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In religion, a prophet is a person who has directly encountered God, of whose intentions he can then speak. Those who are not prophets must then commit themselves to the divinely inspired word as an act of faith. This can be problematic, especially as there are false prophets. When the prophet is held to be genuine, new religions may be adopted, based on the prophet's teachings, and on their interpretation. A prophet often operates through some means of divination or channeling. The process of receiving a message from God (or the gods) is known either as prophecy or as revelation. (In this sense, the terms are synonyms.)

In popular usage, especially among Christians, a prophet is believed to be someone foretelling the future. While the religous texts certainly do contain examples of this sort of prophecy, the majority of messages from prophets in religious texts, such as the Biblical prophets in the Hebrew Bible, were speakers for God and taught social or religious messages that contained no such predictions.


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