
overwhelmed by their task. They felt unworthy, unqualified to do what was being asked of
them. (Isaiah 6: 1-8; Jeremiah 1:4-10)
- Many were persecuted in one way or another
by the people to whom they were sent. They were mocked, laughed at, imprisoned, ignored,
driven away. Being a prophet was quite a high risk job. (Jeremiah 38, Daniel 6)
- The 'word' the prophets received often urged
them on in spite of their fear or reluctance. The message was so powerful they felt
compelled to 'speak' it. Jeremiah said 'There seemed to be a fire imprisoned in my heart',
and Amos said, 'when the sovereign Lord speaks, who can avoid proclaiming his message?'
- The prophets delivered God's word in a
variety of ways. Some spoke in fiery words, denouncing political and religious leaders;
some acted out by lawsuits by God against the people; some used symbolic actions to
demonstrate the message (e.g. Jeremiah broke a jar to illustrate the threat of destruction
for Jerusalem); some recited love songs. Whatever device the prophets used, their message
was essentially oral, delivered to the people at gathering places such as
the city gate, the court of the king, etc.
- Probably our written versions of the
prophets come from disciples of the prophets who recorded their speeches and collected
them, eventually producing written records.
- Forming the backdrop for the message of all
the prophets was the covenant made between God and the people of Israel. To be faithful to
the covenant meant to worship God alone and to live justly with one's neighbours. The
prophets recalled their hearers to covenant fidelity whenever the people, especially the
political and religious leaders and the wealthy, were abusing their power, oppressing the
poor, living unjustly, and whenever people were worshipping idols or practising religious
externals while treating others unfairly. The prophets condemned such hypocrisy.
- The prophets' final word was always a
message of hope and comfort. The greatest hope lay in their promises of a new age of peace
Theological and Educational Background
- A modern day prophet may not be readily
recognised. They may not stand out as a 'prophet of old' or be one that receives
prominence in the media. A modern day prophet may be hidden in the midst of our own
families or communities.
- To find a modern day prophet you need to
look no further than the person who provides support and works with love and care in
almost any field or situation and who is guided by the teachings and example of Jesus.
This could include: in medicine, in the support of those suffering mental illness, the
handicapped, the elderly or the sick, support of the community, social services or
dedication to the family. Modern day prophets may be those who call upon us to care for
the environment, question modern consumerism or the pressures presented by our
- A modern day prophet may be as diverse as a
cartoonist, a popular singer or band, a politician or community leader. They can be found
in all walks of life.
- Many modern day prophets can be found among
those who work for social justice. There are many instances of injustice in our world. The
common thread between them all is the desire of individuals or groups to want more for
- A prophet is someone who encourages us to
live our lives as God wanted.
- The many ways in which we can live justly
centre on our recognition of the dignity of every person. When a person suffers injustice
of any kind we are called to share in their sufferings and help overcome them. It may be
that good works, charity, prayer, fasting or a commitment to a cause are some of the ways
of being a modern day prophet.
© Archdiocese of Canberra-Goulburn,
Treasures New and Old, Religious Education Curriculum, Prophets and Saints.
Designed by WebQuest Direct ©2004 - 2012