The Papacy in the OT


Does the heirarchical (sp?) structure of the Catholic Church have roots in the OT? In particular, I would like to know if God set an authority up over His people. I remember hearing “the chair of Moses”, but that it is a traditional chair, not one that God Himself ordained.
Was the office of the Pharisees divinely instituted?


Compare the scriptures between Isaiah 22:22 and Matthew 16:19.

More info:


Similar to papacy:
(Compare “entrusted with all my house” to “on this rock (Peter) I will build my church” and “I will give you the keys of the kingdom…”)
Numbers 12:1-15 Miriam and Aaron spoke against Moses…; and they said, “Has the LORD indeed spoken only through Moses? Has he not spoken through us also?” And the LORD heard it… …And the LORD came down in a pillar of cloudk, …, and called Aaron and Miriam; … And He said, …, with my servant Moses; he is entrusted with all my house. …"

There was further hierarchical set up in the OT.
Of the twelve tribes of Israel, the temple service was restricted to the tribe of Levi.
Within that tribe, specific tasks were assigned to certain families. Eg. Only Aaron and his descendents could be priests (Num 3:1-4).

  1. the priesthood. Within the priesthood (Aaron and his descendents), one only was appointed as an acting high priest.
    (Jesus is our only high priest; our ordained priesthood to assist here on earth.)

  2. non-priestly clerical duties assigned to other families of the tribe of Levi.
    (Read Numbers chapters 3 and 4 to see what duties assigned to the various Levitical families.)
    I find these duties similar to lay deacons, altar boys, nuns and brothers.

It’s interesting that some of the Levitical families were not satisfied with their assigned roles and envied the priesthood assigned to Aaron’s descendants. God dealt harshly with their revolt. (Can read about it in Numbers, chapter 16). When I read of women being upset and envious of the priesthood, I think of this OT episode. I’d be shaking in my boots if I were one of those women!



Pharisee is not a divinely instituted"office".

Here’s a little information from “The New Harper’s Bible Dictionary”:
(from Heb. parush, “separated” or “separatist”), members of one of the three philosophical sects of Judaism in the two centuries before and after the beginning of the Christian era. The name was probably first used in the time of the Maccabean leader John Hyrcanus, because the Pharisees’ insistence on scrupulous observance of the Law led to a separatist attitude toward all of life…

Though the Pharisees exercised great political power, they were not primarily a political party, but a school or a society of zealous students and teachers of the Law. …

Hope that helps a little.



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