Not Traditional, Original

The Definition of Prophecy in the Bible

I heard another person say that prophecy is foretelling the future.  This time it was from a pulpit in the church.  That certainly is the definition that I learned as a child. And it seems to be the definition the world gives. And there are numerous examples in the Bible of prophets predicting things that would happen unless certain conditions were met. However, as we shall see in looking at other examples in the Bible, prophecy is much more than the ability to predict the future. And, sometimes prophecy has nothing to do with the future, rather it’s all about communicating.

Communicating Revealed Truth

Biblehub.com has a great resource for looking for the meanings of words in scripture.   They say that our word prophecy derives from the Greek word prophéteia, which means “the gift of communicating and enforcing revealed truth.”[i]  They are basing that definition on Strong Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible.

Notice that the concept of the future is not anywhere in that definition. That does not mean that the future is excluded from that definition, it just means that the communication is not limited to the future.

Bible Teaching and Examples of Prophecy

Prophecy is a Message from God

Being conscious in the first place that no man by himself may give a special sense to the words of the prophets. For these words did not ever come through the impulse of men: but the prophets had them from God, being moved by the Holy Spirit.  (2Pe 1:20-21 BBE)

These verses make the point that first and foremost prophecies are words from God!  God gives the message to the prophet who communicates that to people.  Furthermore, it is not up to the recipient of the message to define what the message is.

Here’s more on prophecy is speaking for God

But Moses said to the LORD, “Oh, my Lord, I am not eloquent, either in the past or since you have spoken to your servant, but I am slow of speech and of tongue.” Then the LORD said to him, “Who has made man’s mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak.” (Exo 4:10-12 ESV)

Here’s another:

I will raise up for them a prophet like you from among their brothers. And I will put my words in his mouth, and he shall speak to them all that I command him. (Deu 18:18 ESV)

So we see here the theme that prophecy is not about some special ability a person has to foretell the future; rather it is a calling and a function to be able to speak for our Father God, as awesome and powerful as that is:

Sometimes Prophecy Includes Warning and Foretelling

And meeting the disciples we were there for seven days: and they gave Paul orders through the Spirit not to go up to Jerusalem.  (Act 21:4 BBE)

Notice that this was a message from God to Paul and it was guidance not to go to Jerusalem.  Now we know from other passages that there was foretelling of imprisonment if Paul did go to Jerusalem.  But not all messages include a foretelling.

Here is what is foretold and Paul’s response:

And now, as you see, I am going to Jerusalem, a prisoner in spirit, having no knowledge of what will come to me there: Only that the Holy Spirit makes clear to me in every town that prison and pains are waiting for me. But I put no value on my life, if only at the end of it I may see the work complete which was given to me by the Lord Jesus, to be a witness of the good news of the grace of God.  (Act 20:22-24 BBE)

Prison and pains have been foretold to Paul.  This is an example of foretelling which is the common conception of prophecy.  There are other examples of foretelling by prophets:

At that time some prophets from Jerusalem came down to Antioch. One of them named Agabus got up and predicted by the Spirit that there would be a severe famine all over the world. This happened during the reign of Claudius. So all of the disciples decided they would send a contribution to the brothers living in Judea, as they were able, by sending it through Barnabas and Saul to the elders. (Act 11:27-30 ISV)

Here Agabus foretells of a severe famine.  It is interesting to note that there is nothing anyone did wrong and had to correct.  The Lord was looking out for his people and sent word through his prophets that a famine was coming so that they could prepare (similar to what happened with Joseph and the dreams of Pharoah in the book of Genesis).

So, clearly, prophecy can include foretelling.  But only because God knows the future and can tell people if he chooses to.

The point is that prophecy isn’t the ability to know the future, it’s the ability to know God and communicate for God to people what that future is. Prophecy is communicating messages from God.

Major,  Minor, and Miniscule Prophets

If you have studied the Bible for any time at all you will have heard of the Major and Minor prophets.  The Major Prophets are Isaiah, Jeremiah, Lamentations, Ezekiel, and Daniel. The Minor Prophets are Hosea, Joel, Amos, Obadiah, Jonah,Micah, Nahum, Habakkuk, Zephaniah, Haggai,Zechariah, and Malachi.

I made up the designation of minuscule prophets as prophets who have less than a book, perhaps only a few verses about them.  Agabus above is an example.  There are many examples of “minuscule” prophets mentioned: In the Old Testament; there are prophets like Elijah, Elisha, Gad, Micaiah, Nathan, and Samuel.  In the New Testament there are prophets like John the Baptist,  Anna, and the four daughters of Philip the Evangelist

Major, minor, minuscule: none of those designations have anything to the power of God in their lives, or the greatness of their ministries, they simply refer to how many words are written about them in our Bibles.  The major prophets have longer books, the minor prophets have shorter books and what I’m calling minuscule are prophets that don’t have any books attributed to them at all.  Elisha did major things: he parted the Jordan river, prophesied that the shunamite woman would have a son and later raised that son from the dead!  Look at these verses about life of Elisha:

And the mind of the king of Syria was greatly troubled because of this thing, and he called his servants and said to them, “Will you not show me who of us is for the king of Israel?” And one of his servants said, “None, my lord, O king; but Elisha, the prophet who is in Israel, tells the king of Israel the words that you speak in your bedroom.” And he said, “Go and see where he is, that I may send and seize him.” It was told him, “Behold, he is in Dothan.” So he sent there horses and chariots and a great army, and they came by night and surrounded the city. When the servant of the man of God rose early in the morning and went out, behold, an army with horses and chariots was all around the city. And the servant said, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” He said, “Do not be afraid, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” Then Elisha prayed and said, “O LORD, please open his eyes that he may see.” So the LORD opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw, and behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.
(2Ki 6:11-17 ESV)

Elisha, these verses declare, was able to tell the King of Israel what the King of Syria was planning, even in his bedroom!  And when the King of Syria sent to seize him, having his troops surround the city where Elisha was, Elisha showed his servant that God’s flaming chariots and horses surrounded his would-be captors!  All that sounds pretty major to me.

Also for that matter, Moses has the first five books of the Bible attributed to him and he’s not in the list called the Major Prophets!

Prophecy without Foretelling: Forthtelling

But he who prophesies speaks edification and exhortation and comfort.  (1Co 14:3 EMTV)

This verse lists three purposes for prophecy:

  • Edification – building up: people are built up when they are told how great they are in Christ
  • Exhortation – encouraging; people are encouraged when they are persuaded to do the great things they are capable of
  • Comfort – Easing of Grief or Distress: Many of God’s words can soothe the pains in the lives of believers

Moses made predictions certainly, but when he made the tablets with the 10 commandments and when he proclaimed the law he was forthtelling.

Not Just Men: Women Prophets

“‘And in the last days it shall be, God declares, that I will pour out my Spirit on all flesh, and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, and your young men shall see visions, and your old men shall dream dreams;(Act 2:17 ESV)

Notice that not just sons, but daughters also, prophesy!

On the next day we departed and came to Caesarea, and we entered the house of Philip the evangelist, who was one of the seven, and stayed with him. He had four unmarried daughters, who prophesied. (Act 21:8-9 ESV)

Here’s an example of both a prophetess and forthtelling:

And there was a prophetess, Anna, the daughter of Phanuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was advanced in years, having lived with her husband seven years from when she was a virgin, and then as a widow until she was eighty-four. She did not depart from the temple, worshiping with fasting and prayer night and day. And coming up at that very hour she began to give thanks to God and to speak of him to all who were waiting for the redemption of Jerusalem. (Luk 2:36-38 ESV)

Anna spoke for God proclaiming the Redeemer had come.  No foretelling here, just speaking the good news, the Savior has come!

Also for anyone that likes to say there were no Old Testament prophets after Malachi here’s the counter-argument to that; old Anna was prophesying many years before Jesus and John the Baptist.  She just didn’t have any books written with her prophecies.  Not all prophets were super stars like Elijah and Elisha.

Prophecy is a huge topic in the Word of God and this is just an introduction. I will post more articles on this exciting aspect of life as believers hearing from God.

[i] https://biblehub.com/parallel/2_peter/1-21.htm

March 5th, 2019 Posted by | Prophecy | no comments

Jesus – “No prophet is acceptable in his own country”

In the previous post, Jesus States His Mission, we read in Luke chapter 4 where Jesus read from a scroll of Isaiah and declared that the words he read there were his mission, and that he was the fulfillment of that prophecy;

“The Spirit of the Lord is on me, because he has anointed me to preach good news to the poor. He has sent me to heal the broken hearted, to proclaim release to the captives, recovering of sight to the blind, to deliver those who are crushed, and to proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord.” (Luk 4:18-19 WEB)

What is fascinating is what happened next.

He closed the book, gave it back to the attendant, and sat down. The eyes of all in the synagogue were fastened on him. He began to tell them, “Today, this Scripture has been fulfilled in your hearing.” All testified about him, and wondered at the gracious words which proceeded out of his mouth, and they said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” He said to them, “Doubtless you will tell me this parable, ‘Physician, heal yourself! Whatever we have heard done at Capernaum, do also here in your hometown.’” He said, “Most certainly I tell you, no prophet is acceptable in his hometown. But truly I tell you, there were many widows in Israel in the days of Elijah, when the sky was shut up three years and six months, when a great famine came over all the land. Elijah was sent to none of them, except to Zarephath, in the land of Sidon, to a woman who was a widow. There were many lepers in Israel in the time of Elisha the prophet, yet not one of them was cleansed, except Naaman, the Syrian.” They were all filled with wrath in the synagogue, as they heard these things. They rose up, threw him out of the city, and led him to the brow of the hill that their city was built on, that they might throw him off the cliff. But he, passing through the middle of them, went his way.  (Luk 4:20-30 WEB)

Jesus made a declaration. Jesus read from Isaiah and said that he was the fulfillment of the prophecy. He said the spirit is on him. He says he is anointed.

Verse 22 says the people from that community, Jesus’s hometown, listened to him speak, and then said, “Isn’t this Joseph’s son?” The implication is obvious. Jesus is someone they know. They have seen his humble lifestyle. He’s nobody special. They thought he was speaking crazily to say he was anointed by God.

Jesus knew what to expect next. The people were going to want great things from him like they heard he was able to do in other places. They said as much with “Whatever we have heard done at Capernaum, do also here in your hometown.”  Jesus explained that although there are many people with various challenges in Israel God only chose a select few to experience the miraculous. He gave the examples of the widow in Sidon, and Naaman. In each of those cases, the people receiving the blessing were already seeking God and were obedient to him.

“Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there. Behold, I have commanded a widow there to sustain you.” (1Ki 17:9 WEB)

The widow was a woman of faith whom God blessed for her faith. And Naaman had traveled far and long seeking a man of God, at the behest of his ruler, who believed that there was a God in Israel that could heal him. Even still, Naaman had to obey the simple task Elisha gave him to do under God’s direction and had to be convinced by his servants to do it. Nevertheless, he did and he was rewarded for his faith.

These people in Jesus’ hometown were not believers in Jesus. They did not fall into the category of the widow, and Naaman. In fact, they tried to throw him off a cliff. What a comment that is on how a community can treat a person who rises up for God. Jesus’ point is God doesn’t just pour out blessings on people who challenge him with, “show me your great mighty power.” He rewards faithfulness and believing.

So Jesus knew all this. He taught an important principle that this is what happens to God’s anointed in the towns where they grow up. People can’t see past the human frailties of somebody that’s lived among them for so long.

There is a lesson here. If a person gets called to do something for God, they may have to leave and do it somewhere else. The people who have seen you growing up, have seen you at your worst and your weakest, are probably going to have a hard time believing that you are called into service as God’s person. While you are speaking about some incredible and wonderful aspects of God, it may be that all they can see are those times that you fell on your face.

This principle that “no prophet is acceptable in his hometown” is in all four gospels. It may have been that they are all accounts of the same incident, but at least some scholars put the times that Jesus said this at least two. The account in the gospel of Mark gives a few more details about one of the incidents:

He went out from there. He came into his own country, and his disciples followed him. When the Sabbath had come, he began to teach in the synagogue, and many hearing him were astonished, saying, “Where did this man get these things?” and, “What is the wisdom that is given to this man, that such mighty works come about by his hands? Isn’t this the carpenter, the son of Mary, and brother of James, Joses, Judah, and Simon? Aren’t his sisters here with us?” They were offended at him. Jesus said to them, “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own relatives, and in his own house.” He could do no mighty work there, except that he laid his hands on a few sick people, and healed them. He marveled because of their unbelief. He went around the villages teaching.
(Mar 6:1-6 WEB)

Verse three says that Jesus had brothers, James, Joses, Judas, and Simon. It also says that he had sisters. So it’s obvious that the community knew the family, and thought this stance of Jesus was presumptuous, to say the least.

Verse four elaborates on Jesus’ expression: Jesus says that a prophet is not only without honor in his own country but as far as his own relatives, in his own house, that’s a different story. A man of God may be well-respected in the nation or somewhere else, but to the community where he grew up and even to his wife and kids, well, that’s another story.

Verse five is the insight that Jesus could not do mighty works because of this reaction, although it does say that he laid his hands on a few people and healed them. Verse six identifies unbelief as the limiting factor. It wasn’t Jesus is unbelief that limited him it was the community’s unbelief that limited them from receiving what Jesus could do for them.

The gospel of Matthew says it precisely:

He didn’t do many mighty works there because of their unbelief. (Mat 13:58 WEB)

Again, it wasn’t Jesus’ unbelief that stopped the mighty working of the Savior, it was theirs.

These verses talk specifically about the reception of a prophet. A prophet is a person who speaks for God what God directs them to speak on his behalf. He is a spokesman. However, it is generally accepted that this principle applies where people cannot accept that a person may be called to do something and/or has some special talent or ability.

Jesus set the example for how to respond to the situation where your community, even your family, may not be able to receive what you have been called to do for God. Jesus did his mighty works away from where he grew up. We shouldn’t be surprised if we have to do the same.

These are the words of our Lord: “A prophet is not without honor, except in his own country, and among his own relatives, and in his own house.”

© copyright 2010-2020 Mark W Smith, All rights reserved.

August 15th, 2010 Posted by | Jesus' Teaching and Miracles, Prophecy | one comment

Prophecy Appears Different in NT than in OT

This article is a discussion of the different contemporary viewpoints on the roles of the Old Testament and New Testament Prophets.  It is not a declaration of the viewpoint in the time of original Christianity.

The names of the prophets in the Old Testament bring incredible visions of power to mind: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Samuel. Think of Elijah standing against the 450 prophets of Baal with God backing him up as the water-soaked offering and altar roared in flame.  Think of Moses talking with the Father in the burning bush, then leading Israel out of Egypt, and Elisha showing his servant the chariots of fire surrounding him as his servant could only see the chariots of Ben-Haddad.  The Old Testament Prophets were magnificent.

The New Testament prophets seem to pale in comparison. On the bright side, there is Agabus predicting famine to all the believers in Acts 11 and warning Paul of his capture in Jerusalem in Acts 21.  But there were only a few other prophets mentioned, and few details to their prophecies are given. So while the ministry of a prophet is clearly taught in Ephesians 4:11 there is little biblical documentation that shows prophets in the position that the Old Testament prophets had.

One general explanation given for this change is that Apostles replaced Prophets as God’s men on earth.  In canonizing the writings attributed to the apostles in the creation of the New Testament Canon, the Church, at least in the 4th century, credits the apostles as replacing the prophets as being God’s spokesmen.  Furthermore, the function of prophets in New Testament times is to give personal words of prophecy.[i] This is a much lesser role than in the OT.  And still another theological viewpoint is that prophets were inspired preachers.[ii]

The Jewish impact on the development of Christian prophecy needs some more consideration than the above topics of apostles and teachers.  At first glance, it is impossible to find in early Judaism a functional model as a paradigm for the Christian prophets because our main Jewish sources expressed the view that, during the second Temple period, prophecy has vanished altogether.  Post exilic Jews denied the possibility that God still communicated with his people by speaking directly to certain individuals.  In rabbinic literature, the ability to prophesy is closely associated with the presence of the spirit, but both prophecy and the spirit are recorded to be absent from Jewish religious experience.  On the other hand, the Didache, which expresses a similar close affinity between prophecy and the spirit (11:, presents the prophets as practicing prophecy on a regular basis.  How is this phenomenon to be accounted for?

According to a number of texts in rabbinic literature, Josephus, Apocrypha, and Pseudepigrapha, the spirit was taken from Israel after the fall of the first Temple, or alternatively, after the deaths of the last canonical prophets (Haggai, Zechariah, and Malachi).  For the sages of the Tannaitic period onward, genuine prophecy had ceased.  Revelation was no longer mediated by the inspired prophet but by a “bath qol” ( a daughter of voice ) which, however, was rather a poor compensation for a legitimate continuation of prophecy.  Veritable prophecy was dead and no one could claim the title’ prophet’ until God was to fully realize the kingdom.  Although some rabbis were held to be worthy of the title ‘prophet’, the iniquity of the present age made it impossible for even the holiest man, such as Hillel the elder and Rabbi Akiva, to be called so.  Prophecy was limited to the period of the canonical prophets of the distant past and was expected to return in the end time.[iii]

Prophecy is a divisive topic among believers on several fronts. Believers disagree about the role of prophets in the church which some proponents say is radically different than in Old Testament times. Another area of disagreement is over whether prophecies in the Church age can have errors. Some say the standard of the Old Testament, that any time a prophecy doesn’t come to pass disqualifies the prophet, doesn’t apply in the church of grace.

Biblical Basis in the Debate

This section will contrast the viewpoint of Wayne Grudem whose views represent some charismatic and Pentecostal churches with the more conservative position that Old Testament standards carry forth into the New Testament.


Grudem uses several verses to substantiate his claim that New Testament prophets were a different and less central figure than their Old Testament counterparts. Old Testament prophets, according to Grudem, were above reproach. They had ultimate authority and were always to be believed. In contrast, 1 Cor 14:29 is used to substantiate that the prophets were to be judged or discerned. Grudem says there is no OT instruction to judge prophets. Grudem refers to 1 Thes 5:19-21 as further corroboration that NT prophesies are to be evaluated:

Quench not the Spirit; 1Th 5:19

despise not prophesyings1Th 5:20

prove all things; hold fast that which is good; 1Th 5:21

Grudem interprets verse 21 to be specific to the verse before it, saying that what you are to prove is the prophesy. Prove each
prophecy, hold fast to the good in each prophecy. That is Grudem’s interpretation[iv], but also other theologians have promulgated this.[v]

Response to Grudem

Grudem ignores the greater context which is that to be wary of false prophets is a consistent theme both in the Old Testament and the new.

In the Old Testament are various admonitions against false prophets.  For example,

And my hand shall be against the prophets that see false visions, and that divine lies: they shall not be in the council of my people, neither shall they be written in the writing of the house of Israel, neither shall they enter into the land of Israel; and ye shall know that I am the Lord Jehovah. Eze 13:9

This verse clearly advises the people of Israel what will happen to false prophets.

Verses would talk about what the Israelites were to do when they found a false prophet, they were to put him to death. Additionally, these verses give criteria for determining the offense.

If there arise in the midst of thee a prophet, or a dreamer of dreams, and he give thee a sign or a wonder,
and the sign or the wonder come to pass, whereof he spake unto thee, saying, Let us go after other gods, which thou hast not known, and let us serve them; thou shalt not hearken unto the words of that prophet, or unto that dreamer of dreams: for Jehovah your God proveth you, to know whether ye love Jehovah your God with all your heart and with all your soul.

Ye shall walk after Jehovah your God, and fear him, and keep his commandments, and obey his voice, and ye shall serve him, and cleave unto him.

And that prophet, or that dreamer of dreams, shall be put to death, because he hath spoken rebellion against Jehovah your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, and redeemed thee out of the house of bondage, to draw thee aside out of the way which Jehovah thy God commanded thee to walk in. So shalt thou put away the evil from the midst of thee. Deu 13:1-5

This section says that if the prophet gives a sign that comes to pass, but uses that sign to tell the followers to go after other gods, then that is an offense worthy of death. Look at another verse:

But the prophet, that shall speak a word presumptuously in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the
name of other gods, that same prophet shall die. Deu 18:20

This verse says that not only if someone speaks in the name of other gods, but if this prophet speaks something which the Lord has not commanded him to speak, the penalty is death.

These verses are clear guidance in the law on the judging of prophets.  Clearly, the people of Israel were told to discern whether the prophet was from the Lord.

Likewise in the New Testament, we have admonitions to judge whether a prophet is true or not:

Beware of false prophets, who come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly are ravening wolves. Mat 7:15

For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall show great signs and wonders; so as to lead astray, if possible, even the elect. Mat 24:24

So just as we have in the Old Testament admonitions against false prophets we have the same admonitions in the New Testament.  Both of these quotations in Matthew are the words of our Lord.

As far as Grudem’s interpretation that it is the individual prophesies of each prophet that we are to judge that is not what the actual text says although some versions seem to say just that:

Let two or three prophets speak, and let the others weigh what is said.  (1Co 14:29 ESV)

Compare that to the MKJV version:

And if there are two or three prophets, let them speak, and let the others judge.  (1Co 14:29 MKJV)

1 Cor 14:29 says to judge. It doesn’t say what.  It is perfectly logical that 1 Cor 14:29 means to judge the prophet.

1 Thes 5:21 is not necessarily talking about prophecies that are to be judged; it is talking about discerning the good from the bad in all things. 1 Thes 5:21 is just another item in a long list of guidance that Paul is charging believers to follow:

1Th 5:11 Wherefore exhort one another, and build each other up, even as also ye do.

1Th 5:12 But we beseech you, brethren, to know them that labor among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

1Th 5:13 and to esteem them exceeding highly in love for their work’s sake. Be at peace among yourselves.

1Th 5:14 And we exhort you, brethren, admonish the disorderly, encourage the fainthearted, support the weak, be longsuffering
toward all.

1Th 5:15 See that none render unto any one evil for evil; but always follow after that which is good, one toward another, and toward all.

1Th 5:16 Rejoice always;

1Th 5:17 pray without ceasing;

1Th 5:18 in everything give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus to you-ward.

1Th 5:19 Quench not the Spirit;

1Th 5:20 despise not prophesyings;

1Th 5:21 prove all things; hold fast that which is good;

1Th 5:22 abstain from every form of evil.

1Th 5:23 And the God of peace himself sanctify you wholly; and may your spirit and soul and body be preserved entire, without blame at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1Th 5:24 Faithful is he that calleth you, who will also do it.

1Th 5:25 Brethren, pray for us.

1Th 5:26 Salute all the brethren with a holy kiss.

1Th 5:27 I adjure you by the Lord that this epistle be read unto all the brethren.

1Th 5:28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

In this section starting in verse 11 we have a grocery list of admonitions. We are to encourage and build each other up. We are to know our leaders and esteem them highly. We are to admonish the disorderly. We’re not supposed to extract revenge. We’re supposed to rejoice all the time, pray constantly, give thanks everywhere, not quench the Spirit, not despise prophesying, be discerning by evaluating everything and holding steadfast to what we find from the Lord, abstaining from evil anywhere we find it.  In doing those things the God of peace will sanctify us. Paul wants us to pray for him and salute the brethren with a holy kiss. Finally, Paul wants this epistle read everyone.  Making verse 21 just the conclusion of verse 20 takes the section out of context.


Christians are clearly divided both on the role of prophets and the standards that true prophets must maintain.

Old Testament prophets were God’s spokesmen, the only men enabled to speak for God. Prophets were given zero tolerance in their prophecies. Anytime a prophecy didn’t come to pass the person as marked as a false prophet.  Some in the church maintain that nothing has changed and prophets since Christ must maintain the same standards.

While others maintain that the role of New Testament prophets has changed to a much lesser role and that prophecies might contain errors and each prophet must constantly be judged as to the accuracy of the prophecies, this argument appears weak and it appears to justify the allowance of false prophecies.

Albeit limited, I have some experience hearing of and some watching personal prophecy given in different charismatic settings and have never seen prophecies judged.  In those cases, there was only one person giving the prophecy, and at least in some cases there didn’t appear to be anyone capable of judging whether the prophecy was of the Lord or not.

[i] THE GIFT OF PROPHECY in the New Testament and Today, Wayne Grudem, Crossway, Wheaton, 2000, p 16
[ii] PROPHECY IN EARLY CHRISTIANITY And the Ancient Mediterranean World, David E Aune, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1983, p5. Aune quotes G Friedrich, whose discussion he calls the standard treatment on the subject. The reference to Friedrich is from The Theological Dictionary of the New Testament. Here Friedrich defines a prophet as a proclaimer of God’s Word. Friedrich’s definition is Primitive Christian prophecy is the inspired speech of charismatic preachers through whom God’s plan of salvation for the world and the community and his will for the life of individual Christians are made known.
[iii] The Didache, Hubertus Waltherus Maria van de Sandt, Huub Van de Sandt, David Flusser, Fortress Press, 2002, ISBN 0800634713, 9780800634711 p357
[iv] The Gift of Prophecy, p58f
[v] PROPHECY IN EARLY CHRISTIANITY And the Ancient Mediterranean World, David E Aune, Wm. B. Eerdmans Publishing Company, Grand Rapids, Michigan, 1983, p13.  Aune notes in this early section of the book what others have written about early Christian prophecy.  He discusses D Hillâ’s New Testament Prophecy which seems similar to Grudem’s,

(c) copyright 2009-2020 Mark W. Smith All rights reserved. Revised 2020.

April 23rd, 2009 Posted by | Divisions, Prophecy | no comments