Saturday, April 6, 2019

The role of prophesy in the Judeo-Christian tradition Essay Example for Free

The role of prophesy in the Judeo-Christian tradition EssayIn Hebrew, the usual name for seer is nab. The New Testament uses seeres from which the English prophet is derived. Prophets were interpreters of Gods will. In popular thought, prognostic is associated with predicting future events but this was not the main range of Biblical prophets. According to Newsome (1984) Hebrew prophets induct their roots in a wider Near Eastern scene where seers played a clairvoyant role, sometimes using sheeps entrails as signs pointing to future happenings (p. 11). beholding the future was associated with ecstatic trance-like states as the seer communicated with spirits, or with God. In the Hebrew tradition, clairvoyant ability became little significant, with prophets taking on a special role as guardians of Gods covenant. The prophets job was to challenge the children of Israel to keep the commandments, to keep their covenant with God by upholding justice, living righteously and givi ng up the worship of false Gods. There may stimulate been guilds based at some of the ancient divine shrines, such as Shiloh where Samuel operated.I Kings 22 6 refers to King Ahab summoning four ampere-second prophets to seek their advice. One of the most important prophets was Nathan, who challenged David to live up to the ideal of kingly conduct. In the Bible, on that point are sixteen books named for prophets (the twelve minor prophets form one book in the Hebrew password but are sub-divided in Christian versions). There were many other prophets besides those after whom books have been named, including Elijah and Elisha. Isaiah, Jeremiah and Ezekiel are considered Major Prophets.Moses and Aaron are also referred to as prophets, though they are not usually regarded as such. Indeed Deuteronomy 1818-22 suggests that Moses represents the example of what a YAHWEH prophet should be (Newsome, p. 5). The prophet spoke truth to power. In doing so, they pointed out what consequences wo uld follow if people failed to keep the commandments. God would punish Gods people. Consistently, the message was result my voice, and I will be your God walk in all the ways that I have commanded you, that it may be well with you (Jeremiah 7 23).When Jeremiah spoke about the Temples destruction, this was not a prediction but a warning of what would happen if the Hebrews disregarded justice. When speaking of the future, what was said was based on what prophets knew of the nature of a holy God and of a sinful, arrogant people (Newsome, p. 11). Ecstasy continued to be associated with prophecy but what was more important was the content of their message, not the means by which this was communicated. False prophets had to be denounced. Famously, Elijah battled with the prophets of Baal (I Kings 18).Above all, prophets were bearers of revelation, their words came to them from God. In the New Testament, Jesus is described as a prophet (Luke 7 16) and in Christian theology Jesus is unde rstood as Gods word made flesh. Prophets were often reluctant to accept their calling, for example, Jonah (see Jonah 1 3). Sometimes they operated against the established policy-making system, calling kings to account. At times prophets appear as honored members of a kings intimate circle. In the New Testament, Matthew often cites prophecies, suggesting that prophets predicted events in Jesus life.One way of understanding this is that Matthew was anxious to strain continuity between Gods revelation in Jesus and Gods revelation through the prophets. The role of prophet existed in the early church but was never formalized, perhaps because prophecy cannot be controlled. It can challenge established authority. The New Testament also warns against false prophets (Matthew 7 15), so any claim to be a prophet must be tested against the content of the message. advert Newsome, James D. 1984. The Hebrew Prophets. Atlanta, Ga J. Knox Press.

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