The prophet and biblical prophecy challenged Roman Catholic priestly authority and asserted the priesthood of all believers and then later functioned to clarify and strengthen Protestant clerical identity and authority. The prophet and biblical prophecy were also powerful tools for promoting distinctly Protestant visions of worship and its reform. The prophet and biblical prophecy ultimately enabled Protestants to establish Scripture as the prime authority; this goal relied heavily upon profound affirmations of Scripture’s perspicuity and the work of the Holy Spirit. Luther, Zwingli, and Calvin tied the proper uses of prophecy tightly to Scripture as a final, sufficient revelation and thereby domesticated it for the purposes of establishing an ordered ministry under the authority of Scripture. At the heart of confessional disputes over the right interpretation of Old Testament prophecy was a disagreement concerning its perspicuous content.
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