Chapter 1 is a popular and general introduction to the biblical prophets. The author focuses on the problems we must overcome to understand the prophets and the message of the prophets we must hear. Finally, Guthrie guides the reader to the person in the prophetical literature that the reader must see.
In this article, the author sets out to provide some basic ideas about prophecy in the Bible that are not well understood today. In the process, the author expresses disappointment with popular prophecy today. The author also mentions what is here called the "five periods of prophecy," which are the early monarchy in Israel, the Assyrian judgment, the Babylonian judgment, the restoration period, and the intertestamental period.