Saturday, May 24, 2008

The Prophetic Nature of NT Epistles

According to E. Earle Ellis (The Making of the New Testament Documents, pp. 44-45):

"Traditions in the apostolic letters show similar marks of composition by persons with prophetic gifts, as might be suggested by the high status given there to the prophet and prophecy. They include, in particular, exegetical traditions and hymns. The kind of christological/eschatological exposition that appears in the Gospel traditions recurs in the epistles and is, in the words of E. Cothenet, part of the apostles' prophetic function. The same is true of the revelation of divine wisdom, and of mysteries, which is an important aspect of the exposition, and is ascribed in Eph 3:4f to Christ's 'apostles and prophets.' Examples of such exegetical prophetic traditions are the legei kurios quotations, certain pistos ho logos sayings and the midrashim in 1 Cor 2:6-16 and probably in Jas 2:20-26."

1 comment:

Geoff Hudson said...

They were originally entirely Jewish documents written with the intention of making all the Lord's people prophets as in words attributed to Moses: "I wish that all the Lord's people were prophets and that the Lord would put his Spirit on them." (Num.11.29). This was what the prophet was all about and what his successors continued until the Flavians came along.