Much of Christianity is based on St. Paul's writings. Did Saul of Tarsus ever claim to be a prophet of God anywhere in the new testament?

  • Welcome to Christianity.SE. For a quick overview, please take the Site Tour. For more on what this site is all about, see: How we are different than other sites. May 7, 2017 at 20:19
  • In Christianity, to be a prophet is not the only way to have an influence, it's a misconception of yours. The same thing in Islam for instance. See for instance the sahabas, were they prophets? Were they words influent as reporters or commenters? Who gathered the hadiths?
    – Quidam
    May 9, 2017 at 9:07
  • And second misconception "Much of Christianity is based on St Paul", you forgot all the rest. It's the same thing if I say Islam is based on Al Tabari, it makes no sense. You should study a bit more.
    – Quidam
    May 9, 2017 at 9:11
  • @Quidam The significant difference is fallibility in their sayings and teachings. A prophet of God by definition is a messenger of God so any knowledge conveyed is transported directly from God to the messenger to us, therefore infallible message. If the person is not a messenger of God, then his teachings are not directly from God and therefore fallible. May 11, 2017 at 1:40
  • You confuse everything. Paul didn't bring new teachings, he gave his opinion, that's all. You should study a bit Christianity, because you doesn't seem to understand well basics. No offense.
    – Quidam
    May 12, 2017 at 10:21

2 Answers 2


Paul did not explicitly claim to be a Prophet although there were occasions where he acted as one (cf. Acts 13 & Acts 27), however he did claim to be personally called as an Apostle by the risen Christ Jesus.

The Apostles were specifically set apart by Jesus and given authority to teach and are generally considered by Christians to have either equivalent or greater authority to Prophets in regard to their writings:

Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and strangers, but fellow citizens with God’s people and also members of his household, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone. Ephesians 2:19-20 NIV

And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues. - 1 Corinthians 12:28 NIV


Paul was an apostle, but never claimed to be a prophet of the Old Testament variety. But he did claim to prophecy in the New Testament variety, which is the gift of prophecy. Two different offices/manifestations.
Romans 12:6

Having then gifts differing according to the grace that is given to us, whether prophecy, let us prophesy according to the proportion of faith;

1 Cor. 13:2

And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.

1 Cor. 13:9

For we know in part, and we prophesy in part.

1 Cor. 14:3

But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men to edification, and exhortation, and comfort.

The differences between an OT prophet and a NT prophet are many. For examples, the authentic OT prophet spoke as God directed (thus sayeth the LORD), while the NT believer covets the gift of prophecy. They judged prophetic veracity by results (came true, didn't lead away from the true God). We judge against Scripture and Spirit spiritually. They prophesied of what was to come (primarily Christ). We prophesy to edify, exhort, comfort in Christ.

  • A brief description of the difference between OT prophesy and NT prophesy would nicely complete this answer. May 8, 2017 at 20:20
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    In 1Cor 13:2, "I have the gift of prophecy" is not Paul claiming that he is a prophet. If it were, then he would also be claiming to "have not charity". Sep 23, 2019 at 13:03
  • The 1 Cor 13 quotes are Paul using a rhetorical device. If you claim it is a factual statement about himself you also have to say that he is claiming he "has not charity", which is obviously not true. The others are collective statements. "We prophesy: does not necessarily mean everyone does. "We Americans go to Canada frequently" does not mean every American goes to Canada. Sep 23, 2019 at 15:55
  • @RayButterworth I agree and that's what I said. Paul wasn't claiming to be a prophet like an OT prophet, but rather to have the gift of prophecy. And yes not all believers have that particular gift.
    – SLM
    Sep 26, 2019 at 14:49
  • In 1Cor 13:2, "I have the gift of prophecy" is not Paul claiming that he has the gift of prophecy. It it were, then he would also be claiming to "have not charity". Sep 26, 2019 at 15:11

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