Is 'Priest' biblical?

Discussion in 'Other Christian Denominations' started by nate, Apr 30, 2006.

  1. nate

    nate
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    In another thread we started discussing whether the term 'Priest' is a biblical term we may use when referring to a Pastor,Reverend,Spiritual Leader, someone who adminsters the Sacrements. The Greek word used in Titus 1:5-9 is 'presbyters'. The three offices of the Church are:Bishop,Priest,Deacon-in that order.

    The English word Priest can actually be traced back to a translation of the Old Latin word 'presbyter' which of course we know is biblical. Consult any dictionary and the Etymology study of the English word 'Priest' proves it is an acceptable Biblical Term. Here are a few examples:

    "Etymology: Middle English preist, from Old English prEost, ultimately from Late Latin presbyter -- more at PRESBYTER." Merriam-Webster dictionary

    "Old English prēost, via Latin presbyter" Encarta MSN

    [Middle English preost, from Old English prost, perhaps from Vulgar Latin *prester(from Late Latin presbyter. See presbyter),] Dictionary.com

    "ORIGIN Old English, related to PRESBYTER." Compact Oxford Dictionary

    "O.E. preost, shortened from the older Gmc. form represented by O.S., O.H.G. prestar, O.Fris. prestere, from V.L. *prester "priest," from L.L. presbyter "presbyter, elder," from Gk. presbyteros (see Presbyterian)." Online Etymology Dictionary

    "[OE. prest, preost, AS. preóst, fr. L. presbyter, Gr. elder, older, n., an elder, compar. of an old man]

    (Christian Church) A presbyter elder; a minister; specifically: (a) (R. C. Ch. & Gr. Ch.) One who is authorized to consecrate the host and to say Mass; but especially, one of the lowest order possessing this power. Murdock. (b) (Ch. of Eng. & Prot. Epis. Ch.) A presbyter; one who belongs to the intermediate order between bishop and deacon. He is authorized to perform all ministerial services except those of ordination and confirmation." Webster Dictionary 1913

    "From Greek presbyteros meaning elder" Wiktionary

    This is roughly what I found in a quick glance but it's quite obvious the English word priest is a completely biblical word which can be a title used for clergymen.
    In Christ,
    Nate
     
  2. Jim1999

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    Nate, give Claudia a chance and she will straighten us out in three pages or more, and five posts in a row.

    Wot about Vicar? We use that a lot in ENglish Anglican circles.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  3. nate

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    How true [​IMG]
     
  4. nate

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    [c.1300, from O.Fr. vicaire, from L. vicarius "substitute, deputy," noun use of adj. vicarius "substituting," from vicis "change, turn, office" (see vicarious). The original notion is of "earthly representative of God or Christ;" but also used in sense of "person acting as parish priest in place of a real parson" (c.1325).] Etymology Dictionary

    [Etymology: Middle English, from Latin vicarius, from vicarius vicarious

    : an ecclesiastical agent: as a : a Church of England incumbent receiving a stipend but not the tithes of a parish b : a member of the Episcopal clergy or laity who has charge of a mission or chapel c : a member of the clergy who exercises a broad pastoral responsibility as the representative of a prelate] Merriam-Webster

    "a priest in the Church of England who is in charge of a church and the religious needs of people in a particular area:" Dictionary

    "ORIGIN Old French vicaire, from Latin vicarius ‘substitute’." Oxford Dictionary

    "Latin vicarius vicarious, substitute" Wiktionary
     
  5. Chemnitz

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    I can add to your definition of a vicar. A seminary student in the Lutheran church serving for a period of time in a congregation under the supervision of an ordained minister.
     
  6. nate

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    Thanks Chemnitz it's always intersting to learn new things.
    [​IMG]
     
  7. Jim1999

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    I didn't know that about the Lutheran Church,,Thanks.

    We don't use the term "vicar" in Canada, but I can't shake a lot of my English ways.

    In Canada, I get called everything including "father", but in this small community it is mostly "Jim", which is fine with me. I really dislike being called "reverend", but just cos I don't like the sound.

    Cheers,

    Jim
     
  8. SpyHunter

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    A priest is a representative to God on behalf of man. Jesus is the High Priest of our faith and the only priest we should concretely label as such. In my opinion.

    SpyHunter
     
  9. Matt Black

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    It depends whether you're translating hieros or presbyteros by that word as to whether it is Biblical to have an ordained, visible 'priesthood'. If the former, then SpyHunter is correct; Jesus is the great archieros and we are all priests in that sense.

    As far as modern usage is concerned, I think it is fair to say that the Catholic and Orthodox Churches lean a bit more towards the former , more OT definition, than the Anglicans or Lutherans but I guess that is tied up with their regarding of the Eucharist/Mass/Divine Liturgy as being more of a 'sacrifice' (incidentally, that point has a great deal to do with why I don't think Catholics and Orthodox will ever ordain women). But, common to all these 'priestly' churches, if you dig deep enough, is the idea that the Eucharist belongs to the People (laos=laity) and the priest is the (duly authorised by both Bishop and People) President of the Eucharist (after all, you can't have any old Joe coming in off the street, strolling up and saying the words of institution). This concept is more prominent in the Anglican Communion (and I think also with the Lutherans) and IMO is far closer to the idea of presbyteros.

    Another small word on 'vicar': the idea of him being the representative of God I think only applied historically to the Pope, one of whose titles was and is Vicarius Christi. The 'Vicar' as parish priest was and is a representative, but of the Bishop rather more than of God; this ties in with the idea of the priest being the duly authorised officer to Preside over the Eucharist - much of that authorisation comes from the Bishop becuase initially in the Early Church it was just the Bishop who could Preside, often assisted by the Presbyters. Later, as the Church grew, it became necessary for the Presbyters to manage their own congregations and thus for the Bishops to delegate that Presiding authority to the Presbyters (they still retain sole authority to ordain and confirm though)
     
  10. D28guy

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    There is no "priesthood" in the "church" age other than what is identified in the scriptures.

    And that is that every believer is a priest.

    "But you..."

    (all believers of course)

    "...are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness and into His marvelous light"

    All believers can come boldly and with complete confidence to the thrown of grace at any time.

    Thats why the "priesthood" as it is in the Catholic Church is such a stench in the nostrils of God. And I'm not speaking at all of the decades long pedophile coverup. The Catholic priesthood would be a stench in Gods nostrils even if that whole thing had never happened.

    A terrible terrible thing it is to take what applies to every believer on earth and pretend that it only applies to these few men.

    Mike
     
  11. Matt Black

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    As usual, you jump on the thread as being a purely Catholic thing; what about the Orthodox, the Anglicans, the Methodists, the Lutherans etc?
     
  12. BobRyan

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    This is a good point - but in fact it is often presented as though "Non Catholics" would argue against the idea of earhtly priests but Catholics would not!

    In "fact" it is CATHOLIC RC historians that tell us that the NT Bible teachers/elders among the saints "REFUSED TO BE CALLED priests" because it looked to them like a throw-back to Judaism!

    Just the facts.

    In Christ,

    Bob
     
  13. Eliyahu

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    Priest, Reverend, Father, are unbiblical as only God is reverend (Psalm 111:9)

    All born again believers are "Priests" as we read 1 Peter 2:5-9 and Revelation 1:6, Rev 5:10

    Has made us Kings and Priests unto our God!

    Any Clergy system is wrong!
    There are only 2 offices in the local churches:

    Episkope (Overseers, also called Elders) and Deacon as we read Acts 20:17-28 and 1 Tim 3:1-13 and Tit 1:5-9.
     
  14. Matt Black

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    You're getting episkopoi and presbyteroi confused there. They are two different offices.
     
  15. Bro. James

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    Who has the magic words which turn the wine into the blood of Jesus and the bread into the flesh of Jesus? From whence cometh this power? What happens to the magical powers when a priest is defrocked? Or, if it turns out to be a priest who has a "pedo" problem? Is their magic still valid?

    Sure sounds like a lot of legalistic mambo jambo.

    There is only one intercessor between God and Man: Jesus the Christ. His parting words: "It is finished".

    Selah,

    Bro. James
     
  16. Chemnitz

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    Is it really necessary to bring up the pedophiles everytime the word priest comes up?
     
  17. Claudia_T

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    On my desktop computer I typed in the word "priest" in the Old Testament it came up 135 times.

    So I cant see how the term "priest" could be anything unbiblical.

    As far as the pedophile thing goes there are those in every denomination and adulterous pastors and everything else. There was the Jim Baker and Jessican Hahn thing and then the other guy too (cant think of his name right now)...but this stuff gets swept under the rug all the time, not just in the Catholic Church.


    Claudia
     
  18. riverm

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    The Holy Spirit...
     
  19. Claudia_T

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    The Holy Spirit... </font>[/QUOTE]A man cant re-create the Creator.
     
  20. riverm

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    The Holy Spirit... </font>[/QUOTE]A man cant re-create the Creator. </font>[/QUOTE]I’m not suggesting the Priest becomes God, that’s absurd and no Catholics believe or teach such.

    Priests don’t have the power in themselves to consecrate anything; it is God through the Holy Spirit working through the Priest…that’s the source of this power.
     

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