Charles Whisnant: The Purpose of Prophecy

AN INTRODUCTION TO THE PROPHETIC LITERATURE OF THE OLD TESTAMENT

Charles e Whisnant, Researcher, Teacher

 

We are in our study of the book of Isaiah. As I approached chapter two, I asked the question: “Just How Do You Interpret Prophecy of Isaiah’s?

This lead me to a research study of prophecy. I realized that I had little teaching on this subject. But I am never too old to learn.

OUTLINE OR NOTES FROM THE LESSON 

INTRODUCTION

 

Interpreting the prophetic word is truly exciting! We are heirs of the apostles, who in turn lead us back to the prophets. In Jesus Christ all Christians are heirs of the prophetic-apostolic tradition and are called upon to understand the oracles of God, spoken through his prophets and the apostles. In Jesus Christ we, too, become involved in understanding what God’s Spirit has said concerning the salvation that is to come (1 Peter 1:10).

The heritage of the prophets and apostles gives us a perspective on the past, present, and future acts of God in Christ. The prophets and apostles received God’s revelation and were faithful in proclaiming it, regardless of the consequences. By the Spirit of God, they committed his revelation to written form. The Holy Spirit still bears witness that their words are truly the Word of God and are profitable for instruction, reproof, and comfort, as the Spirit empowers his Word and applies it to our lives (2 Tim. 3:16 – 17; see 1 Cor. 2:10 – 16). Which has been our Adult Bible Study lessons since January 2012 and now July 2012.

Regrettably, the interpretation of the prophetic heritage has been affected by division, fragmentation, expressions of distrust, and misunderstanding. Disagreements arising from exegetical, theological, or philosophical differences have often been expressed with rigidity and lack of love, and certain approaches to interpretation have too often exalted eschatology as the test of orthodoxy.

SEEING THE WHOLE REVELATION OF GOD BOTH IN THE OLD AND NEW ARE NECESSARY IN ONE’S INTERPRETATION OF THE PROPHETIC WORD

An exploration of the prophetic word requires an openness to the whole revelation of God in both the Old Testament and the New Testament, to the cultural context of the prophets, to the prophetic language, metaphors, and forms of speech, as well as to the canonical importance of the prophetic message.


 

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