Who was a prophet for Christianity
(1) Prophets in the Old Testament: Prophets are - contrary to a widespread misunderstanding - not people who predict the future. Rather, a prophet is a person through whom God speaks to people. In a certain situation the prophets deliver a message from God to the people of God or to individuals from that people. This can be a warning, a court threat, but also consolation and encouragement.
The early prophets in Israel were mostly found in groups. She was characterized by her ecstatic demeanor. This showed that they were moved by the Spirit of God (1 Samuel 10: 5-12).
During the reign of Israel (approx. 9th-6th centuries BC) prophets appeared who were called individually by God. They publicly spoke out against social injustices that led to the weak being oppressed and exploited. They condemned the services in which the people worshiped other gods. Linked to this was the announcement that God would judge the disobedient people through a national catastrophe. This sharp criticism of the conditions in the country by the prophets often led to a confrontation with the king and the ruling class.
The prophets usually delivered their message orally; only later were their words written down (partly by themselves).
The great prophets of the 8th to 6th centuries BC Chr. Were often in violent conflict with the so-called "professional prophets". These were active at a sanctuary, e.g. at the Jerusalem Temple, and rather preached what pleased the people and the king. (cf. 1 Kings 20: 10-13; Amos 7:14). The real prophets often had to deal with such prophets (Jeremiah 6: 13-15; Jeremiah 23: 9-32; Jeremiah 28: 1-17; Ezekiel 13: 1-16).
In exile, prophets appeared who made great promises to the people on behalf of God. Unlike the previous prophets, who announced disaster to people because they had not lived according to God's commandments, the prophets who appeared in exile conveyed a message of consolation and salvation (e.g. Isaiah 40-55): God keeps his People firmly and want to give him a new future. This also includes the vision of a kingdom of peace that will encompass all peoples.
(2) Jesus as a prophet: The question of who Jesus is did not only concern his disciples. The people consider Jesus to be a prophet (cf. Matthew 21:11, Matthew 21:46; Luke 7:16; Luke 24:19; John 4:19). People think that in him one of the great Old Testament prophets returned (Mark 8:28). In a speech in the temple, Peter describes Jesus as the prophet announced in Deuteronomy / Deuteronomy 18:15, Deuteronomy 18:19, to whom people should "listen" (cf. Acts 3: 22-23).
(3) Prophets in early Christianity: In the early Christian communities, "prophecy" is a gift of the Holy Spirit along with other spiritual gifts. The prophet preaches a message he received from God (1 Corinthians 14: 26-32). This can also be a prophecy for the future (Acts 11: 27-28; Revelation 1: 1-2). The main task of the New Testament prophets, however, is to illuminate the present situation in the light of God's will. Like the prophets of the Old Testament, they conveyed instructions from God to the congregation by which it should be admonished, encouraged or comforted. Paul gives prophetic speech priority over speech in unknown languages, because the prophet speaks with understandable words and thus serves to build up the community. Nevertheless, the prophetic speech of the church should also be examined (1 Thessalonians 5: 20-21). This is especially true with regard to the danger posed by false prophets (Matthew 7:15; Matthew 24:11; Matthew 24:24; 1 John 4: 1; Revelation 2:20).
In the early Church, apostles, prophets, and teachers were the primary carriers of the preaching of the good news of JesusChrist (1 Corinthians 12:28; Ephesians 4: 11-12; Ephesians 2:20).
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