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HTS Theological Studies

On-line version ISSN 2072-8050

Abstract

VILLIERS, Gerda de. The origin of prophetism in the Ancient Near East. Herv. teol. stud. [online]. 2010, vol.66, n.1, pp. 1-6. ISSN 2072-8050.

This article aimed to give an overview of the early attestations to prophecy in the Ancient Near East (ANE) in order to stimulate reflection on what could be understood by 'prophetism'. The most extant sources for prophetic oracles in the ANE were uncovered at the royal archives of Mari and Nineveh, therefore some evidence of these sites has been indicated. Consequently the distinction between 'inductive' and 'non-inductive' forms of divination was also discussed. Furthermore it was questioned whether the critique against ANE-prophecy as 'Heilsprophetie' ('salvation') as opposed to the 'Unheilsprophetie' ('doom') of Old Testament can still be upheld. Finally some notes of caution were raised with regard to the careless appropriation of the term 'prophetism' in the 21st century.

Keywords : Prophesy; religion; witness; revelation; divination.

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