Monthly Archives: January 2011

Apostles and prophets, part 2

“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts.”
-1 Corinthians 12:27-31 [53-57 A.D.]

“Therefore, take the first portions of the products of the winepress and threshing floor — cattle and sheep, too — and give them to the prophets, because the prophets are your chief priests. If you do not have any prophets, though, give to the poor.”
-The Instruction of the Twelve Apostles [70-110 A.D.]

(Note: this is the second part of a two-part post. The first part is here.)

A couple of days ago, I explored what “apostles” are. My conclusion: “apostles” are missionaries, have the highest of all callings, and are still around today. (And we should treat them better than we do!)

Today, I’d like to look at what “prophets” are. Are they just glorified weathermen, or is there something deeper going on? As an example, let’s take a look at Zechariah’s prophecy, when his son John was being named (it’s long; forgive me): Continue reading

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Apostles and prophets

“Now you are the body of Christ and individually members of it. And God has appointed in the church first apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, helping, administrating, and various kinds of tongues. Are all apostles? Are all prophets? Are all teachers? Do all work miracles? Do all possess gifts of healing? Do all speak with tongues? Do all interpret? But earnestly desire the higher gifts.”
-1 Corinthians 12:27-31 [53-57 A.D.]

“You should receive every apostle who comes to you the same way you would receive the Lord.”
-The Instruction of the Twelve Apostles [70-110 A.D.]

It seems to me that, for some time now, parts of the church might have misunderstood what apostles really are. When we in the Protestant tradition hear “apostle,” we automatically think “the Twelve,” lumping the Apostle Paul into that number (Matthias doesn’t count, apparently). And, even though we pay lip service to the Twelve, only six actually really count — Peter, James and John the sons of Zebedee, Matthew, sometimes Andrew, with Thomas being the one everyone likes to hate on (but when’s the last time Bartholomew, James son of Alphaeus, Simon the Zealot, Philip, or Thaddeus have been held up in sermons as exemplars of piety?). Continue reading

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We are made new

“There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus.”
-The Apostle Paul

Over the past year or so, I’ve noticed more and more a theme in Romans 7 and 8 that people don’t seem to pick up on. They place a hard division between the latter half of Romans 7 (the woe-is-me, “I do what I do not want to do” passage) and Romans 8 (the “no condemnation” passage). However, this reading misses a word key to understanding the whole passage—the “therefore” of Romans 8:1. Reading Romans 8 in light of Romans 7 (and vice versa) allows us to see several important points. Continue reading

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Interpretation, Then, and Now

Sometimes, as I’m driving along, I think about what would happen if, in 2000 years, historians tried to interpret our conversations the same way theologians go about interpreting (and, moreover, debating their interpretations of) the Bible. It struck me again tonight.

My wife (Abby), my brother-in-law (Nate), and I were driving to my sister-in-law (Miriam) and her husband’s (Joe) house. Abby called Joe, my brother-in-law(-in-law), to ask if they had any leftover food from our New Year’s party at their house. The conversation was as follows: Continue reading

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