The Prophets Were Preachers

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“The great preachers of the Old Testament times were the Prophets. You are no doubt all aware that the New Testament minister corresponds not at all to the Old Testament priest, but in important respects to the Old Testament prophet. Alas, that the great majority of the Christian world so early lost sight of this fact, and that many are still so slow, even among Protestants, to perceive it clearly. The New Testament minister is not a priest, a cleric—except in so far as all Christians are a priesthood, a clergy, viz., the Lord’s heritage—he is a teacher in God’s name, even as the Old Testament prophet was a teacher, with the peculiar advantage of being inspired. You also know that it was by no means the main business of the prophets to predict the future—as people are now apt to suppose from our modern use of the world prophet—but that they spoke of the past and the present, often much more than of the future. The prophets reminded the people of their sins, exhorted them to repent, and instructed them in religious and moral, in social and personal duties; and when they predicted the future, it was almost always in the way of warning or encouragement, as a motive to forsake their sins and serve God. The predictive element naturally attracts the chief attention of Bible readers today, and yet in reality, as things stood then, it was almost always subordinate, and often comparatively diminutive. The prophets were preachers.”

John Broadus

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