Prophecy

A prophecy is a message that is claimed by a prophet to have been communicated to them by a god. Such messages typically involve inspiration, interpretation, or revelation of divine will concerning the prophet's social world and events to come (compare divine knowledge). All known ancient cultures had prophets who delivered prophecies.

Etymology

The English noun "prophecy", in the sense of "function of a prophet" appeared from about 1225, from Old French profecie (12th century), and from prophetia, Greek propheteia "gift of interpreting the will of God", from Greek prophetes (see prophet). The related meaning, "thing spoken or written by a prophet", dates from c. 1300, while the verb "to prophesy" is recorded by 1377.[1]

Definitions

The revolution of 1831. As prophecyed by that learned astrologer General Ikey Wether-Bridge LCCN2002715343
The revolution of 1831. As prophecied by that learned astrologer General Ikey Wether-Bridge
  • Maimonides suggested that "prophecy is, in truth and reality, an emanation sent forth by Divine Being through the medium of the Active Intellect, in the first instance to man's rational faculty, and then to his imaginative faculty".[2]
  • The views of Maimonides closely relate to the definition by Al-Fârâbî, who developed the theory of prophecy in Islam.[3]
  • Much of the activity of Old Testament prophets involved conditional warnings rather than immutable futures.[4] A summary of a standard Old Testament prophetic formula might run: Repent of sin X and turn to righteousness, otherwise consequence Y will occur.
  • Saint Paul emphasizes edification, exhortation and comfort in a definition of prophesying.[5]
  • The Catholic Encyclopedia defines a Christian conception of prophecy as "understood in its strict sense, it means the foreknowledge of future events, though it may sometimes apply to past events of which there is no memory, and to present hidden things which cannot be known by the natural light of reason".[6]
  • According to Western esotericist Rosemary Guiley, clairvoyance has been used as an adjunct to "divination, prophecy, and magic".[7]

Modern (Western esoteric) research in prophecy is a pseudoscience. In general, a diviner's foretelling or a prophetic prediction of the future does not adhere to the scientific method, therefore it is no object of science.[8]

From a skeptical point of view, a Latin maxim exists: "prophecy written after the fact" (vaticinium ex eventu).[9] The Jewish Torah already deals with the topic of the false prophet (Deuteronomy 13:2-6, 18:20-22).[10]

Bahá'í Faith

In 1863, Bahá'u'lláh, the founder of the Bahá'í Faith, claimed to have been the promised messianic figure of all previous religions, and a Manifestation of God,[11] a type of prophet in the Bahá'í writings that serves as intermediary between the divine and humanity and who speaks with the voice of a god.[12] Bahá'u'lláh claimed that, while being imprisoned in the Siyah-Chal in Iran, he underwent a series of mystical experiences including having a vision of the Maid of Heaven who told him of his divine mission, and the promise of divine assistance;[13] In Bahá'í belief, the Maid of Heaven is a representation of the divine.[14]

Buddhism

The Haedong Kosung-jon (Biographies of High Monks) records that King Beopheung of Silla had desired to promulgate Buddhism as the state religion. However, officials in his court opposed him. In the fourteenth year of his reign, Beopheung's "Grand Secretary", Ichadon, devised a strategy to overcome court opposition. Ichadon schemed with the king, convincing him to make a proclamation granting Buddhism official state sanction using the royal seal. Ichadon told the king to deny having made such a proclamation when the opposing officials received it and demanded an explanation. Instead, Ichadon would confess and accept the punishment of execution, for what would quickly be seen as a forgery. Ichadon prophesied to the king that at his execution a wonderful miracle would convince the opposing court faction of Buddhism's power. Ichadon's scheme went as planned, and the opposing officials took the bait. When Ichadon was executed on the 15th day of the 9th month in 527, his prophecy was fulfilled; the earth shook, the sun was darkened, beautiful flowers rained from the sky, his severed head flew to the sacred Geumgang mountains, and milk instead of blood sprayed 100 feet in the air from his beheaded corpse. The omen was accepted by the opposing court officials as a manifestation of heaven's approval, and Buddhism was made the state religion in 527.[15]

China

In ancient Chinese, prophetic texts are known as Chen (谶). The most famous Chinese prophecy is the Tui bei tu (推背圖).

Christianity

The New Testament refers to prophecy as one of the spiritual gifts given by the indwelling Holy Spirit[Rom 12:6]. From this, many Christians believe that the gift of prophecy is the supernatural ability to receive and convey a message from their God. The purpose of the message may be to "edify, exhort and comfort" the members of the Church. In this context, not all prophecies contain predictions about the future. The Apostle Paul teaches in First Corinthians that prophecy is for the benefit of the whole Church and not just of the individual exercising the gift.[1 Cor. 14:22]

According to Walter Brueggemann, the task of prophetic (Christian) ministry is to nurture, nourish and evoke a consciousness and perception alternative to the consciousness and perception of the dominant culture.[16] A recognized form of Christian prophecy is the "prophetic drama" which Frederick Dillistone describes as a "metaphorical conjunction between present situations and future events".[17]

Later Christianity

In his Dialogue with Trypho, Justin Martyr argued that prophets were no longer among Israel but were in the Church. The Shepherd of Hermas, written around the mid-2nd century, describes the way prophecy was being used within the church of that time. Irenaeus confirms the existence of such spiritual gifts in his Against Heresies. Although some modern commentators claim that Montanus was rejected because he claimed to be a prophet, a careful examination of history shows that the gift of prophecy was still acknowledged during the time of Montanus, and that he was controversial because of the manner in which he prophesied and the doctrines he propagated.[18]

Prophecy and other spiritual gifts were somewhat rarely acknowledged throughout church history and there are few examples of the prophetic and certain other gifts until the Scottish Covenanters like Prophet Peden and John Wishart. From 1904 to 1906, the Azusa Street Revival occurred in Los Angeles, California and is sometimes considered the birthplace of Pentecostalism. This revival is well known for the "speaking in tongues" that occurred there. Some participants of the Azusa Street Revival are claimed to have prophesied. Pentecostals believe prophecy and certain other gifts are once again being given to Christians. The Charismatic Movement also accepts spiritual gifts like speaking in tongues and prophecy.

Since 1972, the neo-Pentecostal Church of God Ministry of Jesus Christ International has expressed a belief in prophecy. The church claims this gift is manifested by one person (the prophesier) laying their hands on another person, who receives an individual message said by the prophesier. Prophesiers are believed to be used by the Holy Ghost as instruments through whom their God expresses his promises, advice and commandments. The church claims people receive messages about their future, in the form of promises given by their God and expected to be fulfilled by divine action.[19]

In 1994, the Apostolic-Prophetic Movement came on the scene, largely due to the influence of the Toronto, Brownsville and Kansas City revivals. Along with the Charismatic Movement's speaking in tongues and prophecy, the Prophetic Movement distinguished itself from past movements with physical twitching, moaning, sightings of gold dust, "glory clouds" and gems that (allegedly) fell from heaven.[20]

Latter Day Saint movement

The Latter Day Saint movement maintains that its first prophet, Joseph Smith, was visited by God and Jesus Christ in 1820. The Latter Day Saints further claims that God communicated directly with Joseph Smith on many subsequent occasions, and that following the death of Joseph Smith God has continued to speak through subsequent prophets. Joseph Smith claims to have been led by an angel to a large hill in upstate New York, where he was shown an ancient manuscript engraved on plates of gold metal. Joseph Smith claimed to have translated this manuscript into modern English under divine inspiration by the gift and power of God, and the publication of this translation are known as the Book of Mormon.

Following Smith's murder, there was a succession crisis that resulted in a great schism. The majority of Latter-day Saints believing Brigham Young to be the next prophet and following him out to Utah, while a minority returned to Missouri with Emma Smith, believing Joseph Smith Junior's son, Joseph Smith III, to be the next legitimate prophet (forming the Reorganized Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, now the Community of Christ). Since even before the death of Joseph Smith in 1844, there have been numerous separatist Latter Day Saint sects that have splintered from the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. To this day, there are an unknown number of organizations within the Latter Day Saint Movement, each with their own proposed prophet.

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints (LDS Church) is the largest Latter Day Saint body. The current Prophet/President of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is Russell M. Nelson. The church has, since Joseph Smith's death on June 27, 1844, held a belief that the president of their church is also a literal prophet of God, and the only true prophet on the earth. The church also maintains that further revelations claimed to have been given through Joseph Smith are published in the Doctrine and Covenants, one of the Standard Works. Additional revelations and prophecies outside the Standard Works, such as Joseph Smith's "White Horse Prophecy", concerning a great and final war in the United States before the Second Coming of Jesus Christ, can be found in other church published works.

Islam

The Arabic term for prophecy nubuwwa (Arabic: نُبُوَّة‎) occurs five times in the Quran and stems from the term for prophets, nabī (Arabic: نَبِي‎; pl. anbiyāʼ from nabā "tidings, announcement") who are lawbringers that Muslims believe were sent by God to every person, bringing God's message in a language they can understand.[21][22] But there is also the term rasūl (Arabic: رسول‎ "messenger, apostle") to classify those who bring a divine revelation (Arabic: رسالةrisālah "message") via an angel.[21][23] Knowledge of the Islamic prophets is one of the six articles of the Islamic faith,[24] and specifically mentioned in the Quran.[25] Along with Muhammad, many of the prophets in Judaism (such as Noah, Abraham, Moses, Aaron, Elijah, etc.) and prophets of Christianity (Adam, Zechariah the priest, John the Baptist, Jesus Christ) are mentioned by name in the Quran.[21]

In the sense of predicting events, the Quran contains verses believed to have predicted many events years before they happened and that such prophecies are proof of the divine origin of the Qur'an. The Qur'an itself states "For every announcement there is a term, and ye will come to know." [Quran 6:67] Muslims also recognize the validity of some prophecies in other sacred texts like in the Bible; however, they believe that, unlike the Qur'an, some parts of the Bible have been corrupted over the years, and as a result, not all of the prophecies and verses in the Bible are accurate.[26]

Judaism

Saul 1878
David and Saul, detail from an 1878 oil painting, Nationalmuseum, Stockholm

The Hebrew term for prophet, Navi, literally means "spokesperson"; he speaks to the people as a mouthpiece of their God, and to their god on behalf of the people. "The name prophet, from the Greek meaning "forespeaker" (πρὸ being used in the original local sense), is an equivalent of the Hebrew נבוא, which signifies properly a delegate or mouthpiece of another." A major theme of the Nevi'im is social justice.[27]

According to Judaism, authentic Nevuah (Heb.: נבואה, "Prophecy") got withdrawn from the world after the destruction of the first Jerusalem Temple.[27] Malachi is acknowledged to have been the last authentic prophet if one accepts the opinion that Nechemyah died in Babylon before 9th Tevet 3448 (313 BCE).[28]

The Torah contains laws concerning the false prophet (Deuteronomy 13:2-6, 18:20-22). Prophets in Islam like Lot, for example, are false prophets according to Jewish standards.

In the Torah, prophecy often consisted of a conditioned warning by their God of the consequences should the society, specific communities, or their leaders not adhere to Torah's instructions in the time contemporary with the prophet's life. Prophecies sometimes included conditioned promises of blessing for obeying their god, and returning to behaviors and laws as written in the Torah. Conditioned warning prophecies feature in all Jewish works of the Tanakh.

Notably Maimonides, philosophically suggested there once were many levels of prophecy, from the highest such as those experienced by Moses, to the lowest where the individuals were able to apprehend the Divine Will, but not respond or even describe this experience to others, citing in example, Shem, Eber and most notably, Noah, who, in biblical narrative, does not issue prophetic declarations.[29]

Maimonides, in his philosophical work The Guide for the Perplexed, outlines twelve modes of prophecy[30] from lesser to greater degree of clarity:

  1. Inspired actions
  2. Inspired words
  3. Allegorical dream revelations
  4. Auditory dream revelations
  5. Audiovisual dream revelations/human speaker
  6. Audiovisual dream revelations/angelic speaker
  7. Audiovisual dream revelations/Divine speaker
  8. Allegorical waking vision
  9. Auditory waking revelation
  10. Audiovisual waking revelation/human speaker
  11. Audiovisual waking revelation/angelic speaker
  12. Audiovisual waking revelation/Divine speaker (that refers implicitly to Moses)

The Tanakh contains prophecies from various Hebrew prophets (55 in total) who communicated messages from God to the nation of Israel, and later the population of Judea and elsewhere. Experience of prophecy in the Torah and the rest of Tanakh was not restricted to Jews. Nor was the prophetic experience restricted to the Hebrew language.

Native American prophecy

There exists a problem in verifying most Native American prophecy, in that they remain primarily an oral tradition, and thus there is no way to cite references of where writings have been committed to paper. In their system, the best reference is an Elder, who acts as a repository of the accumulated wisdom of their tradition.

In another type of example, it is recorded that there are three Dogrib prophets who had claimed to have been divinely inspired to bring the message of Christianity's God to their people.[31] This prophecy among the Dogrib involves elements such as dances and trance-like states.[32]

Nostradamus

Esoteric prophecy has been claimed for, but not by, Michel de Nostredame, popularly referred to as Nostradamus, who claimed to be a converted Christian. It is known that he suffered several tragedies in his life, and was persecuted to some degree for his cryptic esoteric writings about the future, reportedly derived through a use of a crystal ball. Nostradamus was a French apothecary and reputed seer who published collections of foreknowledge of future events. He is best known for his book Les Propheties ("The Prophecies"), the first edition of which appeared in 1555. Since its publication, Nostradamus has attracted an esoteric following that, along with the popularistic press, credits him with foreseeing world events. His esoteric cryptic foreseeings have in some cases been assimilated to the results of applying the alleged Bible code, as well as to other purported pseudo-prophetic works.

Most reliable academic sources maintain that the associations made between world events and Nostradamus's quatrains are largely the result of misinterpretations or mistranslations (sometimes deliberate) or else are so tenuous as to render them useless as evidence of any genuine predictive power. Moreover, none of the sources listed offers any evidence that anyone has ever interpreted any of Nostradamus's pseudo-prophetic works specifically enough to allow a clear identification of any event in advance.[33]

Skepticism

According to skeptics, many apparently fulfilled prophecies can be explained as coincidences (possibly aided by the prophecy's own vagueness), or that some prophecies were actually invented after the fact to match the circumstances of a past event ("postdiction").[8][34][35]

Bill Whitcomb in The Magician's Companion observes,

One point to remember is that the probability of an event changes as soon as a prophecy (or divination) exists. . . . The accuracy or outcome of any prophecy is altered by the desires and attachments of the seer and those who hear the prophecy.[36]

Many prophets make a large number of prophecies. This makes the chances of at least one prophecy being correct much higher by sheer weight of numbers.[37]

Psychology

The phenomenon of prophecy is not well understood in psychology research literature. Psychiatrist and neurologist Arthur Deikman describes the phenomenon as an "intuitive knowing, a type of perception that bypasses the usual sensory channels and rational intellect."[38]

"(P)rophecy can be likened to a bridge between the individual 'mystical self' and the communal 'mystical body'," writes religious sociologist Margaret Poloma.[39] Prophecy seems to involve "the free association that occurred through the workings of the right brain."[40]

Psychologist Julian Jaynes proposed that this is a temporary accessing of the bicameral mind; that is, a temporary separating of functions, such that the authoritarian part of the mind seems to literally be speaking to the person as if a separate (and external) voice. Jaynes posits that the gods heard as voices in the head were and are organizations of the central nervous system. God speaking through man, according to Jaynes, is a more recent vestige of God speaking to man; the product of a more integrated higher self. When the bicameral mind speaks, there is no introspection. We simply experience the Lord telling us what to do. In earlier times, posits Jaynes, there was additionally a visual component, now lost.[41]

Child development and consciousness author Joseph Chilton Pearce remarked that revelation typically appears in symbolic form and "in a single flash of insight."[42] He used the metaphor of lightning striking and suggests that the revelation is "a result of a buildup of resonant potential."[43] Pearce compared it to the earth asking a question and the sky answering it. Focus, he said, feeds into "a unified field of like resonance (and becomes) capable of attracting and receiving the field's answer when it does form."[44]

Some cite aspects of cognitive psychology such as pattern forming and attention to the formation of prophecy in modern-day society as well as the declining influence of religion in daily life.[45]

See also

References

  1. ^ "Prophecy" in the Online Etymology Dictionary
  2. ^ Stan Tenen - Meru Foundation. "Meru Foundation Research: Mark R. Sunwall, Rambam Prophecy".
  3. ^ The influence of Islamic Philosophy on Maimonides's thought, Diana Steigerwald Religious Studies, California State University (Long Beach) Archived 2008-01-18 at the Wayback Machine
  4. ^ For example: Lemke, Werner E. (1987). "Life in the Present and Hope for the Future". In Mays, James Luther; Achtemeier, Paul J. Interpreting the Prophets. Philadelphia: Fortress Press. p. 202. ISBN 9781451410471. Retrieved 2018-11-11. The Prophet as Watchman [...] the watchman's responsibility was limited or circumscribed. He only had to issue the warning. It was the people's own responsibility to decide how to respond to it. In similar fashion the Lord has appointed Ezekiel to act as watchman over Israel, just as he had appointed other watchmen over his people in the past (cf. Jer. 6:17).
  5. ^ Buck, Charles (1823) [1802]. A Theological Dictionary, Containing Definitions of All Religious Terms: A Comprehensive View of Every Article in the System of Divinity : an Impartial Count of All the Principal Denominations which Have Subsisted in the Religious World, from the Birth of Christ to the Present Day : Together with an Accurate Statement of the Most Remarkable Transactions and Events Recorded in Ecclesiastical History. Philadelphia: Edwin T. Scott. p. 491. Retrieved 2018-11-11. PROPHECY [...] In the Old and New Testaments, the word is not always confined to the foretelling of future events. [...] whoever speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort, is by St. Paul called a prophet, 1 Cor. xiv. 3.
  6. ^ "CATHOLIC ENCYCLOPEDIA: Prophecy".
  7. ^ Compare: Guiley, Rosemary (2006). "clairvoyance". The Encyclopedia of Magic and Alchemy. Infobase Publishing. p. 59. ISBN 9781438130002. Retrieved 2015-01-10. Clairvoyance has been a valued skill in divination, prophecy, and magic since ancient times.
  8. ^ a b Hines, Terence. (2003). Pseudoscience and the Paranormal. Prometheus Books. pp. 66-73. ISBN 1-57392-979-4
  9. ^ "FindArticles.com - CBSi". Archived from the original on 2012-07-08.
  10. ^ Schechter, Solomon; Mendelsohn, S. "PROPHET, FALSE". Jewish Encyclopedia. JewishEncyclopedia.com. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  11. ^ Smith, Peter (2000). "Bahá'u'lláh – Theological Status". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. pp. 78–79. ISBN 1-85168-184-1.
  12. ^ Hatcher, W.S.; Martin, J.D. (1998). The Bahá'í Faith: The Emerging Global Religion. San Francisco: Harper & Row. pp. 116–123. ISBN 0-87743-264-3.
  13. ^ Smith, Peter (2000). "Bahá'u'lláh – Life". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. p. 73. ISBN 1-85168-184-1.
  14. ^ Smith, Peter (2000). "Maid of Heaven". A concise encyclopedia of the Bahá'í Faith. Oxford: Oneworld Publications. p. 230. ISBN 1-85168-184-1.
  15. ^ Korea: a religious history, James Huntley Grayson, p. 34
  16. ^ Walter Brueggemann, The Prophetic Imagination, (Minneapolis, MN: Fortress Press, 1978), 13.
  17. ^ F.W.Dillstone; Christianity and Symbolism; London 1955, p275; referenced in 'The function of prophetic drama' in "The place is too small for us": the Israelite prophets in recent scholarship, by R. P. Gordon, 1995 Eisenbrauns, (cf Galatians 4:24)
  18. ^ Eusebius of Caesarea, Church History, Book V, Chapter 16 & 18 Montanus...became beside himself, and being suddenly in a sort of frenzy and ecstasy, he raved, and began to babble and utter strange things, prophesying in a manner contrary to the constant custom of the Church handed down by tradition from the beginning.... His actions and his teaching show who this new teacher is. This is he who taught the dissolution of marriage; who made laws for fasting; who named Pepuza and Tymion, small towns in Phrygia, Jerusalem, wishing to gather people to them from all directions; who appointed collectors of money; who contrived the receiving of gifts under the name of offerings; who provided salaries for those who preached his doctrine, that its teaching might prevail through gluttony.
  19. ^ History of the Church of God Ministry of Jesus Christ International (official page)
  20. ^ Maxwell, Joe (1994). "PLUS: Seminary Women 'Rewrite Their Stories", Christianity Today, January 5, 2012.
  21. ^ a b c Campo, Juan Eduardo (2009). Encyclopedia of Islam. Infobase Publishing. pp. 559–560. ISBN 9780816054541. Retrieved 22 June 2015.
  22. ^ Quran 30:47
  23. ^ Shaatri, A. I. (2007). Nayl al Rajaa' bisharh' Safinat an'najaa'. Dar Al Minhaj.
  24. ^ "BBC - Religions - Islam: Basic articles of faith". Archived from the original on 13 August 2018. Retrieved 2018-10-05.
  25. ^ Quran 2:285
  26. ^ The Corruption of the Bible – A Fact Attested by the Quran" The True Call Archived 2012-09-04 at the Wayback Machine
  27. ^ a b Hirsch, Emil G.; McCurdy, J. Frederic; Jacobs, Joseph. "PROPHETS AND PROPHECY". Jewish Encyclopedia. JewishEncyclopedia.com. Retrieved 26 April 2016.
  28. ^ Gaon, Vilna. "Babylonian Talmud". San.11a, Yom.9a/Yuch.1.14/Kuz.3.39,65,67/Yuch.1/Mag.Av.O.C.580.6.
  29. ^ The Guide for the Perplexed /Part II/Chapter XXXIX
  30. ^ The Guide for the Perplexed (Friedlander)/Part II/Chapters#CHAPTER XLV
  31. ^ p.27, Helm
  32. ^ "Dogrib prophecy".
  33. ^ Lemesurier, Peter, The Unknown Nostradamus, 2003
  34. ^ Pickover, Clifford A. (2001). Dreaming the Future: The Fantastic Story of Prediction. Prometheus Books. pp. 363-388. ISBN 1-57392-895-X
  35. ^ Forshaw, Mark. (2012). Critical Thinking for Psychology. Wiley. pp. 46-48. ISBN 978-1-4051-9118-0
  36. ^ Whitcomb, Bill. (2004). The Magician's Companion: A Practical & Encyclopedic Guide to Magical & Religious Symbolism. Llewellyn Publications. pp. 530-531. ISBN 0-87542-868-1
  37. ^ Skeptic report, Prophesies for dummies by Allan Glenn
  38. ^ Deikman, A. J. (1982). The Observing self: Mysticism and psychotherapy. Boston: Beacon Press. p. 21. ISBN 0-8070-2950-5.
  39. ^ Poloma, Margaret (2003). Main street mystics: The Toronto blessing & reviving Pentecostalism. Walnut Creek, CA: Alta Mira Press. p. 115. ISBN 0-7591-0353-4.
  40. ^ Poloma, M. M. (2003). Main street mystics: The Toronto blessing & reviving Pentecostalism. Walnut Creek, CA: Alta Mira Press. p. 126. ISBN 0-7591-0353-4.
  41. ^ Jaynes, J. (1976). Main street mystics: The origins of consciousness in the breakdown of the bicameral mind. Boston: Houghton Mifflin Company. p. 74.
  42. ^ Pearce, J. C. (2002–2004). The Biology of Transcendence: A blueprint of the human spirit. Rochester, VT: Inner Traditions International. p. 191. ISBN 0-89281-990-1.
  43. ^ Pearce, J. C. The Biology of Transcendence. p. 192.
  44. ^ Pearce, J. C. The Biology of Transcendence. pp. 194 & 196.
  45. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-04-25. Retrieved 2011-04-19.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)

Further reading

  • Adamson, Peter. (2014). Prophecy. In Muhammad in History, Thought, and Culture: An Encyclopedia of the Prophet of God (2 vols.), Edited by C. Fitzpatrick and A. Walker, Santa Barbara, ABC-CLIO. ISBN 1610691776
  • Alcalay, Reuben. 1996. The Complete Hebrew – English dictionary, Hemed Books, New York. ISBN 978-965-448-179-3
  • David Edward Aune. 1963. Prophecy in Early Christianity and the Ancient Mediterranean World. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Eerdmans. ISBN 0-8028-3584-8.
  • Jürgen Beyer. 2002. 'Prophezeiungen', Enzyklopädie des Märchens: Handwörterbuch zur historischen und vergleichenden Erzählforschung [N.B.: In English renders as "Encyclopedia of the fairy tale: Handy dictionary for historical and comparative tale research"]. Berlin & New York: Walter de Gruyter. In vol. 10, on col. 1419–1432.
  • Stacey Campbell. 2008. Ecstatic Prophecy. Grand Rapids, Mich.: Chosen Books/Baker Publishing Group. ISBN 978-0-8007-9449-1.
  • Marcus Tullius Cicero. 1997. De divinatione. Trans. Arthur Stanley Pease. Darmstadt: Wissenschaflliche Buchgesellschaft.
  • Leon Festinger, Henry W. Riecken, Stanley Schachter. (1956). When Prophecy Fails: A Social and Psychological Study of a Modern Group that Predicted the Destruction of the World. University of Minnesota Press. ISBN 1-59147-727-1
  • Christopher Forbes. 1997. Prophecy and Inspired Speech: in Early Christianity and Its Hellenistic Environment. Peabody, Mass.: Hendrickson. ISBN 1-56563-269-9.
  • Clifford S. Hill. 1991. Prophecy, Past and Present: an Exploration of the Prophetic Ministry in the Bible and the Church today. Ann Arbor, Mich.: Vine. ISBN 0-8028-0635-X.
  • June Helm. (1994). Prophecy and Power among the Dogrib Indians. University of Nebraska Press.
  • Clifford A. Pickover. (2001). Dreaming the Future: The Fantastic Story of Prediction. Prometheus Books. ISBN 1-57392-895-X
  • James Randi. (1993). The Mask of Nostradamus: Prophecies of the World's Famous Seer. Prometheus Books. ISBN 0-87975-830-9
  • H. H. Rowley. 1956. Prophecy and Religion in Ancient China and Israel. New York: Harper & Brothers. vi, 154 p.
  • Jim Thompson. 2008. Prophecy Today: a Further Word from God?: Does God-Given Prophecy Continue in Today's Church, or Doesn't It?. (Evangelical Press), ISBN 978-0-85234-673-0
  • Thomas George Tucker. 1985. Etymological Dictionary of Latin. Ares Publishers. ISBN 978-0-89005-172-6

External links

2012 phenomenon

The 2012 phenomenon was a range of eschatological beliefs that cataclysmic or otherwise transformative events would occur on or around 21 December 2012. This date was regarded as the end-date of a 5,126-year-long cycle in the Mesoamerican Long Count calendar, and as such, festivities to commemorate the date took place on 21 December 2012 in the countries that were part of the Maya civilization (Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador), with main events at Chichén Itzá in Mexico, and Tikal in Guatemala.Various astronomical alignments and numerological formulae were proposed as pertaining to this date. A New Age interpretation held that the date marked the start of a period during which Earth and its inhabitants would undergo a positive physical or spiritual transformation, and that 21 December 2012 would mark the beginning of a new era. Others suggested that the date marked the end of the world or a similar catastrophe. Scenarios suggested for the end of the world included the arrival of the next solar maximum, an interaction between Earth and the supermassive black hole at the center of the galaxy, or Earth's collision with a mythical planet called Nibiru.

Scholars from various disciplines quickly dismissed predictions of concomitant cataclysmic events as they arose. Professional Mayanist scholars stated that no extant classic Maya accounts forecast impending doom, and that the idea that the Long Count calendar ends in 2012 misrepresented Maya history and culture, while astronomers rejected the various proposed doomsday scenarios as pseudoscience, easily refuted by elementary astronomical observations.

Apocalyptic literature

Apocalyptic literature is a genre of prophetical writing that developed in post-Exilic Jewish culture and was popular among millennialist early Christians.

"Apocalypse" (ἀποκάλυψις) is a Greek word meaning "revelation", "an unveiling or unfolding of things not previously known and which could not be known apart from the unveiling". As a genre, apocalyptic literature details the authors' visions of the end times as revealed by an angel or other heavenly messenger. The apocalyptic literature of Judaism and Christianity embraces a considerable period, from the centuries following the Babylonian exile down to the close of the Middle Ages.

Bible prophecy

Bible prophecy or biblical prophecy comprises the passages of the Bible that supposedly reflect communications from God to humans through prophets. Jews, Christians and Muslims usually consider the biblical prophets to have received revelations from God.

Prophetic passages—inspirations, interpretations, admonitions or predictions—appear widely distributed throughout Biblical narratives. Some future-looking prophecies in the Bible are conditional, with the conditions either implicitly assumed or explicitly stated.

In general, believers in biblical prophecy engage in exegesis and hermeneutics of scriptures which they believe contain descriptions of global politics, natural disasters, the future of the nation of Israel, the coming of a Messiah and of a Messianic Kingdom—as well as the ultimate destiny of humankind.

Blood moon prophecy

The blood moon prophecies are a series of prophecies in the Bible preached by Christian preachers John Hagee and Mark Biltz, which state that a tetrad (a series of four consecutive lunar eclipses—coinciding on Jewish holidays—with six full moons in between, and no intervening partial lunar eclipses) which began with the April 2014 lunar eclipse is the beginning of the end times as described in the Bible in the Book of Joel, Acts 2:20, and Revelation 6:12. The tetrad ended with the lunar eclipse on September 27–28, 2015.

Christian eschatology

Christian eschatology is a major branch of study within Christian theology dealing with the "last things." Eschatology, from two Greek words meaning "last" (ἔσχατος) and "study" (-λογία), is the study of 'end things', whether the end of an individual life, the end of the age, the end of the world or the nature of the Kingdom of God. Broadly speaking, Christian eschatology is the study concerned with the ultimate destiny of the individual soul and the entire created order, based primarily upon biblical texts within the Old and New Testament.

Christian eschatology looks to study and discuss matters such as death and the afterlife, Heaven and Hell, the second coming of Jesus, the resurrection of the dead, the rapture, the tribulation, millennialism, the end of the world, the Last Judgment, and the New Heaven and New Earth in the world to come.

Eschatological passages are found in many places in the Bible, both in the Old and the New Testaments. There are also many extrabiblical examples of eschatological prophecies, as well as church traditions.

Eschatology

Eschatology (listen) is a part of theology concerned with the final events of history, or the ultimate destiny of humanity. This concept is commonly referred to as the "end of the world" or "end times".The word arises from the Greek ἔσχατος eschatos meaning "last" and -logy meaning "the study of", and first appeared in English around 1844. The Oxford English Dictionary defines eschatology as "the part of theology concerned with death, judgment, and the final destiny of the soul and of humankind".In the context of mysticism, the term refers metaphorically to the end of ordinary reality and to reunion with the Divine. Many religions treat eschatology as a future event prophesied in sacred texts or in folklore.

History is often divided into "ages" (aeons), which are time periods each with certain commonalities. One age comes to an end and a new age or world to come, where different realities are present, begins. When such transitions from one age to another are the subject of eschatological discussion, the phrase, "end of the world", is replaced by "end of the age", "end of an era", or "end of life as we know it". Much apocalyptic fiction does not deal with the "end of time" but rather with the end of a certain period, the end of life as it is now, and the beginning of a new period. It is usually a crisis that brings an end to current reality and ushers in a new way of living, thinking, or being. This crisis may take the form of the intervention of a deity in history, a war, a change in the environment, or the reaching of a new level of consciousness.Most modern eschatology and apocalypticism, both religious and secular, involve the violent disruption or destruction of the world; whereas Christian and Jewish eschatologies view the end times as the consummation or perfection of God's creation of the world, albeit with violent overtures, such as the Great Tribulation. For example, according to some ancient Hebrew worldviews, reality unfolds along a linear path (or rather, a spiral path, with cyclical components that nonetheless have a linear trajectory); the world began with God and is ultimately headed toward God's final goal for creation, the world to come.Eschatologies vary as to their degree of optimism or pessimism about the future. In some eschatologies, conditions are better for some and worse for others, e.g. "heaven and hell". They also vary as to time frames. Groups claiming imminent eschatology are also referred to as Doomsday cults.

False prophet

In religion, a false prophet is one who falsely claims the gift of prophecy or divine inspiration, or who uses that gift for evil ends. Often, someone who is considered a "true prophet" by some people is simultaneously considered a "false prophet" by others, even within the same religion as the "prophet" in question. The term is sometimes applied outside religion to describe someone who fervently promotes a theory that the speaker thinks is false.

Great Disappointment

The Great Disappointment in the Millerite movement was the reaction that followed Baptist preacher William Miller's proclamations that Jesus Christ would return to the Earth by 1844, what he called the Advent. His study of the Daniel 8 prophecy during the Second Great Awakening led him to the conclusion that Daniel's "cleansing of the sanctuary" was cleansing of the world from sin when Christ would come, and he and many others prepared, but October 22, 1844, came and they were disappointed.These events paved the way for the Adventists who formed the Seventh-day Adventist Church. They contended that what had happened on October 22 was not Jesus' return, as Miller had thought, but the start of Jesus' final work of atonement, the cleansing in the heavenly sanctuary, leading up to the Second Coming.

Marduk

Marduk (cuneiform: 𒀭𒀫𒌓 dAMAR.UTU; Sumerian: amar utu.k "calf of the sun; solar calf"; Greek Μαρδοχαῖος, Mardochaios; Hebrew: מְרֹדַךְ, Modern: Mərōdaḵ, Tiberian: Merōḏaḵ) was a late-generation god from ancient Mesopotamia and patron deity of the city of Babylon. When Babylon became the political center of the Euphrates valley in the time of Hammurabi (18th century BC), he slowly started to rise to the position of the head of the Babylonian pantheon, a position he fully acquired by the second half of the second millennium BC. In the city of Babylon, Marduk was worshiped in the temple Esagila. Marduk is associated with the divine weapon Imhullu. "Marduk" is the Babylonian form of his name.The name Marduk was probably pronounced Marutuk. The etymology of the name Marduk is conjectured as derived from amar-Utu ("immortal son of Utu") or ("bull calf of the sun god Utu"). The origin of Marduk's name may reflect an earlier genealogy, or have had cultural ties to the ancient city of Sippar (whose god was Utu, the sun god), dating back to the third millennium BC.By the Hammurabi period, Marduk had become astrologically associated with the planet Jupiter.

Messiah

In Abrahamic religions, a messiah or messias (Hebrew: מָשִׁיחַ‎, translit. māšîaḥ; Greek: μεσσίας, translit. messías, Arabic: مسيح‎, translit. masîḥ) is a saviour or liberator of a group of people.

The concepts of moshiach, messianism, and of a Messianic Age originated in Judaism, and in the Hebrew Bible; a moshiach (messiah) is a king or High Priest traditionally anointed with holy anointing oil. Messiahs were not exclusively Jewish: the Book of Isaiah refers to Cyrus the Great, king of the Achaemenid Empire, as a messiah for his decree to rebuild the Jerusalem Temple.

Ha mashiach (המשיח, 'the Messiah', 'the anointed one'), often referred to as melekh mashiach (מלך המשיח 'King Messiah'), is to be a human leader, physically descended from the paternal Davidic line through King David and King Solomon. He is thought to accomplish predetermined things in only one future arrival, including the unification of the tribes of Israel, the gathering of all Jews to Eretz Israel, the rebuilding of the Temple in Jerusalem, the ushering in of a Messianic Age of global universal peace, and the annunciation of the world to come.In Christianity, the Messiah is called the Christ, from Greek: χριστός, translit. khristós, translating the Hebrew word of the same meaning. The concept of the Messiah in Christianity originated from the Messiah in Judaism. However, unlike the concept of the Messiah in Judaism, the Messiah in Christianity is the Son of God. Christ became the accepted Christian designation and title of Jesus of Nazareth, because Christians believe that the messianic prophecies in the Old Testament were fulfilled in his mission, death, and resurrection. These specifically include the prophecies of him being descended from the Davidic line, and being declared King of the Jews which happened on the day of his crucifixion.

They believe that Christ will fulfill the rest of the messianic prophecies, specifically that he will usher in a Messianic Age and the world to come at his Second Coming.

In Islam, Jesus was a prophet and the Masîḥ (مسيح), the Messiah sent to the Israelites, and he will return to Earth at the end of times, along with the Mahdi, and defeat al-Masih ad-Dajjal, the false Messiah.

In Ahmadiyya theology, these prophecies concerning the Mahdi and the second coming of Jesus have been fulfilled in Mirza Ghulam Ahmad (1835–1908), the founder of the Ahmadiyya Movement, and the terms 'Messiah' and 'Mahdi' are synonyms for one and the same person.In Chabad messianism, Yosef Yitzchak Schneersohn (r. 1920–1950), sixth Rebbe (spiritual leader) of Chabad Lubavitch, and Menachem Mendel Schneerson (1902–1994), seventh Rebbe of Chabad, are Messiah claimants. Resembling early Christianity, the deceased Schneerson is believed to be the Messiah among some adherents of the Chabad movement; his second coming is believed to be imminent.

Montanism

Montanism , known by its adherents as the New Prophecy, was an early Christian movement of the late 2nd century, later referred to by the name of its founder, Montanus .

Montanism held similar views about the basic tenets of Christian doctrine to those of the wider Christian Church, but it was labelled a heresy for its belief in new prophetic revelations. The prophetic movement called for a reliance on the spontaneity of the Holy Spirit and a more conservative personal ethic. Parallels have been drawn between Montanism and modern-day movements such as Pentecostalism and the charismatic movement.It originated in Phrygia, a province of Asia Minor, and flourished throughout the region, leading to the movement being referred to elsewhere as "Cataphrygian" (meaning it was "from Phrygia") or simply as "Phrygian". It spread rapidly to other regions in the Roman Empire before Christianity was generally tolerated or legal. It persisted in some isolated places into the 6th century.

Old Testament messianic prophecies quoted in the New Testament

The New Testament frequently cites Jewish scripture to support the claim of the Early Christians that Jesus of Nazareth is the Messiah, and to support faith in Jesus as the Christ and his imminent expected Second Coming. The majority of these quotations and references are taken from the Book of Isaiah, but they range over the entire corpus of Jewish writings. People of the Jewish faith do not regard any of these as having been fulfilled by Jesus, and in some cases do not regard them as messianic prophecies at all. These either were not prophecies (the verses make no claim of predicting anything) or the verses do not explicitly refer to the Messiah.

Prediction

A prediction (Latin præ-, "before," and dicere, "to say"), or forecast, is a statement about a future event. A prediction is often, but not always, based upon experience or knowledge. There is no universal agreement about the exact difference between the two terms; different authors and disciplines ascribe different connotations. (Contrast with estimation.)

Although future events are necessarily uncertain, so guaranteed accurate information about the future is in many cases impossible, prediction can be useful to assist in making plans about possible developments; Howard H. Stevenson writes that prediction in business "... is at least two things: Important and hard."

Prophet

In religion, a prophet is an individual who is regarded as being in contact with a divine being and is said to speak on that entity's behalf, serving as an intermediary with humanity by delivering messages or teachings from the supernatural source to other people. The message that the prophet conveys is called a prophecy.

Claims of prophethood have existed in many cultures throughout history, including Judaism, Christianity, Islam, in ancient Greek religion, Zoroastrianism, Manichaeism, and many others.

Self-fulfilling prophecy

A self-fulfilling prophecy is a prediction that directly or indirectly causes itself to become true, by the very terms of the prophecy itself, due to positive feedback between belief and behavior. A positive or negative prophecy, strongly held belief, or delusion—declared as truth when it is actually false—may sufficiently influence people so that their reactions ultimately fulfill the once-false prophecy.

Self-fulfilling prophecy are effects in behavioral confirmation effect, in which behavior, influenced by expectations, causes those expectations to come true. It is complementary to the self-defeating prophecy. Examples of such prophecies can be found in literature as far back as ancient Greece and ancient India, it is 20th-century sociologist Robert K. Merton who is credited with coining the expression "self-fulfilling prophecy" and formalizing its structure and consequences. In his 1948 article Self-Fulfilling Prophecy, Merton defines it in the following terms:The self-fulfilling prophecy is, in the beginning, a false definition of the situation evoking a new behavior which makes the original false conception come true. This specious validity of the self-fulfilling prophecy perpetuates a reign of error. For the prophet will cite the actual course of events as proof that he was right from the very beginning.

The Prophecy of Berchán

The Prophecy of Berchán is a relatively long historical poem written in the Middle Irish language. The text is preserved in the Royal Irish Academy as MS 679 (23/G/4), with a few early modern copies. It is prophecy made in the Early Middle Ages.

Voice of Prophecy

The Voice of Prophecy, founded in 1929 by H.M.S. Richards, Sr., is a Seventh-day Adventist religious radio ministry headquartered in Loveland, Colorado. Initially airing in 1929 on a single radio station in Los Angeles the Voice of Prophecy has since grown to numerous stations throughout the United States and Canada. It was one of the first religious programs in the United States to broadcast nationally. Under the leadership of Shawn and Jean Boonstra, the ministry has now expanded into additional forms of media, including the weekly Disclosure broadcast and Discovery Mountain radio adventure series for kids. Additional projects include humanitarian efforts in countries such as India and Myanmar.

Völuspá

Völuspá (Old Norse Vǫluspá or Vǫluspǫ́, Prophecy of the Völva (Seeress); reconstructed Old Norse [ˈwɔlʊˌspɒː], Modern Icelandic [ˈvœːlʏˌspauː]) is the first and best known poem of the Poetic Edda. It tells the story of the creation of the world and its coming end, related to the audience by a völva addressing Odin. It is one of the most important primary sources for the study of Norse mythology. Henry Adam Bellows proposed a 10th-century dating and authorship by a pagan Icelander with knowledge of Christianity. He also assumes the early hearers would have been very familiar with the "story" of the poem and not in need of an explanation.The poem is preserved whole in the Codex Regius and Hauksbók manuscripts while parts of it are quoted in the Prose Edda. It consists of approximately 60 fornyrðislag stanzas.

Warriors (novel series)

Warriors is a series of novels published by HarperCollins by authors Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, and Tui Sutherland, with the plot developed by editor Victoria Holmes, who collectively use the pseudonym Erin Hunter. The series follows the adventures of four, but later five, clans of wild cats—ThunderClan, ShadowClan, WindClan, RiverClan, and SkyClan, who were not introduced into the territories until A Vision of Shadows —in their forest and lake homes. They look up to StarClan, the spirits of their Warrior ancestors, who guide the four clans. They also follow the warrior code, a set of rules established in order to keep the clans as civil factions.

There are currently six sub-series, each containing six books, and a seventh sub-series has already been announced. The first, Warriors (later re-titled as Warriors: The Prophecies Begin), was published from 2003 to 2004. Warriors: The New Prophecy, published from 2005 to 2006, follows the first sub-series, chronicling the Clans as they move to a new home. The third story arc, Warriors: Power of Three, was published from 2007 to 2009. The fourth sub-series, Warriors: Omen of the Stars, was published from 2009 to 2012 and continued where the third story arc left off. The fifth sub-series Warriors: Dawn of the Clans, was published from 2013 to 2015. The sub-series acts as a prequel series, detailing the formation of the Clans. The sixth and most recent sub-series, Warriors: A Vision of Shadows, had its final book released on November 6, 2018, completing the "A Vision of Shadows" series. The first book of the sixth series, The Apprentice's Quest, was released on March 15, 2016, and the second book, Thunder and Shadow, was released on September 6, 2016. Chronologically, Warriors: A Vision of Shadows follows Warriors: Omen of the Stars, and Bramblestar's Storm. The seventh sub-series, Warriors: The Broken Code, has been announced. The first book in the seventh series, Lost Stars was released on April 9, 2019.

Other books have been released in addition to the main series, including eleven lengthier stand-alone "Super Edition" novels; a few other books that were published as e-book novellas, which were also published in five print compilations, with three stories each: Warriors: Tales from the Clans, Warriors: The Untold Stories, Warriors: Shadows of the Clans, Warriors: Legends of the Clans, and Warriors: Path of a Warrior. Six guides and several volumes of original English-language manga, produced as a collaboration between HarperCollins and TOKYOPOP, have been published as well. Manga published after TOKYOPOP's shutdown is published by HarperCollins on its own. The series has been translated into several languages, and there is a website featuring games, promotional videos, quizzes, and news.

Major themes in the series are adventure, forbidden love, the concept of nature vs. nurture, the reactions of different faiths meeting each other, and characters being a mix of good and bad. The authors draw inspiration from several natural locations and other authors such as J. R. R. Tolkien, J. K. Rowling, and William Shakespeare.

Warriors has received mostly positive reviews, but it has also been criticised for being confusing due to its large number of characters. Critics have compared it to the Redwall series, though one reviewer commented that the series is less elegantly written. Although nominated for several awards, Warriors has yet to receive any major literary prizes. The series has reached the New York Times Bestseller List and has found popularity in many countries, including Trinidad, Germany and China.

On October 20, 2016, Vicky Holmes and Kate Cary, two of the Erin Hunters, announced that Alibaba Pictures had acquired the film rights to the series.

Key concepts
Measurement and
standards
Clocks
  • Religion
  • Mythology
Philosophy of time
Human experience
and use of time
Time in
Related topics
Revelations
Miracles
Discernment
Popular piety
Shrines

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