Prophet - Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words


[ 1,,G4396, prophetes ]
one who speaks forth or openly" (See PROPHECY, A), "a proclaimer of a divine message," denoted among the Greeks an interpreter of the oracles of the gods. In the Sept. it is the translation of the word roeh, "a seer;" 1 Samuel 9:9, indicating that the "prophet" was one who had immediate intercourse with God. It also translates the word nabhi, meaning "either one in whom the message from God springs forth" or "one to whom anything is secretly communicated." Hence, in general, "the prophet" was one upon whom the Spirit of God rested, Numbers 11:17-Numbers 11:29, one, to whom and through whom God speaks, Numbers 12:2; Amos 3:7-Amos 3:8. In the case of the OT prophets their messages were very largely the proclamation of the Divine purposes of salvation and glory to be accomplished in the future; the "prophesying" of the NT "prophets" was both a preaching of the Divine counsels of grace already accomplished and the foretelling of the purposes of God in the future.

In the NT the word is used
(a) of "the OT prophets," e.g., Matthew 5:12; Mark 6:15; Luke 4:27; John 8:52; Romans 11:3;
(b) of "prophets in general," e.g., Matthew 10:41; Matthew 21:46; Mark 6:4;
(c) of "John the Baptist," Matthew 21:26; Luke 1:76;
(d) of "prophets in the churches," e.g., Acts 13:1; Acts 15:32; Acts 21:10; 1 Corinthians 12:28-29; 1 Corinthians 14:29, 1 Corinthians 14:32, 1 Corinthians 14:37; Ephesians 2:20; Ephesians 3:5; Ephesians 4:11;
(e) of "Christ, as the aforepromised Prophet," e.g., John 1:21; John 6:14; John 7:40; Acts 3:22; Acts 7:37, or, without the article, and, without reference to the Old Testament, Mark 6:15, Luke 7:16; in Luke 24:19 it is used with aner, "a man;" John 4:19; John 9:17;
(f) of "two witnesses" yet to be raised up for special purposes, Revelation 11:10, Revelation 11:18;
(g) of "the Cretan poet Epimenides," Titus 1:12;
(h) by metonymy, of "the writings of prophets," e.g., Luke 24:27; Acts 8:28.

[ 2,,G5578, pseudoprophetes ]
"a false prophet," is used of such
(a) in OT times, Luke 6:26; 2 Peter 2:1;
(b) in the present period since Pentecost, Matthew 7:15; Matthew 24:11, Matthew 24:24; Mark 13:22; Acts 13:6; 1 John 4:1;
(c) with reference to a false "prophet" destined to arise as the supporter of the "Beast" at the close of this age, Revelation 16:13; Revelation 19:20; Revelation 20:10 (himself described as "another beast," Revelation 13:11).

Vine's Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words