False prophet

In religion, a false prophet is a person who falsely claims the gift of prophecy or divine inspiration, or to speak for God, or who makes such claims for evil ends. Often, someone who is considered a "true prophet" by some people is simultaneously considered a "false prophet" by others, even within the same religion as the "prophet" in question. In a wider sense, it is anyone who, without having it, claims a special connection to the Deity and sets him or herself up as a source of spirituality, as an authority, preacher, or teacher. Analogously, the term is sometimes applied outside religion to describe someone who fervently promotes a theory that the speaker thinks is false.


Throughout the New Testament, there are warnings of both false prophets and false Messiahs, and believers are adjured to be vigilant, for example, the Sermon on the Mount :
The New Testament addresses the same point of a false prophet predicting correctly and Jesus predicted the future appearance of false Christs and false prophets, affirming that they can perform great signs and miracles, for example, the Olivet Discourse:
In the Gospel of Luke, Jesus brought out an ethical application for his disciples using the analogy of false prophets in the Old Testament:
In the Acts of the Apostles, Paul and Barnabas encountered a false prophet named Elymas Bar-Jesus on the island of Cyprus:
This particular story likewise best matches the model found in Deuteronomy. The claim here is that Elymas is trying to turn Sergius Paulus from the true faith, just like the false prophet described in the preceding verses. In these verses, we do not see Elymas prophesying as the term is popularly understood, so the model seems to fit this scenario best.
The Second Epistle of Peter makes a comparison between false teachers and false prophets and how the former will bring in false teachings, just like the false prophets of old:
The First Epistle of John warns those of the Christian faith to test every spirit because of these false prophets:

The false prophet of ''Revelation''

One well-known New Testament false prophet is the false prophet mentioned in the Book of Revelation. The Apocalypse's false prophet is the agent of the Beast, and he is ultimately cast with the Beast into the lake of "fire and brimstone". The character traits of the beast from the land are revealed in its divided personality. It appears outwardly benign as a lamb, but its discourse reveals its true nature: It speaks like a dragon. Another mention of a false prophet in the New Testament is an antichrist spirit which denies the Son.


The Quran portrays Muhammad as the Seal of the Prophets, which is understood by mainstream Sunni and Shia Muslims to mean that anyone who claims to be a new prophet after him is a false prophet. All mainstream Muslim scholars' perspectives from both Sunni and Shia denominations do not see the second coming of the Messiah as the coming of a new prophet, as the Islamic Messiah Jesus had already been an existing prophet, and will rule by the Qur'an and Sunnah of Muhammad, bringing no new revelation or prophecy.
Thawban ibn Kaidad narrated that Muhammad said;
Abu Hurairah narrated that Muhammad said;
Muhammad also stated that the last of these Dajjals would be the False Messiah, al-Masih ad-Dajjal :
Samra ibn Jundab reported once Muhammad said;
Anas ibn Malik narrated that Muhammad said;
Imam Mahdi, the redeemer according to Islam, will appear on Earth before the Day of Judgment. At the time of the Second Coming of Christ, the Prophet 'Isa will kill al-Masih ad-Dajjal.
Muslims believe that both Jesus and Mahdi will rid the world of wrongdoing, injustice and tyranny, ensuring peace and tranquility.


Jesus is rejected in Judaism as a failed Jewish Messiah claimant and a false prophet.
The Books of Kings records a story where, under duress from Ahab, the prophet Micaiah depicts God as requesting information from his heavenly counsel as to what he should do with a court of false prophets. This depiction is recorded in 1 Kings 22:19–23:
It is possible that Micaiah meant to depict the false prophets as a test from YHWH. It is also possible that it was meant as a slur on Ahab's prophets, such as Zedekiah, the son of Chenaanah.
The penalty for false prophecy, including speaking in the name of a god other than YHWH or speaking presumptuously in YHWH's name, is death. Likewise, if a prophet makes a prophecy in the name of YHWH that does not come to pass, that is another sign that he is not commissioned of YHWH and that the people need not fear the false prophet.
The Jewish Koine Greek term pseuoprophetes occurs in the Septuagint Jeremiah 6:13, 33:8,11 34:7, 36:1,8, Zechariah 13:2, Josephus' Antiquities 8-13-1,10-7-3, War of the Jews 6-5-2, and Philo Specific Laws 3:8. Classical pagan writers use the term pseudomantis.

Use outside religion

The term false prophet is sometimes applied outside religion, to describe promoters of scientific, medical, or political theories which the author of the phrase thinks are false. Paul Offit's 2008 book Autism's False Prophets applied the phrase to promoters of unproven theories and therapies such as the unsupported relationship between thiomersal and vaccines and chelation therapy. Ronald Bailey's 1993 book Ecoscam: The False Prophets of Ecological Apocalypse applied the phrase to promoters of the global warming hypothesis; however, by 2005 Bailey had changed his mind, writing "Anyone still holding onto the idea that there is no global warming ought to hang it up."