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Discussion in '2000-02 Archive' started by BrianT, Dec 21, 2002.
Melchisedec: Jesus preincarnate?
Jewish tradition, as recorded from as early as we can find it, says Melchizedek was Shem, the son of Noah. It is said to be he who founded Jerusalem and he who met Abraham coming back from battle. Abraham would have already known him and therefore recognized him.
There is only one person with no geneology or father or mother or, well, the entire description.
[ December 25, 2002, 01:29 AM: Message edited by: Sherrie ]
The writer to the Hebrews speaks of "another priest to come -- one in the order of Melchizedek" (Heb. 7:11).
Jesus is a High Priest in the order of Melchezedek, which means He was not Melchizedek himself.
Helen, that argument is extremely weak.
It is not very hard to say that Christ is the same kind of priest Melchisadek was.
Heb 7:3 "Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually."
I believe "without father...etc." is referring to no Biblical record of his geneaology, his birth/death, etc. Notice that the same verse says "like" the Son of God. Heb 7:11 and 7:15 refers to Jesus as "another priest". Melchisedec was "like" Jesus, and Jesus was "another" priest.
[ December 25, 2002, 01:30 AM: Message edited by: Sherrie ]
The Midrash to Psalm 37 refers to Shem as Melchizedek.
Many people have misunderstood Melchizedek, thinking him to be Jesus Christ incarnate. Their belief is based upon a misreading of Heb. 7:1-8. Verse 3 says of Melchisedec that he was:
3 without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life; but made like the Son of God. (NASB)
This must be taken in the context of verse 6. Heb. 7:6 says in the KJV, “But he whose descent is not counted from them received tithes of Abraham.” The NASB reads, “But the one whose genealogy is not traced from them collected a tenth from Abraham.” In other words, Melchisedec’s genealogy is not counted, traced, or RECORDED by the biblical writer, and in this way is he also a type of Christ. It does NOT say that Melchisedec literally had no parents. It only says that he merely appears out of nowhere in the biblical text, with no explanation of who he was or who were his parents. This divine silence in the biblical text was done purposefully in order to make him a type of Christ, that is, “one like the Son of God.”
By the way, the years listed later in the article are off, but the point is still valid about the age of Shem overlapping the time of Abraham.
These articles may also help:
http://www.prophetseye.com/Melchizedek.htm -- some extensive quotes from the book of Jasher are included here.
Please understand I do not recommend any of these sites regarding doctrine -- I have not checked them. But I did want to present the fact that the connection of Shem with Melchizedek is well-known historically -- whether or not one agrees with it.
Hope that helps a little.
Not correct. Some people believe that Melchizedik is a theophany--a pre-incarnate appearance of Jesus Christ. Another prominant theophany or supposed theophany is one of the angels that came to Abraham's house and later rescued Lot. Still another in the "captain of the Lord's host" before whom Joshua worshipped.
Can someone tell us what the theological benefit is if it is proven that these were theophanies or what the loss is if it is proven that they are not?
I may be way off here, but I think the theological implication is this...it would be neat!
[ December 25, 2002, 01:31 AM: Message edited by: Sherrie ]
Incorrect. Christ was of the tribe of Judah.
Melchisedec was a priest of the Most High God. This is, of course, God, but the name, Most High is especially used in connection with those who are not in the lineage of Abraham. Though often invoked in the Scriptures by the elect, it is usually when they have been exiled or feel cut-off from God.
Beware of Jewish fables (Titus 1:14) which also present our High Priest as the illegitimate son of a whorish woman.
[Corrected my spelling.]
[ December 22, 2002, 10:39 AM: Message edited by: Aaron ]
Standard response: If Melchizedek was the ruler of a literal city called Salem, then that makes it very unlikely that his appearance was that of the preincarnate Christ, or of an angel. (Supernatural appearances in the OT are typically brief.) He was probably a mortal priest-king who served the true God faithfully even though he was not a Hebrew. He had no recorded geneaology, unlike the later levitical priests, and so (officially) had no mother of father. Jesus did have an earthly mother, by the way.
Behind every legend I know there is an element of truth. That has been a study of mine for years now. Somewhere every legend, every myth, every 'fable' is anchored in some kind of truth. Aesop's fables were specifically designed to teach about truth. The ancient gods and goddesses of the various pagan religions all seemed to have had their start in the lives of human beings who were deified. They were not plucked out of the blue.
The same goes for the Shem/Melchizedek possibility. In the LXX the identification seems to be on Eber (Shem's great, great grandson and Peleg's father) and not Shem, but nonetheless, it appears that Melchizedek was someone Abraham already knew.
Even the 'identification' of Jesus as the son of an adultress has an anchor in the truth that Mary was not yet married when she conceived and that the father of the Child might not have been Joseph. Those are truths. What is false is that Mary was unfaithful to Joseph and that she did not know or would not say who the father was. She was both faithful and very much aware of the Father of her Child.
[ December 25, 2002, 01:32 AM: Message edited by: Sherrie ]
What sparked my interest in starting this poll was a comment made in the "What exactly is a Fund. Baptist?" thread. One moderator (PreachTheWord) said (I think as a joke) "If you don't believe Melchizadek was the preincarnate Christ, I will exercise 37th degree separation from you." Another moderator (C.S.Murphy) replied "Preach do you mean to say that some don't believe this?" I thought it would be interesting to see how many other "fundamental Baptists" also thought Melchisedec was the preincarnate Christ. Apparently, not many.
Sherrie I'm not upset with you at all! Please don't worry, OK? I don't know what is true here, either. I was just presenting what might be, based on some rather pervasive and persistent (historically) mentions connecting the two. It is possible historically as per the time frame, and it also fits in with some other things in legends, but again I don't know.
One of the connecting points is that historically Shem is considered the founder of Jerusalem. So is Mechizedek...
One thing I learned, is that "Shem" is not a name but sort of like a title, as it means either 'name' or 'renown' (having a known name) or something like that in Hebrew. If Shem was the carrier of the Name, as would be indicated by his lineage, however, then we very possibly have a tie with at least the early Semite line, if not Shem himself.
Again, I don't know. But given the bits and pieces that can be accumulated, the possibility is certainly there, and it's a very interesting one.
I'm not the least bit upset by anyone's disagreement, and you are more than welcome to disagree for any reason you like! It's just that the mockery from others regarding research I myself have done is something I find a bit disturbing.
[ December 21, 2002, 10:25 PM: Message edited by: Helen ]
[ December 25, 2002, 01:33 AM: Message edited by: Sherrie ]