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While prophecy as a phenomenon is well attested in the early Church (1 Cor. 12–14), the position of the prophets mentioned in the NT is unclear. Sometimes they appear as a distinct order of ministers (1 Cor. 12: 28); other references suggest something less definite (e.g. Acts 11: 27), while women as well as men could prophesy (Acts 21: 9). Several early Christian writers assume the authority of prophets, but prophecy seems to have died out. ‘Prophets’ were again prominent in Montanism, but they were unable to establish their authority against the developed episcopal authority of the Church.

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