A vicar is a representative, deputy or substitute; anyone acting "in the person of" or agent for a superior. Whatever is done "vicariously" on behalf of another is accomplished by one acting as their representative. The ambassadors of kings and emperors and nations are their vicars. A spokesman representing another is a "prophet", from the Greek prophetes "one who speaks for, on behalf of" (another).
In the Old Testament of the Bible the Rab-shakeh of Sennacherib was the vicar of Assyria; Nebuzaradan, "the captain of the bodyguard, a servant of the king of Babylon" was the vicar of Nebuchadnezzar in Jerusalem, and Gedaliah was appointed governor to represent the interests of the people of Judah and act as local vicar of Nebuchadnezzar.
The Christian doctrine of vicarious atonement asserts that Jesus Christ is the vicar of both God the Father to mankind, as Lord of lords and King of kings, and the vicar of sinful mankind on behalf of all before God the Father, as the universal Savior and King of all creation.
In Christian ecclesiology a vicar is an authorized representative of the authority of a bishop within a diocese, the local priest or pastor. A papal legate is an appointed ambassador authorized as a vicar of the Bishop of Rome acting on his behalf with his authority. In Catholic ecclesiology the Pope is called the Vicar of Christ.
The Secretary General of the United Nations is the elected representative "voice" of that international body to the nations of the world. During their term in office the Secretaries General of the United Nations have limited authority as vicars of the General Assembly.
- 2 Kings 18–19
- 2 Kings 25:8-12; Jeremiah 40:1-12
- See for example Revelation 13:11-15; the explanation of the origin of idolatry in Wisdom 14:12-21
- Hebrews 1:1-4
- Mormons who claim no church since the time of the apostles has had any truly authorized Christian prophets are ignorant of the fact that Popes and Patriarchs and Ecumenical councils are prophets of God speaking on behalf of God as living voices, prophetes, guided by the Holy Spirit (John 14:15-17; 16:12-15) defending and clarifying the meaning of the Christian revelation in the Gospel of Christ and the writings of the Apostles and Evangelists.