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Prediction and Power: Prophets and Prophecy in the Old Testament and Zimbabwean Christianity

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AbstractThe prominence of prophets such as TB Joshua of Nigeria and Immanuel Makandiwa of Zimbabwe has triggered debates on the nature of prophets and prophecy. Through a socio-historical and reception historical analysis, this article contends that there are two major characteristics of prophets, that is, the ability to make accurate predictions and the ability to confound nature and normalcy by manifesting unrivalled power through healing and other activities. These characteristics are observable in the activities of Zimbabwean prophets both pioneers such as Masowe, Marange, Mutendi and contemporary ones like Makandiwa. It is also noted that the narratives of Old Testament prophets, especially Elijah and Elisha, are used by contemporary prophets to confirm that their own ‘signs and deeds’ are in line with those of the great prophets of God. The extraordinary abilities of these prophets are seen as proof of their being divinely chosen, hence the multitude of followers who are in need of their ‘signs and wonders’.

Affiliations: 1: New Testament Sciences, University of Bamberg Germany, Email:, URL:


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