A royal priesthood


1 Peter 2:9 But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people of his own, so that you may proclaim the virtues of the one who called you out of darkness into his marvelous light.

How do we interpret a Royal Priesthood?


I interpret it as our participation with Christ in offering our personal sacrifices and worship to God. This is one the CCC’s take on it.

1546 Christ, high priest and unique mediator, has made of the Church "a kingdom, priests for his God and Father."20 The whole community of believers is, as such, priestly. The faithful exercise their baptismal priesthood through their participation, each according to his own vocation, in Christ’s mission as priest, prophet, and king. Through the sacraments of Baptism and Confirmation the faithful are "consecrated to be . . . a holy priesthood."21 1547 The ministerial or hierarchical priesthood of bishops and priests, and the common priesthood of all the faithful participate, “each in its own proper way, in the one priesthood of Christ.” While being “ordered one to another,” they differ essentially.22 In what sense? While the common priesthood of the faithful is exercised by the unfolding of baptismal grace --a life of faith, hope, and charity, a life according to the Spirit–, the ministerial priesthood is at the service of the common priesthood. It is directed at the unfolding of the baptismal grace of all Christians. The ministerial priesthood is a *means *by which Christ unceasingly builds up and leads his Church. For this reason it is transmitted by its own sacrament, the sacrament of Holy Orders.


Its actually 1 Peter 2:5 be yourselves built into a spiritual house, to be a holy priesthood, to offer spiritual sacrifices acceptable to God through Jesus Christ.

Quote form Beginning Apologetics 1 How to Explain and Defend the Catholic Faith

What St. Peter is saying is that Christians share in the one, eternal priesthood of Jesus Christ. Jesus is mediator between God and man because of His priesthood. Therefore, to share in Christ’s priesthood means to share in His mediatorship, both in heaven and on earth.


Thankyou, but I was actually most interested in 1 Peter 2:9 (the verse I quoted), though 1 Peter 2:5 does also talk of a Royal Priesthood.


Opps . . . my apologizes :o


The roysl priesthood, the nation of priests, the priestly people of God is all the baptized.


The passage in question is an echo of what God tells Moses in the following passage from Exodus:

Exodus 19:3-6
And Moses went up to God, and the Lord called to him out of the mountain, saying, “Thus you shall say to the house of Jacob, and tell the people of Israel: You have seen what I did to the Egyptians, and how I bore you on eagles’ wings and brought you to myself. Now therefore, if you will obey my voice and keep my covenant, you shall be my own possession among all peoples; for all the earth is mine, and you shall be to me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation. These are the words which you shall speak to the children of Israel.”

Everything needs to be understood in terms of the “kingdom.” The nation of Israel is God’s chosen people. They are the OT covenant family of God and members of His kingdom. Then comes the Davidic kingdom. God calls David a man after his own heart. Jesus is the King and Savior in the Davidic line and his kingship will last forever. Christians are the New Covenant family of God. We are adopted sons and daughters in the kingdom. We are like the OT Jews and are a priestly people. Unlike the OT covenant people of God, we are now a “royal priesthood” because of Jesus. We are brothers and sisters in Christ and we form the body of Christ on earth. As such we share in Christ’s priesthood which is a royal priesthood. He is our high priest and he is our king.

I hope this helps.



I am on the path to become Catholic and am planning to start RCIA in the fall. I am a former protestant. One issue that my parents have raised is the concept of “preisthood of all believers.”

One protestant concept of preisthood of all believers can be found below…How would you answer the question…Why did the 1st century Christians have no priests? Why isn’t that word used to describe a leader in the NT?



INDENT][/INDENT]The biblical doctrine of the priesthood of all believers is found throughout the Scriptures (Ex. 19:6; Hos. 14:2; Ps. 50:23; Ps. 51:17-19; Ps. 141:2; 1 Pet. 2:5-9; Heb. 13:10-16) and was practiced in the early church. As Dr. R. Laird Harris writes, "First century Christianity had no priests. The New Testament nowhere uses the word to describe a leader in Christian service.



The Kingdom of God is, well, a kingdom. Jesus is the King so his priesthood, shared by all the baptized, is a royal priesthood.


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