4. RELI_1001_Prophecy (1).docx - RELI 1001 Prophecy History and Messianism Meaning in Justice Prophets 1 Two of the deeply held beliefs of Western

4. RELI_1001_Prophecy (1).docx - RELI 1001 Prophecy History...

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RELI 1001 Prophecy, History and Messianism Meaning in Justice: Prophets 1) Two of the deeply held beliefs of Western civilization are that: a) First: if a society is just, that will improve that chances for survival of that society b) Second: the well-functioning of the society as a whole must be the concern and responsibility of each member of that society 2) Prophets stood for justice 3) Literally, the prophet is derived from the Greek word prophetes= pro means “for” and phetes= “to speak” a) Thus in Greek, the word originally meant someone who spoke for someone else b) In addition, this is also the sense of the term nabi in Hebrew (and Arabic) 4) Specifically, a prophet, in the Biblical period, is anyone who speaks on God’s behalf 5) There were people who were the vehicles for God’s communications to humankind 3 Stages of Prophecy 1) Prophetic guilds a) No prophet identified individually b) Engage in collective ecstatic dance c) Spiritual intoxication overcome by the Spirit d) No ethical teaching involved e) The Good is intuitive through the Spirit 2) The Pre-Writing Prophets a) Ecstatic individuals emerge from the Guilds i) Elijah, Nathan, Elisha, and others b) No written works (no books from Hebrew Bible) c) Two main differences from the Guilds i) Could receive divine while alone ii) Divine spoke thru them to demand justice d) Story of Naboth and King Ahab (Elijah) e) Holy Revolt against injustice 3) The Great Writing Prophets a) Amos, Micah, Jeremiah, Isaiah, and others b) Ecstasy of an aspect to their experience c) Ethics of the pre-writing prophets also d) The prophets however call attention to social problems as a whole, not just individual justices e) At this time 2 threats to social health: i) Moral delinquency (inequity, exploitation) ii) Other empires (Assyria, Babylonian, Phoenicians) Prophecy 1) The Jewish rulers saw prophecy as a warning from God to either create a just society or be destroyed (danger from Assyria, Babylonia, Phoenicia and Syria) 2) The Prophetic Principle a) Social stability = political stability b) Injustice will not endure: God has high standards and will not put up with exploitation, corruption, mediocrity
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