John the Baptist an Old Testament Prophet?


John the Baptist had a unique message for a unique time, but he still seems to have fulfilled the typical Old Testament prophetic office. Could you comment on this?


Yes, there are significant similarities between John the Baptist and the Old Testament prophets. The Old Testament prophets whose writings we have in the Bible, and many of those prophets mentioned as heroes in the Bible (e.g. Elijah, Elisha, Abraham), were primarily authoritative covenant emissaries (chosen by God himself in those cases where we have that information). John seems to have fit this description as well (Luke 1:13-17,76-77).

After Christ's ascension, the only ones who fit this description were the apostles. The other New Testament prophets, in my estimation, were more akin to those Old Testament prophets who were not authoritative covenant emissaries, those who had experiences like Saul's (1 Sam. 10:10ff.; cf. 1 Sam. 19:20ff.).

Answer by Ra McLaughlin

Ra McLaughlin is Vice President of Finance and Administration at Third Millennium Ministries.