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The Reformation of ProphecyEarly Modern Interpretations of the Prophet & Old Testament Prophecy$
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G. Sujin Pak

Print publication date: 2018

Print ISBN-13: 9780190866921

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: June 2018

DOI: 10.1093/oso/9780190866921.001.0001

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Prophecy and the Priesthood of All Believers

Prophecy and the Priesthood of All Believers

(p.35) 1 Prophecy and the Priesthood of All Believers
The Reformation of Prophecy

G. Sujin Pak

Oxford University Press

Luther’s, Zwingli’s, Bucer’s, and Zell’s early uses of prophecy focused on buttressing their teachings of the priesthood of all believers, rejecting Roman Catholic distinctions between the spiritual and temporal estates, and challenging Roman Catholic “tyranny” over biblical interpretation. These Protestant reformers defined a true prophet as one who proclaims and interprets the Word of God alone; the prophet and prophecy were therefore significant tools for rejecting Roman Catholic authority—by spurning Roman Catholic conceptions of the priesthood and identifying Roman Catholic leaders as false prophets—and ultimately for asserting the prime authority of Scripture. In the 1520s lay pamphleteers, including several female pamphleteers, embraced Luther’s, Zwingli’s, Bucer’s, and Zell’s early conceptions of the prophet in order to defend their call to proclaim God’s Word, interpret Scripture, and rebuke wrong teaching.

Keywords:   priesthood of all believers, prophet, prophecy, Scripture, Luther, Zwingli, lay pamphleteers, Argula von Grumbach, Katharina Schütz Zell, Ursula Weyda

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