The role of prophesy in the Judeo-Christian tradition Essay

In Hebrew. the usual word for prophesier is nab. The New Testament uses prophetes from which the English “prophet” is derived. Nebiims were translators of God’s will. In popular idea.

prognostication is associated with foretelling future events but this was non the chief map of Biblical Prophetss. Harmonizing to Newsome ( 1984 ) Hebrew Prophetss have their roots in a wider Near Eastern context where visionaries played a clairvoyant function. sometimes utilizing sheep’s visceras as marks indicating to future occurrences ( p. 11 ) .Sing the hereafter was associated with enraptured trance-like provinces as the visionary communicated with liquors. or with God. In the Hebrew tradition.

clairvoyant ability became less important. with Prophetss taking on a particular function as defenders of God’s compact. The prophet’s occupation was to dispute the kids of Israel to maintain the commandments. to maintain their compact with God by continuing justness. life righteously and abandoning the worship of false Gods. There may hold been clubs based at some of the ancient sanctum shrines. such as Shiloh where Samuel operated.I Kings 22: 6 refers to King Ahab citing four 100 Prophetss to seek their advice.

One of the most of import Prophetss was Nathan. who challenged David to populate up to the ideal of kingly behavior. In the Bible. there are 16 books named for Prophetss ( the 12 minor Prophetss form one book in the Hebrew bible but are sub-divided in Christian versions ) . There were many other Prophetss besides those after whom books have been named.

including Elijah and Elisha. Isaiah. Jeremiah and Ezekiel are considered Major Nebiims.Moses and Aaron are besides referred to as Prophetss.

though they are non normally regarded as such. Indeed Deuteronomy 18:18-22 suggests that Moses represents the “example of what a YAHWEH prophesier should be” ( Newsome. p. 5 ) . The prophet spoke truth to power. In making so. they pointed out what effects would follow if people failed to maintain the commandments.

God would penalize God’s people. Systematically. the message was “Obey my voice.

and I will be your God … walk in all the ways that I have commanded you. that it may be good with you” ( Jeremiah 7: 23 ) .When Jeremiah spoke about the Temple’s devastation. this was non a anticipation but a warning of what would go on if the Hebrews disregarded justness.

When speech production of the hereafter. what was said was based on what prophets knew “of the nature of a holy God and of a iniquitous. chesty people” ( Newsome. p. 11 ) . Ecstasy continued to be associated with prognostication but what was more of import was the content of their message. non the agencies by which this was communicated.

False Prophetss had to be denounced. Famously. Elijah battled with the Prophetss of Baal ( I Kings 18 ) .Above all.

Prophetss were carriers of “revelation” . their words came to them from God. In the New Testament. Jesus is described as a prophesier ( Luke 7: 16 ) and in Christian divinity Jesus is understood as God’s word made flesh. Nebiims were frequently loath to accept their naming.

for illustration. Jonah ( see Jonah 1: 3 ) . Sometimes they operated against the established political system. naming male monarchs to account. At times prophets appear as esteemed members of a king’s interior circle.

In the New Testament. Matthew frequently cites “prophecies” . proposing that Prophetss predicted events in Jesus life.

One manner of understanding this is that Matthew was dying to stress continuity between God’s disclosure in Jesus and God’s disclosure through the Prophetss. The function of prophesier existed in the early church but was ne’er formalized. possibly because “prophecy” can non be controlled. It can dispute established authorization.

The New Testament besides warns against false Prophetss ( Matthew 7: 15 ) . so any claim to be a prophesier must be tested against the content of the message. Reference Newsome. James D. 1984.

The Hebrew Prophets. Atlanta. Ga: J. Knox Press.


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