What exactly is the order of Melchizedek?


#42

Yes…I just saw that…a discussion about difference between the calling of religious and regular priests would be an interesting thread.


#43

That’s the explanation I was waiting for. Heard it from my priest 30 years ago but didn’t quite remember how it all fit together.

Thanks! :slightly_smiling_face:


#44

I think the author of Hebrews makes this quite explicit in 7:23-25.

23 Now there have been many of those priests, since death prevented them from continuing in office; 24 but because Jesus lives forever, he has a permanent priesthood. 25 Therefore he is able to save completely those who come to God through him, because he always lives to intercede for them. (NIV)

https://biblehub.com/niv/hebrews/7.htm

This thread is growing ever more interesting, or perhaps the right adjective is intriguing. I have yet to discover a single verse in Hebrews where the comparison with Melchizedek is extended to the Christian priesthood in general. I still see it as applying to Christ alone, as in the passage I have quoted here.


#45

I think what struck me, was “pops out of nowhere.” The friends and neighbors of Jesus saw him as just another Jewish boy, son of the carpenter. But we know him as son of God, actually coming out of nowhere.

I don’t think it has to state, in Hebrews, that priesthood is extended; our priests act in the person of Christ, so one can still say it applies to Christ alone. Yes?

That is what I see, experience, when I observe a priest putting on the stole to prepare to celebrate the sacrament of Reconciliation: before my eyes he becomes another person, the person of Christ.


#46

It is one thing to say that a priest putting on a stole acts as the person of Christ. The is great. I have no problems with that.

However, I have a major concern extending the idea of Melchizedek priests to all Christian priests in the context of Hebrews 7. Unfortunately the LDS church has turned Hebrews 7 on its head. They say they’ve “brought back” the Melchizedek priesthood. The problem with this is that it fits neatly into an idea of an individual progressing to an equality with Jesus. It creates the idea of different levels of spirituality. If Jesus can be a priest forever, so can anybody be a priest forever like Jesus. This is the inherent danger of reading something into Hebrews 7 that isn’t there. I’m sure nobody posting here meant that interpretation, but it something to be deeply careful of.


#47

Yes, you could put the two things together – the “order of Melchizedek” from Hebrews plus the “in persona Christi” doctrine, which comes from a different and much later source – to reach that conclusion. No doubt about that.

What I’m challenging here is the attribution to the author of Hebrews of the view that all priests belong to the order of Melchizedek. He never says that, does he? He only says that about Jesus.


#48

That’s news to me. Thank you for that information. I have never had any kind of exchange of views with any Mormons.


#50

@jack63, I’d like to develop this conversation a bit further, but today and tomorrow are very busy days for me. As soon as I have an hour or so free to concentrate on this question, I’ll get back you, okay?


#52

I don’t mean to take the conversation in a wild tangent…my link could do that

I do think it is important to understand “what not to do” though and why


#55

Respectfully opinion only and in researching going back to where Melchizedek is mention in OT leaving one pondering on also…:thinking:

What exactly is the order of Melchizedek?
Written…Melchizedek the King of Salem who also was a priest…

So Melchizedek (Name) was a Man, a King and a Priest also…right?.
Melchizedek being a King, was known as such and Melchizedek being a King ruled a… Nation called >>>>Salem>> right?

Searching other sources also…Torah ( Laws) tells us nothing else about this man… Melchizedek…and his relationship to Abraham does it, in what is written?

Searching out other sources ancient Tarqumin ( Aramaic interpretive translation) identifies …Melchizedek as… Shem …son of Noah, could this be correct?

Stating also that Shem was one of the links in the claim …who transmitted the God traditions, would this be true?

Question…So why did the priesthood pass from Melchizedek ( a King/Priest) to Abraham children? Or did anything pass at all?

Melchizedek was King/Priest…Abraham was not a King nor a Priest, so Melchizedek being a Priest…gives his blessing and.anointed with oil… Abraham…will be a priest forever?

Question also…being a Priest forever…as long as Abraham lived?
Or as long as Abraham… Household… his seed multiplied…Abraham off springs?
Melchizedek is making this blessing himself…to Abraham is he not?

Sources within the Talmud explains

As a result of Melchizedek having …Blessed Abraham…before…Blessing God above…taking a priesthood from an entire clan of Melchizedek and giving it to Abraham mention in Psalm 110:4 ?

Psalm 110: 4 Begins…The Lord says to you, my Lord.
Lord/God says to… you?.. my Lord?
Who is You?
A present King already sitting on the Throne, right?

This time it is God blessing this King he also will be a priest forever like Melchizedek also?

Bible Foot note…explains…a.court singer recites… three oracles to assure the… King ( ruling already, alive) he will be a priest also forever like Melchizedek and that his enemies are conquered?

…Note also written.
… This is a Psalm of David…So who is speaking to who here?
This King David? will be like Melchizedek, a man/King/Priest forever also?

Can be read in this light also maybe?
Psalm 110 :4 The Lord has sworn and will not waver “Like Melchizedek you are a priest forever”! …So Melchizedek>>>>>> still remains a priest forever and so will … you…be also a priest forever like Melchizedek?

When priest become priest do they not also become priest forever also?

Just pondering respectfully toward… :thinking: Peace


#56

One point to start off with. I’m not sure of my facts here, and I will be grateful to anyone who can correct my mistake if I’m wrong, but I think the Epistle to the Hebrews was written at a time when Jewish Christians and Gentile Christians still had their separate churches, and this epistle is addressed to the Jewish Christian Church alone.


#57

To be fair, the author of the letter to the Hebrews is writing this with the intent to provide an argument that Jesus really is a high priest. The Hebrews to whom he’s writing would have said “no, he can’t be a high priest, because he doesn’t match the model of priesthood in our tradition”, and the inspired writer of Scripture has to rebut that claim. So… he’s trying to ground his claim of the priesthood of Jesus, rather than take it anywhere else.

Nevertheless, the argument in favor of the Christian priesthood proceeds from the argument here; the “priesthood of Melchizedek” --> “priesthood of Jesus” argument is what allows for the argument that Christian priests are, in fact, valid priests.

At the time that the letter to the Hebrews is being written, the Apostles (that is, the only Christian priests in existence) aren’t calling themselves ‘priests’ yet. That development only occurs after the expulsion of Christians from Jewish worship. So, in the context of this letter, the author wouldn’t have thought to make the argument that you’re hoping to find. So, the fact that you’re not finding it doesn’t really demonstrate anything interesting. :wink:


#58

Have the historians pinpointed the place and date when that development occurred? When and where did churches begin to ordain priests?


#59

Melchizedek was a Jebusite king. King and priest. Jebusites lived on the Holy Land before the Jews, they founded the holy city Jerusalem. The priestly clan Zadok is of his descendants in the historical land.


#60

Just to clear up a doubt – Are you saying that Zadok was genealogically a descendant of Melchizedek, or simply that he was a successor, centuries later, who held the same position as priest and king?


#61

The Church holds that ordination creates an ontological change in the individual ordained; and that change is forever. In other words, once ordained, you cannot “unordain” someone.


#62

It would most certainly make sense. Of course, one cannot produce hard evidence for this. But Jebusite priesthood of El Elyon, the Most High, flourished in Jerusalem between Melchizedek and David. When taking over the city, David might have made a pact with the Jebusites to keep them in town, recalling the righteous act of Melchizedek toward Abraham. Since Moses, the Jews had known that the true name of El Elyon was Yahweh Sabaoth as it was revealed at the burning bush. This identification made it possible for the Jebusites of Jerusalem to remain and integrate themselves to the people of Yahweh and the Ark of the Covenant.


#63

When David captured Jerusalem, was Zadok then the reigning Jebusite priest-king?

If so, you seem to be implying that David deposed him from the throne, taking his place as king, but kept him on as high priest. Is that what happened?

Two other leading priests in David’s time, Ahimelech and his son Abiathar, are named several times in conjunction with Zadok, e.g. in 2 Sam 8:17. What was the arrangement here? Was there more than one high priest at the same time?

https://biblehub.com/2_samuel/8-17.htm


#64

David won militarily. So he became the king with no contest. Now, what did Zadok exactly do before the conquest, we don’t know. But what you say could be a viable scenario.


#65

Here’s one take on it. Basically, in the period of time while Christianity was a largely Jewish sect, and while Jewish Christians still attended synagogue and temple services, Christians wouldn’t have called the apostles ‘priests’ – a priest was a Jewish Aaronic role. Once Christians had been kicked out of the synagogue, and once the shared memory of participation in Jewish ritual had begun to be lost, it was more natural to call Church leaders ‘priests’ (hieros) rather than ‘elders’ (presbyteros) or ‘overseers’ (episkopos).

To further confuse matters, the English word ‘priest’ comes from presbyteros, not heiros. (However, we can easily see the word ‘hierarchy’ from hieros and ‘episcopal’ from episkopos. Nevertheless, etymology is an odd game…)

In any case, our present experience is of a settled role, with settled titles. In the early Church, the situation with respect to titles was a bit more… fluid, shall we say? It took time for roles and titles to ossify.

As I understand it, the general way it went down was that, at first, there were only the apostles. Then, as more and more local churches were established, the apostles (who founded those local churches) appointed leaders to be their successors – ‘overseers’, or what we’d call today ‘bishops’. Eventually, there were too many people to whom to minister to in local churches, so ministry was extended to those who would confect the Eucharist in the absence of the bishop and, in that way, help the bishops in their ministry – that is, ‘priests’.

I’m not sure when this last development happened. I’d have to dig through my books and notes and see if I can find it…


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.