I am asking this in response to this question, in which the asker is unwilling to edit the question to make it more suitable for this site; although I think the general idea behind the question is a good one.

Is there a prescribed method for proving that a prophet is a true prophet? We have seen that there are at least a couple of ways to show that someone is not a true prophet, but are there any ways to positively show that someone is a true prophet?

I am looking for answers in either the Written or Oral Torah, or any other authoritative texts.


A prophet is confirmed as a true prophet by repeatedly making accurate predictions of the future (and only accurate predictions) or by the [direct] testimony of another confirmed prophet.

Mishneh Torah 10:5

When a prophet proclaims that another individual is [also] a prophet, we accept the latter as a prophet without requiring [any further] investigation. Thus, after Moses, our teacher, proclaimed that Joshua [was a prophet], all the Jews believed in him before he performed any wonders. The same holds true for subsequent generations.

Once a prophet has made known his prophecy, and his words have proven true time after time, or another prophet has proclaimed him a prophet, if he continues in the path of prophecy, it is forbidden to doubt him or to question the truth of his prophecy.

[When establishing the authenticity of a prophet,] it is forbidden to test him more than necessary. We may not continue to test him forever, as [Deuteronomy 6:15] states: "Do not test God, your Lord, as you tested him in Marah," when [the Jews] said [Exodus 17:7]: "Is God in our midst or not?" Rather, once an individual is established as a prophet, we should believe in him and know that God is in our midst. We should not doubt or question him, as implied by [Ezekiel 2:5]: "They shall know that a prophet was in their midst."

| improve this answer | |
  • Is there a number of times that he must be correct before we accept him as a prophet? Also, how should we treat his prophecies before he is a confirmed prophet? – Daniel Feb 19 '13 at 6:53
  • Also, do the predictions have to be sufficiently specific to some level? – Daniel Feb 19 '13 at 6:56
  • 1
    1. The halachah cited says only as much as necessary, which I would assume is at the discretion of the Beis Din, perhaps it would depend on how specific etc. 2. The first halachah of the chapter says that if someone who seems worthy claims to be a prophet we wait and see. – Yirmeyahu Feb 19 '13 at 6:58
  • By that test, this guy en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_the_Octopus is a prophet then.... – user4951 Oct 11 '13 at 5:36
  • No, first of all he never made a prophecy which is by definition to speak in the name of G-d. Second he "predicted" falsely. – Yirmeyahu Oct 11 '13 at 15:48

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .