What makes a prophet?

Aupmanyav

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How to interpret this? Well, in Tractate Avot we find -
Ben Zoma says: "Who is wise? The one who learns from every person.
Who is brave? The one who subdues his negative inclination.
Who is rich? The one who is appreciates what he has.
Who is honored? The one who gives honor to others."
^^ I can agree to this, since there is no mention of a God. :D

Krishna makes a much longer list, so long that most of the time I forget a few things. But again, worship of a God does not find a mention: "Fearlessness; purification of one’s existence; cultivation of spiritual knowledge; charity; self-control; performance of sacrifice; study of the Vedas; austerity; simplicity; nonviolence; truthfulness; freedom from anger; renunciation; tranquillity; aversion to faultfinding; compassion for all living entities; freedom from covetousness; gentleness; modesty; steady determination; vigor; forgiveness; fortitude; cleanliness; and freedom from envy and from the passion for honor – these transcendental qualities, O son of Bharata, belong to godly men endowed with divine nature." BG 16.1-3
 
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RJM

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I think there is a difference between Spiritual and natural law that can seem opposite, the Sermon on the Mount an example. Gurus and spiritual teachers explain spiritual law to their followers -- but that doesn't make them prophets.

Is the difference in gurus/teachers speaking mostly to spiritual seekers who come to them for wisdom, where prophets trumpet from the rooftops warning all to take notice?
 

Cino

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Thanks. I need to read Amos again. Is "if-then" not a future prediction? Jonah was upset because the people repented and got a reprieve. Muslims regard Job and Lot and Noah as Abrahamic prophets too, I believe?

Actually, Ezekiel was kind of wrong in his prophecy. Tyre was not destroyed by the Babylonians, as he foretold, and he had to backpedal a bit. I think later interpretations are that he was right because of the conquest of Tyre by Alexander. But that was centuries later.

In general, from reading the Biblical prophets, I don't get the sense that they were preoccupied with future events, rather, they were commenting on present events, often scathingly.

Even the later portions of Daniel seem to be about the Hellenistic / Roman occupations, heavily encoded for "those with ears to hear", there was a foreign occupying power after all whom you would not want to upset?

This is my interpretation, and I'm respectful of the many differing ones.

Edit: actually, I meant Ezekiel, not Amos. While Amos also prophesies the downfall of Tyre, Ezekiel was a bit overconfident and too specific, I feel.
 
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RJM

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the conquest of Tyre by Alexander. But that was centuries later.
A terrible business.

I'm not really up on the old prophets. The usual sense of 'prophetic' implies future prediction, or warning against future consequences of present activity. Usually in the Abrahamic religions?

In other traditions terms like seer or soothsayer are used?

But from this thread, and including @RabbiO 's comments, a better definition of a prophet could mean one on whom God's spirit rests?
 

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The nature of tribalism is constant conflict of warring clans and families, occasionally forming a common united front against a common outside enemy, and then splintering again into factions. Until a great unifying leader comes along, offering expanded territory and wealth via tribal cohesion ...
 

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But most spiritual leaders don't offer material wealth and power. Not as a first objective. Many of them decry attachment to the ''material world'
 

Cino

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With few exceptions, the biblical prohets were critics of the leadership, rather than leaders themselves. That's how I read it. Even Moses seems to have at least shared the leadership with Aaron, or even handed it over, when he had some idol smashing to do.

I wonder, was the end of the prophetic era due to the facts of the Babylonian captivity? The people had been warned of destruction for their breaking of the covenant, and the temple had been destroyed, but they were still around, even allowed to return to the promised land. They had not been destroyed, contrary to all the warnings by the prophets.
 

muhammad_isa

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With few exceptions, the biblical prohets were critics of the leadership, rather than leaders themselves. That's how I read it. Even Moses seems to have at least shared the leadership with Aaron, or even handed it over, when he had some idol smashing to do.

I wonder, was the end of the prophetic era due to the facts of the Babylonian captivity? The people had been warned of destruction for their breaking of the covenant, and the temple had been destroyed, but they were still around, even allowed to return to the promised land. They had not been destroyed, contrary to all the warnings by the prophets.
I don't read it like that at all.

What about John the Baptist, Jesus and Muhammad? [ peace be with them ]
 

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With few exceptions, the biblical prohets were critics of the leadership, rather than leaders themselves. That's how I read it. Even Moses seems to have at least shared the leadership with Aaron, or even handed it over, when he had some idol smashing to
Yes, they did not lead armies, but rather spoke truth to power? Moses was different?
What about John the Baptist, Jesus and Muhammad? [ peace be with them ]
Well, only Islam accepts all three as prophets, with Muhammad (pbuh) as the last and final.

But there are others too, of course: Bahaullah, Heile Selassie?
 

Ella S.

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There aren't really any prophets in Sethianism, at least not how I interpret the texts. There are various mystics who share their insights and visions after a lifetime of practice, though, and these figures are held in high esteem if not viewed as authoritative.
 
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