Biblical Prophetism by James E. Smith
A Review by Nathan Battey
The purpose of this book is to focus on the office of the prophet and all things related to it. Topics covered in this book include:
1- The Prophet
- The prophet and his relationship with God.
- The role and purpose of the office.
- The prophet test: distinguishing the true from the false.
2- Types of Prophecies
- How to interpret prophecies: Guidelines and hermeneutics (methods of interpretation).
- Examination of chronological prophecies (days, years, ext.).
- Oracles against foreign nations (were some left unfulfilled?).
- The prominence of Egypt in Biblical prophecy.
3- Christ as a Prophet
Though we recognize Christ as a Prophet, Priest, and King, we often fail to consider the prophetic aspect of His nature.
-The role of Jesus as a prophet.
- An examination of Jesus’ prophecy regarding the destruction of Jerusalem in Matthew 24.
4- The New Testament and Prophecy
- The fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy in Christ and the church.
- The role of the Old Testament in bringing people to Christ and preparing them for His kingdom.
- The role of New Testament prophets, the need for the office, the ending of prophetic abilities, and the spiritual influence and authority of the prophets in the church (Eph. 2:20).
1- Smith does an excellent job of examining the relationship between a prophet and God, and how Satan constantly tried to undermine it. He has a great section dealing with false prophets, witches, and sorcerers in which he shows why God hated them, why they had to be destroyed, and why we as Christians should flee any form of them.
2- He shows the power of inspiration and explains the role of men in proclaiming God’s revelation. He causes his reader to appreciate the prophets more and realize the difficulties and responsibilities associated with being called to be a prophet.
3- The greatest strength of this work is showing the power of fulfilled prophecy as a proof of the inspiration of both prophets and the Bible. This point is brought to a climax as he relates the topic to Jesus’ teaching in Matthew 24, where Jesus vividly depicted the future destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70. Smith’s commentary on this section of Scripture is some of the best I have ever read. He does an excellent job of distinguishing between the part of Jesus’ teaching that deals with the destruction of Jerusalem and the part that deals with the destruction of the world. This section of writing is the crowning jewel of an already outstanding piece of Biblical scholarship.
My General Opinion (5/5*****)
I highly recommend this book to anyone interested in the nature or prophecy, the process of revelation, and the inspiration of the Bible. Smith brings excellent scholarship to the table while educating his reader, and making reading a pleasure.