“Why would we need prophecy today?” someone asks. “We have a completed Bible.”
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The question reflects a common misunderstanding that the purpose of the ordinary Christian grace-gift (charisma) of prophecy is the production of Scripture. Yet that was not even its purpose in the first-century church. Canonical Scripture serves the whole People of God, concerning the entire scope of faith and godliness, until the End of the world. Christian prophecy, on the other hand, usually serves a local church, concerning some particular circumstances, for an immediate and limited time.
Look with me at the prophetic ministry reported in the Book of Acts. Agabus informs the Antioch church of an impending famine, motivating a charitable contribution for needy believers in Judea (Acts 11:27-30). Antioch prophets receive a word to dismiss their top leadership for a special evangelistic assignment that would eventually have worldwide consequence (Acts 11:1-3). Judas and Silas “encouraged and strengthened” the Gentile churches with a prophetic message after the Jerusalem Conference (Acts 15:32-33).
We encounter the dozen Ephesian converts who prophesy (Acts 19:6), and the Tyrean disciples who urged Paul not to go to Jerusalem (Acts 21:3-4). Philip had four virgin daughters who were prophetesses (Acts 21:9). Agabus reappears to warn Jerusalem-bound Paul of perils awaiting him there (Acts 21:10-11). None of these prophets and prophesses was an Apostle, and not one of them wrote a single word of canonical Scripture. The prophetic gift is not normally related to the writing of Scripture.