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]].
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==[[Old Testament]] Prophecy==
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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.
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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:
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===Major prophets===
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* [[Book of Isaiah|Isaiah]]
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* [[Book of Jeremiah|Jeremiah]] includes book of [[Baruch]] and the [[Letter of Jeremiah]]
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* [[Book of Ezekiel|Ezekiel]]
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* [[Book of Daniel|Daniel]]
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===Minor prophets===
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The books of the 12 so-called ''minor prophets'':
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* [[Book of Hosea|Hosea]]
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* [[Book of Joel|Joel]] 
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* [[Book of Amos|Amos]]
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* [[Book of Obadiah|Obadiah]]
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* [[Book of Jonah|Jonah]]
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* [[Book of Micah|Micah]]
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* [[Book of Nahum|Nahum]]
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* [[Book of Habakkuk|Habakkuk]]
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* [[Book of Zephaniah|Zephaniah]]
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* [[Book of Haggai|Haggai]] 
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* [[Book of Zechariah|Zechariah]]
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* [[Book of Malachi|Malachi]]
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==The End of Prophecy==
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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. 
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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]].
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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.
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==Assessment of the prophet's authenticity and false prophets==
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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):
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:''Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep's clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves.''
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:''Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?''
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:''Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit.''
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:''A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither can a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit.''
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:''Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.''
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:''Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.''{{ref|1}}
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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.
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==Sources and external links==
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*[[w:Prophet|''Prophet'' at Wikipedia]]
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*{{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.
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[[Category:Biblical Saints]]
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[[Category:Saints]]
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[[ro:Prooroc]]
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Revision as of 03:06, June 10, 2008

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