Difference between revisions of "Prophet"

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A '''prophet''' is one who speaks for God. The term usually refers to God's spokesmen in the [[Old Testament]], beginning with [[Abraham]], and ending with St. [[John the Forerunner]].
==[[Old Testament]] Prophecy==
The word ''prophet'' itself derives from the Greeks, who used the word προφήτης to refer to an interpreter or spokesperson of a deity, who "utters forth." In Hebrew, however, the word traditionally translated as prophet ''nevi'', which likely means "proclaimer." The meaning of ''nevi'' is perhaps described in [[Deuteronomy]] 18:18, where God said, "I will put my words in his mouth and he will speak to them all that I command him." Thus, the ''navi'' was thought to be the "mouth" of God. The root nun-bet-alef (''navi'') is based on the two-letter root ''nun-bet'' which denotes hollowness or openness, perhaps in reference to God.
Some examples of prophets in the Old Testament include [[Abraham]], [[Righteous Sarah|Sarah]], [[Moses]], [[Isaiah]], [[David]], [[Solomon]], and [[Job the Long-suffering|Job]]. Also, sixteen books in the Old Testament are called by the names of [[prophet]]s, although not necessarily written by their hands. They are traditionally divided into the "major" and "minor" prophets:
===Major prophets===
* [[Book of Isaiah|Isaiah]]
* [[Book of Jeremiah|Jeremiah]] includes book of [[Baruch]] and the [[Letter of Jeremiah]]
* [[Book of Ezekiel|Ezekiel]]
* [[Book of Daniel|Daniel]]
===Minor prophets===
The books of the 12 so-called ''minor prophets'':
* [[Book of Hosea|Hosea]]
* [[Book of Joel|Joel]] 
* [[Book of Amos|Amos]]
* [[Book of Obadiah|Obadiah]]
* [[Book of Jonah|Jonah]]
* [[Book of Micah|Micah]]
* [[Book of Nahum|Nahum]]
* [[Book of Habakkuk|Habakkuk]]
* [[Book of Zephaniah|Zephaniah]]
* [[Book of Haggai|Haggai]] 
* [[Book of Zechariah|Zechariah]]
* [[Book of Malachi|Malachi]]
==The End of Prophecy==
Orthodoxy teaches that John the Baptist (also known as John the Forerunner) was the last of the prophets, thus tightly linking the period of prophecy in the Old Testament with [[Jesus Christ|Jesus]], who delivered the fullness or fulfillment of the law. 
Some Protestant (and thus heretical) sects hold that prophecy continues to this day, including Pentecostals and Quakers. In doing so, they often manage to diminish the role of [[Holy Tradition]] by overemphasizing such new "revelations." [[Mormonism|Mormons]] also think that the current president of their "church" is a prophet. An early Christian heresy centering around continuing prophecy was [[Montanism]], whose most notable adherent was [[Tertullian]].
This, however, is not to say that the spirit of prophecy is dead in the Church; there are many instances of saints and other Orthodox receiving prophetic dreams or visions. The term "prophet" itself, though, is generally reserved for Old Testament figures.
==Assessment of the prophet's authenticity and false prophets==
According to Deuteronomy 18:21-22, one should judge a prophet by checking whether his predictions come true. Likewise, in the [[New Testament]] Christ warned against false prophets and said that one should judge a prophet by his fruits. From ([[Gospel of Matthew|Matthew]] 7):
:''Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.''
:''Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?''
:''Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.''
:''A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.''
:''Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.''
:''Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.''{{ref|1}}
Sts. [[Apostle Peter|Peter]] and [[Apostle Paul|Paul]] also enjoin the faithful to beware of "false prophets" (i.e. heretics) repeatedly in their epistles. See [[2 Peter]] 2 and [[Acts of the Apostles|Acts]] 20:28 in particular.
==Sources and external links==
*[[w:Prophet|''Prophet'' at Wikipedia]]
*{{note|1}}[http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=Matthew%207;&version=9; Matthew 7]King James Version, in public domain. Cited on www.biblegateway.com.
[[Category:Biblical Saints]]

Revision as of 11:06, June 10, 2008