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Discovery Magazine 7/1/2002

Do You Think it Would Have Been Possible to Prophesy in Medieval Times?

by  Digger Doug

Dear Aurie,

During Bible times, God spoke directly to His prophets and told them what would happen in the future. However, God said there would be a time when no one would be able to prophesy any­ more. In the book of Zechariah, He said there would be a time when the prophets would "depart from the land" (13:2). In the New Testament, in 1 Corinthians 13:8, the apostle Paul mentioned a time when prophecies "would fail" (meaning that no one would be able to prophesy). When would the prophets depart from the land and prophecies fail? The apostle Paul said it would happen "when that which is perfect has come" (1 Corinthians 13:10). When we turn to the book of James, we read that the law of liberty is perfect (1:25). The law of liberty James is talking about is the New Testament . Once the New Testament was completed (by A.D. 100), all prophecy would stop. There would be no way for Joan of Arc to prophesy in medieval times.

So, how do we explain Joan's correct prediction about the French? First, she had a fifty-fifty chance-only the French or English could be winning. If I said flipping a coin will land on heads, and it does, would that make me a prophet. No. Second, maybe Joan knew that the French were weaker than the English. If I predict that the Lakers will win the NBA championship, and they do, am I a prophet? Or could it be that I just knew they had a stronger team. Whatever reason Joan guessed correctly, it was not because she was a prophet.

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