Pentecostalism Is Not New

Montanism was a second-century movement whose leader Montanus claimed to receive direct revelation from God. In addition, two of his “prophetesses,” Priscilla and Maximilla also claimed to receive such revelation. Such revelations were often accompanied by strange behavior. When Montanus had these revelations, “[He] became obsessed, and suddenly fell into frenzy and convulsions. He began to be ecstatic and to speak and to talk strangely” (Hist. eccl. 5.16.7).

—Michael J. Kruger, “Is the Existence of the NT Canon Incompatible with Claims of New Revelation?

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  1. Oh c’mon, when all the word faith people give us new and fresh revelations, that stuff should get tacked onto the Bible! You’re telling me Beth Moore or Benny Hinn or Dad Hagin aren’t on equal footing with the apostles?

    • Actually, no pentecostal or charismatic that I have ever heard of thinks that any kind of revelation should be added to scripture.

      • Rob,

        I don’t know whether you are old enough to remember the “Kansas City Prophets” (late 1980s–early 90s) or whether you might not be aware of the Pentecostal movement in Oxford, UK and other such groups. I had experience with both. In 1993 I heard people reciting prophecies they claimed to have received, for which they had a name and a date, which were extra-biblical, which they regarded as equal to Scripture. This quotation describes these and other modern, neo-Pentecostalist groups quite well.

    • I remember the Kansas City Prophets, although I wasn’t especially interested in my Christian faith at the time that stuff was going on. I’m a UK charismatic (so probably not your average reader), albeit at the milder end of the spectrum.

      Certainly, in the circles I’m familiar with, anyone who claimed a prophecy was equal in authority to scripture would not receive endorsement for that stance. My initial comment was addressing the idea of something being literally ‘tacked on’ to scripture, as though added to the canon. I’ve never heard of even the wildest pentecostal characters do that.

    • Maybe the majority say it should not be added to Scripture, but I’m inclined to think the majority would say it must be obeyed. Simply stating that something is a prophecy, or that someone speaks as a prophet or apostle, implies the need for submission of some sort. To that I respond with my Christian liberty. I am free from all extra-biblical requirements or revelations.

    • “Maybe the majority say it should not be added to Scripture, but I’m inclined to think the majority would say it must be obeyed.”

      In my experience, those things that are brought as prophecy don’t tend to be ‘directional’ (do this, do that) but, when functioning properly, is more in line with 1 cor 14:3. That is not to deny that there can be ‘encouragements’ which shape the direction a church takes. E.g. When prayerfully considering one of two or three options to go forward with, none of which contradict scripture, then if someone says that they believe God is leading in a certain way it becomes another factor to weigh.

      I’m not trying to defend all that goes under the name ‘prophecy’, however.

      • Rob,

        1. Wayne Grudem’s approach, which we might call “prophecy lite,” is not the traditional neo-Pentecostal approach. The typical AoG is more like what is attributed to the Montanists.

        2. The Oxford episode I mentioned happened in the narthex of St Aldates in ’93-94.

  2. Rob, I was using a bit of sarcasm but also you haven’t heard everything that’s been said by those who have said such so don’t be surprised when something this outrageous has been reported.

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