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Priesthood.


Flyonthewall

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In another thread, the subject of priesthood came up, and among other things this was stated by a non-LDS poster:

Priesthood has always been a sacrifical office ... Priesthood it always tied to sacrifice and nothing else.. Authority comes from being an heir to the Kingdom of God, to be His child.. That is a huge authority to speck as an heir and not a servant.. No text in the Bible tells us that priesthood was given to the disciples. No priesthood is mentioned in any of the leadership position of the Church.. Jesus is the one and only High Priest and all believers (both male and female) are kings and priests unto God..

... I believe that authority is in the being a child of God.. being that heir of the Kingdom.. I tell you the truth that priesthood is all about sacrifice. I am not just speaking of animal sacrifice here but of BLOOD sacrifice.. Yes first the type them the real sacrifice the blood of Jesus.

(James, please feel free to correct this if I have pulled this out of context)

The short version of LDS belief, as I understand it, is that the priesthood is the power and authority to act in the name of God, in His absence, here on earth. It was given to Adam, and handed down from father to first born son(generally speaking).

Melchizidek was a king and a holder of this priesthood who, through preaching repentance, established peace in the land of Salem all of his days, and was considered the Prince of Peace, and to be a type of Christ.

14 Yea, humble yourselves even as the people in the days of Melchizedek, who was also a high priest after this same order which I have spoken, who also took upon him the high priesthood forever.

15 And it was this same Melchizedek to whom Abraham paid tithes; yea, even our father Abraham paid tithes of one-tenth part of all he possessed.

16 Now these ordinances were given after this manner, that thereby the people might look forward on the Son of God, it being a type of his order, or it being his order, and this that they might look forward to him for a remission of their sins, that they might enter into the rest of the Lord.

17 Now this Melchizedek was a king over the land of Salem; and his people had waxed strong in iniquity and abomination; yea, they had all gone astray; they were full of all manner of wickedness;

18 But Melchizedek having exercised mighty faith, and received the office of the high priesthood according to the holy order of God, did preach repentance unto his people. And behold, they did repent; and Melchizedek did establish peace in the land in his days; therefore he was called the prince of peace, for he was the king of Salem; and he did reign under his father.

19 Now, there were many before him, and also there were many afterwards, but none were greater; therefore, of him they have more particularly made mention.

The priesthood continued to be handed down to the first born males until Moses' time and the House of Israel was led out of Egypt. It was then that the Israelites rejected, or at least were not ready for what the Lord had in store for them, so the Lord gave them a portion of it. The priesthood, a "lower" version of it, was given to the Levites, instead of the first born sons, generally to service the tabernacle, and specifically to Aaron and his sons to be priests.

This continued, with prophets holding the higher or full priesthood, until Jesus Christ came, He had the higher priesthood, and gave it to the apostles, to bind on earth and heaven.

It is this priesthood that gives one the power and authority to officiate in rites, ordninances, and leadership of the gospel. Under the Law of Moses, rites and ordinances were heavily weighted towards animal sacrifice, but in no way were done away with under Christ. Baptism, blessings, the sacrament, and church leadership still remain and require the authority to perform.

I would invite other LDS to correct me or add to this, and for non-LDS, I would like to understand their point of view on the priesthood.

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A couple of thoughts to add:

Animal sacrifice was a representation of the sacrifice of Christ. And His life and death ended sacrifice of animals, and was one of the ways He came to "fulfill" the law. Now our sacrifice is "that of a broken heart and contrite spirit" (D&C 59:7-9)

No one decides to hold any particular office in the Priesthood. He must be called by God. "Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you and ordained you." (John 15:16)

Best definition, IMO: "And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven." (Matt. 16:17-19; 18:18)

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What is it: It is the greatest human activity on Earth.

Is it needed : Yes, because it is the conduit of how God gives his sacraments to his children.

Where does it come from " It comes from Christ ( God ) himself who gave it to his Apostles to continue his Loving Church.

Peace,

Ceeboo

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...and for non-LDS, I would like to understand their point of view on the priesthood.

My understanding is that the priesthood of Melchizedek is not an institutional rank. I see nary a hint of that belief in Hebrews.

I believe Joseph Smith cut from whole cloth his "inspired" "translation" of Hebrew 7.3. There is simply no transmissive textual data whatsoever to support his rewrite at that point. It doesn't exist. Cf. Comfort and Metzger.

The only way that I can currently see to get to the belief that there exists an eternal institutional rank known as the Melchizedek priesthood is to accept Joseph Smith's statements that there is. Not a problem for LDS, I realize. But, taking Smith's emendation of Heb 7.3 as a test case, I see no reason to accept his completely uncorroborated rewrite of scripture as in any sense binding or authoritative.

FWIW, Ellingsworth (in NIGTC) is quite helpful here in terms of the Greek text, but I think Lane really shines at this point (WBC). I assume it would be considered parochial to cite A. Pink. Though not without his critics, Scholer (JSNTS 49), who makes significant forays on either side of 7.3, is also a helpful interpreter of the priesthood locus in Hebrews.

cks

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My understanding is that the priesthood of Melchizedek is not an institutional rank. I see nary a hint of that belief in Hebrews.

I believe Joseph Smith cut from whole cloth his "inspired" "translation" of Hebrew 7.3. There is simply no transmissive textual data whatsoever to support his rewrite at that point. It doesn't exist. Cf. Comfort and Metzger.

The only way that I can currently see to get to the belief that there exists an eternal institutional rank known as the Melchizedek priesthood is to accept Joseph Smith's statements that there is. Not a problem for LDS, I realize. But, taking Smith's emendation of Heb 7.3 as a test case, I see no reason to accept his completely uncorroborated rewrite of scripture as in any sense binding or authoritative.

FWIW, Ellingsworth (in NIGTC) is quite helpful here in terms of the Greek text, but I think Lane really shines at this point (WBC). I assume it would be considered parochial to cite A. Pink. Though not without his critics, Scholer (JSNTS 49), who makes significant forays on either side of 7.3, is also a helpful interpreter of the priesthood locus in Hebrews.

cks

Thanks for the reply, however, I was hoping to get more of your views of the priesthood rather than a critique of ours.

Since you did state that you don't believe the priesthood of Melchizidek is an institutional rank, could you expand upon that? What type of priesthood do you believe it to be?

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I would invite other LDS to correct me or add to this, and for non-LDS, I would like to understand their point of view on the priesthood.

Hi Flyonthewall,

I concur with what was observed in the other thread. Even in I Peter, where the unordained priesthood of all believers is the context, we see that if we are priests, we offer sacrifices:

Wherefore laying away all malice, and all guile, and dissimulations, and envies, and all detractions, As newborn babes, desire the rational milk without guile, that thereby you may grow unto salvation: If so be you have tasted that the Lord is sweet. Unto whom coming, as to a living stone, rejected indeed by men, but chosen and made honourable by God: Be you also as living stones built up, a spiritual house, a holy priesthood, to offer up spiritual sacrifices, acceptable to God by Jesus Christ.
---2:1-5

There is sometimes an assumption on the part of non-Catholics that the reason for priestly celibacy, is that we think there is something wrong with marriage. No. Otherwise Holy Matrimony could never be one of the seven Sacraments. The reason why celibacy has been for the most part the rule in the Western Church for centuries is that it is among the greatest sacrifices that a priest can make. Sacrifice never involves giving up something that is bad, but something that is good. In the Old Testament, it was the more desirable animals and other valuable food stuffs that were offered up.

I am not trying to persuade Mormons that celibacy is for them. But if you would understand Catholics properly, you must know that we believe that marriage is among the greatest blessings that can be enjoyed by God's children. To be willing to give up being a husband and father of a family for the sake of being a spiritual father, shows each priest at the outset how his entire life must be one of sacrificial service. On a daily basis, the holy sacrifice of the Mass which he offers is his consolation. There are those both within and without the Church who oppose priestly celibacy as a universal rule. Admittedly, this is a discipline which may be moderated according to the Church's judgment. But it always seems like the opponents of priestly celibacy lack appreciation for the traditional understanding of the sacrificial nature of all priesthood. One wonders sometimes if these folks think being a Catholic priest is like any other job or career. It is not. It is a complete way of life. The one who has received Holy Orders is offering up his entire life in sacrifice to serve God's flock.

Thanks.

3DOP

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