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I was reading Wikipedia's article on Montanism and saw this passage:

The Montanist prophets did not speak as messengers of God but were described as possessed by God while being unable to resist.

This (and other text in the article) seems to reverberate of the oracles given at Delphi and at other pagan sites that were occurring during the same time frame.

Was Montanistic prophecy a reflection of this culture of oracles or was it something born out of its own right?

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up vote 3 down vote accepted

In the few reference texts (Moody Handbook of Theology, Hodges Systematic Theology & Eckman's Exploring Church History) that I looked at all references to Montanist prophecies stated that they claimed to be speaking for the Holy Spirit. The line you reference seems to be based on third party observation, and the first party claim contradicts that. I could not find an answer to whether or not they were influenced by that tradition, the only documentation I could find refers to their beliefs in the Holy Spirit.

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Yeah, they definitely claimed that their prophecies were from the Holy Spirit. It just made me wonder if it was something they carried over from their paganistic roots and "Christianized". I suspect there's not really an answer, so I'll mark this as accepted. Thanks! – Richard Sep 27 '11 at 19:07

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