Courtesy Ursula von Rad

In the 20th century, the German scholar Gerhard von Rad (1901–1971; shown here) recast the prophets as the first preachers of the law—allowing for a more accurate understanding of their role in Israelite history. But von Rad’s understanding of the law the prophets preached was heavily influenced by the Christian understanding of the relationship between the Old and New Testaments. For von Rad, the prophets’ message was fulfilled only in the New Testament.