Priesthood and the temple destruction of 70 AD

Before I start, I ask the Father and the Lord Jesus to bless you all for the new coming year.

I was talking to a former catholic converted to the evangelical church, and he told me that our CC is wrong because we still have the practice of the sacrificial mass when the sacrifice was done once and for all through Christ. Therefore, there is no need for the priesthood; only pastors who preach.

I) Did the priesthood die when the Temple of Jerusalem was destroyed?

II) In Judaism there are no more priests to sacrifice animals and since the destruction of the Temple there have only rabbis to lead their synagogues. Should this correlate to Christianity.

Thank you.

“Do this in remembrance of Me” seems to nail it pretty good as to the CC Mass and Consecration

He misunderstands the Mass.

The Mass is not a “new” sacrifice. The Mass takes us back to Golgotha in a mystical way. We are re-presenting Christ’s original sacrifice.

Jesus is the High Priest of the New Covenant and he ordained the Apostles and they in turn ordained others. This is apostolic succession that we have continued to today.

The wikipedia article on “Kohen” has some info about the current status of Jewish priests.

I was talking to a former catholic converted to the evangelical church, and he told me that our CC is wrong because we still have the practice of the sacrificial mass when the sacrifice was done once and for all through Christ. Therefore, there is no need for the priesthood; only pastors who preach.

In support of the sacrifice of the Mass, Haydock on 1 Corinthians 10:21, says:
Ver. 21. In all this discourse [1 Corinthians 10:14-22], a comparison is instituted between the Christian host and oblation, its effects, conditions and properties, with the altars, hosts, sacrifices and immolations of the Jews and Gentiles; which the apostle could not have done, had there not been a proper sacrifice in the Christian worship. (source)

You may also find similar commentary on 1 Corinthians 10:14-22 in A Commentary on the New Testament, published by the Catholic Biblical Association in 1942, here.

Every mass is a remembrance/recollection of the one and only sacrifices. For this remembrance/recollection we need the priest, to play out the role of Jesus Christ at the Lords table.

I just did a little search on Bible Gateway for the word Priest. Depending on the bible version used, the word ‘priest’ comes up about 158-160 times in the NT. And not ONCE is the word used to reference the new Christian belief. :shrug:

The English word priest actually comes from the NT. James says “Call the elders “priests” of the church”. The Greek word here is presbuteros. The English word priest is a contraction of that Greek word. The root word used for priests of the OT is actually a different word than the priests of the NT. So actually it is more correct to use the term priest in the NT than for the OT.

Except perhaps in Romans 15:16 where St Paul refers to his own Christian ministry as a priestly service.
15 But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God 16 to be a minister of Christ Jesus to the Gentiles in the priestly service of the gospel of God, so that the offering of the Gentiles may be acceptable, sanctified by the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:15-16)

In support of the sacrifice of the Mass, Haydock’s commentary on Hebrew 13:10 says, in part:
Ver. 10. We, Christians, *have *at present an altar,[3] and consequently a sacrifice, whereof they have no power to eat, who serve the tabernacle, confiding in the law and in Moses, not in Christ and the gospel. He does not say, we had an altar. (Witham) (source)

A Commentary on the New Testament, published by the Catholic Biblical Association in 1942, on Hebrews 13:10, says:
10. *Altar *in this verse has been interpreted variously of the altar of Calvary, the Eucharistic altar, or the altar of the heavenly sanctuary. All three are but different aspects of the one supreme sacrifice of Christ. From which they have no right to eat who serve the tabernacle, indicates that Christians “eat” of their altar, and the reference seems to be to the Holy Eucharist. See also *1 *Cor. 10, 20 f; 11, 23-28. (source)

By the way, when reading 1 Corinthians 10:21, one should keep in mind that the expression “the table of the Lord” is used elsewhere in the Bible, such as in Malachi 1:7,12, as a synonym for the altar of the Lord.

Here is where the confusion lies with us and the protestants; it is in the translation as such in KJV. As you can note there is no reference to the priesthood.

Romans 15:15-16King James Version (KJV)

15 Nevertheless, brethren, I have written the more boldly unto you in some sort, as putting you in mind, because of the grace that is given to me of God,

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.

I don’t understand where you get this. The OT had priests. Furthermore they each had their official duties according to their orders much like the CC. Here is an explanation of the duties of the different orders (courses according to the jews).
The Duties of the Priests**
"Before the break of the day, the priests on duty were ready and they assembled to cast lots to decide the assignment of the various daily tasks. It started with filling the lavers and preparing the altar. At about 9:00 am, they opened the gates and blew the silver trumpets to announce the commencement of the morning service. The service included slaying the sacrificial lamb, salting the sacrifice, trimming the lampstand, burning the incense, presenting the burnt offering and drink offering, blessing the people and blasting the silver trumpets. This was followed by the Psalm of the day, presented by the singers, accompanied by instrumental music.
Immediately after the morning service, the Israelites might bring in their private sacrifices and offerings. It would occasionally continued till near the time for the evening sacrifice, which was about 2:30 pm. The evening service was similar to the morning service. It ended at about 4:00 pm.
At night, the priests kept watch about the innermost places of the Temple, including the inner court and the Temple itself. They also opened and closed all the inner gates.
On a Sabbath day, there were the weekly renewal of the showbread and an additional burnt offering of two lambs.

Before the Temple was built, David received instructions from the Holy Spirit and showed Solomon how to divide the priests and the Levites and how they were to serve. In the Temple, there were several classes of Levites:
Priests (1 Chronicles 24:1-19)
Priests’ Assistants (1 Chronicles 23:4,28)
Singers (1 Chronicles 25:7-31)
Musicians (1 Chronicles 23:5)
Gatekeepers (1 Chronicles 26:1-19)

The priests and the Levites were divided into 24 courses within their assigned class. The length of each course was 7 days (1 Chronicles 9:25). The week of service began and ended on the Sabbath (2 Chronicles 23:8). In addition, all the priests served for 3 extra weeks during the year (Deuteronomy 16:16)."

Notice how the Levites were classified into different groups each with their specific duty. We know that this was going on even until Jesus’ time because of Saint John the baptist’s father the priest Zechariah. He was called to his duty in the temple before John was conceived and this was after the destruction of the Temple by the Babylonians centuries earlier; so they kept the priesthood until 70AD.

My question is why was the priesthood in Judaism foregone with the destruction of the Temple in 70AD? And is this related to Christianity somehow?

Here is yet another translation:

Romans 15:15-16Douay-Rheims 1899 American Edition (DRA)

15 But I have written to you, brethren, more boldly in some sort, as it were putting you in mind: because of the grace which is given me from God.
16 That I should be the minister of Christ Jesus among the Gentiles; sanctifying the gospel of God, that the oblation of the Gentiles may be made acceptable and sanctified in the Holy Ghost.

Just where do you think the English word ‘priest’ comes from?

The OT ‘priests’ are not the same as NT priests. In fact, they are not even called the same name in their original languages. It would be like saying the NT ‘elders’ are analogous to the OT ‘elders’. Sure, you could always find similarities and differences, but they are not the same. The fact that we use the same English word to describe both does not mean they are the same. (Anymore than saying the elders of the unitarian church are the same as the elders of the Episcopal church). Especially when you consider the word priest comes from the NT. Its not technically from the OT.

In the NT there is only one priest, Jesus Christ. All NT ‘elders’ share in his priesthood.

Give this to him to read and tell him we welcome him home! God bless!

The short answer is that the OT priests were part of the Old Covenant system with its priests and temple sacrifices. But, when Christ became the Sacrifice for the sins of all, this OT system became obsolete. The OT priesthood became obsolete when Christ died on the Cross. The destruction of temple in 70 ad was merely after the fact. In fact according to Jewish writings there was a little miracle that would occur during the atonement sacrifice. This miracle stopped about 40 years before the destruction of the temple. About the time Jesus was Crucified.

Jesus himself became priest and sacrifice of the NT in the order of Melchizedek which predated the Levitical priesthood. The priest at the Mass merely stands in the place of Christ, sharing the ministry of his priesthood here on earth. When the priest says the words of Jesus in the consecration it is as though Jesus was saying it. The priest there is a vessel through which the Sacrament occurs.

In the NT all Christians share in the ministry of Christ as priest, prophet, and king. However, there is this special group that through the Sacrament of Holy Orders, that are set apart for the ministry of the Sacraments, as well as the authority to bind and loose. This is where some Protestants would disagree with the concept of a special class of people who can only perform certain roles in the church. I listened to a debate about this once. I think with Jimmy Akin and some Protestant. You can probably still get it from Catholic Answers. I think this is it

Do you have any references to back up this “little miracle”? Also, how would you explain to a protestant, using scriptures, that the order of Melchizedek priesthood is now in effect? You see they believe that the sacrifice of atonement was done was and for all, so there is no need of a priesthood. The supper of bread and wine is simply a memorial (not all protestants believe this but I am making reference to Baptists, Evangelicals etc). The scripture of Jn 6:53-55 comes to my mind.

53 So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54"He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55"For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink.…

Also, there is this scripture 1 Timothy 4:3

“Forbidding to marry, to abstain from meats, which God hath created to be received with thanksgiving by the faithful, and by them that have known the truth.”

Some protestants sects use this against the CC priesthood, saying that we forbid them to marry so naturally we are wrong. However, I know that the scripture was referencing someone else at the time it was written but I don’t know who or what religious sect.

Interesting book since Akin was a former protestant evangelical supporting the Catholic priesthood and the other Dr. Anthony Pezzotta who was a former Catholic priest supporting the evangelical point of view!!!::confused:

Thank you. Here is a quote I found interesting from the link you gave;

“St. Paul used the person of Melchizedek to illustrate the doctrine of the sacrificial priesthood as established by Christ. St. Paul begins, Every high priest is taken from among men and made their representative before God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins (Hebrews 5:1). Despite human weakness, a man is called by God to be a priest.”

Hebrews 5:1-10
"5 Every high priest is selected from among the people and is appointed to represent the people in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. 2 He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. 3 This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. 4 And no one takes this honor on himself, but he receives it when called by God, **just as Aaron was.
5 In the same way, Christ did not take on himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him,

“You are my Son;
today I have become your Father.”[a]
6 And he says in another place,

“You are a priest forever,
in the order of Melchizedek.”**
7 During the days of Jesus’ life on earth,*** he offered up prayers and petitions*** with fervent cries and tears to the one who could save him from death, and he was heard because of his reverent submission. 8 Son though he was, he l***earned obedience from what he suffered 9 and, once made perfect***, he became the source of eternal salvation for all who obey him 10 and was designated by God to be high priest in the order of Melchizedek.


Hebrews 5:5 Psalm 2:7
Hebrews 5:6 Psalm 110:4

Aaron was chosen by God but he was not of the Melchizedek order so when the great sacrifice of Christ was done then this high order of the priesthood came into effect. This is what I understand of the scriptures above. The priests today are in fact of the high order of Melchizedek. They continue to offer bread and wine as a sacrifice to the Most High for all our sins. It is in fact the Lord’s body and blood. He who does not eat of His flesh and drink of His blood cannot have everlasting life, Jn 6:53-55. Therefore am I to believe that those christian sects who do not practice this or whose priests are not directly descended from the apostles as the appointed high priests, in the order of Melchizedek, are doomed?**

“No, there is no Jewish priesthood today. According to the Old Testament, the only place from which it was appropriate to offer animal sacrifices to God was the Temple in Jerusalem. In A.D. 70 the Temple was destroyed, meaning Jewish priests no longer had a place to sacrifice. Since the Temple is still in ruins today, there is currently no place for sacrifice. Therefore, there is no active priesthood in Judaism.”

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