Is the New Testament sacrificing Priesthood Biblical


#1

A Protestant’s argument against the Catholic Priesthood. He used the following verses as text.

I Pet. 2:5,9-“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. 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 marvelous light:”

Rev. 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.”

Rev. 5:10-“And hast made us unto our God kings and priests: and we shall reign on the earth.”

Rev. 20:6-“Blessed and holy is he that hath part in the first resurrection: on such the second death hath no power, but they shall be priests of God and of Christ, and shall reign with him a thousand years.”

In these five verses the Bible speaks of a New Testament priesthood. These priests are true Christians who have experienced salvation by grace through faith alone. All true Christians are priests and are able to offer spiritual sacrifices to God.

Catholic priests are ordained as “priests forever after the order of Melchisedek.” However, we are clearly told in Hebrews 7:24-“But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.” The Greek word translated unchangeable in this verse is ἀπαράβατον and literally means a priesthood that is in transmissible or cannot pass to another. Therefore, the sacrificing New Testament priesthood cannot be after the order of Melchisedek and is invalid. The proper New Testament priesthood according to the Bible is the priesthood of believers.


#2

This isn’t an argument against the Catholic ordained ministry but for a thing often forgotten by protestants and Catholics alike - that we offer the fruits of our trade of our talents with other believers - dying to self, for each other.


#3

Without commenting on the Greek word, I say it is not the priesthood of the clergy as ordained that is after the order of Melchizedek. It’s a perfectly good reading to recite at ordinations, after all, they have to share in His ministry. But sentimentalism gets the better of most Catholics on this point.


#4

You have to have a concept of the Priesthood that existed from the time of Adam and Eve, to understand the Priesthood question.

After the fall, the Bible illustrates the necessity of sacrifice to the Most High God both for the forgiveness of sins, thanksgiving, and for the praise and glory of God’s Holy Name. This is illlustrated over and over in the OT.

By the time of Moses in Exodus, the head of every family was a priest, offering sacrifice. That is why ALL the Hebrews offered the Paschal lamb on the first Passover.

After the fall of the Hebrews in the Desert, when they worshiped the golden calf, the priesthood was stripped from them (all Hebrew fathers) and instead assigned to Aaron and the Levites. The offering of the animals was prescribed to teach them NOT to worship them, and because it was the Divine Will.

The coming of Jesus Christ changed all that again (although it was foretold in Psalm 110) Jesus Himself becomes our High Priest according to the order of Melchisedech.

Those NT quotes are reminding Christians, that we share in the Priesthood of Jesus Christ. Not like the ministerial priesthood, which was established by Jesus Christ at the Last Supper, but in a new way, even superior to the days of the Patriarchs when only the Father of the family was the Priest. Now in the Christian dispensation, everyone is united to Jesus Christ, and therefore has a share in his Priesthood, by the offering we make in union with Jesus our High Priest, who ALONE intercedes for us to God.

The new Christian ministerial Priesthood has replaced the Levitical Priesthood, in LITURGICALLY offering the Sacrifice of Jesus Christ (in his place or person) This was the will of Jesus Christ. But ALL of the Faithful are united in the Liturgy to the Priest in offering their own sacrifices (which was made possible by the Divine plan in the New Covenant.)

There is VERY MUCH to say on this topic, but I have tried to skim some basic highlights to help you understand why the Protestant adversary is mistaken in his interpretations.


#5

Hi, Hap!

…wow… this Protestant has truly been through a high spin cycle…

While it is true that those were excellent passages on the Priesthood… where does it state that they have been Saved through Faith alone?

…and wouldn’t such exegesis clearly contradict the Apostolic understanding that Faith alone does not Save?:

[FONT=“Garamond”][size=]…all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing

. 3 If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast,** but do not have love, I gain nothing.** (1 Corinthians 13:1-3)

14 What shall it profit, my brethren, if a man say he hath faith, but hath not works? **Shall faith be able to save him? ** …yet give them not those things that are necessary for the body, what shall it profit? 17 So faith also, if it have not works, is dead in itself. (St. James 2:14-17)
…clearly, to the Protestant mind these Biblical passages mean very little… if they are hook on salvation-by-faith-alone phonics.

…then there’s the NT Priesthood… their confusion lies in their lack of understanding… Melchizedek, Yahweh God’s High Priest (and there can be only One, right?) and King of Salem (pre-Exodus Israel, again there can only be One, right?) is the holder of the non-Levitical Priesthood–the one Priesthood that is both unchangeable and intransmissible–up to this point they are aboard with us!

Then there’s that Priestly Kingdom… this definition, in effect, makes every single Believer a Priest (regardless of gender) and royalty (prince and princesses)–again, they are fully aboard!

Here’s how they go wrong… did Jesus Found His Church without expectation of a form of Worship? Did He Instituted His Church in a new format where all of the neoLevites (Believers who are of the Kingly Priesthood) are equally responsible/ordained for all the services of Worship?

Well, we have St. Paul’s Teaching on this:

3 Therefore I want you to know that no one who is speaking by the Spirit of God says, “Jesus be cursed,” and no one can say, “Jesus is Lord,” except by the Holy Spirit. 4 There are different kinds of gifts, but the same Spirit distributes them. 5 There are different kinds of service, but the same Lord. 6 There are different kinds of working, but in all of them and in everyone it is the same God at work.

27 Now you are the body of Christ, and each one of you is a part of it. 28 And God has placed in the church first of all apostles, second prophets, third teachers, then miracles, then gifts of healing, of helping, of guidance, and of different kinds of tongues.

(1 Corinthians 12:1-31)
…so in the Church there is Worship and there is a hierarchy, set by God Himself.

OK, but what of the Spiritual Sacrifice?

…well, glad you’ve asked!

…here’s where it gets Spiritual:

24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”

(St. John 4:4)
Clearly, Jesus has Instituted a new form of Worship (St. John 4:20-26). Does this mean that somehow Believers are to refrain from gathering and that the Church is truly an invisible “spiritual” state?

…well, not according to the Apostles or the Holy Spirit, or Christ:

Acts 1:12-26–Juda’s replacement, the Office could not be left unmanned!

39 For the promise is to you, and to your children, and to all that are far off, whomsoever the Lord our God shall call… and there were added in that day about three thousand souls. 42 And they were persevering in the doctrine of the apostles, and in the communication of the breaking of bread, and in prayers.

(Acts 2:1-47)

4 But we will give ourselves continually to prayer, and to the ministry of the word. (Acts 6:3-4)

On that day a great persecution broke out against the church in Jerusalem… Saul began to destroy the church. Going from house to house, he dragged off both men and women and put them in prison. (Acts 8:1-3)
The Church, even from her Inception, being organic, was adapting and refining the New Economy of the New Covenant: One High Priest, Jesus, Who offers the perpetual Spiritual Sacrifice (Heb. 8:1-13; St. John 6:50-59; Mat. 26:26-28 ; Luke 22:19-20); Whose Spiritual Sacrifice is Offered up in the Catholic Church, throughout the world, in each Persona Christos (Priest).

Maran atha!

Angel

[/size][/FONT]


#6

Hi, Vic!

…wow… that sounds very progressive and ecumenical… did Cain not subscribe to such?

Maran atha!

Angel


#7

It’s actually not particularly progressive and ecumenical. The Council of Trent taught this as well: “all the faithful are said to be priests, once they have been washed in the saving waters of Baptism. … for, enlightened by faith which is inflamed by charity, they offer up spiritual sacrifices to God on the altar of their hearts. Among such sacrifices must be reckoned every good and virtuous action done for the glory of God.” source

Regarding Cain, it may Seem as though he was offering up his talents and treasures, but God knows the heart and God saw that in his heart he was doing something unacceptable. The Haydock Bible Commentary (not progressive at all…published in 1859) cites evidence that Cain’s sacrifice was improper: “The offerings of Cain are mentioned without any approbation: those of Abel are the firstlings and fat, or the very best; by which he testified, that he acknowledged God for his first beginning.” source

The doctrine of the “universal priesthood” is quite traditional and rooted in doctrine that long predated Vatican 2. Don’t let protestant propaganda convince you that Luther invented the idea.


#8

Hi!

…I may have misread the post; but it seem to me that there was an attempt to reduced the Priesthood to symbolic and superfluous; so I offered the example of how intent does not necessarily mean *right *by God.

Had Jesus not Establish the Church there would not be a need for Priests–yet, He did, so they are integral to His Mystical Body.

…from my understanding, the premise implied that as long as we all offered up to God our “gifts” and held some form of fraternity (“good will”) there was no need for what the Church instituted as Doctrine/Worship.

Maran atha!

Angel


#9

Ah, I see. Thank you for defending the ministerial priesthood, then. I can see how you would perceive Vic’s post as trying to “reduce” the priesthood, but I am quite confident that was not his intent. Vic is a frequent poster here at the Forums and I’ve never seen him post anything liberal. He’s a good apple. :slight_smile: Remember that we are called upon to give people the benefit of the doubt if we can. :thumbsup: I think this particular post was simply misunderstood, but it is laudable that you had the zeal to defend the priesthood against a perceived reduction of it.


#10

Jesus did not found His Church on a Greek dictionary. It is the devil who parses words and sentences, as he did in Genesis 3 and the temptation of Christ in the desert.

Have your friend read Timothy and Titus. Paul laid hands on both, considered both to be his sons and he to be their “father”. He directed Titus in particular to appoint Presbyters in each city, and gave the requirements. Jesus said “Do this, as often as you do it” (say the blessing, then eat and drink His Body and the Blood of the New Testament) in remembrance of Me." The Apostles met on each Lord’s day to break the bread. This has continued without interruption, for over 103,000 Lord’s days now. Never mind the daily masses.

As to sacrifices, Paul teaches that we are to offer our very bodies as living sacrifices.

He needs to read his bible a little more thoroughly.


#11

Hardly the stuff against the ordained priesthood.

Those verses support the Catholic teaching of the universal priesthood of the baptized, something we all have. It does not contradict the institution of the ministerial priesthood.


#12

Hi!

…thanks for the kind words!

…thanks also for the 'in" on Vic; I always engage with as much generosity as possible–I try to make my point without being hurtful or abusive… but there are posts that I query/challenge even if its just for the sake of those who might read through and leave with the wrong impression…

In this particular case I read through both post… but had a feeling that I needed to address the issue… language also plays a bit on this… the second post “red-flagged” the first; though I am glad you were able to shed light on the issue.

Thanks again!

Maran atha!

Angel


#13

“…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.” (Ex 19:6)

In Exodus, God is present at Mt Sinai. At the bottom is the royal priesthood which is explicitly limited in its participation (not allowed to ascend the mountain at all). At the top is Moses. And in between, depending on the occasion, are Aaron, his two elder sons, and seventy more elders. Not only is this arrangement on Mt. Sinai hierarchical in concept, it’s a physical hierarchy as well, just to drive the point home. The royal priesthood is outranked by others who mediate between it and God.


#14

As a pretty strong Christian that would be considered Protestant and evangelical, I don’t agree with the concept of the Catholic Priesthood. Not becuase any verse directly contridicts the priesthood but because nothing authorizes it and there are other roles prescribed to people as a leaders of the church.
Let’s start by mentioning that Priests were a Jewish job and they all came from one family. Jesus is a priest of the Melchizedek order. The New Testament doesn’t give a job description for what qualifies a person to be a priest or how a person can become a priest.
Instead we seejob titles of Deacon and Bishop (also referred to as elder, pastor, overseer, Shepard depending on translation) with specific qualifications and some duties.
The fact that the title of priest isn’t directly mentioned as a possible job role in the church is arguement against the Catholic Priesthood.


#15

Hi!

…its well argued…

…you defined a statement… proposed an argument… proposed evidential proof…

…the problem is that by your definition the Bible is not the Word of God since there’s not a single reference in Scriptures that God Commanded anyone to put together a list of scrolls and call it the Bible.

…then there’s the problem with Protestantism… where in Scriptures does it state that when Christ’s Founded Church fails man can get together an reinvent the wheel?

…further, by your definition, there should be only Apostles, Bishops, Deacons, Teachers… but none of the non-Catholics can claim having the “laying of the hands” by a Successor of Christ since Protestantism originates in the 16th century–and they rejected the Catholic Church who is the only source of Apostolic Succession…

Finally, for your argument to be true Christ’s Word must be in error since it was He Who stated that not even the gates of hades would prevail against the Church–your argument makes Christ a liar.

Maran atha!

Angel


#16

[quote=jcrichton]Hi!

…its well argued…

…you defined a statement… proposed an argument… proposed evidential proof…

…the problem is that by your definition the Bible is not the Word of God since there’s not a single reference in Scriptures that God Commanded anyone to put together a list of scrolls and call it the Bible.

…then there’s the problem with Protestantism… where in Scriptures does it state that when Christ’s Founded Church fails man can get together an reinvent the wheel?

…further, by your definition, there should be only Apostles, Bishops, Deacons, Teachers… but none of the non-Catholics can claim having the “laying of the hands” by a Successor of Christ since Protestantism originates in the 16th century–and they rejected the Catholic Church who is the only source of Apostolic Succession…

Finally, for your argument to be true Christ’s Word must be in error since it was He Who stated that not even the gates of hades would prevail against the Church–your argument makes Christ a liar.
[/quote]

I believe that God not man determined to structure of the Bible. Now he may have used the men at the Council of Trent (I believe that was when Catholics state they determined canon) but God and the HS could have done it anywhere and would have.

For your second statement. The reformation wasn’t to reinvent the wheel it was to fight against some men, particularly Martin Luther, thought was error in the Catholic Church. Given his particular grievance was with the sale of indulgences and now the Catholic Church no longer sells indulgences tells me he was onto something.

For your third. I agree. Bishops, deacons and teachers and I don’t see there being a scripture to show that there still needs to be apostolic succession. The job of the apostles was to help spread Gods message and be vessels for the Holy Sprit in writing down His Word. Since the Bible is now complete, the job would appear to be no longer needed. Not to mention that God is smarter then is a knew that if He put a man as head of His earthly church some of the men would betray Him and hurt His message. The crusades and the dark ages are perfect examples of the fallacies of men. Why would God dilute His true message by letting a man twist it for his own gain?

You are correct, the Church Christ established will never have the Gate of Hades prevailing against it. But individual churches, denominations, or sects? Yes all of those are subject to the lies of Satan. Catholic believe and teach that theirs is church that Christ founded, but if that true why has that Church been involved in so many terrible things, for example, crusades, execution of dissenters, hiding of child abusers, etc.

I don’t claim the church I attend is perfect or a direct line to Christ. What I do claim is we are doing the best we can to let God guide us through His Holy Word with no interference by the failings of men.


#17

Hi!

…I think that the issue you presented was “not in Scriptures;” hence, the argument remains… where in Scriptures do we find “Bible” or a Command to bring “x” number of Scrolls together?

Your definition must agree in both instances or the argument is void.

For your second statement. The reformation wasn’t to reinvent the wheel it was to fight against some men, particularly Martin Luther, thought was error in the Catholic Church. Given his particular grievance was with the sale of indulgences and now the Catholic Church no longer sells indulgences tells me he was onto something.

…if there’s no reinvention then there should be only One Church minus the error/s; sadly, what Luther fought for was not correcting error but, as many others before and after him, autocracy. Self-governance is very very appealing… just check any listings of religious bodies–they run from a few to hundreds in any given state (US) or province (international).

If creating a new “church” is not reinventing the wheel… well, then, nothing is!

For your third. I agree. Bishops, deacons and teachers and I don’t see there being a scripture to show that there still needs to be apostolic succession. The job of the apostles was to help spread Gods message and be vessels for the Holy Sprit in writing down His Word. Since the Bible is now complete, the job would appear to be no longer needed. Not to mention that God is smarter then is a knew that if He put a man as head of His earthly church some of the men would betray Him and hurt His message. The crusades and the dark ages are perfect examples of the fallacies of men. Why would God dilute His true message by letting a man twist it for his own gain?

Again, you are missing the point–where in Scriptures do we find Jesus Commanding the Apostles to designate titles? Where did Jesus state: ‘the members of my Church must be known as Christians?’

…as for your argument about succession… where does it state so in Scriptures… if there were to be no succession why did the Apostles bothered to appoint Juda’s replacement… after all, St. Paul was just around the corner and eleven could do well enough (if we are limiting God’s Plan to a specific number)… and you can’t use the argument about the Twelve Tribes since Dan was lost–leaving only eleven!

…the Bible now complete? Again, it goes to your initial argument, where in the Bible does it state that the Bible is now complete?

Rather, instead of stating that the Bible is complete we have several passages that demonstrate that there are matters of the Faith that have been left out–and even St. Paul makes the clear statement that not everything has been Written in Scriptures since he admonishes the Believers to take heed to what has been taught to them through the Written and Oral Traditions… can you, devoid of Apostolic Succession, demonstrate what are these Teachings (Oral) that St. Paul is referencing?

You are correct, the Church Christ established will never have the Gate of Hades prevailing against it. But individual churches, denominations, or sects? Yes all of those are subject to the lies of Satan. Catholic believe and teach that theirs is church that Christ founded, but if that true why has that Church been involved in so many terrible things, for example, crusades, execution of dissenters, hiding of child abusers, etc.

For your assumptions to be correct the Church during the Apostolic times should have been pure… all “Believers” should have just been cleansed and sinless till their death… however, dissention and error inserted themselves right from the Church’s Inception…

Read the Epistles… check out the letters to the Seven Churches in the book of the Apocalypse… check the various heresies that the Apostles and their Successors fought throughout the centuries… most heresies arise from the members of the Church who, like Luther, begin to believe that they, not the Church, are the pillar and foundation of Truth.

Man is finite and a sinner–those who makeup the Body of Christ do not stop being human beings susceptible to sin and error.

Show me though, where the Church has aligned herself with society and taught error as Truth… non-Catholic Christians embrace everything that the world claims as “law” and “political correctness” even and in spite of God’s Command that it is an abomination… but not only do these “Christian” bodies embrace the world but they teach the world’s theology as correctness and they cite the Holy Spirit as the fountain of their wisdom and truth!

I don’t claim the church I attend is perfect or a direct line to Christ. What I do claim is we are doing the best we can to let God guide us through His Holy Word with no interference by the failings of men.

…my point exactly… yet, what would happen if say you or someone else from your church determines that the leadership is wrong and that they must redirect the doctrine/practices of the body? …from my perspective, a few (of like-mind) would gather and either expulse the leadership or breakaway into yet another branch of "guided by the Holy Word/Spirit.

Please don’t misunderstand me… I am not seeking to limit God or how the Holy Spirit can work in man… my concern is that man continues to splinter the Body of Christ citing “clarity” or “enlightenment” or “spirituality” or “revelation” or “getting back to the early Church” as the reason–the Holy Spirit was not Sent to Splinter the Body–Saul is a clear demonstration of what God truly wants!

Maran atha!

Angel


#18

Priest was commonly used for the Levitical priesthood. Let’s not forget that the Patriarchs offered sacrifice to God, yet they were not “priests”. The elders and overseers where “fathers” (or Patriarchs) to their flocks, appointed through the laying on of hands, and through them our high priest, Jesus Christ, acts. Paul put on the “face” of Christ in declaring an excommunication, and there is a consecration of the priesthood during the Last Supper (we see this type of language and symbology in John’s account). We see Jesus provide these men with the authority to bind and to loose, and to forgive and retain sins, and we see these men appoint successors to continue the ministry within the Bible, and have extra canonical accounts from the first and second century that confirms this. That the elders had responsibility in offering the thanksgiving sacrifice, and were an appointed ministry to run the church into the future, is plenty of support for those role.

What we don’t see in the Bible is any sense of the apostles preparing the Church for a post-Apostle Age. A change from apostolic authority to sola scripture or a different form of governance. They appointed successors and expected the model to continue, as was the understanding of the earliest Christian records we have.


#19

Of course you disagree - otherwise your conscience would convict you that you must be Catholic! And, for this reason, Catholic teachings must be opposed by those outside of her. Read Timothy and Titus. Bishops and Priests before quill was put to papyrus. The Church was Apostolic, just as our Lord spoke, just as He intended. No bible alone. No faith alone. None of any doctrine that was formulated in 16th century Europe.


#20

Articles Explaining and Defending the Priesthood

Here are several articles that explain and defend the Catholic Priesthood. The authors are converts to the Catholic faith, and at one time, they would have denied that the Priesthood was established as necessary by Jesus.

Why We Have a Ministerial Priesthood
By Tim Staples
catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/why-we-have-a-ministerial-priesthood

Did Jesus Give Priests to the Church?
By Kenneth J. Howell
catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/did-jesus-give-priests-to-the-church

The Office of New Testament Priest
by James Akin
cin.org/users/james/files/ntpriest.htm

**THE THREE-FOLD MINISTRY **
By James Akin
catholic.com/magazine/print-edition/the-three-fold-ministry

Bishop, Priest and Deacon
catholic.com/tract/bishop-priest-and-deacon

The Priesthood Debate
By James Akin
ewtn.com/library/ANSWERS/PRIEST3.HTM


DISCLAIMER: The views and opinions expressed in these forums do not necessarily reflect those of Catholic Answers. For official apologetics resources please visit www.catholic.com.