Skip to comments.The Priesthood of All Believers?
Posted on 08/13/2014 6:50:52 PM PDT by matthewrobertolson
1 Timothy 5:17, James 5:14-15, and other verses refer to the (ordained) ministerial priesthood. 1 Peter 2:9 refers to the "priesthood" of the laity. The ministers handle preaching and the Sacraments. The laity simply participate. Scripture makes a strong distinction.ierateuma/hierateuma (lay priesthood, Greek, Strong's #2406) [1 Peter 2:9, Lexicon]
sacerdotium (lay priesthood, Latin) [1 Peter 2:9]
presbuteroi/presbyteros (ministerial priesthood, Greek, Strong's #4245) [1 Timothy 5:17, James 5:14-15, Lexicon]
presbyteri/presbyteros (ministerial priesthood, Latin) [1 Timothy 5:17, James 5:14-15]
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“The laity simply participate.”
The Catholic Church: Wrong for 2000 years and still going!
Exactly. There is ONE mediator between God and man: Christ.
Go join the Russian old believers.
The NT knows nothing of a sacerdotal class in contrast to the laity; all believers are commanded to offer the sacrifices mentioned in Rom. 12:1; Phil. 2:17; 4:18; Heb. 13:15,16; 1 Pet. 2:5; (d) of Christ, Heb. 5:6; 7:11,15,17,21; 8:4 (negatively); (e) of Melchizedek, as the forshadower of Christ, Heb. 7:1,3."
Vine's Topical Bible: http://www2.mf.no/bibelprog/vines?word=%AFt0002209
1 Tim 5:17:
"The elders that rule well (...proestootes presbuteroi). See 1 Timothy 5:1 for ordinary sense of presbuteros for older man. But here of position in same sense as episkopos (1 Timothy 3:2) as in Titus 1:5 = episkopos in 1 Timothy 5:7. Cf. Lukes use of presbuteros (Acts 20:17) = Pauls episkopous (Acts 20:28). Proestotes is second perfect active participle of proisteemi (intransitive use) for which see note on 1 Timothy 3:4." [Greek letters deleted to preserve html format]
"Let the elders that rule well - Greek presbuteroi Presbyters. The apostle had given full instructions respecting bishops 1 Timothy 3:1-7; deacons 1 Timothy 3:8-13; widows 1 Timothy 5:3-16; and he here proceeds to prescribe the duty of the church toward those who sustain the office of elder. The word used - elder or presbyter - properly refers to age, and is then used to denote the officers of the church, probably because the aged were at first entrusted with the administration of the affairs of the church. The word was in familiar use among the Jews to denote the body of men that presided in the synagogue; see the Matthew 15:2 note; Acts 11:30; Acts 15:2 notes.
That rule well - Presiding well, or well managing the spiritual interests of the church. The word rendered rule -proestotes- is from a verb meaning to be over; to preside over; to have the care of. The word is used with reference to bishops, Titus 1:5, Titus 1:7; to an apostle, 1 Peter 5:1; and is such a word as would apply to any officers to whom the management and government of the church was entrusted. On the general subject of the rulers in the church; see the notes on 1 Corinthians 12:28. It is probable that not precisely the same organization was pursued in every place where a church was established; and where there was a Jewish synagogue, the Christian church would be formed substantially after that model, and in such a church there would be a bench of presiding eiders; see, on this subject, Whatelys Kingdom of Christ delineated, pp. 84-80. The language here seems to have been taken from such an organization."
“In that case no need for you, “pastor.” “
I can agree with that! Everyone who is born again into Christ is a priest. The only difference between a pastor and a member-priest is that my duty is to help them do theirs.
Early, early in Catholic history the priests started taking unwarranted authority to themselves. It became about *them* and not the people. They started wearing clothes that made them stand out, etc. None of it was taught by Christ. None of it was taught by Paul.
As I said, wrong for 2000 years and counting.
WOW, it's a good thing that Luther came along 1,600 years later to set Catholics straight....just in the nick of time...WHEW!! It's a good thing that he knew more about Christian beliefs and teachings than did 16 centuries of church leaders....pathetic
How about this: The only priest I need is Christ himself??
It’s a good thing that he knew more about Christian beliefs and teachings than did 16 centuries of church leaders....
Yes, he did know more!
The Catholic church had completely lost the Gospel. They were selling “indulgences”! They had a nice little religion thing going, a centuries-old scam. No relationship to Christ and His teachings whatsoever.
Thank God for Luther and the other reformers!
Not a food time for inter-Christian fighting. In the middle east, jihadis are killing all types of Christians and in the USA leftists don’t care if you are Catholics, Baptist or Presbyterian.
so Catholic Church has been wrong for 2000 years,
just how long has your sect, schismatic or splinter group been right for a year, twenty years, two hundred years?
I assumed it was formed by a man or men what makes them so right? how do you know that for a fact?
or are you the type of protestant who can’t be bothered with a sect or schismatic group?
Do you just stay home on the Lords Day and ‘church yourself’??
Ad Majoram Dei Gloriam
so it’s just you and the Lord, so are you one of those who stay home an the Lord’s Day and just ‘church yourself’?
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In 1 Peter 2:9, the word translated as "priesthood" is:
hierateuma - Strong's G2406
Anyone with even a passing knowledge of Greek should be able to guess this word has to do with an order with some religious function, due to the prefix "hiera", which we still retain in English via loan words, such as "hierophant", "hieratic", and "hieroglyphs", all words dealing specifically with sacred things set apart from the profane.
When Christ's priesthood is described, the same prefix is used, for example, in Heb. 7:11, 7:12, 7:14, and 7:24 the word is:
hierōsynē - Strong's G2420
Also, it is interesting to note that the same chapter of Hebrews, in verse 5, refers to the Levitical priesthood (which the Roman priests closely mimic in function), using the word:
hierateia - Strong's G2406
Again, we see the same prefix hiera/hiero, denoting a sacred priestly order.
Now, what about the verses that the Roman church claims refer to their priesthood? What words does the NT use in those cases?
Well, there is Acts 14:23 which speaks of ordaining these people, so that seems a good place to start, if we are looking for a reference to an ordained priesthood that the Romans make claim to. The word used there is:
presbyteros - Strong's G4245
This word is an adjective, though often used as a noun, that is derived from the Greek word "presbus", which means "elderly". The best literal translation for this word is, therefore "elder", not priest at all.
Of course, it could be that the word was not being used literally, but was a euphemism for a priesthood. Well, let's look at the other uses of the word in the NT, and see if we can get an idea of the contemporary usage.
This same word is used in combination with the phrases "chief priests" and/or "scribes" many times in the NT, for example, in Mat 16:21, Mat 21:23, Mat 26:3, Mat 27:1, Luk 9:22, etc. These words repeatedly used in close association do suggest that "elders" was used to denote an office, but was this office a priesthood?
Well, the solution to that question can be answered by looking at a verse such as Luke 22:66, which describes Christ being brought before a council of Jews to be interrogated:
"And as soon as it was day, the elders of the people and the chief priests and the scribes came together, and led him into their council, saying,
Art thou the Christ? tell us. And he said unto them, If I tell you, ye will not believe:"
Now, what council was this that the Jews brought Jesus before in Jerusalem? It could only be one council: the Sanhedrin. Now, what was the Sanhedrin, and who composed it? Was it the priesthood of Israel?
The Jewish Encyclopedia tells us Sanhedrin means:
"Hebrew-Aramaic term originally designating only the assembly at Jerusalem that constituted the highest political magistracy of the country."
Speaking of its functions the same source tells us:
"In the Talmudic sources the "Great" Sanhedrin at Jerusalem is so called in contradistinction to other bodies designated by that name; and it was generally assumed that this Great Sanhedrin was identical with the Sanhedrin at Jerusalem which is mentioned in the non-Talmudic sources, in the Gospels, and in Josephus. The accounts in the two different sets of sources referring to the Sanhedrin, however, differ materially in their main characteristics. The Great Sanhedrin is designated in the Talmudic sources as "Sanhedrin Gedolah hayoshebet be-lishkat ha-gazit" = "the Great Sanhedrin which sits in the hall of hewn stone"(Sifra, Wayiḳra, ed. Weiss, 19a). The mention of "sanhedrin" without the epithet "gedolah" (Yer. Sanh. i. 19c) seems to presuppose another body than the Great Sanhedrin that met in the hall of hewn stone. For neither Josephus nor the Gospels in speaking of the Sanhedrin report any of its decisions or discussions referring to the priests or to the Temple service, or touching in any way upon the religious law, but they refer to the Sanhedrin exclusively in matters connected with legal procedure, verdicts, and decrees of a political nature; whereas the Sanhedrin in the hall of hewn stone dealt, according to the Talmudic sources, with questions relating to the Temple, the priesthood, the sacrifices, and matters of a kindred nature. Adolf Büchler assumes indeed that there were in Jerusalem two magistracies which were entirely different in character and functions and which officiated side by side at the same time. That to which the Gospels and Josephus refer was the highest political authority, and at the same time the supreme court; this alone was empowered to deal with criminal cases and to impose the sentence of capital punishment. The other, sitting in the hall of hewn stone, was the highest court dealing with the religious law, being in charge also of the religious instruction of the people (Sanh. xi. 2-4)."
So, the council spoken of in the Gospels is the "political Sanhedrin". Who composed this Sanhedrin? The Jewish Encyclopedia says:
"This Sanhedrin, which was entirely aristocratic in character, probably assumed its own authority, since it was composed of members of the most influential families of the nobility and priesthood (comp. Sanh. iv. 2, where there is an allusion to the composition of this body). The Pharisees had no great influence in this assembly, although some of its members may have been friendly to them at various times. Though there are no definite references to gradations in rank among the several members, there seems to have been a committee of ten members, οὶ δέκαπρῶτοι, who ranked above their colleagues (comp. Schürer, "Gesch." 3d ed., ii. 201-202)."
So the Jewish traditions and the Gospels seem to agree, this council was a judicial and political body, and though it did contain members of the priesthood (the "chief priests", from influential priestly families), it also contained members from the nobility, or preeminent families of Israel. If you check other sources, it is clear that there were also members who were scholars of the law, due to the judicial nature of the council:
"Since the Beth-Din had to deal frequently with legal matters, it was natural that many of its members should be chosen from among men specially given to the study of the Law; this is why we so often hear of the scribes in the Sanhedrin."
So, we have 3 groups composing the Sanhedrin, those from priestly families (chief priests), students of the law (scribes), and those from noble families (elders/presbyteros). Clearly, the word was used to denote a special appointed function or role, apart from the literal meaning of "elder", but this role was different from the priesthood of Israel, it was the role of the elder statesmen of the tribes of Israel.
Once you understand that, it is easy to understand why two different words were used to describe the different functions in the NT church, because one was describing the religious office (the priesthood, shared by all believers, with Christ as the high priest), and the other described a governmental office (the elders), who were appointed by the Apostles (or chosen by the churches themselves) to handle the governmental functions of the churches.
I always wonder why you and a few others regularly post material designed to cause strife in followers of Christ?
What is your point?
” 1 Timothy 6:3-6New American Standard Bible (NASB)
3 If anyone advocates a different doctrine and does not [a]agree with sound words, those of our Lord Jesus Christ, and with the doctrine conforming to godliness, 4 he is conceited and understands nothing; but he [b]has a morbid interest in controversial questions and disputes about words, out of which arise envy, strife, abusive language, evil suspicions, 5 and constant friction between men of depraved mind and deprived of the truth, who suppose that [c]godliness is a means of gain. 6 But godliness actually is a means of great gain when accompanied by contentment. “
” 1 Corinthians 3:3New International Version (NIV)
3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? “
Galatians 5:20New International Version (NIV)
20 idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions “
Here is where the "priesthood of all believers" first came up (v 3) along with exactly how God The Father Himself reacted to that idea and those who advocated it.
Numbers:16:1 And behold Core the son of Isaar, the son of Caath, the son of Levi, and Dathan and Abiron the sons of Eliab, and Hon the son of Pheleth of the children of Ruben,
Numbers:16:2 Rose up against Moses, and with them two hundred and fifty others of the children of Israel, leading men of the synagogue, and who in the time of assembly were called by name.
Numbers:16:3 And when they had stood up against Moses and Aaron, they said : Let it be enough for you, that all the multitude consisteth of holy ones, and the Lord is among them : Why lift you up yourselves above the people of the Lord ?
Numbers:16:4 When Moses heard this, he fell flat on his face :
Numbers:16:5 And speaking to Core and all the multitude, he said : In the morning
the Lord will make known who belong to him, and the holy he will join to himself : and whom he shall choose, they shall approach to him.
Numbers:16:6 Do this therefore : Take every man of you your censers, thou Core, and all thy company.
Numbers:16:7 And putting fire in them to morrow, put incense upon it before the Lord : and whomsoever he shall choose, the same shall be holy : you take too much upon you, ye sons of Levi.
Numbers:16:8 And he said again to Core : Hear ye sons of Levi.
Numbers:16:9 Is it a small thing unto you, that the God of Israel hath spared you from all the people, and joined you to himself, that you should serve him in the service of the tabernacle, and should stand before the congregation of the people, and should minister to him ?
Numbers:16:10 Did he therefore make thee and all thy brethren the sons of Levi to approach unto him, that you should challenge to yourselves the priesthood also,
Numbers:16:11 And that all thy company should stand against the Lord ? for what is Aaron that you murmur against him ?
Numbers:16:12 Then Moses sent to call Dathan and Abiron the sons of Eliab. But they answered : We will not come.
Numbers:16:13 Is it a small matter to thee, that thou hast brought us out of a land that flowed with milk and honey, to kill us in the desert, except thou rule also like a lord over us ?
Numbers:16:14 Thou hast brought us indeed into a land that floweth with rivers of milk and honey, and hast given us possessions of fields and vineyards ; wilt thou also pull out our eyes ? We will not come.
Numbers:16:15 Moses therefore being very angry, said to the Lord : Respect not their sacrifices : thou knowest that I have not taken of them so much as a young ass at any time, nor have injured any of them.
Numbers:16:16 And he said to Core : Do thou and thy congregation stand apart before the Lord to morrow, and Aaron apart.
Numbers:16:17 Take every one of you censers, and put incense upon them, offering to the Lord two hundred and fifty censers : let Aaron also hold his censer.
Numbers:16:18 When they had done this, Moses and Aaron standing,
Numbers:16:19 And had drawn up all the multitude against them to the door of the tabernacle, the glory of the Lord appeared to them all.
Numbers:16:20 And the Lord speaking to Moses and Aaron, said :
Numbers:16:21 Separate yourselves from among this congregation, that I may presently destroy them.
Numbers:16:22 They fell flat on their face, and said : O most mighty, the God of the spirits of all flesh, for one man's sin shall thy wrath rage against all ?
Numbers:16:23 And the Lord said to Moses :
Numbers:16:24 Command the whole people to separate themselves from the tents of Core and Dathan and Abiron.
Numbers:16:25 And Moses arose, and went to Dathan and Abiron : and the ancients of Israel following him,
Numbers:16:26 He said to the multitude : Depart from the tents of these wicked men, and touch nothing of theirs, lest you be involved in their sins.
Numbers:16:27 And when they were departed from their tents round about, Dathan and Abiron coming out stood in the entry of their pavilions with their wives and children, and all the people.
Numbers:16:28 And Moses said : By this you shall know that the Lord hath sent me to do all things that you see, and that I have not forged them of my own head :
Numbers:16:29 If these men die the common death of men, and if they be visited with a plague, wherewith others also are wont to be visited, the Lord did not send me.
Numbers:16:30 But if the Lord do a new thing, and the earth opening her mouth swallow them down, and all things that belong to them, and they go down alive into hell, you shall know that they have blasphemed the Lord.
Numbers:16:31 And immediately as he had made an end of speaking, the earth broke asunder under their feet :
Numbers:16:32 And opening her mouth, devoured them with their tents and all their substance.
Numbers:16:33 And they went down alive into hell, the ground closing upon them, and they perished from among the people.
Numbers:16:34 But all Israel, that was standing round about, fled at the cry of them that were perishing : saying : Lest perhaps the earth swallow us up also.
Numbers:16:35 And a fire coming out from the Lord, destroyed the two hundred and fifty men that offered the incense.
Numbers:16:36 And the Lord spoke to Moses, saying :
Numbers:16:37 Command Eleazar the son of Aaron the priest to take up the censers that lie in the burning, and to scatter the fire of one side and the other : because they are sanctified.
Numbers:16:38 In the deaths of the sinners : and let him beat them into plates, and fasten them to the altar, because incense hath been offered in them to the Lord, and they are sanctified, that the children of Israel may see them for a sign and a memorial.
When God enters into a Covenent He raises up leaders and has them appoint and anoint shepherds for His sheep. He doesn't have the sheep elect whichever sheep they like best as their shepherd, nor does He approve of sheep being a self-appointed shepherd to however many fellow sheep with itching ears follow the self-appointed head sheep of the Church of Itchy Eared Sheep.
Jesus Christ put the authority for selecting shepherds in the hands of the Apostles who have passed that authority down to us in an unbroken chain to this day. We are no more our own shepherds than ancient Israel that Scripture called a nation of priests was a nation without a priesthood.
And don't even try to pretend the New Testament changed that approach since Christ selecting Apostles who chose and appointed Bishops who in turn could ordain priests is an example of the fact that God is indeed the same yesterday, today, and tomorrow, not an example of deviating from the will of Jesus Christ.
And contrary to what heretic propagandists dreamed up to rationalize their heresy may say, it was Peter, not Constantine, who established the hierarchy and roles within that hierarchy that the One, Holy, Catholic, and Apostolic Church Jesus Christ Himself founded continues to this day.
I prefer to believe Scripture rather than excuses for following the heresy of Core.
To be fair, the bulk of Luther's disputes with the church were about doctrines which were either medieval, or had been around but not particularly promulgated until the late middle ages--e.g., indulgences had been around for centuries, but until the printing press they were not readily available to all the figurative pew-sitters.
If anything, Luther was bringing back much of what had been Augustinian doctrine, which had been affected by all the medieval attempts to compromise the pure gospel, with Plato in the early middle ages, or with Aristotle in the later middle ages. So it wasn't that Luther knew more than 16 centuries of church leaders, but rather that the church leaders of the 16th century had forgotten a lot of what the early centuries of church leaders had known, and Luther helped bring it back.
Yep! That IS what God is saying pretty clearly.
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