Вы находитесь на странице: 1из 34

Bibliotheca Sacra / October-December 1988 The Cessation of the Sign Gifts -Thomas R.

Edgar Professor of New Testament Literature and Exegesis Capital Bible Seminary, Lanham, Maryland Referring to the charismatic movement Hollenweger states that "in the not too distant future there will be more Christians belonging to this type of Christianity than to the Anglican community. They will number almost as many as all other Protestants together." He feels that the numerical and perhaps the spiritual center of Christianity will shift to "Indigenous Non-white" or "Third World Pentecostal" churches. The validity of such a prevalent force is an issue that cannot be ignored. The Essential Question: From God or Not from God? As with any other doctrinal issue it is important to know the truth or the error of the "charismatic" position. This is not a purely doctrinal matter, since in the charismatic movement in all its various forms, such as Pentecostalism, neo-Pentecostalism, "power evangelism," and the "signs and wonders" movement, emphasis is placed on phenomena and subjective experiences. These experiences, which transcend doctrinal considerations and doctrinal boundaries, are the raison d'etre of the movement. They are not merely the daily outworking Page 372 of one's doctrine as distinct from his doctrinal position, but are usually crisis events that allegedly go beyond normal, traditional Christian experience. These so-called "spiritual" experiences are either from God or not from God. There can be no neutral or partially true position. Either they are biblically true or they are false experiences. If they are biblically false then the issue is much more serious than merely another view of the Christian life, since the charismatic movement involves a spiritual experience that attempts to be in direct contact with supernatural forces. Whether the charismatics are correct can only be determined from the Scriptures and other relevant facts. By the very nature of the issue, the "gifts," such as tongues, healings, and signs and wonders, so prevalent in today's charismatic movement, are either from God or not from God. There can be no middle ground. Evidence Contrary to the Validity of the Phenomena Several factors give evidence that the phenomena of the charismatic movement are not the gifts and activities of the Holy Spirit in the New Testament. On the other hand charismatic proponents have given no evidence, other than their assumption, that these are the same phenomena. That their numbers are growing, that the followers are enthusiastic, and that there are alleged miracles are not evidence that the phenomena are from the Holy Spirit, since all these occur in other religions. To argue that the New Testament gifts could occur today or that no verse rules out such a possibility is not enough; it must also be shown that the modern charismatic "gifts" are the same as in the New Testament. The proponents of the charismatic movement have been unsuccessful in proving either the first (the possibility of the gifts today) or the second (that these are the same phenomena). Are all phenomena automatically from the Holy Spirit simply because someone makes such an assertion, unless a verse can be found that directly states they are not? It is not enough merely to assert that charismatic

phenomena are New Testament phenomena. There must be evidence that they are the same. The Evidence Of History If the miraculous gifts of the New Testament age had continued in the church, one would expect an unbroken line of occurrences from apostolic times to the present. If they are of God, why should such miracles be absent for centuries? The entire controversy exists because the miraculous gifts of the New Testament age did cease and did not occur for almost 1,900 years of church history and certainly have not continued in an unbroken line. Questions about their presence today as well as differing opinions, Page 373 even among charismatics, regarding the nature of tongues, prophecy, and certain other gifts are due to the fact that they ceased. Chrysostom, a fourth-century theologian, testified that they had ceased so long before his time that no one was certain of their characteristics. History contradicts the charismatics. Though some have attempted to prove that tongues and other miraculous gifts have occurred in the postapostolic history of the church, the very paucity and sporadic nature of alleged occurrences is evidence against this claim. Referring to alleged instances of tongues-speaking, Hinson, a church historian, sums up the situation this way: "The first sixteen centuries of its history were lean ones indeed. . . . if the first five centuries were lean the next were starvation years for the practice in Western Christendom and doubtful ones in Eastern Christendom." After a few alleged instances in the second century there is a gap of almost 1,000 years before a few more occur. Obviously it would not have been difficult to produce evidence for these gifts during the apostolic age. Why then is there such a dearth of evidence if the gifts continued throughout church history? The alleged instances are even more rare if restricted to genuine believers, and if hearsay evidence is omitted. If instances of the gift of healing rather than supposed answers to prayer are considered, the alleged instances all but vanish. That these miraculous workings ceased in the past can hardly be refuted, and this is recognized by many charismatics. Dayton feels that many charismatics actually prefer to grant that certain gifts ceased, since they regard today's phenomena as a latter-day pouring out of the Spirit. Explanations are unrealistic. It is one thing for a doctrine such as justification by faith to be temporarily lost due to man's frailty. It is another thing entirely for miraculous signs and wonders to be missing. Those at Pentecost were not expecting to speak as they did. Page 374 In Acts no tongues speaker was previously aware of the existence of the gift; yet they spoke. They could hardly have had faith in their ability to perform miracles or to speak in tongues, since they were unaware of such gifts. They did not obtain or lose the ability because of their belief or lack of belief in the charismata. If God gave these gifts during the history of the church, they would have occurred regardless of man's frailty. To argue that the gifts faded away in the postapostolic church because of a failure to believe in miracles evades the facts of history and has no biblical support. First Corinthians 12-14 implies that the early church was only too inclined

toward such gifts rather than against them. In almost every religion men have been inclined toward the miraculous rather than toward rejecting obvious miracles. And yet some argue that miracles ceased or nearly so in the early church--an era when belief in the supernatural was rampant and when the signs and wonders actually occurred--because of disbelief in miracles! Yet it is claimed that in the most rationalistic of ages, when no miracles were occurring, 19- and 20th-century Christians believed to the extent that the gifts reoccurred, and reoccurred on the scale of today's claims. Since modern Christians are so receptive to signs and wonders and modern man is so willing to believe the charismatic claims, on what basis can one assume that the early Christians would refuse to do so? Those willing to believe religious miracles are always plentiful. To claim that this "miraculous infusion" of the Spirit gives joy, purpose, power for service, and revitalization of the church, and at the same time claim that such a tremendous working was ignored, rejected, and allowed to drop out of the early church which experienced it, is illogical. The only reasonable explanation for the lack of these gifts in church history is that God did not give them. If He had given them, they would have occurred. Since these gifts and signs did cease, the burden of proof is entirely on the charismatics to prove their validity. Too long Christians have assumed that the noncharismatic must produce incontestable biblical evidence that the miraculous sign gifts did cease. However, noncharismatics have no burden to prove this, since it has already been proved by history. It is an irrefutable fact admitted by many Pentecostals. Therefore the charismatics must prove biblically that the sign gifts will start up again during the Church Age and that today's phenomena are this reoccurrence. In other words they must prove that their experiences are the reoccurrence of gifts that have not occurred for almost 1,900 years. "Latter day" explanations are inadequate. Many Pentecostals Page 375 hold that the sign gifts did cease and that they have reoccurred in these "latter days." This must be demonstrated from Scripture, however. There is no biblical evidence that there will be a reoccurrence in the church of the sign gifts or that believers will work miracles near the end of the Church Age. However, there is ample evidence that near the end of the age there will be false prophets who perform miracles, prophesy, and cast out demons in Jesus' name (cf. Matt. 7:22-23; 24:11, 24; 2 Thess. 2:9-12). During the Church Age there will be false leaders who fashion themselves as ministers of righteousness (2 Cor. 11:13-15). During the Tribulation period, there is no indication that believers, other than the two witnesses of Revelation 11:3-12, will perform miracles. Those performed by the two witnesses are exceptional, and their actions are comparable to those of Old Testament prophets rather than to those of the apostles. The two witnesses are not part of the church, and if they were, they could hardly be considered typical of the church. The "latter rain" arguments are incorrectly based on verses that actually are referring to seasonal rainfall in Israel. Hosea 6:3 and Joel 2:23, for example, refer not to some unusual outpouring of the Holy Spirit in the last days of the Church Age. They refer instead to spring rains, in contrast to early rains in the fall. The arguments based on the expression "in the last days" in Acts 2:16-21 are also invalid. If the "last days" referred to in Acts 2:17 includes the day of Pentecost, the beginning of the Church Age, and "if this is that" (v. 16) includes Pentecost, then it cannot mean at the same time the "last days"of this Church Age. On the other hand if the "last days" do not include Pentecost, then

Pentecost was not a fulfillment of Joel's prophecy, and Acts 2:16-21 refers specifically to Israel and is still future. Either way this passage gives no evidence for a reoccurrence of miraculous gifts during the "last (latter) days" of the church. The present charismatic movement is characterized by phenomena that began in the church about 100 years ago, which apart from any historical connection or evidence are claimed to be the same as the miracles performed in the apostolic age. It is simply naive to accept this claim without some direct historical link or solid biblical evidence that these present phenomena are the same as those in the days of the apostles. The most reliable evidence would be a direct historical link with the apostolic gifts due to their continuity in the church. However, as already argued, history testifies to the contrary. The gifts ceased and there is no reason to expect their presence or reoccurrence today. Lack Of Similarity With The New Testament For any phenomena to make credible claim to be the same as the gifts and miracles of the apostolic age there must be great similarity Page 376 between the two. Any phenomena can be intentionally duplicated or copied. Therefore similarity alone cannot prove the modern phenomena are genuine. Conversely a lack of similarity is definitely evidence against the claim that they are the same as the New Testament gifts and miracles. An examination of the New Testament reveals that the modern charismatic phenomena are not sufficiently similar to those of the apostolic age. Where are the tongues of fire and the rushing of a mighty wind as on the day of Pentecost? Do missionaries blind their opponents as Paul did? Do church leaders discern hypocrisy and pronounce the immediate death of members as in Acts 5:1-11? Do evangelists amaze an entire city with miracles as did Philip (8:5-8)? Are they then taken to another place of ministry by the Holy Spirit (vv. 39-40)? Are entire multitudes healed by merely being in the shadow of the healer (5:15)? Do prophets give specific prophecies which come to pass soon after (11:27-28)? The miracles and signs of the apostolic age were clearly and overtly miraculous. Even the opponents of the gospel could not refute the miracles of the apostolic age. But today's "signs and wonders" cannot be verified even by those who are neutral or friendly to the movement. A detailed comparison with specific individual gifts shows an amazing lack of similarity between the New Testament gifts and the modern "charismatic" gifts. The gift of healing. The New Testament gift of healing is a specific gift to an individual enabling him to heal. It is not to be confused with healing performed by God in answer to prayer. New Testament healings include those with verifiable afflictions and handicaps such as the man who was crippled from birth (Acts 3:1-10). The healings were instantaneous, complete, and obvious to all. The man crippled from birth had never walked, but he was instantly able to walk and jump. The healings in the apostolic age never failed regardless of the faith of the recipient. They did not depend on direct physical contact (5:15). There were no preliminaries, healing meetings, or incantations. The healer merely stated to the individual, even when the individual was unaware of the intention to heal (3:1-10), something equivalent to the words, "In Jesus' name, stand up and walk." The healings were usually in public, performed on unbelievers, and often en masse. The modern charismatic movement made little impact on the basis of speaking in tongues alone. It was not until "healing" was added that the movement began to grow in significant numbers.

Page 377 Today's healers admittedly often fail. This is blamed on the lack of faith of the sick rather than on the healer. The alleged healings are seldom instantaneous or complete. They usually are not healings of objectively verifiable illnesses; they often pertain to internal disorders such as "emotional healing." Rather than being irrefutable, they are unverified or even denied by those neutral. They involve healing meetings, preliminaries, incantations, and usually repeated visits. They are not performed in the streets, en masse, or at a distance. In a crowd they are usually performed on only a select few. They are never performed on those who are not aware of the "healer" or his intention to "heal." There is little correspondence between modern-day charismatic "healings" and the healings recorded in the New Testament. The differences are so vast that many of today's healers are careful to point out that they do not have the gift of healing, but are merely those to whom God often responds with healing. No one heals today in such a way that it is clearly the New Testament gift of healing. Exorcism of demons. The miraculous ability to exorcise demons directly also needs to be differentiated from answers to prayer (James 5:14). The exorcisms in Acts concerned those clearly recognized as "possessed," including a girl with a mantic gift (Acts 16:16-18). They were clearly differentiated from those who were merely ill (5:16). They were not nebulous cases of emotional problems such as "personality meltdown," frustration, tension, the "demon of worry," the "demon of drugs or alcoholism," as is often the case in alleged exorcisms today. Such can hardly be considered demonism in the New Testament sense. The New Testament instances of exorcism never failed, were without preliminaries, were instantaneous, were usually performed in public, often en masse, usually on unbelievers, and in the case of the mantic girl (Acts 16:16-18) apart from any cooperation of the demonized. Today's "exorcisms" often fail, often require repeated sessions, are usually unverified as demonism, are never en masse, seldom if ever occur in public, and are only on the cooperative "faithful." Many cases are similar to common psychiatric or religious counseling sessions that are claimed to be "demon exorcism." This is not to suggest that genuine cases of demon possession may not exist. The point is that merely claiming to exorcise demons gives no evidence that one is actually doing so. Page 378 Raising the dead. Dorcas had been dead for some time when Peter apart from fanfare instantaneously raised her (Acts 9:40). The incident regarding Eutychus (20:7-12) concerns a boy who fell three stories and was dead. Paul with no fanfare pronounced him alive. In the apostolic age with all the miracles, exorcisms, healings en masse, and so on, there are only these two low-profile incidents of raising the dead. This action was apparently rare even for the apostles. There is no reason to expect this today. No modern-day "raising of the dead" has been verified. Wimber refers to a man who fell, hit his head, was apparently unconscious for three minutes, and "came to" with a bump on his head. After Wimber and others prayed the bump eventually went away. This is incredible, not as a miracle, but that anyone would consider this as a possible raising of the dead. Would anyone have been convinced by such a "miracle" that Jesus was the Son of God or that the apostles represented God? The gift of tongues. The nature, purpose, and other characteristics of the gift of tongues, including a complete exegetical discussion and refutation of the concept of private or devotional tongues is included elsewhere. The

tongues of the apostolic age were genuine miracles, since they were the ability to speak previously unlearned foreign languages, rather than the "charismatic tongues" of today, which can easily be duplicated. The only passage describing the nature of tongues speaking is Acts 2:4-11, where they are definitely languages. Peter stated that the tongues-speaking in Cornelius's house (10:46) was the same as on the day of Pentecost (11:17). And there is no reason to assume the instance in Acts 19:6 was different. Since 1 Corinthians 14 repeatedly states that the tongues-speaking in Corinth was in an assembly of believers, why then was it mysterious and why was there lack of understanding? It was because the believers did not understand the foreign languages of the tongues-speakers. The mystery was not because the tongues in 1 Corinthians differed in nature from the tongues in Acts. New Testament tongues were verifiable foreign languages. The term glw'ssa means "language" and is never used for ecstatic speech. By contrast, today's "tongues" have never been verified as actual languages. All objective studies by impartial linguists indicate that they do not have the characteristics common to languages. The New Testament gift of tongues is specifically said to be a sign for unbelievers (1 Cor. 14:22). This is how it functioned at Pentecost. All instances were public, not private. The people who Page 379 spoke in tongues in Acts (2:4; 10:46; 19:6) were not previously aware that the ability or gift existed, and in Acts 10:46 and 19:6 the people were not previously aware of the gospel of Jesus Christ. They could not have been seeking or in any way exercising belief in such a gift, and yet they received it. There is no indication that the New Testament speakers spoke in a trance; they were in control of the phenomenon. Perhaps the most outstanding contrast is usage. The gift of tongues in the New Testament functioned, as did all the other gifts, for ministry to others (1 Cor. 12:1-30; 1 Pet. 4:10), rather than primarily for the benefit of the speaker as in the modern charismatic movement. There is no similarity between today's tongues and the New Testament gift. Today's charismatic proponents are wrong regarding the nature, purpose, use, and every other aspect of tongues. There is no reason to assume merely on the basis of their claim that they are correct in identifying their tongues-speaking--which can easily be duplicated and is common to man--as the New Testament gift of tongues. Conclusion. The "charismatic gifts" of today are not similar to the New Testament phenomena either in general perspective or in the details. There is no evidence to conclude that they are the same; there is every reason to conclude that they are not. The historical fact that the New Testament gifts ceased long ago and the fact that there is no historical link whatever between the charismatic phenomena and the New Testament gifts require the same conclusion. The only remaining possibility for giving credence to the modern charismatic claims would be to produce direct statements of Scripture that the apostolic phenomena will always be present in the church, or that they will specifically be in the modern church despite their cessation through most of church history. Even if this were produced, there must also be evidence that the charismatic phenomena are somehow the same phenomena referred to in the passages. However, there is no specific biblical evidence such as this. There is no biblical statement that requires a denial of historical fact or that requires an equation of such dissimilar entities merely on the assertion of the proponents. All objective evidence is contrary to the charismatic claims. It is not sufficient to assert that by faith their claims must be taken contrary to the evidence. This is existential naivetT, not faith. Faith is trust in biblical

evidence rather than in experience. Biblical Evidence For Cessation No Bible verse specifically states that tongues, signs, and wonders will continue throughout the Church Age. Nor is there a verse that specifically states they will cease at the end of the apostolic Page 380 age. However, this does not mean that one cannot take a position on this issue. Many doctrines, such as the Trinity, are not directly stated but are derived from the study and correlation of passages of Scripture. There are several indications in the Scriptures that the gifts of tongues, healing, and miracles (signs and wonders) will not continue. The charismatic movement in all its forms rests not on exegetical evidence that the gifts will continue, but on the assumption contrary to history that since they occurred in the apostolic age they should also occur today. The foundation for this assumption is nonexistent. The New Testament church was not characterized by power and miracles as the charismatics assume. It was characterized by the problems addressed in the epistles (including, e.g., the problems that beset the Corinthian church) and the problems of the churches described in Revelation 2 and 3. Miracles were performed with very few exceptions only by the apostles (Acts 2:43; 5:12). Those who "turned the world upside down" were the apostles, not the churches as a whole. The charismatics assume that the church today should be like their imaginary church. They assume that the entire church today should be able to do all the apostles did in the New Testament. If the church as a whole had performed miracles, it is only an assumption, apart from evidence, that this should be true today. This assumption is not interpretation. The assumption that the miraculous events recorded in the Book of Acts should occur today is "a distinct hermeneutic, a distinctively Pentecostal manner of appropriating the Scriptures." This development of theology on the basis of narrative rather than on direct teaching of Scripture is always a precarious methodology. General biblical evidence. Moses performed a series of miracles. However, they did not continue throughout the Old Testament nor were other believers expected to do the same. The Old Testament prophets occasionally performed miracles, but Israel in general was not expected to do so, nor did the miracles continue throughout Israel's history. The fact that some individuals on special occasions in biblical history performed miracles did not result in others doing the same or in a continuity of those miracles. So there is no reason to assume that since the apostles and a few members of the early church performed miracles, they are to be expected today. Specific biblical evidence. In addition to evidence from history there is also specific biblical evidence that certain gifts were temporary. The term "apostle," commonly used in ancient times in the Page 381 sense of "representative," in a few passages describes representatives of a local church. This is not the New Testament gift of apostleship. Nor can this term, contrary to its normal meaning and contrary to the New Testament descriptions, be equated with the modern missionary merely on the basis of etymology. The only individuals in the New Testament who clearly possessed the miraculous gift of apostle of the Lord Jesus Christ and could perform miracles as required of an apostle (2 Cor. 12:12) were the Twelve and Paul.

Perhaps Barnabas and James can be included. Almost every branch of the church, including most Pentecostals, has held that apostles in this sense have not continued in the church. The charismatic reliance on the narrative of Acts is often avoided when defining "apostles" or "prophets," as too restrictive. These gifts can be precisely delineated, however. Imprecise use of Scripture is a common failing among charismatics. No matter how one tries to broaden the term "apostle," there is little doubt that apostles such as the Twelve and Paul did not continue. If they did not, then all things are not as they were in the New Testament church, all miraculous gifts did not continue as in the beginning church, and at least one gift in the New Testament did not continue. In addition the New Testament sets standards for an apostle that preclude the continuance of this gift. Not only must an apostle be able to perform miracles (2 Cor. 12:12), not only was the early church very careful about granting anyone, even Paul, the title of "apostle" (Gal. 2:1-10), but also an apostle must have seen the resurrected Lord (1 Cor. 9:1-2; Acts 1:22-26). Paul explicitly stated that he was the last one to see the resurrected Lord (1 Cor. 15:8), and he specifically connected this fact with his apostleship. This requirement for apostleship refers to genuine appearances of the resurrected Christ and not to "visions." There have been no resurrection appearances since the apostolic age. Paul clearly stated that the last appearance was to him. (Revelation 1:12-18 refers to a vision, and is not an appearance of the resurrected Lord in bodily form on earth.) Therefore apostles in the sense of the Twelve and Paul cannot occur today. When Paul wrote that all gifts were given to the church (1 Cor. 1:7) and benefited the church, he did not mean that all believers Page 382 were apostles or performed miracles, but that the apostolic, miraculous ministry was experienced by and benefited the Corinthian church. Paul wrote in Ephesians 2:20 that the apostles and prophets are the foundation for the universal church. This at least implies that they were only for the beginning, and this accords with the other specifics mentioned above. Since "apostle" in the full sense of the gift was only a temporary gift and did not continue in the church, the biblical precedent is established that some gifts given in the apostolic age did not continue and were only temporary. It is contrary to Scripture to assume that all gifts and all happenings of the apostolic church are to continue and to be expected in today's church. Since the ones who performed the miracles were only in the beginning church, it is logical that the miracles themselves were only for the apostolic age. Since the ability to perform such miracles was evidence of apostleship (2 Cor. 12:12), then with rare exceptions others could not have performed such signs and wonders, and they would not continue when the apostles ceased. In addition to this implication the temporary nature of miracles is directly supported by Scripture. Mark wrote that the apostles went forth in accord with the Lord's instructions and preached (aorist tense) everywhere and the Lord confirmed their word with signs. This is all placed in the past at the time of Mark's writing (Mark 16:20; the time of the present participle is relative to the past tense of the main verb). The same is true in Hebrews 2:3-4, which says miracles were performed by eyewitnesses of the Lord (apostles), and were performed by God to confirm the word of the eyewitnesses. All this was past at the time Hebrews was written (the main verb is past tense and the participle is relative in time to the main verb "was confirmed"). In both cases the signs, wonders, and miracles are referred to as being in the past at the time of writing; they were not referred to as occurring at that time. In both passages miracles were performed by the apostles (eyewitnesses) and are described as intended by God as evidence to authenticate the apostles' preaching.

James 5:14 does not instruct the sick to look for a healer or for someone with the ability to heal. Rather it instructs the sick to call for the elders and they are to pray for him. This is basically in accord with the procedure in noncharismatic churches, but is in direct contrast to what would be expected if the gift of healing were available for believers. Either the gift was not to be used to heal believers, or the only other option is that it had ceased. Page 383 Conclusion. There is ample biblical evidence that the miraculous gifts ceased with the apostolic age. To assume that such gifts are permanent is contrary to the Scriptures in general and to the biblical precedent that some gifts such as full apostles of the Lord definitely ceased. History is against the charismatic claims. The dissimilarity between the New Testament gifts and the alleged gifts of the charismatics also contradicts their claims. The assumption that because these gifts existed in the apostolic age they should also exist today is a gratuitous assumption contrary to objective evidence. It is also an assumption contrary to scriptural principles and specific biblical evidence. There is no teaching in Scripture that the church should look for such miraculous gifts, nor are they referred to in the passages discussing the fruit of the Spirit (Gal. 5:22-23), spiritual warfare (Eph. 6:10-18), the life of faith (Eph. 5:18; Col. 3:12-17), and requirements for church leaders (1 Tim. 3:1-13; Titus 1:5-9) as necessary for the believer to lead a spiritual life. Characteristics That Refute Charismatic Claims Various present-day forms of the charismatic movement are offshoots of Pentecostalism. All have the same basic ideology and all have arisen because of the modern Pentecostal movement. The primary focus for the individual, no matter how their theologians may describe it, is experiential. Many people in the charismatic movement emphasize the miraculous nature of this experience seemingly for personal benefit more than service to others. Theological Associations In Pentecostalism the doctrine of Christian perfectionism assumed a specific form in the inaccurate concept of a postconversion crisis experience, a "second blessing." This teaching with its concept of an effusion of power from the Holy Spirit resulted in the expectancy of and search to obtain overt "power" as described in Acts. The movement crosses all theological boundaries. Speaking in tongues is present in non-Christian religions such as Buddhism and Hinduism, and in cults such as Mormonism. Healing, miracles, and exorcisms are also common in non-Christian religions. In conventional Christian circles the charismatic movement includes Protestants and Roman Catholics, liberals and conservatives, and individuals in many denominations. Those who believe in the inspiration of the Bible, justification by faith, and many other doctrines--as well as those who do not--are also involved. Page 384 Questionable Theology The concept of the "second blessing" or "baptism or fullness of the Spirit" presupposes that while Jesus' death on the cross paid for sin, it is insufficient to empower for service, to enable one to be spiritual, or to give effectiveness in prayer. This differs drastically from the teaching of the New Testament. The view that only those who speak in tongues have real

communication with God is contrary to the biblical teaching that all believers have full access to God. Romans 8:26 states that all believers are helped in prayer by the Spirit with inaudible, nonuttered, internal groanings. The tongues movement presupposes that communication with the spiritual realm is more direct when it is apart from the mind. Such a concept, though found in various religions, is contrary to biblical Christianity. This emphasis on a level of communication that bypasses the mind and is not direct communication from the believer to God is a dangerous teaching. This interest in "supernatural" events, not primarily as convincing signs but as the daily experience of believers that supposedly places them in contact with the supernatural, is dangerous. This middle-level, spirit realm, called the "excluded middle," is an area of charismatic emphasis. The emphasis on experience, particularly in this level above the rational, often results in emphasizing "experience" over Scripture. In a recent nationally televised program on the subject of televangelism several charismatically oriented evangelists appealed to the "call" as the license for a sinning preacher to continue his ministry. They made no appeal to the Scriptures. Similarities To Non-Christian Religions The modern-day charismatic movement is disturbingly similar to practices common in paganism, while at the same time it lacks correspondence to biblical miracles. Trancelike states and communications on a level apart from the mind are common in paganism. An emphasis on physical healing and exorcism for the benefit of adherents is common. The experience of a power or force "overcoming" the participants is similar to pagan practice. The bizarre and often wild practices of early Pentecostalism seem similar to pagan religion. Page 385 The idea of contact and interest in the spirit world, the "excluded middle" between God and man, is also common to pagan religions. The Effects Of The Movement All groups and doctrinal persuasions of Christendom have experienced theological and moral problems with both their leaders and laymen. As other Christians have experienced, so a number of charismatic leaders have led lives that are morally or ethically contrary to Scripture. If not more common, this is at least as common as among noncharismatics. Therefore it may be safely concluded that all the alleged miracles and so-called tongues-speaking have not produced any genuine spiritual advance over noncharismatics. It has produced enthusiasm for the miraculous, but this is not to be equated with spirituality. All these supposedly miraculous events have produced no advance in biblical knowledge or spiritual living. The basic doctrines common to the movement are not original with charismatics. Their main claim to biblical knowledge is the assumption that the current church should be like the early church. Since the movement has not produced more spiritual believers or any advance in biblical or theological knowledge, what has it accomplished? Is it not amazing that a movement that claims to have restored power for service, ability to communicate with God more than others have, ability for self-edification, power to heal and perform other miracles, and ability to prophesy and receive direct revelation, has produced no significant advance in spirituality or in biblical or theological knowledge? Is it not inconsistent that a movement which claims to be in direct contact with the

Holy Spirit, to have all gifts such as prophecy, apostleship, and the word of knowledge, to communicate directly with God by tongues-speaking and other means, can at the same time include Roman Catholics, conservative and liberal Protestants, amillennialists, premillennialists, Calvinists, Arminians, those who deny the verbal inspiration of the Bible, and those who reject Christ's vicarious atonement on the cross? Apparently the Holy Spirit is not concerned with communicating any information to correct all these differences, many of which are crucial and some of which are incorrect. All this direct communication with the Spirit has apparently done nothing to correct even basic errors. It has not even produced unity among charismatics regarding the nature and purpose of many of the gifts. This movement has solved no theological issue, produced no advance in biblical knowledge, and has not produced more spiritual Christians. Would such an effusion of the genuine Spirit of God produce so little? Other than enthusiasm there seems to be no spiritual advantage to Page 386 this movement and the noncharismatics are not missing out on any genuine spiritual benefit. On the negative side the movement has split churches, and through its televangelists the movement has had one of the most significant negative impacts on the testimony of the church in recent history. These characteristics are evidence that the charismatic phenomena are not the New Testament phenomena, that the genuine gifts are not present. Conclusion In every attempt to prove that the New Testament gifts exist today, the charismatic movement fails. The objective evidence of history and lack of correspondence with the New Testament indicate that the genuine miraculous gifts ceased and have not reoccurred. Biblical evidence indicates that these gifts ceased with the apostolic age. The theological associations and results of today's so-called miraculous gifts are contrary to gifts given by God. The movement has not produced Christians who are more spiritually mature, as would be expected of a genuine occurrence of the New Testament gifts. Apparently a Christian experiences no spiritual loss by not becoming involved in the charismatic movement. On the other hand there is a dangerous similarity to non-Christian practices, there is a dangerous interest in supernatural phenomena that give no evidence of being from God, and there is a disturbing interest in the spiritual world somewhere between God and man. Since evidence points to the cessation of the miraculous gifts in the apostolic age, no one can be confident that the charismatic phenomena are from God. Since believers are warned to avoid contact with the intermediate spiritual world and since they should do only what they are confident God approves, no one should experiment in the realm of the charismatic phenomena.

Apostles And The Apostolate In The New Testament -Robert Duncan Culver A number of currents of thought in contemporary church life invite fresh attention to the precise nature and purpose of the New Testament apostolate. Some Roman Catholics and "charismatics" are presenting new ideas about revelation. In this age of lawlessness, persons in many denominations and sects are raising questions about ecclesiastical authority. Others have misconceptions about "the

signs of an apostle." In addition, there is the growing habit of referring to certain foreign missionaries or strong religious leaders as apostles -apparently intended literally rather than metaphorically. The word apostle is a loan word from Greek by way of Latin. As with the word baptize, another such loan word, the reader of the Bible must decide what it means from the way it is used. The bare elements of the Greek word ajpovstolo" mean "one sent forth." The root meaning of the word, however, does not indicate how, when, by whom, nor for what purpose he is to be sent. Linguistic Background New Testament use alone is decisive for the meaning of an apostle and for the theological significance of the apostolate. This is true of many important theological terms of Scripture but peculiarly true of this one. Though the word was already old, and there is a near-equivalent Hebrew word used in the Old Testament and in Rabbinical literature, the New Testament use is unprecedented. 131 132 / Bibliotheca Sacra - April-June 1977 Background in Greek Usage The word apostle (ajpovstolo") in the older Greek literature was a special maritime term or military term. A dispatched fleet was known collectively as "the apostle." The same was true of a military expedition. Such an "apostle" was utterly impersonal, without responsibility as such; it simply had the quality of being sent away. In the Greek world, ajpovstolo" never became a term for a personal emissary or representative. "Thus its later Christian usage was an innovation to Greek ears or to those familiar with Greek." In Greek culture, religious messengers were called by other names, some of which are used in the Greek Now Testament and are translated by such words as angel, niessenger, preacher, etc. Ordinarily in the case of important terms in the New Testament, the Septuagint shows that those Greek words already had a biblical usage before the New Testament authors employed them. Righteousness, for example, in the Greek New Testament is dikaiosuvnh. This word is widely used in the Septuagint and is almost always the rendering of idx and its cognates, So all the Old Testament uses of idx bear directly on the meaning of the New Testament word. But such is not the case with apostle. There is a word in Hebrew (jylv) which means about what apostle means but it is not rendered apostle by the Septuagint, except for one case, which hardly furnishes a precedent (1 Kings 14:6). The writings of Philo and Josephus, usually helpful, furnish no aid either. Background In Jewish Usage The Christian usage, however, does seem to have some connection with a Jewish legal custom and name thereof with roots in the Old Testament. The Hebrew verb for "sending an authorized messenger" is jlv (2 Chron. 17:7). The simple passive participle of this verb is used of authorized messengers. This word jwlv (1 Kings 14:6), though apparently not attaining technical status in the Old Testament or in postbiblical Judaism (and perhaps earlier) does seem to attain that status in the form sometimes modified to jylv. As such, it is a legal term, not a religious term. Insofar as there is a background for apostle in Jewish or Hebrew words and uses it is

Apostles and the Apostolate in the New Testament / 133 the jylv. This word and usage appears sometimes, with modifications from Aramaic, in the Rabbinical literature. The Rabbis said of a jylv "the one sent by a man is as the man himself," i.e., the sent person is a minister plenipotentiary for the one who sent him. The idea has deep roots in the Old Testament. When David's servants said to Abigail, "David sent (jlv) us to thee to take thee to wife," she prostrated herself to them and in every respect treated them as if they were David himself (1 Sam. 25:40-41). Later when David sent (jlv) his servants to commiserate Hanun, king of Ammon, and those servants were insulted and shamefully treated by that hapless king, David went to war with Ammon, showing that such an insult to the persons of the messengers was an insult to the king himself and his country. The apostolate and Jesus' words to His apostles come immediately to mind: "He that receiveth you receiveth Me, and he that receiveth Me receiveth Him that sent Me" (Matt. 10:40). This office is frequently mentioned by name for official representatives of various groups, communities, and official bodies of Judaism in the early centuries of the Christian era and earlier. Authorities furnish many examples. Apparently Saul of Tarsus was functioning as a jylv for the Jewish authorities at Jerusalem when be met Christ on the Damascus Road (Acts 9:1-2). It is this word and its Jewish precedents, not the Greek use of ajpovstolo", which furnishes the true source -- insofar as a source may be sought -- for Jesus' innovation of the apostolate. Further support for this assertion is seen in the fact that the Aramaic translation of the Bible (the Syriac Peshitta) uses this very word jylv to translate ajpovstolo" in the New Testament and for "he that is sent" (John 13:16). In all Jewish use the central idea is official delegatedness. The jylv is not a preacher, as such, or missionary, or herald (though these may be true of him). His capacity is that of one empowered by a sending party or group to act with full authority for the sender. Hence prophets of the Old Testament were not, as such, <yjylv. Moses, Elijah, Elisha, and Ezekiel are sometimes called <yjylv, however, because they performed actions ordinarily reserved for God alone (e.g., causing water to flow out of a rock, causing rain, raising the dead, etc.). 134 / Bibliotheca Sacra - April-June 1977 New Testament Occurrence of Apostle Apostle appears seventy-nine times in the New Testament times in Luke's writings; thirty-four times in Paul's; only once each in Matthew, Mark, and John (though not in the usual sense in John 13:16), Hebrews, 1 Peter, and Jude; twice in 2 Peter; and three times in Revelation. Over eighty-six percent of the occurrences are in the writings of Paul and of his companion, Luke. In all these occurrences the word always designates a man sent with plenipotentiary authority. This is clarified in the only three texts where in the Authorized Version the word is translated rather than transliterated: "he that is sent" (John 13:16), "messengers of the churches" (2 Cor. 8:23); "your messenger" (Phil. 2:25). The apostle may be commissioned by Christ -- and this is the normal sense -- or he may be a person commissioned by a congregation, in which case he is the church's apostle, not as such Christ's apostle (2 Cor. 8:23; Phil. 2:25). The Apostolate in the New Testament

The Origin of Jesus' Apostolate of Twelve The first known followers of Jesus came from John's disciples, as seen in the first chapter of John. Several of the followers known as the twelve apostles were with Him during His first year of ministry (largely in obscurity) in Judea, but they must have spent time in Galilee too, for there is no reason to believe they were yet instructed to leave their customary occupations. Early, however, in His second year of ministry, mainly in Galilee, "He called them to give up their ordinary employments and be with Him constantly. And probably not many weeks afterwards, He promoted them to the third and final stage of nearness to Himself, by ordaining them to be apostles." (See Mark 3:13-19; Matthew 10:1; Luke 9:1-10; cf. 6:13-16, esp. v. 13). The initiative in becoming a disciple came partly from the men who became disciples -- and there were multitudes of them. There were other Jewish teachers who had disciples (maqathv", "learner, follower"). The initiative for becoming Jesus' apostle, however, came entirely from the Master Himself: "He called unto Him His disciples; and of them He chose twelve, whom also He named apostles" (Luke 6:13; cf. John 15:16). Apostles and the Apostolate in the New Testament / 133 The initial purposes of Jesus in constituting twelve of His disciples apostles was threefold: "that they should be with Him, and that He might send them forth to preach, and to have power to heal sicknesses and to cast out devils" (Mark 3:14-15). That Jesus called them from the first with a view to instructing them fully as founders of the church in the period after His ascension can hardly be doubted (cf. Matt. 28:19-20). The second purpose was to have them serve as His accredited representatives in announcing the presence of the Messiah-King and His kingdom (Matt. 10; Luke 9:2). In a sense this purpose of the apostolate ended when a few days later they returned and reported the mission accomplished. The third purpose -- to have miraculous powers -- was similar to the Lord's purpose in using those powers, viz., to provide credentials as divinely certified heralds of the arrived kingdom (cf. Matt. 10:2 with 11:1-6). Whether this apostolate did indeed come to an end with the completion of this initial mission is a moot question. The Twelve certainly failed in later efforts to provide the "signs of an apostle" (Matt. 7:14-17; cf. 2 Cor. 12:12; Rom. 15:19; 1 Thess. 1:5). They also forsook their Lord (Matt. 26:56). There was indeed a later renewal of the endowment of power. Yet the discourses of Jesus with the Twelve, especially the Upper Room Discourse of John 13-18, do clearly imply that their Lord was addressing the Twelve as accredited plenipotentiaries for an age about to begin at Pentecost, however sad their temporary lapse may have been. Further, the several promises and charges given by Jesus to the apostles during their years with Him compel one to believe that from the moment of their first commission Jesus constituted them the first chronologically in the church to be founded. Likewise, as the "founders" of the church, they were its first teachers (Matt. 16:18-19; cf. John 20:19-23; Eph. 2:20; see also Matt. 19:28; Luke 22:28-30). The Confirmation of the Apostolate of Twelve After Jesus' Resurrection The risen Christ consorted with His disciples for forty days after the Resurrection, giving the Twelve (reduced by one through the defection of Judas) renewal of their commission. The Twelve, scattered after they left the Upper Room, then reassembled. Then over a period of forty days they witnessed several Resurrection appearances of Jesus. At these appearances the Lord renewed their commission as His apostles (Matt. 28:16-20; Luke 24:33-49; Acts 136 / Bibliotheca Sacra - April-June 1977

1:8). With the commission, they received orders to remain together at Jerusalem until endued with the promised Holy Spirit (Luke 24:46; Acts 1:4-8). It was by this renewal of commission that the Eleven became definitively constituted as Christ's apostles (ajpovstoloi = <yjylv). Thereby they also became the first missionaries of Christianity to the world, but unique among Christian missionaries in that only apostles could be Christ's ministers plenipotentiary in the critical matters connected with the foundation of the church. Essential Features of the Apostolate An examination of the New Testament yields six essential features of the apostolate -- some of which appear as qualifications, and some of which appear also as privileges. An apostle of Messiah (Christ) must be of Messiah's nation, i.e., a Jew. Messiah's mission was first to the "lost sheep of the house of Israel" (Matt. 10:6). In their first mission they were ordered neither to go nor to preach to any others than Jews. Their Lord amply illustrated this limitation from the very first of His public ministry to its very end. Also these men were to become organs for delivery of divine oracles. According to the law of Deuteronomy 18:9, confirmed by Paul (Rom. 3:1-2; cf. Matt. 10:1-5), the oracles of God are given to the Jews. Divine messengers to Hebrew people will in every case be Hebrew people. This has at least some bearing (if not a decisive bearing) on the question of apostolic succession and the possibility of apostles in the church today. An apostle must have received a call and commission to his office directly from Christ. The nature of the office -- minister plenipotentiary -required it; the precedent set by the Master (Luke 6:13) demonstrated it; and the case of Paul, as he elaborately argues in 2 Corinthians and the first part of Galatians (esp. Gal. 1:1), confirms it. The choice of Matthias by the lot (Acts 1:24-26) conforms to it (see Prov. 16:33) and, though somewhat irregular, is no exception. An apostle must have the Lord Jesus, being an eyewitness of His doings and an ear-witness of His sayings. If they were to be founding witnesses (i.e., founders of the church), this was essential. This is why early in His ministry, Jesus invited twelve men (among others) to follow Him and some months later commissioned the Twelve as apostles, insisting on their being constantly with Him Apostles and the Apostolate in the New Testament / 137 (John 15:27; cf. Luke 22:28). The requirement is spelled out in the case of Matthias (Acts 1:21-22). By personal observation of the events of redemption they were able to testify to them, and as Jesus said, one of the purposes of their later special enduement with power from the Holy Spirit was to enable them to remember infallibly what they had heard Jesus say (John 14:28; 15:26-27; 16:13-15). Paul was at special pains to let it be known that he met this requirement as an apostle (1 Cor. 9:1; 15:8; Acts 22:6-21). An apostle must possess authority in communicating divine revelation, and what he wrote under divine inspiration was indeed "the voice of God." A reading of Deuteronomy 18:9 shows how this gift is related to Old Testament Scripture. New Testament passages which declare this are 1 Corinthians 2:10 and Galatians 1:11-12. Apostles were thus enabled to give in the New Testament Scriptures the true sense of the Old Testament (Luke 24:27; Acts 26:22-23; 28:23) veiled from the Jewish nation then as now (Rom. 11:25; 2 Cor. 3:11-18; 1 Thess. 2:14-16), and to set forth the revelation of the New Testament as an inerrant standard for the new dispensation (1 Pet. 1:25; 1

John 4:6; John 14:26; 1 Thess. 2:13). Accordingly, later generations of believers -- and believers to the present hour -- have regarded apostolicity of some degree as an undoubted, essential quality of New Testament Scripture. An apostle is required to furnish "the signs of an apostle." These consist of power at some critical juncture to perform undoubted miracles (cf. Acts 4:16). Deuteronomy 18:9 and 13:1 furnish the Old Testament background. The Gospels consistently show that Jesus' human nature was enabled to be the palpable vehicle of such miracles by the special bestowal of the Holy Spirit (Matt. 3:16-4:25 and parallels) and the same was to be true of the apostles after their post-Resurrection recommissioning by Christ (Acts 1:8; cf, Mark 16:14, 19-20). The apostles performed such acts (Acts 2:43; 5:12). Furthermore, there is reason to believe that only they and they to whom they conveyed such powers performed miraculous acts in the early church (1 Cor. 12:8-11, 28), and that when the Word had been thus confirmed the miracles ceased (Heb, 2:1-4). As in the Old Testament epoch God furnished signs for His accredited messengers, so He furnished "signs of an apostle" (2 Cor. 12:12; cf. Pss. 74:9; 105:27-28). These signs were God's means of "bearing witness with them" (Heb. 2:4). 138 / Bibliotheca Sacra - April-June 1977 The several Gospel reports of how Jesus rebuked the demands for miracles -demands made by shallow-thinking crowds of thrillseekers or of debauched kings -- cannot do away with the evidential and certifying function of New Testament miracles. Neither do the remarks of Paul near the end of 2 Corinthians regarding the perverse reasonings of the Christian citizens of Corinth regarding his ministry do away with this function of miracles. The miracles were not for edification of the believers primarily, and neither Jesus nor Paul says so. The believers of today do not need them for edification and should not ask for miracles for such reasons. Faith has another method. An apostle must possess plenary authority among all the churches. In this he differed from the holders of other New Testament ecclesiastical office, for in the New Testament, bishops (or elders) and deacons wielded only local-church authority and had only local function. But Peter could judge an Ananias or Sapphira by personal authority (Acts 5:1-11), not church authority. Paul asserted a personal responsibility for "all the churches" (2 Cor. 11:28), and in distant Philippi, Paul could judge concerning a matter of moral discipline in a congregation at Corinth (1 Cor. 5:3). Apostles could and did write most of the epistles of the New Testament canon, giving commands to churches far away, claiming inerrant divine authority for themselves and even for one another (1 Cor. 14:37; cf. 2 Pet. 3:16). They had power to furnish faith and order as a model for all future generations, and to exercise discipline over all disorderly Christians (2 Cor. 10:8; 13:10). Alleged Perpetual Apostolate and Succession A considerable segment of Christendom claims two further essential qualities of the apostolate -- perpetuity and power of succession. But perpetuity is inconsistent with the very nature of the work of the apostles. Furthermore, there could not be successors displaying the above particular set of qualifications, since many of the qualifications are essentially supernatural in character and some are historically impossible for others besides the contemporaries of Jesus. Also the New Testament texts cited to "prove" apostolic succession and papal primacy simply do not support either one. That the bishops of episcopally governed churches are true apostles in lineal succession through successive passing down of the office by laying on of the hands of ordination is held in dogmatic

Apostles and the Apostolate in the New Testament / 139 form by the Roman Catholic Church -- being set forth strongly not only in the canons and decrees of the Council of Trent but also by several relatively mild post-Vatican II publications. The Roman Catholic Church claims to be the only church with true apostolic authority and therefore the only church with a valid ministry. Similar claims, though less formally made, are asserted by Anglican High-Churchmen, by Greek Orthodox, Armenian, Syrian, Coptic, and other Oriental churches deriving from Christian antiquity. For evidence of their claim to apostolicity, Roman authorities cite (1) the choice of Matthias, (2) reference to apostles other than the Eleven and Paul, (3) Jesus' statement about the apostolic mission (Matt. 10:14), and (4) His words to Peter about his having the keys (Matt. 16:18-19). A recent article in an important Roman Catholic dictionary of biblical theology summarizes the position and the arguments for it: During Jesus' public activity a portion of the disciples was, at appointed times, commissioned to represent Messiah. Likewise the extensive preparation of the disciples for their apostolic office, as particularly defined promises (cf. Mt 16:19; 18:18) makes it clear, that with this short apostolic function [their first preaching mission?] not all could be realized which Jesus had intended. After his departure Jesus would not leave his flock behind shepherdless (cf. Mt 9:36; Jn 21:15-17); therefore he promised his disciples the transmission of power of binding and loosing. Their decrees in the church will be the decisions of the risen Lord (Mt 16:18; 18:18). The transmission of this power, limited neither by time nor space, followed through the resurrection (Mt 28:18ff.). Now is Jesus no more sent only to the lost sheep; therefore, he entrusted also the full power of all the peoples to the pastoral care of his fully empowered representatives. These representatives of the good Shepherd were employed at the beginning till the end of the time when the Lord comes again [Mt 10:24?]. It is thereby made necessary that the full power of Christ-representation also be transmitted through the entire history of the church. Or should the certainty of sins forgiveness be established only for the first generation of the church? Jesus conveyed this divine power which had so amazed the Jews (cf. Mt 9:8) to his apostles (Jn 20:21ff.), whereby this gift of grace, even after the day of his ascension to heaven, should remain in the world till his second Advent. 140 / Bibliotheca Sacra - April-June 1977 John 21:15-17 signifies, finally (as also previously Mt 16:18f.) the special position of Peter as first among the fully commissioned. Thereby [i.e., in the Roman papacy] Christ created a principle of regulation and gave the apostolic company an inner structure. The large number of the apostles [all the bishops in every generation] necessitated quite certainly essential arrangement [or order] and subordination. The reader is directed to the article "Succession, Apostolical" in McClintock and Strong's Cyclopedia for a valuable refutation of this claim. Suffice it to say here that (1) none of the Scriptures cited above in the distinguished Roman Catholic work really support the claim, (2) no one after the Apostolic Age has truly seen the Lord, and (3) no one has the signs of an apostle -- specifically to confer supernatural powers by the laying on of hands. Supernatural "sign gifts" were prevalent in that first generation, but none except apostles had the power to pass the sign gifts along to others. Problems and Questions Beyond the essentials of the apostolate treated above, some subordinate topics merit brief attention: the question of Peter's special place, if any, among the Twelve; the extraordinary apostolate of Paul; the relationship of

apostles to prophets; the question of a possible general but less strict employment of the term apostle for a certain class of Christian missionaries. The extraordinary pronouncement of the Master on Peter after the latter's great confession (Matt. 16:16-19), though variously interpreted, does seem clearly to make Peter stand out among the apostles in the founding of the church. However, after Jesus' resurrection, He did extend some of the features of that pronouncement to all the Eleven, perhaps to all the "disciples" (John 20:21-23; cf. v. 19). Whatever was distinctive to Peter, in the Lord's mind, appears to have been fulfilled in the prominence of Peter's leadership in the first twelve chapters of Acts, especially his distinct work of officially opening the door of entrance to the church progressively, first to the Jewish nation who had rejected the Savior (Acts 2:14-47; esp. v. 41), then to the mixed Jew-Gentile Samaritans (Acts 8:14-17), and then auspiciously to Gentiles (Acts 10:1-48; Apostles and the Apostolate in the New Testament / 141 esp. v. 44). Peter himself seems so to have interpreted the Lord's famous pronouncement on him (Acts 15:6-9; esp. v. 7). The supernatural sign gifts were closely connected with apostolic ministry in all the above passages. The extraordinary apostolate of Paul has already been mentioned. Though he did not company with the Savior from the beginning of His ministry, as had the others, Paul met all the qualifications of an apostle and did so by the risen Lord's special grace. It is to be emphasized that Paul regarded none of this experience as "vision" or "in the spirit." It was all sober space-time reality. The testimonies to the Damascus Road incident in Acts are indefinite about some aspects of the experience, but they are clear that it was an event in the space-time world. Not only was Paul, the chief subject of the occasion, aware, but all those present sensed that something unusual was going on (Acts 9:6; 22:9; 26:12-14). Some of the pertinent passages are 1 Corinthians 15:9-10; Galatians 1:13, 23; Philippians 3:7-8, along with Paul's numerous epistolary salutations such as Romans 1:1; 1 Corinthians 1:1; etc. (also see Rom, 15:19; 1 Cor. 3:5; 14:1-2, 37; 2 Cor. 5:20; 6: 1; 12:1-2, 12; 1 Thess. 1:5). Articles on Paul in reliable biblical and theological dictionaries and encyclopedias as well as numerous monographs on Paul and the commentaries support this assertion. The relationship of apostles to prophets is largely a matter of interpreting certain passages, mainly in Ephesians, which speak of "apostles and prophets" -always in that order. These passages are Ephesians 2:20; 3:5; 4:11. In the last of these texts "prophets" appears after "apostles" and before "evangelists" and "pastor-teachers." One would be bold indeed to understand "prophets" as designating Elijah and Jeremiah rather than, say, Mark and Luke. To these Ephesian passages may be added Revelation 18:20. If one comes to these texts, as many do, with the assumption that the church is a continuation of Israel, then his interpretation reverses the order and he finds Old Testament prophets and New Testament apostles to be specified. Then our Lord's reference to twelve apostles ruling the twelve tribes of Israel (Matt. 19:28; Luke 22:30) falls into line as predicting their prominence in the church, said to be the "new Israel" (an expression, however, which is never found in the New Testament). But "prophets" in Ephesians 4:11 clearly seems to designate New Testament prophets, not Old Testament prophets, for in Ephesians the church is prominently in view. Those prophets of Ephesians 4: 1 1 shared in a lesser 142 / Bibliotheca Sacra - April-June 1977 way one of the functions of the apostles, that of being instruments of divine revelation. Some of those prophets (and the matter is common in the

New Testament) not only spoke inspired words but wrote Scripture. The names of some of them are known, e.g., Mark and Luke. Perhaps such a prophet wrote Hebrews. (See Romans 16:26, "the scriptures of the prophets.") Roman Catholic authors and other advocates of a continuing apostolate seek to find an extension of the office to numerous individuals mentioned on the pages of the New Testament. Other more disinterested writers are puzzled by the passages involved but come to different conclusions. Were there, indeed, apostles other than the twelve original ones plus Matthias and Paul? Is there a "lesser sense" in which a class of prominent persons engaged in missionary work, then and now, may be called "apostles"? This writer thinks not. A better way may be followed in interpreting and employing the New Testament data offered. Reference has already been made to the fact that persons commissioned to act as ministers plenipotentiary for congregations, in the manner of the Jewish jylv were called by the word apostle (ajpovstolo"), though often translated "messenger" (2 Cor. 8:23; Phil. 2:25), Attention has also been called to the fact that once Jesus used apostle in the sense of "he that is sent" without direct reference to the Twelve (John 13:16). This seems to furnish an explanation of Acts 14:14, in which Luke refers to "the apostles, Barnabas and Paul," thereby directing attention to their commissioning as apostles (i.e., authorized messengers) of the Antioch church (Acts 13:2). The connection seems unmistakable. Romans 16:7 states that Andronicus and Junia, Paul's "kinsmen" are "of note among the apostles," but this does by no means necessarily affirm that these two obscure persons were apostles of Christ in any special sense. First Corinthians 9:8 shows that the Lord's brothers (presumably Jude and James?) were prominent persons but fails to state that they were apostles. The same can be said of 1 Corinthians 15:7, which likewise falls short of clearly affirming James to be an apostle, though it is quite capable of being understood in that way. The passage shows that James held a position of leadership as prominent as that of an apostle. Galatians 1:19 seems to say that James the Lord's brother was an apostle. He is thought by some to be none other than "James the Less," though this seems unlikely since Jesus' brothers appear to have rejected Him until after His resurrection. However, Apostles and the Apostolate in the New Testament / 143 James could have been, like Paul, an apostle "born out of due season." There is thus no strong evidence that any New Testament persons except the original Twelve, Matthias, Paul, and possibly James the Lord's brother, were ever esteemed in New Testament times to be apostles of Jesus Christ. Thus the so-called "lesser sense" of apostleship cannot be defended successfully. Gaffin and Grudem on Eph 2:20: In Defense of Gaffin's Cessationist Exegesis -R. Fowler White The question of whether the NT gift of prophecy continues in the life of the church today came again to the attention of the evangelical world as a recent cover story in a leading evangelical periodical spotlighted developments among advocates for the gift's continuation.1 In the midst of that article, Wayne Grudem's book, The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today, was singled out as a standard reference among many leaders of the current prophecy movement.2 The work covers a large number of issues, but arguably none is more important than the treatment of the two principal texts related to the question of prophecy's duration, 1 Cor 13:10 and Eph 2:20. In a previous article,3 I compared Grudem's exegesis of 1 Cor 13:10 with that of cessationist Richard Gaffin and urged acceptance of Gaffin's contention that the question of the time of prophecy's cessation is not answered in that text, but will have to be settled by appeal to other

passages and considerations. In this article, I turn again to Gaffin and Grudem, this time evaluating their positions on Eph 2:20, the passage that is chief among those "other" texts bearing on the question of prophecy's duration. This evaluation is warranted by the cruciality that the text has for each man's views and by the attention that each man has given to the other's exegesis of it.4 In addition, since Grudem's recent thought on the text moves beyond Gaffin's earlier discussion, a fresh assessment of Grudem's exegesis is in order. Our considerations begin with a review of Gaffin's interpretation. I. Gaffin on Eph 2:20 If we wish to understand Gaffin's orientation to the interpretation of Eph 2:20, we must understand that for him this verse "ought to have a pivotal and governing role in seeking to understand other New Testament statements on prophecy."5 This role results from the fact that Eph 2:20 is part of a section that stands back, takes a sweeping and comprehensive look at the whole church-house, and notes the place of prophecy in its construction. Prophecy's place, of course, is in the foundation of the church, a place, according to Gaffin, occupied in association with but distinction from apostleship.6 Moreover, as foundational to the church, the prophets have a "temporary, noncontinuing function in [its] history, and so by God's design pass out of its life, along with the apostles."7 Before reaching this conclusion, Gaffin acknowledges that profhtw'n in the text may describe the apostles and thus tw'n ajpostovlwn kaiV profhtw'n may express the meaning Grudem proposes, viz., "the apostles who are also prophets." This interpretation, Gaffin observes, "is possible grammatically and the apostles do exercise prophetic functions (e.g., Rom 11:25f.; I Cor. 15:51ff.; I Thess 4:15ff.; cf. I Cor 14:6)."8 Nevertheless, he urges that "a combination of considerationsis decisively against it."9 Those considerations may be summarized as follows.10 First, in Eph 4:11 Paul plainly distinguishes apostles and prophets as separate groups. Second, in 1 Cor 12:28, the only NT text outside Ephesians where apostles and prophets are mentioned together, Paul again clearly distinguishes between them. Third, Paul nowhere else designates the apostles, either individually or collectively, as "prophets," thus casting doubt on any proposal that he did so in Eph 2:20. Fourth and finally, since Paul nowhere else identifies apostles as prophets, an attempt on his part to do so in Eph 2:20 would have been lost on his readers "without at least some word of explanation, especially since he goes on in the same context (4:11) to reinforce the conventional usage."11 For these reasons, Gaffin contends that Grudem's proposed exegesis of Eph 2:20 is "unlikely, even forced."12 Instead, a decisive edge must belong to the view that these words refer to the NT prophets in association with but distinction from the apostles. II. Grudem on Eph 2:20 To understand the contribution that Eph 2:20 makes to Grudem's case for prophecy's continuation, we must see that for him the critical phrase in the text, tw'/ qemelivw/ tw'n ajpostovlwn kaiV profhtw'n, means "the foundation of the apostles who are also prophets."13 Accordingly, in the context of Paul's comprehensive historical metaphor of housebuilding in Eph 2:19-22,14 v. 20 teaches that the apostles represent the only gift whose addition to the church ceased once God completed its foundation; that is, apostleship is the only gift whose presence in the church will have ended long before Christ's return. By his exegesis of Eph 2:20, then, Grudem disassociates NT prophets who are not also apostles from the church's foundation and urges us

to see prophecy as a gift that has a continuing function in the church's history and life.15 The points Grudem offers in support of his view may be summarized as follows.16 First, the semantic range of the article-noun-kaiv-noun construction in the NT, as well as the likely meaning of that construction in Eph 4:11, permits us to interpret tw'n ajpostovlwn kaiV profhtw'n as meaning "the apostles who are also prophets." Second, the NT portrays the apostles alone, and not the prophets also, as the recipients of the foundational revelation of Gentile inclusion in the church. Third, the foundation metaphor in Eph 2:20, which signifies something finished before a superstructure is begun, fits best with Grudem's exegesis, in that new Christians who received the gift of prophecy would not be added to the church's unfinished foundation after its superstructure is begun, but to the church's superstructure as it is built on the finished foundation of the apostles. Fourth, and again in relation to the foundation metaphor, the foundational role attributed uniquely to the apostles in Rev 21:14 is consistent with Grudem's view of Eph 2:20. Fifth, Paul's focus on the universal church in Ephesians 2-3 would have predisposed the peers of the prophets in the local churches not to link them with the apostles in the foundation of the universal church in 2:20. Sixth, in Ephesians 2-3 Paul fails to cite the purported inclusion of Jewish and Gentile prophets in the church's foundation, even though that idea would have been most pertinent to his argument for the equality of Jews and Gentiles. Seventh, the unambiguous evidence in 1 Corinthians 12-14, 1 Thess 5:20-21, and several texts in Acts, according to which the non-apostolic prophets did not have a foundational role in the church, clarifies the apostolic identity of the foundational prophets in Eph 2:20. Eighth, there is no record in either the NT or the post-apostolic writings indicating the existence of non-apostolic prophets who had a part in the universal church's foundation. Ninth, as for Eph 4:11, the context and grammar make it clear that the prophets mentioned there relate to local churches, while those in Eph 2:20 relate to the universal church. Tenth, as for 1 Cor 12:28, Paul does indeed distinguish between apostles and prophets there, but this one reference should not dictate the meaning of every reference, for example, Eph 2:20, where the words "apostles" and "prophets" appear. Eleventh, though the apostles as a group are never designated prophets or any of the other distinct ministries in the church, there is no inherent reason why they could not be called "prophets" in Eph 2:20, provided the grammar and context favor this exegesis. Finally, the grammar and context of Eph 2:20 provide clear signals of Paul's intention to identify the apostles as prophets, preventing any possible confusion with the prophets of Eph 4:11. Having argued his case from grammatical and contextual factors and defended it against Gaffin's objections, Grudem urges, "it seems best to conclude that Ephesians 2:20 means that the church is 'built upon the foundation of the apostles who are also prophets'."17 III. A Critique of Grudem's Exegesis of Eph 2:20 The exegesis of Eph 2:20 is clearly crucial both to Grudem's argument for prophecy's continuation and to Gaffin's argument for prophecy's cessation. It is crucial for Grudem because, if Gaffin's exegesis of 1 Cor 13:10 does indeed shift the debate over prophecy's duration to other passages and

considerations, then Grudem's case for prophecy's continuation stands or falls with the exegesis of Eph 2:20. It is crucial for Gaffin because, if Grudem's exegesis of Eph 2:20 proves persuasive, then Gaffin's case for prophecy's cessation confronts an insurmountable obstacle. With these observations in mind, I wish now to evaluate Grudem's exegesis of Eph 2:20 and in so doing defend Gaffin's exegesis. To complete this twofold task, I shall take up Grudem's argumentation point by point. 1. The Semantic Range of the Syntax in Eph 2:2018 Despite his claims to the contrary, Grudem's exegesis is not at all compelling from a grammatical point of view. For one thing, Grudem interprets the syntax of tw'n ajpostovlwn kaiV profhtw'n without due regard for the fact that this construction involves plural nouns. As odd as it may sound, with the exception of Eph 4:11 (on which I shall comment below), Grudem fails to cite a single example of the construction in question in Eph 2:20: every one of the texts he adduces in favor of his exegesis is an example of a construction involving something other than two plural nouns.19 Even if Grudem were to correct this problem, his case would have another serious obstacle to overcome. The obstacle is that Grudem interprets the syntax of the article-noun-kaiv-noun plural construction in Eph 2:20 in a way which, as D. B. Wallace20 has demonstrated, has neither clear nor ambiguous parallels in the NT. In addition, Wallace has shown that even the one true grammatical parallel that Grudem cites (Eph 4:11, touV" deV poimevna" kaiV didaskavlou") has been widely misunderstood because few exegetes have ever seriously investigated the semantic range of the article-noun-kaiv-noun plural construction. In fact, Wallace boldly challenges the exegesis of Eph 4:11 by Grudem and others, emphatically insisting "that such a view has no grammatical basis" in NT usage.21 According to Wallace's findings, the least likely interpretation of Eph 4:11 is that it means "the pastor-teachers, that is, the pastors who are also teachers"; more likely, it means "the pastors and other teachers."22 With the grammatical evidence favoring Grudem's exegesis of Eph 2:20 so noticeably lacking, we can give little or no credence to his conclusion that the translation "the apostles who are also prophets" is "just as valid [as the translation "the apostles and prophets"] and perhaps even more in keeping with New Testament usage."23 On the contrary, Wallace's study confirms that, while Grudem's exegesis is a theoretically possible meaning of the construction in question, it is nevertheless, statistically speaking, the least likely meaning of that construction. To be sure, non-statistical factors are relevant to this discussion and we shall consider them in the headings that follow. At this juncture, however, let us observe that the syntactical evidence is decidedly against Grudem's exegesis of Eph 2:20: statistically speaking, the most likely meaning of the text is that it represents apostles and prophets as two distinct groups united by their function as foundation stones,24 that is, as two distinct gifts united in foundational, revelatory witness to Christ and the mystery revealed in him.25 2. The Apostles and the Revelation of Gentile Inclusion Grudem asserts that the apostles were the sole recipients of the revelation of Gentile inclusion. This observation is basically an argument from silence: since the NT clearly affirms the apostles' reception of the revelation but is silent on the prophets' reception of it, we must conclude that only the apostles received it.26 The validity of Grudem's claim depends on whether he has established a burden of proof. In my view, he has not because he fails to consider the relationship between the oracles of Agabus and the revelation of Gentile inclusion. Grudem's only interest in these

prophecies is to establish their edifying function and to challenge the claim that they possessed absolute divine authority.27 The prophecies of Agabus however are profoundly relevant for evaluating the prophets' relation to the revelation mentioned in Ephesians 3. In Acts 11:28, an oracle from Agabus, a prophet in the Jerusalem church (11:27), prompts the Greek disciples at Antioch to contribute famine relief for their Judean brothers and sisters (11:29). In other words, the prophet reports a revelation pertaining directly to that aspect of the mystery of Christ mentioned in Eph 3:6: his prophecy in effect occasions a cementing of the newly-established, foundational bond of fellowship within the church between Jews and Gentiles. Likewise, in Acts 21:10-11, Agabus reports a revelation relating directly to the progress of Paul's apostolic ministry to the Gentiles--again, the aspect of the mystery discussed in Ephesians 3.28 For all their relevance then to specific life situations and concerns in the early church, the prophecies of Agabus are nevertheless revelations with an undeniably direct and integral connection to the mystery revealed in Christ. Grudem therefore appears quite mistaken in his claim that the NT is silent on the prophets' reception of revelation(s) pertaining to the issue of Gentile inclusion in the church. 3. The Foundation Metaphor Grudem objects to Gaffin's view of Eph 2:20 because, insofar as it implies that prophets would be added to the church's foundation after its superstructure had been started, the foundation metaphor would no longer signify something finished before a superstructure is started, but something subject to change thereafter. This objection, however, overlooks the fact that even Grudem's own "foundation of the apostles who are also prophets" was subject to change after the superstructure was begun. Before Pentecost Matthias was added to the foundation begun with Christ (Acts 1), and well after Pentecost Paul was added to it (Acts 9). While the church's foundation awaited the additions of Matthias and Paul to it, the building of the rest of the church was not held up--as Grudem's analysis of the metaphor suggests--until God completed its foundation. On the contrary, the rest of the church was being built on the foundation such as God had constituted it to that point. If it were otherwise, the addition of literally thousands to the church between Pentecost and Paul's conversion (e.g., Acts 2:41; 5:14; 6:7) would have no significance in terms of God's housebuilding activity in Ephesians 2.29 The foundation metaphor, then, did not carry the implications Grudem assigns to it and God's housebuilding work proceeded on a foundation to which others could be added.30 This scenario could be followed no doubt because all those who bore the foundational witness spoke with one voice concerning Christ and the mystery revealed in him. 4. The Apostles and the Foundation in Rev 21:14 Grudem appeals also to Rev 21:14, where consistent with his exegesis of Eph 2:20, John apparently attributes a unique foundational role to the apostles. This observation, however, has a number of problems.31 Perhaps most obvious is the fact that John's assertion is not as consistent with Grudem's exegesis of Eph 2:20 as it first appears. John, after all, assigns a foundational role only to (the) twelve apostles. Even Grudem, however, would acknowledge that in Ephesians 2-3 Paul regards himself as a part of the church's foundation by virtue of his reception of the revelation of the mystery. So, on grounds other than Rev 21:14, Grudem knows of at least one apostle other than the Twelve who had a foundational role. I would take this concession a step further and contend on the basis of the considerations discussed in this essay that we know of still others who had a foundational role, that is, the NT prophets. Clearly, then, Rev 21:14 does not tell us the whole story about the church's foundation and therefore Grudem's appeal

to it is inconclusive. 5. The Peers of Prophets in Their Local Churches Grudem insists that Paul's focus on the universal church in Ephesians 2-3 would have prevented the peers of the prophets in local churches from associating them with the apostles in the foundation of Eph 2:20. But we must ask, why would the prophets' peers not make this association? Apparently, Grudem would have us simply presume that NT prophets would be linked with either the universal church or the local church; they could not be linked with both of these entities. Since Grudem's discussion at this point is more assertion than argument, one is left to surmise that this disjunction is rooted not only in what Grudem believes is Paul's exclusive focus on the universal church, but in what he insists is the non-foundational role of non-apostolic prophets in the rest of the NT. At any rate, as it stands here, Grudem's point resembles the argument that the apostles' correspondence cannot have perpetual importance for the universal church because it consisted of occasional writings addressed to local churches. Grudem would agree that such a view is based on a false disjunction. His discussion here, however, involves a similar false disjunction. At the same time, Grudem overlooks the fact that in Eph 2:19-22 Paul focuses not only on the universal church (in v. 21, pa'sa oijkodomhv) but also on the local church (in v. 22, kaiV uJmei'" [Gentile Christians, cf. vv. 13, 19]).32 6. The Missing Argument of Ephesians 2-3 Grudem claims that in Ephesians 2-3 Paul ignores the supposed inclusion of Gentile as well as Jewish prophets in the church's foundation, even though such an idea would have been most pertinent to his argument for the equality of Jews and Gentiles. Here again we find Grudem arguing from silence, and again the validity of his argument depends on whether he has established a burden of proof. I do not believe he has. The chief difficulty with Grudem's analysis is that he fails to take adequate account of the relationship between Ephesians 2 and 3. To be sure, we can affirm with Grudem that Paul's concern in 2:11-22 is to demonstrate that through Christ God has brought about equality (fellowship) between Jews and Gentiles. But what is Paul's interest in 3:1-13? There Paul describes his ministry as a stewardship of preaching the mystery of Christ to the Gentiles, especially that aspect of the mystery which is the equality of Jews and Gentiles in Christ. Paul's interest then is in defining his ministry to the Gentiles as it relates to God's work through Christ, a discussion of no little importance to his Gentile readers.33 Taking full account of Paul's focus in Ephesians 3, we see quite clearly why he ignores the importance of Gentile prophets in the foundation while advancing his argument: Paul is evidently more concerned to define the relationship between his preaching and the equality of Jews and Gentiles than he is to demonstrate further the truth of that equality. Moreover, it is not, as Grudem suggests, that Paul inexplicably ignores the Gentile prophets in the foundation while pursuing his argument; rather, it is that Paul ignores everyone in the foundation other than himself, except to identify himself with them as those to whom God had revealed the mystery. Suffice it to say therefore that Paul's overriding concern to magnify his own ministry explains why he "fails" to cite the foundational Gentile prophets as proof of the equality of Jews and Gentiles in the church. 7. Explicit Passages on Prophecy by Non-Apostles Grudem maintains that tw'n ajpostovlwn kaiV profhtw'n in Eph 2:20 must refer

to one group since 1 Corinthians 12-14, 1 Thess 5:20-21, and certain Acts passages demonstrate clearly and explicitly that non-apostolic prophets did not have a foundational, that is, absolutely authoritative, role in the church. For this argument to have any force, we must first accept Grudem's assumption that Eph 2:20 is unclear and less explicit than other NT texts on prophecy. But, in view of our evaluation of Grudem's claims regarding Eph 2:20 in this essay, we can hardly accept his assumption. As for Grudem's exegesis of the passages in 1 Corinthians, 1 Thessalonians, and Acts, space does not permit a complete response, nor is there need to duplicate Gaffin's generally satisfactory discussion of that material.34 I would however add one point to Gaffin's consideration of the judging of prophecies. According to Grudem, Paul's description of the judging of prophecies in 1 Cor 14:29 and 1 Thess 5:20-22 presupposes that each prophecy is a mixture of true and false elements. If this is the case, then clearly the judging process must involve sorting out the true and false elements in each oracle.35 This interpretation, however, is neither the only nor the best way to interpret the evidence. Fundamentally, Grudem's exegesis turns on his assumption that the objects being judged (sorted) are the true and false elements in any one oracle. But let us take another look at what Paul says in 1 Corinthians 14 and 1 Thessalonians 5. In the Corinthians passage, the apostle looks at an individual meeting of the local church (14:26) and envisions a plurality of prophets speaking during any given meeting: "let two or three prophets speak" (14:29a). In the Thessalonians passage, Paul's commands are adaptable to an individual meeting of the local church or to the whole course of its meetings, but in any case he envisions a plurality of prophecies being heard: "do not despise prophecies" (5:20). Thus, whether Paul is contemplating the meetings of the local church individually or collectively, his instructions in 1 Corinthians 14 and 1 Thessalonians 5 presume that his readers would be hearing a plurality of prophets speaking their oracles. My point in making this observation is that while Grudem reads Paul's words as preparing the churches to sort out the true and false elements in any one oracle, it is clearly more in keeping with Paul's very words to read them as preparing the churches to sort out the true and false oracles among the many oracles they would hear. To put it another way, while Grudem says that "[e]ach prophecy might have both true and false elements in it,"36 we should say that the many prophecies heard in the meetings of the local church might have both true and false prophecies among them.37 On the presupposition that the prophecies heard in the churches might have both true and false prophecies among them, Paul's instructions in 1 Cor 14:29 and 1 Thess 5:20-22 are manifestly consistent with the broader context of NT teaching on the subject of judging prophecies. According to that teaching, the churches judged prophecies in order to distinguish between true and false prophets (1 John 4:1-6; cf. Matt 7:15-20 with Matt 12:32-37 and 24:23-26). In line with this picture we find Paul citing standards by which the Corinthians and Thessalonians should judge oracles (1 Cor 12:3; 14:37; 1 Thess 5:21-22; 2 Thess 2:15).38 In fact, it is particularly noteworthy that Paul cites such standards for the Thessalonians at least in part to dispel the confusion caused among them by a deceiving prophetic spirit (pneu'ma, 2 Thess 2:2) from within their own number or the church at large.39 In the light of these factors, I would contend that for Paul, as for the rest of the NT, the judging of prophecies was a process of evaluating the prophets' words in order to pass judgment on the prophets themselves.40 Significantly, when interpreted in this way, the judging of NT prophets looks quite similar to the judging of OT prophets. To be sure, the

preconsummate punishment applicable to false prophets in the NT differed from the death penalty prescribed for their OT counterparts.41 This difference aside, the NT criteria for sorting out true and false prophecy were identical to those in the OT. In sum, prophets in both Testaments were judged as to (1) their conduct (e.g., Jer 23:10-15; Matt 7:15-23); (2) the content of their prophecies (e.g., Deut 13:1-5; Matt 24:23-27); and (3) the means of revelation (e.g., Num 12:6-8; 1 Cor 13:2, 9, 12; 15:51).42 Used in conjunction with the gift of discerning the spirits (1 Cor 12:10),43 these criteria enabled the church, like ancient Israel, to determine the ultimate source of the prophecies they heard (the Holy Spirit or some other source). I would therefore argue that Grudem has fundamentally misunderstood Paul's teaching on the judging of prophecies, and has thus transformed a standard apostolic, even canonical, directive into a Pauline idiosyncracy. 8. The Vain Search for Foundational NT Prophets Grudem claims that the search for Gaffin's foundational NT prophets is a vain one and that in the absence of evidence for their existence, we should take seriously alternatives to Gaffin's exegesis of Eph 2:20. Grudem's claim here is only as strong as the arguments he previously advanced. As I see it, those arguments are either inconclusive or refutable, and thus one could argue quite plausibly that the prophets for which Grudem searches are in fact in the NT. Consequently, even if this argument has confirmatory value for those who already accept Grudem's conclusions, it has no positive value for those who reject them. 9. Apostles and Prophets in Eph 4:11 Contrary to Gaffin's appeal to Eph 4:11, Grudem insists that the context and grammar of that text make it clear that the prophets mentioned there are different from those mentioned in 2:20: the prophets of 4:11 had a (non-foundational) role in local congregations, whereas those of 2:20 had a (foundational) role in the universal church. This difference is not as clear as Grudem contends.44 First of all, we have already seen that Grudem's argument concerning the syntax of Eph 2:20 is tenuous at best. Indeed, far from disclosing that the prophets in 4:11 and 2:20 are different, the meVndev construction of 4:11 only makes explicit what the article-noun-kaiv-noun plural construction of 2:20 implied, viz., the prophets are distinct from the apostles. This point is strengthened by the fact that the article-noun-kaiv-noun plural construction in 4:11 (touV" deV poimevna" kaiV didaskavlou") does not function as Grudem says it does in 2:20.45 Second, what Grudem says about the contexts of 2:20 and 4:11 indicates that he has not seen the connection between the two. On the one hand, as I observed above (III. 5.), Grudem overlooks the fact that in 2:20-22 Paul assigns apostles and prophets a foundational role not just in the universal church (v. 21), but in local congregations as well (v. 22).46 On the other hand, Grudem really says nothing to counter Gaffin's observation that 2:20 and 4:11 are parts of a larger context, viz., 2:11-4:16, in which Paul discusses the church (universal and local) and its composition as the newly-created body of Christ.47 Within that larger unit, 4:7-16 expands on Paul's description of the church in 2:11-22 by pointing out the harmony of the differing gifts distributed by Christ in the body.48 Given this connection between the two sections, it is extremely unlikely that the prophets mentioned as foundation stones of the church in 2:20 are other than the prophets who contribute to its upbuilding in 4:11-12. In fact, in view of the larger context of 2:11-4:16, the prophets' specific role in the housebuilding work pictured in 4:7-16 would have to be none other than their foundational function described in 2:20.49

Clearly, then, contrary to Grudem's interpretation of the grammar and context of Eph 2:20 and 4:11, the prophets mentioned in those texts are the same, having a foundational role in the church universal and local. 10. Apostles and Prophets in 1 Cor 12:28 As for Gaffin's appeal to the distinction between apostles and prophets in 1 Cor 12:28, Grudem acknowledges that Paul does indeed distinguish between apostles and prophets there, but he protests Gaffin's appeal by saying that 1 Cor 12:28 should not dictate our exegesis of Eph 2:20 or any other passage where the words "apostles" and "prophets" appear. This response, however, overreacts to Gaffin's argument. Gaffin is not advocating the interpretive "tyranny" of 1 Cor 12:28 over other texts: he is simply saying that 1 Cor 12:28, together with Eph 4:11, establishes a burden of proof for those who like Grudem would see something other than a distinction between apostles and prophets in Eph 2:20. It remains for Grudem to produce the evidence that shifts the burden of proof from himself to those who differ with him. 11. No Reason Not to Designate Apostles as Prophets In this connection, Grudem argues that if (as Gaffin acknowledges) the apostles performed prophetic functions, and if the apostles Paul and John spoke of their personal prophetic activity, then there is no inherent reason why the apostles as a group could not be called "prophets" in Eph 2:20, provided the grammar and the context favor that interpretation. There are two significant problems with Grudem's discussion at this point. First, Grudem attaches a crucial--and fatal--proviso to his claim. He says the identification of the apostles as "prophets" is reasonable, "provided the grammar and context favour this interpretation."50 We have already seen above that neither the grammar nor the context of Eph 2:20 favors his exegesis. By the lack of merit in his proviso, then, Grudem robs his point here of its intended force. Second, the warrant for our identification of the apostles as prophets turns on the criterion by which we identify someone as a prophet.51 Though I cannot argue the point fully here,52 I would contend that since the NT customarily links spiritual gifts to the ongoing ministries and stewardships of some believers in distinction to others (Rom 12:4-6; 1 Cor 12:5, 28-30; 1 Pet 4:10-11), we should understand that in the absence of evidence to the contrary the term prophet applies to those believers who by virtue of their ongoing engagement in prophetic activity are distinguished from other believers.53 Using this criterion in evaluating the apostles' prophesying, we would have to say that their identification, individually or collectively, as prophets is based more on conjecture than proof. For instance, Paul certainly alludes to his own prophetic activity (1 Cor 14:6), but the evidence for his identification as a prophet in the conventional sense is inconclusive, first, because his prophesying does not appear as an ongoing ministry that distinguished him from other believers, and second and more importantly, because Paul invariably distinguishes himself from others by identifying his "gift" ("stewardship," "ministry," or "grace") as that of apostleship or its non-prophetic correlates.54 Moreover, that John (and arguably Peter) engaged on occasion in prophetic activity (Rev 1:3; 22:7; Acts 10:9-29) fails to meet the criterion above for identifying him as a prophet in the customary sense. Finally, apart from considerations of the grammar and context of Eph 2:20, it is pure speculation to argue that any of the other apostles met the criterion and could therefore be called prophets.55

In light of these considerations, it would seem wisest to say that the prophesying by NT apostles illustrates how God could make an exception to his customary practice and enable those who were not otherwise prophets to exercise the gift of prophecy temporarily on particular occasions (cf. Acts 19:6).56 We do not have sufficient justification to follow Grudem in designating the apostles as prophets, that is, as those whose ministry and stewardship in the body of Christ was that of ongoing engagement in prophetic activity. 12. No Need for an Explanation to the Readers Grudem insists lastly that grammar and context would have obviated any need for Paul to explain his identification of the apostles as prophets in Eph 2:20 vis--vis his distinction between the two groups in Eph 4:11. Our considerations of grammar and context, however, only corroborate Gaffin's conclusion: the sense Grudem attaches to the term "prophets" in Eph 2:20 would have been lost on Paul's readers without some word of explanation, especially since he goes on in Eph 4:11 to reinforce the term's conventional usage.57 IV. Conclusion Wayne Grudem brought into focus just how important the exegesis of Eph 2:20 is to the debate over prophecy's duration when he wrote, If [Eph 2:20 is] referring to all the prophets in all the local congregations in first century churchesthen it would seem that they are portrayed in a unique 'foundational' role in the New Testament church, and we have to agree with Dr Gaffin--we would expect this gift to cease once the New Testament was complete.58 Of course, as it turns out, Grudem would persuade us to disagree with Gaffin. To this end, he offers counterarguments to Gaffin's interpretation, hoping that they will establish and defend his claim that tw'n ajpostovlwn kaiV profhtw'n in Eph 2:20 means "the apostles who are also prophets." But, as I have tried to show here, Grudem's case for his exegesis of Eph 2:20 is very weak. Virtually every facet of our examination either confirms or strengthens one's belief that Grudem's view is unlikely, even forced. In fact, given the serious flaws in Grudem's argumentation, we have every reason to endorse heartily Gaffin's conclusion that in Eph 2:20 the NT prophets are distinct from but united with the apostles in their function as foundation stones of the church. Indeed, recognizing the periodization of redemptive history implied in Eph 2:20 and its context, I would contend with Gaffin that the NT prophets had a "temporary, noncontinuing function in the church's history, and so by God's design pass[ed] out of its life, along with the apostles."59 Westminster Theological Seminary Philadelphia ---------------------------------------------------------------------------321--WTJ 54 (Fall 1992) 321-330 1 M. G. Maudlin, "Seers in the Heartland: Hot on the Trail of the Kansas City Prophets," Christianity Today, 14 January 1991, 18-22 2 Ibid., 20. 3 R. Fowler White, "Gaffin and Grudem on 1 Cor 13:10: A Comparison of Cessationist and Noncessationist Argumentation," JETS 35 (1992). After the acceptance of the 1 Cor 13:10 article and the present article for publication, at least three critiques of Grudem's views appeared: Kenneth L.

Gentry, Jr., The Charismatic Gift of Prophecy: A Reformed Response to Wayne Grudem (Memphis: Footstool, 1989); F. David Farnell, "Fallible New Testament Prophecy/Prophets? A Critique of Wayne Grudem's Hypothesis," The Master's Seminary Journal 2 (1991) 157-79; and Robert L. Thomas, "Prophecy Rediscovered? A Review of The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today," BSac 149 (1992) 83-96. Working independently, Gentry, Farnell, and Thomas reached conclusions similar to my own at certain points, but at others they choose not to respond to Grudem or do not give as compelling a response as could be given. 4 See R. B. Gaffin, Jr., Perspectives on Pentecost: New Testament Teaching on the Gifts of the Holy Spirit (Phillipsburg, NJ: Presbyterian and Reformed, 1979) 93-102, and W. A. Grudem, The Gift of Prophecy in the New Testament and Today (Westchester, IL: Crossway, 1988) 45-64. The importance each man attaches to the other's discussion of Eph 2:20 is seen in the following facts: (1) in personal conversation Gaffin has informed me that Grudem was a silent interlocutor of his (by means of Grudem's dissertation) during the writing of Perspectives; and (2) Grudem calls Gaffin's discussion "the most careful statement of the position that Ephesians 2:20 applies to all prophets in the New Testament churches and shows that the gift of prophecy has ceased" (ibid., 314 n. 7). 5 Gaffin, Perspectives, 96. 6 Ibid., 95. Strictly speaking, for Gaffin the foundation of the church consists of Christ (Eph 2:20b; 1 Cor 3:11) and the apostles and prophets. The laying of the foundation (Isa 28:16) began with Christ (e.g., Matt 21:42-44) and concluded with the apostles and prophets as witnesses to Christ (e.g., Luke 24:44-48). See ibid., 91-93, 107-8. On the meaning of the much debated term ajkrogwniai'o" in Eph 2:20, see, for example, J. Jeremias, "gwniva," TDNT 1.791-93; N. Mundle, "Rock, Stone, Corner-stone, Pearl, Precious Stone," NIDNTT 3.388-90; H. Krmer, "gwniva, ajkrogwniai'o"," Exegetical Dictionary of the New Testament 1.267-69; and J. P. Louw and E. A. Nida, eds., Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament: Based on Semantic Domains (New York: United Bible Societies, 1988) 1.7.44. Despite the attempts to defend the "keystone" interpretation first propounded by Jeremias (see, e.g., the recent effort by A. T. Lincoln, Ephesians [WBC 42; Waco, TX: Word, 1990] 155-56), the aggregate of the evidence favors the "foundation stone" interpretation. 7 Gaffin, Perspectives, 96. 8 Ibid., 93. 9 Ibid., 94. 10 For the full account of Gaffin's argumentation, see ibid., 94-95. 11 Ibid., 95. Gaffin acknowledges that "the gift [of prophecy] could be given temporarily on particular occasions to those who were not prophets (cf. Acts 19:6)" (ibid.). But he notes that the "usage in Acts and Revelation as well as Paul makes plain that 'prophets' designates those who in their frequent or regular exercise of the gift of prophecy are a distinct group within the church" (ibid.; cf. ibid., 59). For a similar distinction, see E. E. Ellis, "The Role of the Christian Prophet in Acts," in Apostolic History and the Gospel: Biblical and Historical Essays Presented to F. F. Bruce (ed. W. Ward Gasque and R. P. Martin; Exeter: Paternoster, 1970) 55-67. 12 R. B. Gaffin, Jr., "The New Testament as Canon," in Inerrancy and Hermeneutic: A Tradition, A Challenge, A Debate (ed. H. M. Conn; Grand

Rapids: Baker, 1988) 175. 13 Grudem, Prophecy, 57-63. 14 Ibid., 54. See also Gaffin, "The New Testament as Canon," 174. 15 Grudem, Prophecy, passim. 16 For the full account of Grudem's argumentation, see ibid., 49-62. 17 Ibid., 62. 18 Grudem's view of the syntax in Eph 2:20 is shared by D. Hill, New Testament Prophecy (London: Marshall, Morgan and Scott, 1979) 139; H. Sahlin, " 'Die Beschneidung Christi': Eine Interpretation von Eph 2, 11-22," SymBU 12 (1950) 18; and E. Cothenet, "Prophetisme dans le Nouveau Testament," DBSup 8.1306-09. 19 Grudem, Prophecy, 50-51. The constructions in his examples involve either singular nouns, plural participles, plural adjectives, or a combination of a plural noun with a plural participle or adjective. 20 D. B. Wallace, "The Semantic Range of the Article-Noun-KAI-Noun Plural Construction in the New Testament," Grace Theological Journal 4 (1983) 59-84, esp. 70-79, 82-83. Wallace restricts his discussion to constructions in which the plurals refer to persons and, at the same time, expands it to include all substantives under the title "noun" (ibid., 61). He considers the theoretical and actual semantic range of the construction in five categories: (1) two entirely distinct groups, though united; (2) two overlapping groups; (3) first group subset of second; (4) second group subset of first; and (5) two groups identical. By personal correspondence Wallace has also informed me that in other work involving the construction, he has broadened the scope of his research beyond the NT to include examples from the papyri. Among those examples, he reports that usage in the papyri is very much in step with that of the NT. 21 Wallace, "Semantic Range," 83 (emphasis Wallace's). Recall also Wallace's additional work on usage in the papyri. 22 Wallace argues that, if in the NT all pastors (= elders) were teachers but not all teachers were pastors, Eph 4:11 falls most probably under the well-attested category of "first subset of the second" and means "the pastors (= elders) and other teachers" ("Semantic Range," 83). Alternatively, we could look at 1 Tim 5:17 as a somewhat fuller picture of what Paul has in mind in Ephesians and explain Eph 4:11 as a shorthand reference to elders only: all elders rule (= are pastors), but not all elders earn their wages in the word and teaching (= are teachers; cf. G. W. Knight, III, "Two Offices and Two Orders of Elders," in Pressing Toward the Mark: Essays Commemorating Fifty Years of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church [ed. C. G. Dennison and R. C. Gamble; Philadelphia: The Committee for the Historian of the Orthodox Presbyterian Church, 1986] 29-30). Eph 4:11 would then fit Wallace's "second group subset of first" category and mean "the pastors and in particular teachers." This category would reflect well the implications of the syntax in 1 Tim 5:17 (the adverb mavlista introducing v. 17b). Still, we could subsume this latter suggestion under Wallace's categorization as simply a further explanation of "the pastors (= elders)." On poimhvn and associated terms, see the informative comments on Eph 4:11 by Lincoln, Ephesians, 250-51. 23 Grudem, Prophecy, 51. Had Paul really intended to express the idea Grudem attributes to him, Wallace's study suggests that the article-noun-kaiv-noun

plural construction would have most likely involved at least one participle or adjective functioning as a substantive (see "Semantic Range," 75-78). For additional discussion of constructions more consistent with Grudem's exegesis of Eph 2:20, see D. G. McCartney, review of The Gift of Prophecy in 1 Corinthians, by Wayne A. Grudem, WTJ 45 (1983) 196. 24 As an alternative, we could follow Wallace here. He applies the category "first group subset of second" to tw'n ajpostovlwn kaiV profhtw'n, since certain apostles have prophetic activity attributed to them ("Semantic Range," 82, esp. n. 66). The phrase would then mean, "the apostles and other NT prophets." This understanding of the syntax is certainly statistically more likely than Grudem's, but in my view it is less likely than the "distinct, but united" category on the non-statistical grounds discussed below under III. 11. 25 Gaffin, Perspectives, 95. Cf. F. F. Bruce, The Epistles to the Colossians, to Philemon, and to the Ephesians (NICNT; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1984) 304, 315 n. 29. D. A. Carson, one of Grudem's chief supporters, alleges that this exegesis results in "an anomalous use of 'prophets' in the New Testament" (Showing the Spirit: A Theological Exposition of 1 Corinthians 12-14 [Grand Rapids: Baker, 1987] 97). In response to this observation, we must first ask whether Carson would think the (non-apostolic) prophets' role in the church's foundation so problematic if he did not already accept Grudem's interpretation of their function elsewhere in the NT. We should note, secondly, that, unlike Carson's (Grudem's) alternative, at least our (Gaffin's) exegesis is not based on an anomalous understanding of the construction Paul employs in Eph 2:20. 26 Cf. Gentry, The Charismatic Gift, 32. 27 Grudem, Prophecy, 89-90, 96-102, 156. Curiously, nowhere in his discussion does Grudem deal with Gaffin's comments on the relationship between the oracles of Agabus and the revelation of Gentile inclusion (see Gaffin, Perspectives, 98-99). On the accuracy of Agabus's oracle in Acts 21, see, for example, D. S. McWilliams, "Something New Under the Sun? Wayne Grudem on Prophecy," WTJ 54 (1992). 28 Gaffin, Perspectives, 99. The reference to the "one body" among the acclamations cited in Eph 4:4-6 may be a clue that the revelation of Gentile inclusion in the body in 3:6 (cf. 2:16) is but one aspect of a larger revelatory matrix (excerpted in Eph 4:4-6), whose unity is, in Gaffin's words (ibid., 95), "nothing less than Christ in all his saving fulness (Col. 2:2f.), the gospel in all its aspects (Eph. 6:19; cf. Rom. 16:25f.)." It is also interesting to note that the revelations to Agabus exemplify the truths of the mystery of the gospel in a way analogous to Paul's rebuke to Peter concerning his hypocritical withdrawal from association with the Gentiles at Antioch (Galatians 2). 29 Cf. Gentry, The Charismatic Gift, 33-35. See n. 6 above. 30 The claim that God's housebuilding work proceeded on a foundation to which others could be added does not necessitate the conclusion that his foundation-laying activity could continue as long as his work of building the superstructure (i.e., to the end of this age). On the contrary, as is clear from the case of Christ as the foundational cornerstone (Eph 2:20b; 1 Cor 3:11), foundationality applies to that which is both functionally determinative of the integrity of a house's superstructure and temporally (historically) initiatory and once-for-all, hence noncontinuing, in the course of a housebuilding work. By its very nature, then, the activity of laying the church's foundation could not continue as long as the work of building her superstructure, but must be preparatory to (at least the bulk

of) that work. Moreover, once we grasp the epochal significance of the foundation-laying activity, attempts to identify its terminus ad quem become less important. 31 For a complete discussion of the problems with Grudem's appeal to Rev 21:14, see Gentry, The Charismatic Gift, 31-32. Gentry and I arrived independently at a common assessment of the specific problem cited here. 32 Cf., for example, R. J. McKelvey, The New Temple: The Church in the New Testament (London: Oxford University Press, 1969) 116; Lincoln, Ephesians, 156, 158; and Bruce, Epistles, 306-7. 33 Cf. Lincoln, Ephesians, 170-72. 34 Gaffin, Perspectives, passim. 35 Grudem, Prophecy, 70-79, 104-5. See also Carson, Showing the Spirit, 95. M. M. B. Turner, on whom Carson is dependent, writes, "The presupposition [of 1 Cor 14:29] is that any one New Testament prophetic oracle is expected to be mixed in quality, and the wheat must be separated from the chaff" ("Spiritual Gifts Then and Now," Vox evangelica 15 [1985]:16 [emphasis Turner's]). A similar position is taken by D. Atkinson, Prophecy (Bramcote, England: Grove Books, 1977) 13-14, 16-17. 36 Grudem, Prophecy, 78. 37 This proposal bridges the gap between Grudem and Gaffin on the interpretation of 1 Cor 14:29. It does justice to the implications (of sorting or sifting things) that Grudem sees in Paul's use of the verb diakrivnw in 14:29 (ibid., 76-78); it also does justice to the connection that Gaffin sees between the exercise of discernment (diakrivnw) in 14:29 and the gift of discerning the spirits (diavkrisi" pneumavtwn) in 12:10 (Perspectives, 70; according to Gaffin, those with the gift led the judging process, but did not monopolize it). In addition, this proposal supports Gaffin's overall representation of the judging process as an activity designed to determine the source of prophecies (ibid., 70-71). On this latter point, cf. Hill, Prophecy, 133-35. 38 The confessional acclamations of Eph 4:4-6 may also be read as standards by which the Ephesians were to judge prophets and others with word gifts (2:20; 3:5; 4:11) and so distinguish between those who were speaking the truth (cf. 4:15) and those who were speaking false doctrine (4:14). 39 Commentators have consistently interpreted pneu'ma in 2 Thess 2:2 in terms of spurious prophetic activity, whether they explain the word as a reference to a false prophet or to an oracle from a false prophet. Paul clearly implies that the pneu'ma is spurious by linking it with a deceitful source(s) (2:2, mhv ti" ujma'" ejxapathvsh/) and a threat of deception (2:3, mhv ti" uJma'" ejxapathvsh/). See the commentaries for more details. 40 The summary here reflects the description of Gaffin's view by Carson, Showing the Spirit, 95. Grudem's alternative, in which the process consists of judging prophecies instead of prophets (Prophecy, 75), involves a false disjunction. 41 Grudem maintains that this difference is to be explained by distinguishing between the authority of OT and NT prophecy, ignoring an explanation in terms of the shift from the old covenant to the new (Prophecy, 77-78). Regarding the OT penalty for seduction to false worship by means of false prophecy and its NT application in the excommunication of the unrepentant prophet, see V. S. Poythress, The Shadow of Christ in the

Law of Moses (Brentwood, TN: Wolgemuth & Hyatt, 1991) 139-53, 289-310. We should remember that, even if the NT penalty for false prophecy differed from the OT penalty, false prophets from the NT era will receive the consummate form of the OT penalty (Matt 7:23; cf. 25:41). We should also observe that the absence of explicit NT threats of excommunication for false prophecy is not an adequate argument against excommunication's applicability (pace Carson, Showing the Spirit, 95). In the first place, explicit threats of excommunication for specific offenses are very rare in the NT; if we must rely on implication in other cases, then we may do so in the case of false prophecy. Secondly, such threats are certainly implied for false prophecy when Christ and the apostles admonish the churches in the strongest terms not to tolerate prophets whose instruction is evil or false and thus threatens to lead them astray (1 John 4:1-6; 1 Thess 5:22; 2 Thess 2:3, 15; cf. Rev 2:20-23). In this connection, Grudem's claim that the churches weighed a prophet's statements on a relative (i.e., graded) scale including good and less good, helpful and unhelpful, true and false (Prophecy, 76-77) seriously misrepresents the absolute polarity in the biblical standards between good and evil (1 Thess 5:21-22), the Spirit of God and the spirit of antichrist (the world), the spirit of truth and the spirit of error (1 John 4:1-6). 42 See, for example, R. B. Dillard, 2 Chronicles (WBC 15; Waco, TX: Word, 1987) 144-45. My thanks to Dr. Dillard for reminding me of these continuities between the OT and NT approaches to prophecy. Though Atkinson does not notice the OT-NT continuities, see also his discussion of discerning false prophets in the OT (Atkinson, Prophecy, 9-10). Farnell ("Critique," 170-76) also makes some valuable points about Grudem's discussion of the relationship between OT and NT prophets. 43 Grudem may be right that the gift of discerning the spirits was not limited to testing the spirits of the prophets (Prophecy, 70-72). Still, his attempt to avoid a connection between that gift and the judging of prophecy in 1 Cor 14:29 is greatly overdrawn (D. E. Aune, Prophecy in Early Christianity and the Ancient Mediterranean World [Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1983] 411 n. 185. Aune expressed this opinion in response to Grudem's article, "A Response to Gerhard Dautzenberg on 1 Cor 12:10," BZ 22 [1978] 253-70, but it remains relevant to Grudem's comments in Prophecy). 44 Cf. the conclusion reached independently by Farnell, "Critique," 168. 45 Wallace, "Semantic Range," 83. See n. 22 above. 46 This portrayal is consistent with the role of the Twelve who, though they were foundation stones on which the church (universal and local) was built, were also elders in the local congregation at Jerusalem (Acts 6:1-6; cf. 1 Pet 5:1). A similar dual role for prophets is discernible insofar as the prophecies recorded in the NT pertained to localized, even individual, concerns and at the same time were integral to redemptive-historical developments involving the universal church. We have already seen these traits in the oracles of Agabus (see III. 3. above). The prophecies concerning Timothy (1 Tim 1:18; 4:14) are relevant here too. They were both fully binding on Timothy and providentially integral to the transition from the foundational era to the post-foundational era in the history of the church. 47 Gaffin, Perspectives, 94. 48 The verbal and conceptual parallels between 4:7-16 and 2:14-22 are apparent. For example, the themes of housebuilding (temple building) and Christ's redemptive victory, already linked in 2:14-22, are again linked in 4:7-16 as Paul connects the distribution of gifts by Christ the triumphant

Divine Warrior (note the citation of the Divine Warrior victory hymn [Ps 68] in 4:8) with the building of his body, the dwelling place of his Spirit (cf. 2:16, 18, 21-22). For additional parallels, see, for example, Lincoln, Ephesians, 231, 249, 261. 49 Cf. Gaffin, Perspectives, 94. 50 Grudem, Prophecy, 61 (emphasis mine). 51 On the criterion for identifying people as prophets, see Gaffin, Perspectives, 59, 93-95, and Grudem, Prophecy, 197-98. 52 For instructive discussions of the relationship between gifts, ministry, and office, see Turner, "Spiritual Gifts," 33-37 and especially H. Ridderbos, Paul: An Outline of His Theology (trans. J. R. De Witt; Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 1975) 438-46. 53 Gaffin, Perspectives, 59, 95, and Grudem, Prophecy, 197, 212. Note that Gaffin speaks of "frequent or regular exercise of the gift of prophecy" (ibid., 95), whereas I speak of "ongoing engagement in prophetic activity." The difference between my description and Gaffin's is intended to be stylistic, not substantive. 54 It is certainly beyond dispute that Paul consistently identifies his "gift" with functions other than prophecy (see Rom 1:5; 12:3; 1 Cor 3:5; Col 1:25; 1 Tim 2:7; 2 Tim 1:11). Even in Ephesians, as he refers (evidently) to an occasion on which he was involved in prophetic activity (3:3-4) and links himself with prophets and apostles (2:20; 3:5), Paul nevertheless describes his gift-stewardship-ministry-grace only in terms of apostleship and its non-prophetic correlates (1:1; 3:2, 7, 8). On the NT picture of Paul's prophetic experiences, see Hill, Prophecy, 111-18, and Aune, Prophecy in Early Christianity, 248-49. (The conclusion of Hill and Aune that Paul was a prophet is not inconsistent with my argument here [see n. 56]). It is worth pointing out that even if we were to conclude that Paul was a prophet in the customary sense, we would still be far from proving that this was so for all apostles. 55 Lest Grudem be found arguing that only some of the apostles--those who were also prophets--were the foundation of the church, his exegesis of Eph 2:20 requires him to affirm that all apostles were prophets. Apart from his arguments from the grammar and context of Eph 2:20, there is no evidence to corroborate Grudem's conclusion. 56 Gaffin, Perspectives, 59, 95. In personal conversation, R. B. Dillard has suggested that we may find OT examples of the occasional vis--vis ongoing exercise of the gift of prophecy in the patriarchs (Ps 105:15; Gen 20:7) and David (2 Sam 23:2; cf. Acts 2:30). The designation of, for example, Abraham as a prophet (Gen 20:7) clarifies the point being made here. The question is not whether Paul, John, and Peter could like Abraham be called prophets in the exceptional sense of those who once or from time to time engaged in prophetic activity, but whether they could be called prophets in the conventional sense of those whose stewardship or ministry was that of frequently or regularly engaging in prophetic activity. 57 Ibid., 95. 58 Grudem, Prophecy, 46. 59 Gaffin, Perspectives, 95-96.