Tuesday, March 25, 2008

The Prophets

Isaiah the Prophet in Hebrew Scriptures was depicted on the fresco at the Sistine Chapel ceiling by Michelangelo. Isaiah (Jesaja), 1509, MichelangeloIn religion, a prophet is a person who has directly encountered God, of whose intentions he can then speak. Those who are not prophets must then commit themselves to the divinely inspired word as an act of faith. This can be problematic, especially as there are false prophets. When the prophet is held to be genuine, new religions may be adopted, based on the prophet's teachings, and on their interpretation.

A prophet often operates through some means of divination or channeling. The process of receiving a message from God (or the gods) is known either as prophecy or as revelation. (In this sense, the terms are synonyms.)

The Prophets

Books of the Old Testament referred to as "the prophets":

Former Prophets

  • Joshua or Yehoshua [יהושע]
  • Judges or Shoftim [שופטים]
  • Samuel or Shmu'el [שמואל]
  • Kings or Melakhim [מלכים]

    Latter Prophets

    • Isaiah or Yeshayahu [ישעיהו]
    • Jeremiah or Yirmiyahu [ירמיהו]
    • Lamentations [מגילת איכה]
    • Ezekiel or Yehezq'el [יחזקאל]
    • Daniel

    Major Prophets

    A major prophet is a book in the Major Prophets section of the Christian Old Testament in the Bible. The term "major prophet" is typically a Christian term as the Jewish Hebrew Bible does not group these books together and does not even include the deuterocanonical/apocryphal Book of Baruch. The closest analogous grouping in the Hebrew Bible is the "Prophets" or Nevi'im. The Christian major prophets in order of occurrence in the Christian Bible are:
    • Isaiah
    • Jeremiah
    • Lamentations, also known as the Lamentations of Jeremiah
    • Ezekiel
    • Daniel (listed with the Ketuvim in the Hebrew Bible).

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