Friday, February 11, 2011


What was the gift of prophecy first mentioned in 1 Corinthians 12:10? This was forthtelling. The only ones foretelling were the apostles, and one time, Agabus. All of the great Bible scholars point this out.

The BKC says: "The focal problem in the matter of the use and abuse of gifts seemed to be the Corinthians fascination with tongues, a gift which apparently lent itself more readily to perversion from something intended 'for the common good' (12:7) to something employed for personal enhancement (14:4)."

Prophecy was meant to edify or build up the church, Nicoll notes. He adds, "Prophecy employed the mind, and had a deeper seat; it was to give the hidden things of God. Hence the prophet is regularly distinguished from the teacher."

Mitchell notes "Prophecy (12:10) is the communication of special revelation from God. It could have been a foretelling, as in Acts 11:28, or simply forthtelling. Most of the New Testament epistles fall into the category of foretelling. … After the canon of the New Testament was completed, the special needs for this gift" ended.

This is what I have been teaching for decades. I did not know that Mitchell said the same thing! Prophecy in 1 Corinthians 12-14 was forthtelling or having the gift of being a "super teacher," giving information that was not revealed for the edifying of the church. The apostles could foretell, that is, give future prophecy but that is not in view here in the gift of prophecy in 1 Corinthians. --Dr. Mal Couch (2/11)