This week begins our series on the books of the 12 minor prophets. These books and the prophets for which they are named are minor only in length. Their significance is indicated by their place in the Hebrew Bible alongside the longer writings of prophetic giants Isaiah and Jeremiah, and confirmed by the passionate and pointed style of their message. The books range in date from the mid 8th Century BCE to the 6th Century BCE, though there is debate among scholars about the precise dating of some books, particularly Joel, Jonah and Obadiah, which contain no definitive clues about the time in which they were written. While their context is historically distant and their deeply religious language swings between poetry and polemic (and sometimes is both), the behaviours they rail against are disturbingly relevant, both within and beyond religion. In reading these ‘minor’ prophets we risk discovering that their exhortations to their audience to change their priorities and actions are as necessary and confronting today as they were in the prophet’s day.