Discussion in 'General Theology' started by TheWordSmith, Oct 10, 2017.
Based on Hebrews 7 & 8 do we have a scriptural office of “priest” held by men in the church today?
Gen. 14:18 – this is the first time that the word “priest” is used in Old Testament. Melchizedek is both a priest and a king and he offers a bread and wine sacrifice to God.
Psalm 76:2 – Melchizedek is the king of Salem. Salem is the future Jeru-salem where Jesus, the eternal priest and king, established his new Kingdom and the Eucharistic sacrifice which He offered under the appearance of bread and wine.
Psalm 110:4 – this is the prophecy that Jesus will be the eternal priest and king in the same manner as this mysterious priest Melchizedek. This prophecy requires us to look for an eternal bread and wine sacrifice in the future. This prophecy is fulfilled only by the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Catholic Church.
In both Old and New Testaments, there are three ranks of priests, which are commonly referred to as the high priests, the ministerial priests, and the universal priests.
At the time of the Exodus the high priest was Aaron (Ex. 31:30, the ministerial priests were his four sons (Ex. 28:21; the sons were Nadab, Abihu, Eleazar, and Ithamar, the first two of which were killed for abusing their priestly duties), and the universal priests were the people of Israel as a whole (Exodus 19:6.
Prior to this time, there had been neither a high priest nor had God elected all of Israel as universal priests. There was only the ministerial priesthood, which appears to have resided in the firstborn male of each family. The existence of the pre-Aaronic ministerial priesthood is shown in Exodus 19:22 and 24 which differentiate the priests from the people but occur before the establishment in the Aaronic priesthood in Exodus 28. The fact that the ministerial priests were held by the firstborn is suggested (though not proven) by the exchange of the priestly tribe of Levi for the firstborn of Israel in Numbers 3.
In any event, the three-fold model of the priesthood which was in use at the time of Aaron was carried over into the New Testament and thus we find there also a high priest, ministerial priests, and universal priests.
In the New Testament age the high priest is Jesus Christ (Heb. 3:1, the ministerial priests are Christ’s ordained ministers of the gospel (Rom. 15:16, and the universal priests are the entire Christian people (1 Peter. 2:5, 9).
So the Bible clearly states that all Christians are priests (1 Peter 2:5 ,9, as the Catholic Church clearly teaches for all who bother to read its teachings, see Catechism of the Catholic Church 1141-4, 1268, 1305, 1535, 1547, 1591-2 on the common priesthood. But the Bible also said the same thing about the Israelites (Ex. 19:6), yet this did not prevent there from being a separate, ministerial priesthood even before the Law of Moses was given (Ex. 19:22, 24
read more here.
Of course not....We have Jesus eternal priesthood, and in Christ the priesthood of believers....
But any bogus claim of any NT priesthood to be identified with the Levitical priesthood is a complete fabrication.
Speaking of OT. Priests offering animal sacrifice...then trying to link it without any scriptural support is to be rejected.
Hebrews 7:28 For the law maketh men high priests which have infirmity; but the word of the oath, which was since the law, maketh the Son, who is consecrated for evermore.
It appears we agree Jesus is our High Priest.
1 Peter 2:5 Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house, an holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
1 Peter 2:9 But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light;
Revelation 1:6 And hath made us kings and priests unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.
It also appears we agree that we as believers are all priests according to the scriptures. I have no issue with your labels of “high priests, the ministerial priests, and the universal priests”.
Where we part is your attempt to instate the office of priest into the New Testament Church with only opinion on the meaning of certain passages.
Most all of the references in the New Testament to priests other than ones directly related to Jesus Christ are in reference to priests of the Old Testament variety or former OT priests converted to Christ Acts 6:7. Of the 25 references in Acts none of those are acting as a priest under the New Covenant.
It is my contention there is no such office in the New Testament church. The article you linked to went to great lengths to make that an office in the church today, but had no clear scriptural backing. The statement from the article “the ministerial priests are Christ’s ordained ministers of the gospel “ is opinion and not backed by the scripture provided.
Romans 15:16 That I should be the minister of Jesus Christ to the Gentiles, ministering the gospel of God, that the offering up of the Gentiles might be acceptable, being sanctified by the Holy Ghost.
Substituting the word priest for the word minister in Romans IMHO is not acceptable.
The offices that God set in the church do not include priests.
1 Corinthians 12:28 And God hath set some in the church, first apostles, secondarily prophets, thirdly teachers, after that miracles, then gifts of healings, helps, governments, diversities of tongues.
Ephesians 4:11 And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers;
12 For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ:
The fact that there are no references to a functioning office of priest in the New Testament should settle this point but I am quite aware that it will not.
From the article “The Office of New Testament Priest” by Jimmy Akin
“This priesthood is identical with the office of elder. In fact, the term “priest” is simply a shortened, English version of the Greek word for “elder” — presbuteros — as any dictionary will confirm. This is any some Old Catholic translations render the word as “priests” where Protestant Bibles have “elder.” For example, in the Douay-Rheims Bible (the Catholic equivalent of the King James Version) we read:”
Cherry picking translations, especially ones sanctioned by the Catholic Church is not very strong evidence.
Priest and elder are not interchangeable terms. I encourage everyone to do their own word study on this.
Thank you for this helpful post
Yea, so do I.
The Protestant interpretation of Hebrews 7 is contradicted by 1 Peter 2:5-9. Peter says: "like living stones be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ . . . But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s own people . . ."
When Peter declares all Christians to be priests, he does not contradict Christ as our "one mediator between God and men," which is the definition of a priest (1 Tm 2:5). The Catholic Church affirms and harmonizes both texts and both concepts.
There are two keys to understanding Hebrews 7.
Context: The inspired author is showing the superiority of Christ’s priesthood in contrast with the Old Covenant priesthood. He never denies the existence of a New Covenant priesthood.
Distinction: Christians do not usurp or diminish the unique priesthood of Christ when they are made to be priests. Unlike Old Covenant priests, they participate in the one priesthood of Christ. So intimate is the union of the baptized with Christ that St. Paul describes it as a body (cf. Rom 12:5,1 Cor 12:12-27) with Christ as its head (cf. Eph 1:22-23). What can be attributed to a hand in the body does not somehow take away from the head. It is Christ who empowers all Christians to participate in his priesthood. Indeed, it is "Christ [and his priesthood] living in them" (cf. Gal 2:20).
First Peter 2 indicates that all Christians are priests—but it does not mention the existence of a ministerial priesthood. Indeed, the ordained ministers of the New Covenant are called apostles (cf. Eph. 4:11), presbyters (cf. Jas 5:14), bishops (cf. 1 Tm 3:1), and deacons (cf. 1 Tm 3:8ff), but never priests (Gk. hiereus). So how do Catholics demonstrate the existence of a ministerial priesthood distinct from the universal priesthood?
First of all, a careful reading of 1 Peter 2, verses 5 and 9 reveals a reference to Exodus 19:6: ". . . and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation." This text from Exodus indicates a universal priesthood in the Old Testament. And yet, in Exodus 19:22, we read, "And also let the priests who come near to the Lord consecrate themselves . . . " In other words, a universal priesthood in the Old Covenant did not exclude the possibility of a distinct ministerial priesthood as well. It would be natural then to expect the same in the New Covenant. And indeed, that is precisely what we discover.
Here we see a central clue to the priestly nature of New Covenant ministers that becomes more and more telling as we traverse Scripture. New Covenant ministers reveal their essence as priests by their priestly functions. We do not find this priestly function ascribed to deacons, but we do in the cases of apostles, bishops, and "elders".
Matt. 19:11-12 – Jesus says celibacy is a gift from God and whoever can bear it should bear it. Jesus praises and recommends celibacy for full-time ministers in the Church. Because celibacy is a gift from God, those who criticize the Church’s practice of celibacy are criticizing God and this wonderful gift He bestows on His chosen ones.
Matt. 19:29 – Jesus says that whoever gives up children for the sake of His name will receive a hundred times more and will inherit eternal life. Jesus praises celibacy when it is done for the sake of His kingdom.
Matt. 22:30 – Jesus explains that in heaven there are no marriages. To bring about Jesus’ kingdom on earth, priests live the heavenly consecration to God by not taking a wife in marriage. This way, priests are able to focus exclusively on the spiritual family, and not have any additional pressures of the biological family (which is for the vocation of marriage). This also makes it easier for priests to be transferred to different parishes where they are most needed without having to worry about the impact of their transfer on wife and children.
1 Cor 7:1 – Paul teaches that it is well for a man not to touch a woman. This is the choice that the Catholic priests of the Roman rite freely make.
1 Cor. 7:7 – Paul also acknowledges that celibacy is a gift from God and wishes that all were celibate like he is.
1 Cor. 7:27 – Paul teaches men that they should not seek marriage. In Paul’s opinion, marriage introduces worldly temptations that can interfere with one’s relationship with God, specifically regarding those who will become full-time ministers in the Church.
1 Cor. 7:32-33, 38 – Paul recommends celibacy for full-time ministers in the Church so that they are able to focus entirely upon God and building up His kingdom. He “who refrains from marriage will do better.”
1 Tim. 3:2 – Paul instructs that bishops must be married only once. Many Protestants use this verse to prove that the Church’s celibacy law is in error. But they are mistaken because this verse refers to bishops that were widowers. Paul is instructing that these widowers could not remarry. The verse also refers to those bishops who were currently married. They also could not remarry (in the Catholic Church’s Eastern rite, priests are allowed to marry; celibacy is only a disciplinary rule for the clergy of the Roman rite). Therefore, this text has nothing to do with imposing a marriage requirement on becoming a bishop.
1 Tim. 4:3 – in this verse, Paul refers to deceitful doctrines that forbid marriage. Many non-Catholics also use this verse to impugn the Church’s practice of celibacy. This is entirely misguided because the Catholic Church (unlike many Protestant churches) exalts marriage to a sacrament. In fact, marriage is elevated to a sacrament, but consecrated virginity is not. The Church declares marriage sacred, covenantal and lifegiving. Paul is referring to doctrines that forbid marriage and other goods when done outside the teaching of Christ and for a lessor good. Celibacy is an act of giving up one good (marriage and children) for a greater good (complete spiritual union with God).
1 Tim. 5:9-12 – Paul recommends that older widows take a pledge of celibacy. This was the beginning of women religious orders.
2 Tim. 2:3-4 – Paul instructs his bishop Timothy that no soldier on service gets entangled in civilian pursuits, since his aim his to satisfy the One who enlisted him. Paul is using an analogy to describe the role of the celibate priesthood in the Church.
Rev. 14:4 – unlike our sinful world of the flesh, in heaven, those consecrated to virginity are honored.
Isaiah 56:3-7 – the eunuchs who keep God’s covenant will have a special place in the kingdom of heaven.
Jer. 16:1-4 – Jeremiah is told by God not to take a wife or have children.
Not when you rip Scripture from Tradition and Authority that it flowed from. The authority to ordain priests comes from God who gives this authority to the Apostles and their successors, not Scripture alone.
How do you know that? The issue with statements like that is that there is literally no way to verify what you're saying - so whenever I hear that I always wonder "how." How do you know that?
Anyways, to answer the OP's question - How else would be put people in pastoral/priest positions? Literally every denomination appoints their church leadership to their position. God doesn't leave a note on the current priest's desk saying who will be appointed next.
Once a person or group goes outside of scripture, they can invent any kind of teaching, because they are no longer the authority of God and his word.
11 These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.
No magesterium...just believers searching scripture...
Brother this is just one more in a long line of topics that we have discussed that comes back to one issue. That issue is, does the Catholic Church have the authority, and superiority on matters of faith it claims it has? I will in the future as I have in the past automatically question any faith, church or, denomination that has “we are the true church” in its statements. This is not about bashing Catholics this is about what is the truth and unless you just back away from tough questions as Mungo apparently has I have a feeling the questions are going to get a little tougher for your position.
If you remember I said I am in full agreement with what you pointed out from scripture that Christ is our high priest and we are all called priests in scripture.
I have been accused of arguing from silence on this forum. What do you call the above statement? Really ? The argument is now Peter never says there is not a priesthood so there must or can be one. ????
I am not allowed to get away with such tactics on this forum and neither are you (or Tim Staples).
Just as our other discussion on purgatory came to an end with no real evidence from scripture if feel this one will end the same way.
Illuminator posted :
Anti-Catholisism is a tradition of men
I am not anti-Catholic I am anti-tradition of men passed off as church authority and superiority.
It is extremely telling in this instance that Our Lord identifies the Church rather than Scripture as the final authority to be appealed to. He Himself says that if an offending brother "will not hear the Church, let him be to thee as the heathen and publican" (Matt. 18:17) – that is, as an outsider who is lost. Moreover, Our Lord then solemnly re-emphasizes the Church’s infallible teaching authority in verse 18 by repeating His earlier statement about the power to bind and loose (Matt. 16:18-19), directing it this time to the Apostles as a group (7) rather than just to Peter: "Amen I say to you, whatsoever you shall bind upon earth, shall be bound also in heaven; and whatsoever you shall loose upon earth, shall be loosed also in heaven." (Matt. 18:18).
Of course there are instances in the Bible where Our Lord does appeal to Scripture, but in these cases He, as one having authority, was teaching the Scriptures; He was not allowing the Scriptures to teach themselves.
Without Tradition and the Magisterium, there would be no Bible. The early church had no bible for 350 years, they relied on Apostolic Teaching, which they also relied on to discerned inspired books from fake books. The Biblical rule of faith is Tradition, Scripture and the Teaching Authority, all working in harmony. One is not over the other. It's worked for 2000 years, whereas the Scripture alone model started falling apart immediately.
God doesn't leave a note on the current pastor's desk either. How priests are called is a whole different topic.
Matt. 16:18; 18:18 – Jesus uses the word “ecclesia” only twice in the New Testament Scriptures, which demonstrates that Jesus intended a visible, unified, hierarchical, and authoritative Church.
Acts 20:17,28 – Paul refers to both the elders or priests (“presbyteroi”) and the bishops (“episkopoi”) of the Church. Both are ordained leaders within the hierarchical structure of the Church.
1 Cor. 12:28 – God Himself appoints the various positions of authority within the Church. As a loving Father, God gives His children the freedom and authority to act with charity and justice to bring about His work of salvation.
Eph. 4:11 – the Church is hierarchical and includes apostles, prophets, pastors, and teachers, all charged to build up the Church. The Church is not an invisible entity with an invisible foundation.
Phil. 1:1 – Paul addresses the bishops and deacons of the Church. They can all trace their unbroken lineage back to the apostles.
1 Tim. 3:1; Titus 1:7 – Christ’s Church has bishops (“episkopoi”) who are direct successors of the apostles. The bishops can trace the authority conferred upon them back to the apostles.
1 Tim. 5:17; Titus 1:5; James 5:14 – Christ’s Church also has elders or priests (“presbyteroi”) who serve the bishops.
1 Tim. 3:8 – Christ’s Church also has deacons (“diakonoi”). Thus, Jesus Christ’s Church has a hierarchy of authority – bishops, priests and deacons, who can all trace their lineage back to Peter and the apostles.
Exodus 28:1 and 19:6 – shows the three offices of the Old Testament priesthood
(1). high priest – Aaron (Ex. 28:1);
(2). Ministerial priests – Aaron’s sons (Ex. 19:6; 28:1); and
(3). Universal priests – Israel (Ex. 19:6).
The New Testament priesthood also has three offices:
(1) High Priest – Jesus Christ (Heb. 3:1);
(2) Ministerial priests – the ordained bishops and priests (Rom. 15:16; 1 Tim. 3:1,8; 5:17; Titus 1:7); and
(3) Universal priests – all the baptized (1 Pet. 2:5,9; Rev. 1:6).
I am not sure how this turned to celibacy, but since you brought it up, we will go there.
Matthew 19:11-12 is about eunuchs not celibacy
the state of abstaining from marriage and sexual relations.
noun: eunuch; plural noun: eunuchs
a man who has been castrated, especially (in the past) one employed to guard the women's living areas at an oriental court.
an ineffectual person.
"a nation of political eunuchs"
I guess if you really want to read celibacy into this you can but that’s really not the context here.
Oh Lord Jesus help me on this one!
Is it not possible that if many priests who are pressured by church teaching into having an appearance of celibacy were allowed to marry we would not see the plague of pedophilia and homosexuality among priests?
1. You left out verses 2-6
2. Paul did not say priests he said “a man”
3. I am not so sure that the choice is freely made.
My advice here would be to make sure you have that gift before you try to convince your fellow church members you do.
Again you leave out verse 28.
Pretending one has the gift of celibacy when one does not creates its own set of problems.
My friend if you are going to represent the church with “the truth” lets keep it true.
1. You added “Paul recommends celibacy for full-time ministers in the Church” to the text, it is nowhere to be found.
2. Count the times Paul says every man or any man and get back to me on this point.
1. Widowers is not in the text
2. How does the bishop that has one wife remain celibate?
Does the church exalt “ marriage to a sacrament” for its priests?
Is this a true statement:
“Exceptions are admitted and there are over 200 married Catholic priests who converted from the Anglican Communion and Protestant faiths. In most Orthodox traditions and in some Eastern Catholic Churches men who are already married may be ordained priests, but priests may not marry after ordination” Clerical celibacy – Wikipedia
Are there women priests in the Catholic Church?
Celibacy is not in this text. This passage can apply to a whole list of affairs of this life.
For those that have that calling on their lives and commit to it Amen ,but if not they have not sinned.
Again this is much easier for a eunuch that for a non-eunuch who tries to act like one
What God commanded for Jeremiah cannot be transferred to everyone else.
I have responded to every single point you raised here, I challenge you to do the same in your own words, no articles quoted to answer please.
Not very becoming of a moderator. Just my opinion.
Prove the full doctrine of Scripture (ie., canon, inspiration, inerrancy, authority, etc.) independently of Tradition.
I am sure you have seen 2 Timothy 3:16 a 1000X. Check this out:
2 Tim. 3. 14 But as for you, continue in what you have learned (TRADITION) and have firmly believed, knowing from whom you learned it (MAGISTERIUM) 15 and how from childhood you have been acquainted with the sacred writings (SCRIPTURE) which are able to instruct you for salvation through faith in Christ Jesus. 16 All scripture is inspired by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, 17 that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.
Note that Scripture is not the first thing on his list but the last. And he tells them that the Bible is "profitable" not sufficient to instruct us. It is only when we include Scripture with Tradition and Magisterium that we are "fully equipped.". and the man of God is not self-ordained, but ordained by a higher authority (bishop)
Interestingly enough in Catholic Tradition the four uses of Scripture corresponded to the Quadriga, the four-fold method of exegesis for the Bible used in the medieval period:
Prophetic (correction), and
Moral (training in righteousness).
The same senses of scripture has been taught before the reformation and can be found here: CCC 115+
The protestant reformers rejected this and tried to reduce biblical exegesis to the literal-historical method. In doing so, they were considered by their Catholic contemporaries as being unbiblical for ignoring 2 Tim 3:16.