What exactly is the order of Melchizedek?


Anne Emmerich never wrote anything. Her alleged revelations were written by the poet Clemens Brentano who interviewed her. The Church has not approved her revelations and suspects they are fraudulent.


That verb “hierourgeo” is interesting (Romans 15:16). Whoever first started calling himself, or calling someone else, a “hiereus” in the early church, might perhaps have seen himself as carrying on from where Paul left off.


I agree with everything you said from that post. However, surely we’re not the first people to have a discussion similar to this. It is very likely that the basic discussion points are in fact very very old.

I agree that

In fact, I find it to be a rather beautiful argument.

However, if the Bible were to say that all priests (or any Christians) are forever in the order of Melchizedek in the same way that Jesus was, that would have profound theological significance in the context of Hebrews 7. Surely this was discussed long long ago…it may not have been discussed in the context of priests, as the concept of priests has changed in the last two millennia. The basic discussion point has to do with the nature of the divinity of Jesus. Can the church’s sacraments bring a Christian or help a Christian progress to the same level as Jesus?..that really is the basic discussion point.

The entire Bible was compiled in the late 300AD early 400AD. I think if it were the plan to include something about these questions, it would of happened…maybe not in Hebrews…but elsewhere. I actually think it is significant that the Bible leaves Hebrews 7 be and doesn’t expand on it.


From the online 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.”[19]

Footnote 19 attributes the quotation to Aquinas, though without naming the book or providing any further reference.



Hang on a second, though. The question of the duration of the priesthood in the ontology of a Christian priest is a completely different question than whether the conferral of orders “bring[s] or progress[es]” him “to the same level as Jesus”. At no point do we suggest that holy orders automatically makes a man himself holy. That’s still up to him, personally.

I think I would say that it was written by around 100 A.D., and then officially ratified as canon in a later timeframe. It’s not like it underwent revision in order to be ratified, so the contents were already ossified and not subject to change. The real question would be what the ECFs were saying about priesthood in that timeframe…


Here is my concern and question. How is it possible that these two questions are related?

I don’t think they are related questions. One (the first one above) deals with the ministerial priesthood. The second deals with the one unique priesthood of Christ.


In the famous passage describing the Eucharist in mid-second century Ephesus, Justin Martyr doesn’t use the word priest or even any of the terms that appear in the Epistles, such as elder, deacon, or overseer. In Chapter 65 he refers to the celebrant as “the president of the brethren.”




Hmm… I’m seeing “presider” here (προεστῶτι), but that only speaks to function at the liturgy, not title. Even these days, when there are a number of priests on the altar, we call one the ‘presider’ or ‘celebrant’ and the others ‘concelebrants’, but that doesn’t mean that only one is a priest or that the others are not…

So, in this context, I don’t think that Justin is referring to title so much as function, and if we try to read too deeply into his description – after all, he is talking to a non-Christian and non-Jewish Roman emperor! – then we are creating a narrative that goes beyond what Justin putatively intended to say.


Is there anywhere else in the New Testament that discusses the nature of Christ’s Priesthood aside from Hebrews and Psalms?..I mean a passage specifically referring to Christ as a Priest or High Priest? I would be very interested to understand this if this is the case…Nothing really showed up on a simple google search.

If there is nothing else in the New Testament, it would seem clear that the CCC is in fact referring to Hebrews 7 for an understanding of Christ’s unique priesthood.


In the NT, only in Hebrews. There are one or two mentions in the Psalms which can be seen as prophetic, though at the time they were written the intention was to make the same claim on behalf of David. This was what I meant when I said in an earlier comment that there were only ever three priests “of the order of Melchizedek,” namely Melchizedek himself, then David, and then finally Jesus. Since I posted that comment, however, @curious_cath has brought up the Zadok question, which makes the discussion more complicated than I thought.


I’m sorry I didn’t explain more clearly what I meant about Justin Martyr’s use of the word “president”. I was carrying on from where we left off earlier. We were looking for the earliest mention of the word “priest” in a Christian context. Since Justin doesn’t use it, I suppose that means we’re not going to find it in any extant Christian document earlier than, say, 150 or so, if that.


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