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Prophecy and the Spirit

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Chapter Summary

Hermas' description of the inspirational experience of the prophet, succinct though it may be, is a precious document in the history of Christian prophecy before the Montanist crisis. The inspiration of the prophet is presented as an act, not of the Spirit but of the angel of the prophetic Spirit. His appearance in the description is considered by Dibelius and Opitz as a complication of the event. There is one point of difference between the angel of the prophetic Spirit in Hermas and the angel of the Holy Spirit in the Ascension of Isaiah. The former is the steady companion of the prophet, the latter is the Spirit when not in contact with the prophets, the Spirit in heaven. The substructure of Hermas' concept of prophecy is that a man must have the divine Spirit in him if the prophetic Spirit is to speak through him.

Keywords: Christian prophecy; holy Spirit; prophetic Spirit



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