1. The gift of prophecy is listed as a bona fide spiritual
gift at 1 Cor. 12:10, 28 and Rom. 12:8 (Eph. 4:11)
2. The word is prophāteia and contains two
ideas in its MEANING.
A. The preposition, pro, means before, and refers either
to a time or a location idea.
B. The verb is phāmi and means to speak.
C. It thus refers to someone who -
1. speaks BEFORE as in authority over and in front of
2. OR, speaks BEFORE as in teaching about some event before
D. It is the same word that translates the Hebrew word
for prophet, but the two are entirely different.
3. The word prophāteia also contains two ideas
in its FUNCTION.
A. The activity of speaking forth or teaching God's word,
which can be done by any believer. 1Chr. 25:2-3; 1 Cor. 11:4-5
B. The actual spiritual gift, which in turn has two ideas.
1. In the Old Testament, there was the OFFICE of prophet.
The OT prophet is never described as possessing a GIFT.
2. In the New Testament, there is the spiritual GIFT of
3. Spiritual gifts were not provided until after the resurrection
and ascension of Jesus. Ephesians 4:7-11
4. The gift of prophecy is a pre-canon revelation gift
providing both divine viewpoint dogma and guidance for the early church.
A. Dogma: 1 Cor. 14:3
B. Guidance: Acts 11:27-28; 21:10-11, Agabus
5. The prophecy gift was a foundational gift that functioned
in association with the apostles in order to provide the church with an
absolute standard for both doctrine and policy. Eph. 2:20; 3:5
6. It is listed as a bona fide spiritual gift at Romans
12:8 and 1 Cor. 12:8-10.
7. Once the doctrine of God (the doctrine conforming to
good worship, 1 Tim. 6:3) is provided verbally and ultimately in written
form, the revelation gifts, including prophecy, are
no longer functional. 1 Cor. 13:8
A. All doctrine is in written form.
B. All guidance is based on application of that written dogma.
8. This gift as an authority communication gift, was not
provided to women.
1 Cor. 14:34-35; 1 Tim. 2:12
A. CF. Acts 21:9, the verb prophāteuo is a
present active participle and should be translated, "who prophesied,"
rather than who were prophets. The emphasis here is on TEACHING forth rather
than the fore-telling idea.
Women can "prophesy" that is, TEACH, as long as it is not in
an authority function over a man. Notice that when PROPHETIC information
was provided, Agabus was employed rather than Philip's daughters (Acts
These women had a TEACHING function but not the GIFT of prophecy.
B. In the Old Testament, women had limited teaching authority.
Ex. 15:20; Jud. 4:4; 2 Kings 22:14-20; Neh. 6:14; Luke 2:36-38; Prov. 1:8
C. During the church age, women who teach are to minister
over other women and children. Titus 2:3-5
D. This does not mean that a woman cannot teach Bible
Truth to an adult man.
It means that she cannot function as a teaching authority in a formal assembly
of the local church.