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TSP Jesus as Prophet

TSP Jesus as Prophet

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Published by Michael Barber
Michael Barber's overview of Jesus' prophetic role, his prophetic acts and the Last Supper. Prepared for "The Sacred Page with Michael Barber" podcast. See www.TheSacredPage.com for more.
Michael Barber's overview of Jesus' prophetic role, his prophetic acts and the Last Supper. Prepared for "The Sacred Page with Michael Barber" podcast. See www.TheSacredPage.com for more.

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Published by: Michael Barber on Jul 09, 2012
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The Sacred Page Podcast
Michael Barber, Ph.D. / John Paul the Great Catholic University © 2011
 www.JPCatholic.com/ www.TheSacredPage.com/ email:mpsbarber@yahoo.com
  What is a Prophet?
Modern definition: someone who predicts the future2.
Biblical Prophet: “one who speaks for God.”
Speaks “the word of the LORD” (Jer 1:2, 4)b.
Anointed with “the spirit of the LORD” (1 Kgs 22:24; Isa 61:1)c.
Able to predict the future (Deut 18:21–22)d.
“A man of the
” (Hebrew “word”)
Biblical Terminology for Prophets
“Prophet” (Hb
“mouthpiece”“And the L
said to Moses, “See, I make you as God to Pharaoh; and Aaron yourbrother shall be your prophet.
You shall speak all that I command you; and Aaron yourbrother shall tell Pharaoh to let the people of Israel go out of his land” (Exod 7:2).f.
one who “calls” or “announces” (1 Sam 9:9)3.
“Prophet” (Gk
): to “speak for” God
“Seer” (Hb
): one who sees what others cannot (1 Kgs 8:8; 14:2)5.
“Man of God” (Hb
‘ish ha’elohim
) (1 Kgs 13:1; 17:24)6.
True Prophecy vs. False Prophecya.
True prophets predictions come to passb.
Fate of false prophets: death penalty (Deut 13:1–5)
Examples of Prophets
The Pentateuch:a.
Adam: names animals & entrusted with God’s word (Gen 2:19; cf. Gen 2:16–17; 3:3)
Scott Hahn, ed.,
Catholic Bible Dictionary
(New York: Doubleday, 2009), 733-37.
Catholic Bible Dictionary
, 733.
Roland De Vaux,
 Ancient Israel: Its Life and Institutions
(Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1997[1958]), 354: “The prophet was aman of the
, of the word, a spokesman of God, therefore, who was directly inspired by God to give a particular message indefinite circumstances; he was an instrument through whom God actually revealed himself. The priest, on the other hand, was theman of the
; knowledge (
) was entrusted to him for interpretation, and though this knowledge certainly came from Godlong ago, it was handed down to men century after century by teaching and practice.”
Giuseppe Ricciotti,
 History of Israel 
(2 vols.; Milwaukee: Bruce, 1955/1958), 1:317.
Or “to speak in the place of God” (Ricciotti,
 History of Israel 
, 1:320).
See Augustine: “Hence we are justified in concluding that the ecstasy in which Adam was caught up when God cast himinto a sleep was given to him so that his mind in that state might participate with the host of angels and, entering into the sanctuary of God, understand what was finally to come. When he awoke, he was like one filled with the spirit of prophecy, and seeing his wifebrought before him, he immediately opened his mouth and proclaimed the great mystery that St. Paul [cf. Eph 5:31–32] teaches:‘This now is bone of my bones and flesh of my flesh; she shall be called woman, because she has been taken out of man. And for thisreason a man shall leave his father and his mother and shall cleave to his wife; and they shall be the two in one flesh.’ These were the words of the first man according to the testimony of Scripture, but in the Gospel our Lord declared that God spoke them. For he says,‘Have you not read that he who made them from the beginning made them male and female and said, ‘For this reason a man shallcleave to his wife, and they shall be two in one flesh’?’ [Matt 19:4]. From this we should understand, therefore, that because of the
Noah: entrusted with the word of God’s judgment (Gen 7:4)c.
Abraham (and Patriarchs): both patriarch and prophet (Gen 20:7)
Aaron: both prophet and priest (Exod 7:1)e.
Miriam: example of female ‘prophetess’ (Exod 15:20)f.
Moses: greatest of all prophets (Deut 34:10)g.
Balaam: unrighteous “prophet” (Num 22–24; cf. Deut 23:5–6: “a diviner”)2.
The Historical Books:a.
Samuel: first of the ‘classic prophets’ (1 Sam 3:20)b.
Nathan: prophet during reign of David (2 Samuel 7)c.
Elijah: one of the greatest prophetsd.
Elisha: disciple of Elijah; “father” of prophetic ‘school’ or ‘family’ (2 Kgs 9:1)e.
Huldah: wife of the royal wardrobe keeper (2 Kgs 22:14)3.
The Prophetic Literature: Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, etc.
Moses as the Prophet
 Par Excellence
Standard-bearer of a “prophet” (Deut 34:10)Deut 34:10–12: “And there has not arisen a prophet since in Israel like Moses, whom the L
 knew face to face,
none like him for all the signs and the wonders which the L
sent him to doin the land of Egypt, to Pharaoh and to all his servants and to all his land,
and for all the mighty power and all the great and terrible deeds which Moses wrought in the sight of all Israel.”2.
Divine commissioning accompanied by theophany (Exod 3–4)3.
Unique relationship with Goda.
Speaks to God “face to face” (Num 12:6–8; Deut 34:10)b.
Receives information to pass along to others
from Godi.
To Pharaoh (Exod 6:20–22)ii.
To Israel (Exod 19:3)iii.
To Aaronic priests (Lev 19:1–2)4.
Delivers botha.
Specific instructions for particular people (Exod 14:1–4; Num 9:1–5; 16:23–24)b.
Enduring legislation (e.g., Exod 20–23; Lev 1:1–7:37)5.
Intercessory role (Exod 32:7–14; Num 14:10b–25)6.
Performs Signs / Mighty Deedsa.
Miraculous staff, power over leprosy, & turning the Nile into blood (cf. Exod 4:1–9)b.
The ten plagues (cf. Exod 5:1–12:51)c.
The parting of the Red Sea (cf. Exod 14:1–15:12)d.
The quail and manna from heaven (cf. Exod 16:1–36)e.
Producing water from the rock (cf. Exod 17:1–7; Num 20:2–13)f.
Constructing a bronze serpent that healed those who looked at it (cf. Num 21:4–9)
ecstasy that Adam had just experienced he was able to say this as a prophet under divine guidance” (
On the Literal Interpretation of  Genesis
See Clement of Alexandria, “Among the Hebrews the prophets spoke by the power and inspiration of God. Before the lawthere was Adam, who used a power of prophecy over the woman and over the naming of animals; Noah, preaching repentence;Abraham, Isaac and Jacob offering a clear foreshadowing of a large number of events future or imminent” (
See, e.g., B. Buller, “Prophets, Prophecy,” in
 Dictionary of the Old Testament Pentateuch
(Downers Grove: InterVarsityPress, 2003), 664–665. See also the comments by David Stacey,
 Prophetic Drama in the Old Testament 
(Westminster: Epworth,1990), 57: “From one point of view Moses is a prophet
 par excellence.
But Moses is a figure on his own.”
See Scot McKnight, “Jesus and Prophetic Actions,”
 Bulletin for Biblical Research
10/2 (2000): 218–22, who lists manyothers: the throwing of a tree into undrinkable water making it sweet (Exod 15:23–26; cf. Josephus,
3:5–8; 4Q364–365 6, II,
Messianic / eschatological forerunnera.
Deut 18:15: “The L
your God will raise up for you a prophet like me from among you,from your brethren—him you shall heed. . .”b.
 Jewish tradition: Moses as Messianic Prototype
The Fate of the Prophets
Prophetic Vocation: called from all walks of lifea.
Elisha: called while plowing a field (1 Kgs 19:19)b.
Amos: called from shepherding and farming (Amos 7:14)c.
Isaiah: royal court advisor (Isa 7:3-25; 37:21-35)d.
 Jeremiah: did not want to be a prophet (Jer 1:14ff.; 20:7-9)2.
The Danger of Being a Prophet:a.
Temptation to False Prophecy: Micaiah and the Court Prophets (1 Kgs 22)b.
Failure to Follow God’s Commands: leads to death (1 Kgs 13:11-32)c.
Prophets likely to end up persecuted or executed (Matt 23:29ff.)
The Cessation of Prophecya.
Psalm 74:9: We do not see our signs; there is no longer any prophet, and there is none among us who knows how long.b.
1 Maccabees 9:27: Thus there was great distress in Israel, such as had not been since the timethat prophets ceased to appear among them.c.
1 Maccabees 4:43–46: . . . and they cleansed the sanctuary and removed the defiled stones to anunclean place.
They deliberated what to do about the altar of burnt offering, which had been profaned.
And they thought it best to tear it down, lest it bring reproach upon them, for theGentiles had defiled it. So they tore down the altar,
and stored the stones in a convenient place on the temple hill until there should come a prophet to tell what to do with them.
10–11); the elevation of Moses’ rod, which helped Israel overcome their enemies in battle (cf. Exod 17:8–13); Moses and Aaron’sascension up to Mt. Sinai (cf. Exod 19:9–20:26; 24:12–18); the construction of twelve pillars and the covenant ratification ritual (cf.Exod 24:1–8); the act of smashing the tablets containing God’s Law, grinding it into powder and giving it to Israel to drink (cf. Exod32:15–24); Moses’ challenge, asking “Who is on the L
’s side?” (cf. Exod 32:25–29); the pouring out of the spirit on the seventy(cf. Num 11:16–30); the destruction of Korah (cf. Num 16:1–50; 1 Kgs 18:20–46); the gathering of rods from each tribe and thebudding of Aaron’s rod (cf. Num 17:1–13); the stripping of Aaron and the investiture of Joshua on a mountain (cf. Num 20:22–29);the installation of Joshua as Israel’s leader (cf. Num 27:12–23).
Indeed, Moses’ significance is underscored by the way later Jewish tradition describes him as the messianic prototype.Along these lines we should mention that the rabbinic literature refers to Moses as “Israel’s savior” (
b. Sotah
12b; cf. 11a; 11b and 13a)and the “first redeemer” (
 Ruth Rab.
2:14; the Messiah is called the “last redeemer,” cf.
Gen. Rab.
85; cf. also
Gen. Rab.
 Exod. Rab.
1). Likewise, Moses is associated with the Messiah in
b. Sanh.
98b: “Rab said: The world was created only on David's account. Samuelsaid: On Moses account; R. Johanan said: For the sake of the Messiah” (Soncino ed.). Other passages draw conclusions abut theMessiah based on Moses’ life: e.g., as Moses was brought up in Egypt, the Messiah would live in Rome (cf.
 Exod. Rab.
1); as Moses went into hiding so would the Messiah (cf.
 Num. Rab.
Song Rab.
on 2:9;
 Pesiq. Rab.
36); as Moses rode on an ass and providedmiraculous food so also would the Messiah (cf.
 Eccl. Rab.
1:9). See also 4Q375 1 I, 1–4; Howard M. Teeple,
The Mosaic Eschatological  Prophet 
(SBLMS 10; Philadelphia: Society of Biblical Literature, 1957). Of course, the Exodus itself became the model for Jewisheschatological hopes. For further discussion, see the discussion and references provided in Rikki Watts,
 Isaiah’s New Exodus and Mark
(WUNT 288; Tübingen: Mohr-Siebeck, 1997), 79–82; Dale Allison,
The New Moses: A Matthean Typology
(Minneapolis: Fortress,1993), 200–13.
See, e.g., 1 Kgs 19:14 (Israel has “slain” all the prophets except Elijah with “the sword”). “The attitude of the peopletoward the prophets was the usual attitude of moral pygmies toward giants in their midst. It was an illogical, changeable attitude, veering in turn from veneration to abomination, from faith to incomprehension which in a moment of bestial exasperation wouldstone the giant, and immediately afterward use the same bloody stones to raise up a monument to him” (Ricciotti,
The History of   Israel 
, 1:329).

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