This paper will first define spiritual gifts, examine the debates over miraculous gifts within the early church, and then seek to explore whether the miraculous gifts continued within the post-apostolic church. Definition and the Problem A. What are Spiritual Gifts? Spiritual Gifts are gifts from God discussed in Eph 4:
Prophecy in Christianity Divination and prophecy in the Hellenistic world The problem of false prophets that occurred during the period of classical Hebrew prophecy also occurred in the early Christian communities. Prophets and diviners were widespread throughout the Hellenistic world.
In addition, there were mantics from the Greek mantis —i. The impetus for much of that activity came from Babylonia.
The influx of new religions from the East brought a profusion of astrologers and prophets. Many schools of astrology were founded throughout the Hellenistic world, and old schools of philosophy became very much occupied with astrology.
For New Testament authors, the correct interpretation of Old Testament prophecy is that it speaks in toto of Jesus Christ. To prove their point, they often cite passages from the Hebrew prophets that are then elucidated as the words of God about Christ. New Testament writers follow Jesus himself in this matter, and Jesus is taken to be the prophet that was promised in Deuteronomy see John 1: Jesus regarded himself as a prophet, and so did some of his contemporaries.
One special aspect of the prophetic image, however, is missing in Jesus: In those New Testament descriptions of the Transfiguration, Jesus is proclaimed to be the Son of God in words borrowed directly from the enthronement ritual mentioned in the Scriptures.
As a prophet, Jesus predicted his own death, his return as the Son of Man at the end of the world, and the destruction of the Jerusalem Temple. At many points in New Testament writings, Jesus is compared with and interpreted through the classical prophets: Though the New Testament describes Jesus as a prophet, he is at the same time believed to be more than a prophet: The royal ideology of the Hebrew Scriptures was most important to early Christianity, for therein lay the seeds of its doctrines of Christ.
Several prophets are mentioned in the New Testament. Reference to his death is included by the Gospel writers because he was the last prophet before Jesus to have been killed by the Jews. His wife, Elizabeth, also was described as being inspired by the spirit.
Others are Simeon, the prophetess Anna, and John the Baptist. Those prophets are conceived by the New Testament writers as the termination of Old Testament prophecy, a concept also expressed by Jesus with reference to John the Baptist. The New Testament mentions several prophetic figures in the early church.
Among them are Agabus of Jerusalem; Judas Barsabbas and Silaswho also were elders of the Jerusalem church; the four prophesying daughters of Philip the Evangelist; and Johnthe author of Revelation. The term prophet is used with reference to an office in the early church along with evangelists and teachers, and the recipient of the letter bearing his name, Timothyis called both a minister and a prophet.
Paul the Apostle instructed his followers in the correct use of prophecy and evaluated it as more beneficial to the life of congregations than ecstatic glossolalia speaking in tongues.
He considered prophecy to be the greatest spiritual gift from God, and in his view a prophet therefore ranks ahead of evangelists and teachers.
With all that prophetic activity, the problem of false prophecy was crucial, and warnings against it abound in the New Testament.
The most dangerous of the false prophets is predicted in the Revelation to John as yet to come. Many of those prophets, viewed as magicians and exorcists, are condemned for inducing chaos and for leading people astray.
Therefore, all prophetic activity had to be examined. In the period immediately after the Apostles, prophets continued to play an important leadership role in the church, sometimes being called high priests. They were the only ones permitted to speak freely in the liturgybecause of their inspiration by the Holy Spirit.
Gradually, however, the liturgy became more and more fixed, and less freedom and innovation was permitted; that change, combined with the threat of false prophecy, eliminated those charismatic personalities.
Among the heretical sects that advocated a return to prophetic activity, Montanism 2nd centuryled by the prophet Montanusadvocated that the spirit of truth had come through Montanus.
The freedom of doctrinal innovation that Montanus advocated could well have led to doctrinal anarchyand the result of the struggle against that heresy was the suppression of charismatic prophecy, wherein ecstatic inspiration came to be viewed by the church as demonic.
Another prophet who created a problem in the early church was Mani —the 3rd-century founder of a dualistic religion that was to bear his name Manichaeism —who considered himself to be the final messenger of God, after whom there was to be no other.
Prophetic and millenarian movements in later Christianity In Western medieval church doctrines and rituals, active prophecy had no place. Prophetic activity was carried on, however, through holy orders.
Mystically oriented holy men would sometimes appear as prophets with a special message, and even ecstatics found their places within the monasteries. In Eastern Christianity, monastic life stressed training in mystical experience.
The early and medieval church hierarchy generally opposed chiliasm because such movements often became associated with nationalistic aspirations. Though the key leaders of the Protestant Reformation opposed chiliasm, and therefore minimized its effects upon the emergent denominations e.
Prophecy in Islam The centrality of prophecy in Islam Pre-Islamic prophecy in Arabia was no different in character from other Semitic prophecy.
The importance of the seers and diviners was noted in all aspects of life. Any problem might be submitted to such men, and their oracular answers were given with divine authority.To recover the designed purposes for the Jews and the Church in God's prophetic plan.
Through intertexture analysis of the second chapter of the Acts of the Apostles, this paper explores the use of the gift of prophecy, through the Holy Spirit, to communicate God’s divine empowerment of leaders in the early Christian church as in.
An Ecstasy of Folly: Prophecy and Authority in Early Christianity. 28 Pages. Prophecy and Authority in Early Christianity.
scholars have studied a variety of issues in early Christian prophecy—leadership, prophets’ itinerancy, prophetic versus ecclesiastical authority, and the genres and forms of prophetic utterances and literature. Criticism of Christianity has a long history stretching back to the initial formation of the religion during the Roman Empire.
Unfulfilled prophecy God reveals Elizabeth Clark cites early Christian writings by authors such as Tertullian. The New Prophecy and "New Visions": Evidence of Montanism in the "Passion of Does pbilological analysis of tbe Early Christian Culture Making (New York, ) offers a brilliant reading of deatb, gender, propbetic authority, and editorial.
Analysis of an Early Christian Midrash by Birger Gerhardsson, then you've come to the right website. We have The Testing of God's Son: (Matt. & PAR), An Analysis of an Early Christian Midrash DjVu, txt, PDF, doc, ePub formats.