Scripture Question About the Priesthood

My ex-Catholic, now-Protestant step-mother told me that God cancelled the priesthood. I know that that is not true. Can somebody give me a good defense?

Here is what she said:

“The Priesthood was canceled in the old testament when God spoke to Isaiah, ‘I am sending my son. He will be the only Priest between God and man.’”

She has obviously been taught an offbeat doctrine. Help!

Thanks,:confused:

Jen

Dr. Brant Pitre has a great CD set talking about this exact thing. It is all based on the Bible and is very well done. Its great apologetics for anyone interested.

catholicproductions.com/store/audio/WOG%20Conference/2009/order_conference_set.html

I hope it helps…

Peace,

Your step-mother may not understand the theology behind the Catholic priesthood, it sounds like to me. I would second the Dr. Pitre endorsement.

Even Protestants believe there is a NT priesthood, which they call the priesthood of believers. (But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people 1 Pet. 2:9) Catholics also teach this doctrine (e.g. CCC#1174).

Regarding the ministerial priesthood, that's a different issue. Catholics also believe there is one priest. However, all "priests" participate in Christ's ONE priesthood. CCC#1545 The redemptive sacrifice of Christ is unique, accomplished once for all; yet it is made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Church. The same is true of **the one priesthood of Christ; it is made present through the ministerial priesthood* without diminishing the uniqueness of Christ's priesthood: "Only Christ is the true priest, the others being only his ministers."*So you see, your step-mother's argument does not apply to Catholic teaching, because we essentially do not believe there is more than one NT priest.

Once one begins to understand that Christ perpetuates his priesthood sacramentally through his ordained ministers, one can make sense of such passages like this one in Hebrews:Hebrews 13:10 **We have an altar* from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp.* Your step-mother may not realize this, but an "altar" Biblically is a place for sacrifice. You can see the comparison even in the short passage above when the NT altar is compared to the OT sacrifices. Where the OT ate the slaughtered animal, we Catholics in the NT actualize the fulfillment of those sacrifices by eating the bread - which is Christ's sacrifice (e.g. Luk. 22:19, 1 Cor. 10:16, etc.)

For further reference, I recommend:
The Ministerial Priesthood

[quote="jennapope, post:1, topic:274531"]
My ex-Catholic, now-Protestant step-mother told me that God cancelled the priesthood. I know that that is not true. Can somebody give me a good defense?

Here is what she said:

"The Priesthood was canceled in the old testament when God spoke to Isaiah, 'I am sending my son. He will be the only Priest between God and man.'"

She has obviously been taught an offbeat doctrine. Help!

Thanks,:confused:

Jen

[/quote]

I cannot find such a verse in Isaiah. I'm sure it does not exist unless a citation can be provided or the person is mistaken about where the passage comes from.

I looked in the online RSV Concordance at quod.lib.umich.edu/r/rsv/. There are 3462 instances of the word "Son" in the RSV Old Testament of which 60 of those are from Isaiah. I read every verse and none fits. I had similar results when I searched for the word "Priest"

If anything, Isaiah says exactly the opposite - not that the priesthood would end but that it would continue and grow.

**You yourselves shall be called “Priests of the LORD,”
“Ministers of our God” you shall be called
.
You shall eat the wealth of the nations
and in their riches you will boast.
(Isaiah 61:6)

This is from Isaiah 61, which is the same chapter from which Jesus reads when he is handed the scroll in the synagogue in Luke 4. Isaiah does not deny the priesthood. If anything, Isaiah confirms the prieshood.

And Isaiah even gives prophecy about the Mass and the Eucharist.

**And they shall bring all your brethren from all the nations as an offering to the LORD, upon horses, and in chariots, and in litters, and upon mules, and upon dromedaries, to my holy mountain Jerusalem, says the LORD, just as the Israelites bring their cereal offering in a clean vessel **to the house of the LORD. And some of them also I will take for priests and for Levites, says the LORD. "For as the new heavens and the new earth which I will make shall remain before me, says the LORD; so shall your descendants and your name remain. From new moon to new moon, and from sabbath to sabbath, all flesh shall come to worship before me, says the LORD.
(Isaiah 66:20-23)

Very few places in the Old Testament are as Catholic as Isaiah.

I would go back to the Mother in Law and say that it just isn't so. Not only is there no such verse, but if we actually read Isaiah we see that he clearly confirms the continuation of the priesthood rather than ends it.

-Tim-

[quote="jennapope, post:1, topic:274531"]
My ex-Catholic, now-Protestant step-mother told me that God cancelled the priesthood. I know that that is not true. Can somebody give me a good defense?

Here is what she said:

"The Priesthood was canceled in the old testament when God spoke to Isaiah, 'I am sending my son. He will be the only Priest between God and man.'"

She has obviously been taught an offbeat doctrine. Help!

Thanks,:confused:

Jen

[/quote]

Give this essay a read and show it to your stepmother: "Holy Orders and the Sacrificial Priesthood".

[quote="MarcoPolo, post:3, topic:274531"]
Your step-mother may not understand the theology behind the Catholic priesthood, it sounds like to me. I would second the Dr. Pitre endorsement.

Even Protestants believe there is a NT priesthood, which they call the priesthood of believers. (But you are a chosen race, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God's own people 1 Pet. 2:9) Catholics also teach this doctrine (e.g. CCC#1174).

Regarding the ministerial priesthood, that's a different issue. Catholics also believe there is one priest. However, all "priests" participate in Christ's ONE priesthood. CCC#1545 The redemptive sacrifice of Christ is unique, accomplished once for all; yet it is made present in the Eucharistic sacrifice of the Church. The same is true of **the one priesthood of Christ; it is made present through the ministerial priesthood** without diminishing the uniqueness of Christ's priesthood: "Only Christ is the true priest, the others being only his ministers."So you see, your step-mother's argument does not apply to Catholic teaching, because we essentially do not believe there is more than one NT priest.

Once one begins to understand that Christ perpetuates his priesthood sacramentally through his ordained ministers, one can make sense of such passages like this one in Hebrews:Hebrews 13:10 **We have an altar** from which those who serve the tent have no right to eat. For the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the sanctuary by the high priest as a sacrifice for sin are burned outside the camp. Your step-mother may not realize this, but an "altar" Biblically is a place for sacrifice. You can see the comparison even in the short passage above when the NT altar is compared to the OT sacrifices. Where the OT ate the slaughtered animal, we Catholics in the NT actualize the fulfillment of those sacrifices by eating the bread - which is Christ's sacrifice (e.g. Luk. 22:19, 1 Cor. 10:16, etc.)

For further reference, I recommend:
The Ministerial Priesthood

[/quote]

Just adding to this....in Hebrews 13 Verse 20 it says "And may the God of peace, who brought again from the dead the great pastor of the sheep, our Lord Jesus Christ, in the blood of the everlasting testament"

Don't they call themselves 'pastors'? How is it then that a priest can't be called a priest? If they want to make up a rule that no one can be a priest now because Jesus is called priest, then they must apply the rule to 'pastor'. Here we see Jesus called the great pastor of the sheep, and if he is then how can anyone else be called pastor? Obviously the answer is that all pastors are one in Christ, and are ministers just as priests are ministers.

That said, where exactly in Isaiah does it even say this?

If you're looking for a Biblical defence of the priesthood in the New Testament to show your step mother:

"Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was. So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father. "

Hebrews 5:1-5

Please tell your step mother to pay special attention to the fact that the word of God emphatically states (in the New Testament) that the priest offers sacrifices for his own sins as well for the sins of the people (verse 3).

[quote="Sime, post:7, topic:274531"]
If you're looking for a Biblical defence of the priesthood in the New Testament to show your step mother:

"Every high priest is selected from among men and is appointed to represent them in matters related to God, to offer gifts and sacrifices for sins. He is able to deal gently with those who are ignorant and are going astray, since he himself is subject to weakness. This is why he has to offer sacrifices for his own sins, as well as for the sins of the people. No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was. So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father. "

Hebrews 5:1-5

Please tell your step mother to pay special attention to the fact that the word of God emphatically states (in the New Testament) that the priest offers sacrifices for his own sins as well for the sins of the people (verse 3).

[/quote]

To be fair, Paul is speaking here about the High Priest of the Old Testament, not about the priesthood of the New Testament.

This passage is part of his argument about why the sacrifice of the Old Testmant were not effecitve at removing sin. Part of his argument is that the High Priest has to enter the Holy of Holies every year to atone for the sins of the people and the fact that it has to be repeated, according to Paul, is an indication that it is not effective. The passage above is simply part of Paul's argument regarding the ineffective sacrifices of the Old Testament and really are not written to point us to the New Testament priests.

At one point I had dedicated my daily Bible reading to the Book of Hebrews exclusively for several months in an effort to understand it and am a big fan of handling scripture accurately. I mean no disrespect here, but just want to be fair to Scripture itself.

I really don't think Paul was referencing the New Testament prieshood but rather using a discription of the Old Testament High Priest as part of a greater argument.

-Tim-

[quote="jennapope, post:1, topic:274531"]
My ex-Catholic, now-Protestant step-mother told me that God cancelled the priesthood. I know that that is not true. Can somebody give me a good defense?

Here is what she said:

"The Priesthood was canceled in the old testament when God spoke to Isaiah, 'I am sending my son. He will be the only Priest between God and man.'"

She has obviously been taught an offbeat doctrine. Help!

Thanks,:confused:

Jen

[/quote]

The Book of Joshua, Chapter 3, Verse 13 and 17 says:

13 When the soles of the feet of the priests carrying the ark of the LORD, the Lord of the whole earth, touch the waters of the Jordan, it will cease to flow; the water flowing down from upstream will halt in a single heap.”

17 The priests carrying the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood on dry ground in the Jordan riverbed while all Israel crossed on dry ground, until the whole nation had completed the crossing of the Jordan.

Those Words made me think about how God's chosen Priests help to save souls even today through the Sacraments of the Catholic Church.

Just as our feet have “soles”, our bodies have “souls” too.

How appropriate that part of God’s plan to bring the Israelites into the Promised Land would be the use of His Priests to carry the Ark of the Covenant thru the flood waters of the Jordan River and how God worked that miracle through the soles of the Priest's feet.

And, how appropriate that part of God’s plan to bring all people of all nations into Eternal life would be the use of His Priests dispensing the Sacraments of the Church today which saves souls. How appropriate that God’s chosen, His Priests Forever, should administer to our “souls” and help lead us into Eternal Life with Jesus forever.

Perhaps to better understand The Priesthood, we need to better understand what a Sacrament is because the two work side by side.

Also I just want to say it saddens me when Christians leave the Catholic Church because they are led out with lies and the person leaving justifies it by saying how the catholic church didn’t teach them certain things or they weren’t being spiritually fed by the catholic church.

They pin all the blame on the Church when they own part of the blame by not bothering to learn anything about their Catholic Faith. Pray for the conversion of our lost brothers and sisters to return to the One, True Church that worships the One, True God. Amen

[quote="TimothyH, post:8, topic:274531"]
To be fair, Paul is speaking here about the High Priest of the Old Testament, not about the priesthood of the New Testament.

This passage is part of his argument about why the sacrifice of the Old Testmant were not effecitve at removing sin. Part of his argument is that the High Priest has to enter the Holy of Holies every year to atone for the sins of the people and the fact that it has to be repeated, according to Paul, is an indication that it is not effective. The passage above is simply part of Paul's argument regarding the ineffective sacrifices of the Old Testament and really are not written to point us to the New Testament priests.

At one point I had dedicated my daily Bible reading to the Book of Hebrews exclusively for several months in an effort to understand it and am a big fan of handling scripture accurately. I mean no disrespect here, but just want to be fair to Scripture itself.

I really don't think Paul was referencing the New Testament prieshood but rather using a discription of the Old Testament High Priest as part of a greater argument.

-Tim-

[/quote]

Though this passage doesn't directly deal with the establishment of the Christian priesthood, it DOES prove that there was already a Christian priesthood established at the time Paul wrote this letter.

Recall that Jesus stated He did not come to abolish the Law but fulfill it (Matthew 5:17)?

The first priest mentioned in the Bible is Melchizedek, who was a priest of the Most High, and who officiated for Abraham. The first mention of a priesthood occurs in Exodus 40:15 "And thou shalt anoint them, as thou didst anoint their father [Aaron], that they may minister unto me in the priest's office: for their anointing shall surely be an everlasting priesthood throughout their generations." (KJV, 1611)

Among these priests a High Priest was anointed (first mentioned Leviticus 21:10), to serve in unique functions, such as entering the Holy of Holies once yearly on the Day of Atonement.

Paul is obviously connecting the Jewish priesthood with the priesthood of Christianity, and showing that Christ is the High Priest of this new order, who is the mediator between God and man, and has been appointed directly by God to be a High Priest.

I believe the word Catholic was first used by the Bishop of Antioch when He was arrested & taken from the island, He spoke of His flock as being a Catholic people, also the word Catholic mean Universal, am I correct or am I wrong??????

[quote="JonathonofOhio, post:6, topic:274531"]
Don't they call themselves 'pastors'? How is it then that a priest can't be called a priest? If they want to make up a rule that no one can be a priest now because Jesus is called priest, then they must apply the rule to 'pastor'. Here we see Jesus called the great pastor of the sheep, and if he is then how can anyone else be called pastor? Obviously the answer is that all pastors are one in Christ, and are ministers just as priests are ministers.

[/quote]

I always like recommending By What Authority?

This particular article is directed towards Protestant pastors, but also (indirectly) toward their congregants.

[quote="TimothyH, post:8, topic:274531"]
To be fair, Paul is speaking here about the High Priest of the Old Testament, not about the priesthood of the New Testament.

This passage is part of his argument about why the sacrifice of the Old Testmant were not effecitve at removing sin. Part of his argument is that the High Priest has to enter the Holy of Holies every year to atone for the sins of the people and the fact that it has to be repeated, according to Paul, is an indication that it is not effective. The passage above is simply part of Paul's argument regarding the ineffective sacrifices of the Old Testament and really are not written to point us to the New Testament priests.

At one point I had dedicated my daily Bible reading to the Book of Hebrews exclusively for several months in an effort to understand it and am a big fan of handling scripture accurately. I mean no disrespect here, but just want to be fair to Scripture itself.

I really don't think Paul was referencing the New Testament prieshood but rather using a discription of the Old Testament High Priest as part of a greater argument.

-Tim-

[/quote]

I disagree, the very mention of the priesthood (in the present tense) in Hebrews 5 suggests that it is in fact referring to the New Testament priesthood. St Paul is merely demonstrating the continuity and transitioning of the priesthood (which was formerly under Mosaic Law) to to that of Christ's Law, of the New Testament. Of course, I do not come to this assessment solely based on Hebrews 5 but in tandem with the rest of scripture taken as a whole which I will not enumerate on here. Also, the preceding verse at the end of Hebrews 4 only lends credence to this argument, pointing to Christ as the Great High Priest; immediately following Hebrews 5 speaks of the priesthood in the present tense (not past tense).

[quote="Sime, post:13, topic:274531"]

[/quote]

I disagree, the very mention of the priesthood (in the present tense) in Hebrews 5 suggests that it is in fact referring to the New Testament priesthood. St Paul is merely demonstrating the continuity and transitioning of the priesthood (which was formerly under Mosaic Law) to to that of Christ's Law, of the New Testament. Of course, I do not come to this assessment solely based on Hebrews 5 but in tandem with the rest of scripture taken as a whole which I will not enumerate on here. Also, the preceding verse at the end of Hebrews 4 only lends credence to this argument, pointing to Christ as the Great High Priest; immediately following Hebrews 5 speaks of the priesthood in the present tense (not past tense).

[quote="TimothyH, post:8, topic:274531"]
To be fair, Paul is speaking here about the High Priest of the Old Testament, not about the priesthood of the New Testament.

This passage is part of his argument about why the sacrifice of the Old Testmant were not effecitve at removing sin. Part of his argument is that the High Priest has to enter the Holy of Holies every year to atone for the sins of the people and the fact that it has to be repeated, according to Paul, is an indication that it is not effective. The passage above is simply part of Paul's argument regarding the ineffective sacrifices of the Old Testament and really are not written to point us to the New Testament priests.

At one point I had dedicated my daily Bible reading to the Book of Hebrews exclusively for several months in an effort to understand it and am a big fan of handling scripture accurately. I mean no disrespect here, but just want to be fair to Scripture itself.

I really don't think Paul was referencing the New Testament prieshood but rather using a discription of the Old Testament High Priest as part of a greater argument.

-Tim-

[/quote]

I disagree, the very mention of the priesthood (in the present tense) in Hebrews 5 suggests that it is in fact referring to the New Testament priesthood. St. Paul is merely demonstrating the continuity and transitioning of the priesthood (formerly under Mosaic Law) to to that of Christ's Law (of the New Testament). Of course, I do not come to this assessment solely based on Hebrews 5 but in tandem with the rest of scripture taken as a whole which I will not enumerate on here. Also, the preceding verse at the end of Hebrews 4 only lends credence to this argument, pointing to Christ as the Great High Priest; immediately following this verse at the beginning of Hebrews 5 it speaks of the priesthood in the present tense while simultaneously referencing the Old Testament priesthood as well.

[quote="jwinch2, post:2, topic:274531"]
Dr. Brant Pitre has a great CD set talking about this exact thing. It is all based on the Bible and is very well done. Its great apologetics for anyone interested.

catholicproductions.com/store/audio/WOG%20Conference/2009/order_conference_set.html

I hope it helps...

Peace,

[/quote]

Dr. Brant Pitre is Amazing I will be taking a class with him when I go to Notre Dame seminary.

Good for you. We have several of his CD sets and they are all excellent.

Peace of Christ,

as far as the question I'm not to sure how to answer this but I think somewhere in scripture they talk about the ministerial priesthood I think some mentions in the Old Testament. Now I understand this doesn't answer the question but you can try to talk about parallels between the old testament and new testament and talk about how if there parrelles exist then we can assume that while it doesn't look the same today many of the things they did in old testament jewish culture would be also present in today's Christian New Testament culture.

Its always important to remember to meet those who disagree with us were they are at don't spew off Catholic Theology of priesthood and expect them to believe. What makes you believe may not make them believe, for most protestants and other non catholic churches if you explain to them why we do things and show them the scripture they may atleast say ok I see now where you get your teachings. Sometimes you will find stubborn ones, I guess you could say, who no matter what scripture you put in front of them they will continue to interpret it in their own way and such. The Best thing to do with them, which I need to do myself, is show them the scripture and let it settle its a waste of time IMO to argue with them, never ever think your going to be the one to convert them, it will be their own doing and of course the work of the holy spirit. The MOST you can do is open them up for the grace of conversion by softening their hearts. Don't be discouraged in your discussion with non catholic family members or friends. Most importantly remember always to pray :).

God Bless.

[quote="Sime, post:13, topic:274531"]

[/quote]

A boolean search of the word "priest" in the King James shows the use of some form of the word some 159 times in the New Testament. Interestingly, it is not used in Paul's epistles, but is found in those epistles with Israel in view. I also searched in 8 versions including the Greek [Westcott-Hort critical text] and the results were the same in Paul's epistles.

Grace and peace,

QC

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