Not a royal priesthood?


#1

Trying to explain the biblical foundation for confession and that Jesus gave the Apostles the authority to forgive sins and I was presented with this reply …

In I Peter 2:9, Peter tells the church that they are a royal priesthood, a holy nation, and a people belonging to God. I read that as each believer being the priest who has the authority, and can come straight before God and ask for his sins to be forgiven.

… Given the above reply, how do I explain that we are not all priests with apostalic auhority? Only ordained priests are priests and only bishops have apostalic authority.


#2

Well, you have to defend this first by definition, then by historical reference. Many Protestants tend to read the Bible only in terms of the NT, without referencing the OT, as was always intended.

First, define the royal priesthood. We are indeed members of the royal priesthood, but this differs from the ministerial priesthood, which descends from the line of Melchezidek (sp?), which I believe is referenced in Leviticus.

The apostolic succession and authority results from ordination into the MINISTERIAL PRIESTHOOD.

Can someone else better explain this and in more depth?


#3

Hey Sir Knight:

I’ve been having some fun with this issue myself. Check out several topics in which I’ve discussed it. Here in Lorrie’s Consecration thread, it is probably my best presentation of it, and it has links to my other presentations in various forms of the same argument and evidence in other topics.

Suffice it to say that the royal priesthood is not the ministerial priesthood.

So, yes, read those posts (definitely), and then check out this link, the Threefold Priesthood by Jimmy Akin. Important points: the threefold priesthood, as well as Korah’s rebellion. Korah’s rebellion is a bigger point than you’d think.

Between Jimmy’s great argument and the information and convoluted reasoning of my own argument (admittedly, you may have to get a feel for what I was presenting), you should be decently off to a start.

Have fun, if you want to discuss anything in particular, or just ask me for a hand, feel free to put it in the topic or PM me.

-Rob


#4

Dittos on Jimmy Akin’s article. I gave a talk on this topic once for our apologetics group and it was a goldmine of information. Tim Staples wrote a good article too. I can’t find it right now but here is another good article that he wrote. catholic.com/thisrock/2005/0503fea4.asp


#5

There’s also a Step by Step article from This Rock on this issue:

catholic.com/thisrock/2004/0404sbs.asp


#6

[quote=JCPhoenix]Well, you have to defend this first by definition, then by historical reference. Many Protestants tend to read the Bible only in terms of the NT, without referencing the OT, as was always intended.

First, define the royal priesthood. We are indeed members of the royal priesthood, but this differs from the ministerial priesthood, which descends from the line of Melchezidek (sp?), which I believe is referenced in Leviticus.

The apostolic succession and authority results from ordination into the MINISTERIAL PRIESTHOOD.

Can someone else better explain this and in more depth?
[/quote]

We’re not all ministers. The words priest and minister are synonymous in the context of the ministerial priesthood. For example, Ex 29.30, Num 3.3, 6, Deut 17.8, 1Kingss 18.11,
2Chr 5.14, 31.2, Neh. 10.36,39, Jer. 33.22, Eze.40.46, 42.14, 43.19, 44.15,16, Rom.15,16, Eph.3.7, 6.21, Phill.2.25, Col.1.7, 23, 25, 4.7, 1Tim4.6 and Heb 8.1,2. Paul was a priest. He collected the tithes from the Corinthians, 1Cor 16, 1-4, which is a priestly function, Heb.7.5.


#7

[quote=threadkiller]We’re not all ministers. The words priest and minister are synonymous in the context of the ministerial priesthood. For example, Ex 29.30, Num 3.3, 6, Deut 17.8, 1Kingss 18.11,
2Chr 5.14, 31.2, Neh. 10.36,39, Jer. 33.22, Eze.40.46, 42.14, 43.19, 44.15,16, Rom.15,16, Eph.3.7, 6.21, Phill.2.25, Col.1.7, 23, 25, 4.7, 1Tim4.6 and Heb 8.1,2. Paul was a priest. He collected the tithes from the Corinthians, 1Cor 16, 1-4, which is a priestly function, Heb.7.5.
[/quote]

The answer I gave was the one given to me by a priest at my parish (it wasn’t a sufficient answer, as you can see). However, that’s why I gave teh disclaimer of “defining terms” and thus the seperation between the royal priesthood vs the ministerial priesthood, which is what our priests are a part of. This is also why I asked others to chime in with better info.

Thanks for the Bible references. :slight_smile:


#8

[quote=threadkiller]We’re not all ministers. The words priest and minister are synonymous in the context of the ministerial priesthood. For example, Ex 29.30, Num 3.3, 6, Deut 17.8, 1Kingss 18.11,
2Chr 5.14, 31.2, Neh. 10.36,39, Jer. 33.22, Eze.40.46, 42.14, 43.19, 44.15,16, Rom.15,16, Eph.3.7, 6.21, Phill.2.25, Col.1.7, 23, 25, 4.7, 1Tim4.6 and Heb 8.1,2. Paul was a priest. He collected the tithes from the Corinthians, 1Cor 16, 1-4, which is a priestly function, Heb.7.5.
[/quote]

I’m not sure if you’ve tried to tell this to a Lutheran before. I anticipate that if you did they would agree. See, they believe that the priest differs from the layperson in function but not in authority. Where you say, “we’re not all ministers,” they’d agree, because obviously not every Lutheran is a minister. On the other hand, they’d also say, “we’re all priests,” but we both mean different things by it. I think it’s a good point, with the disclaimer that we see a difference in function and authority, and they only see a difference in function, so it probably wouldn’t work in an argument (which is more of a note to good Sir Knight). My question is something like this: how can we leverage the obvious distinction between the function of the royal/baptismal priesthood and the function of the ministerial priesthood to prove our point that they differ in authority?

Not, “from the line,” but rather, of the type. “You are a priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.” (Heb 5:6)
And also, “declared by God high priest according to the order of Melchizedek” (Heb 5:10). *Cf. *Heb 6:20. If Christ’s priesthood was from the ‘line,’ of Melchizedek then it would fall prey to the same problems that Paul outlines in Hebrews. As Paul notes of the characteristics of Melchizedek, Heb 7:3:

3 Without father, mother, or ancestry, without beginning of days or end of life, thus made to resemble the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.

Which he contrasts with the Levitical priesthood, which is pased on in a line, when speaking of the high priests (Heb 7:23-24):

23 Those priests were many because they were prevented by death from remaining in office, 24 but he, because he remains forever, has a priesthood that does not pass away.

Hence:

15 It is even more obvious if another priest is raised up after the likeness of Melchizedek, 16 who has become so, not by a law expressed in a commandment concerning physical descent but by the power of a life that cannot be destroyed.


#9

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