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Encyclopedia > Priesthood of all believers

The priesthood of all believers is a Christian doctrine based on several passages of the New Testament. It is most stressed in Protestantism and was introduced by Martin Luther to reject any concept of ministerial priesthood, as found in the Orthodox and Catholic traditions. One prominent example is found in the First Epistle of Peter, 2:9: This article or section does not cite any references or sources. ... John 21:1 Jesus Appears to His Disciples--Alessandro Mantovani: the Vatican, Rome. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Protestantism encompasses the forms... Separate articles treat Eastern Orthodox Christianity and Orthodox Judaism. ... In Christianity, the First Epistle of Peter is a book of the New Testament. ...

But you are not like that, for you are a chosen people. You are royal priests, a holy nation, God’s very own possession. As a result, you can show others the goodness of God, for he called you out of the darkness into his wonderful light. (NLT)

Other relevant Scripture passages include 1 Peter 2:4-8, Revelation 1:4-6, 5:6-10, and many passages in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Categories: Stub | Bible versions and translations ... Christians believe that Jesus is the mediator of the New Covenant (see Hebrews 8:6). ...


In ancient Israel, priests acted as mediators between God and people. They ministered according to God's instruction and they offered sacrifices to God on behalf of the people. Once a year, the high priest would enter the holiest part of the temple and offer a sacrifice for the sins of all the people, including all the priests.


Although many religions still use priests, most Protestant faiths reject the idea of a priesthood as group that is spiritually distinct from lay people. They typically employ professional clergy who perform many of the same functions as priests such as clarifying doctrine, administering communion, performing baptisms, marriages, etc. In many instances, Protestants see professional clergy as servants acting on behalf of the local believers. This is in contrast to the priest, who is seen as an agent -- with a distinct authority and spiritual nature different from that of ordinary believers -- who acts on behalf of a formal religious hierarchy.


Most Protestants today recognize only one mediator between them and God, Jesus Christ (1 Timothy 2:5). The Epistle to the Hebrews calls Jesus the supreme "high priest," who offered himself as a perfect sacrifice (Hebrews 7:23-28). Protestants believe that through Christ they have been given direct access to God, just like a priest; thus the doctrine is called the priesthood of all believers. God is equally accessible to all the faithful, and every Christian has equal potential to minister for God.


This doctrine effectively removes the possibility of a spiritual aristocracy or hierarchy within Protestant Christianity. In this, it meshes with other Scripture passages that say that God is no respecter of persons, and in him there is neither Hebrew nor Greek, slave nor free, male nor female. (Galatians 3:28) This article or section does not adequately cite its references or sources. ... Slave redirects here. ... The Epistle to Galatians is a book of the New Testament. ...

Contents

History

The origins of the doctrine within Protestantism is somewhat obscure. The idea was found in a radical form in Lollard thought. Martin Luther later picked up on the idea, and it became a central tenet of Lutheranism. John Wyclif gives his Bible translation to Lollards Lollardy or Lollardry was the political and religious movement of the Lollards from the late 14th century to early in the time of the English Reformation. ... Martin Luther (November 10, 1483 – February 18, 1546) was a German monk,[1] priest, professor, theologian, and church reformer. ... Lutheranism describes those churches within Christianity that were reformed according to the theological insights of Martin Luther in the 16th century. ...


Recent scholarship, however, has made an important distinction between what Luther understood and how the matter has been interpreted by the Protestantism of later generations. In fact, it seems Luther never made use of the phrase nor did he deny the importance of distinguishing a "common priesthood of all the baptized" for works of charity from the specific sacramental role of properly ordained clergy (to whom belongs, for instance, exclusive authority to celebrate the Lord's Supper).


The doctrine is strongly asserted within Methodism, and can plausibly be linked to the strong emphasis on social action and political radicalism evident within that denomination. Baptist movements, which generally operate on a form of congregational polity, also lean heavily on this concept. For school of ancient Greek medicine, see Methodism (history of medicine). ... A religious denomination (also simply denomination) is a subgroup within a religion that operates under a common name, tradition, and identity. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      Baptist is a term describing individuals belonging... Congregationalist polity, often known as congregationalism, is a system of church governance in which every local congregation is independent. ...


The vast majority of Protestants nonetheless draw some distinction between their own ordained ministers and lay people, but regard it as a matter of church order and discipline rather than spiritual hierarchy.


Some Protestants believe that priesthood authority is still needed, but has been lost from the earth. Roger Williams believed "There is no regularly constituted church of Christ on earth, nor any person qualified to administer any church ordinances; nor can there be until new apostles are sent by the Great Head of the Church for whose coming I am seeking." Another group, the Seekers, believed that the Roman Catholic Church had lost its authority through corruption and waited for Christ to restore his true church and authority. Roger Williams (December 21, 1603–April 1, 1684) was an English theologian, a notable proponent of the separation of Church and State, an advocate for fair dealings with Native Americans, founder of the City of Providence, Rhode Island and co-founder of the colony of Rhode Island. ... The Seekers were a dissenting group in the time of the Commonwealth of England. ...


Non-Protestant Interpretations of 1 Peter 2:9

Members of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints interpret this scripture to mean that the members of Jesus Christ's church should aspire to receive the priesthood and perform the ordinances of the priesthood rather than depending upon a professional clergy. In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, priesthood is considered to be the power and authority to act in the name of God, including the performance of sacred rites and ordinances, and the performance of miracles. ...


Orthodox Christians and Catholic Christians traditionally believe that this passage gives responsibility to all believers for the preservation and propagation of the Gospel and the Church, as distinct from the liturgical and sacramental roles of the ordained priesthood and consecrated episcopate (see Apostolic Succession). This is justified biblically with the citation of Exodus 19:6, to which Saint Peter was alluding in the First Epistle of Peter: The Eastern Orthodox Church is a Christian body that views itself as: the historical continuation of the original Christian community established by Jesus Christ and the Twelve Apostles, having maintained unbroken the link between its clergy and the Apostles by means of Apostolic Succession. ... Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Roman Catholic Church... For other uses, see Gospel (disambiguation). ... From the Greek word λειτουργια, which can be transliterated as leitourgia, meaning the work of the people, a liturgy comprises a prescribed religious ceremony, according to the traditions of a particular religion; it may be refer to, or include, an elaborate... In Christian belief and practice, a sacrament is a rite that mediates divine grace, constituting a sacred mystery. ... Catholic deacon candidates prostrate before the altar of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles during a 2004 diaconate ordination liturgy Holy Orders in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, Assyrian, Old Catholic, and Independent Catholic churches includes three orders: bishop, priest, and deacon. ... . ... To consecrate an inanimate object is to dedicate it in a ritual to a special purpose, usually religious. ... This article is about a title or office in religious bodies. ... In Christianity, the doctrine of Apostolic Succession (or the belief that the Church is apostolic) maintains that the Christian Church today is the spiritual successor to the original body of believers in Christ composed of the Apostles. ... It has been suggested that Pharaoh of the Exodus be merged into this article or section. ... Saint Peter, also known as Shimon Keipha Ben-Yonah/Bar-Yonah, Simon Peter, Cephas and Keipha — original name Shimon or Simeon (Acts 15:14) — was one of the Twelve Apostles whom Jesus chose as his original disciples. ... In Christianity, the First Epistle of Peter is a book of the New Testament. ...

" ...you will be for me a kingdom of priests and a holy nation.' These are the words you are to speak to the Israelites." (NIV)

In spite of this Old Testament verse, the Kingdom of Israel had a priesthood distinct from the common priesthood of the Israelites, the chosen people of God. To reaffirm this interpretation the Schism of Korah from Israel. Korah restates Exodus 19:6 in [(Numbers 16:3)] saying: Wikipedia does not yet have an article with this exact name. ... Note: Judaism commonly uses the term Tanakh. ... 10th century BCE: The Land of Israel, including the United Kingdom of Israel Commonwealth of Israel redirects here. ... A priesthood is a body of priests, shamans, or oracles who are thought to have special religious authority or function. ... An Israelite is a member of the Twelve Tribes of Israel, descended from the twelve sons of the Biblical patriarch Jacob who was renamed Israel by God in the book of Genesis, 32:28 The Israelites were a group of Hebrews, as described in the Bible. ...


"The whole community is holy, every one of them, and the LORD is with them. Why then do you set yourselves above the LORD'S assembly?" ([NIV])


Korah then with his 250 followers break away from the authority of Moses to follow their personal misinterpretation of the "priesthood" and as a result are slain by God for offering incense [(Numbers 16:35)]:


"And fire came out from the LORD and consumed the 250 men who were offering the incense." ([NIV])


This story is also cited as reason to believe in the episcopacy and the needed obedience to it. Showing there is in fact a "hierarchy" with someone set up over faith and worship. 1 Timothy 2:5 to Christians of Apostolic Churches is understood as meaning Jesus is the only mediator meaning of the sacrifice for salvation, as seen in 1 Timothy 2:6:


"who gave himself as ransom for all. This was the testimony at the proper time."


Also seeing the ministerial priesthood as being necessary as Christ command it when saying "Do this in memory (anamnesis) of me."


The Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Oriental Orthodox Churches have always taught implicitly that a Christian's personal relationship with God is independent of whatever ordination they have received.[citation needed] Topics in Christianity Movements · Denominations Ecumenism · Preaching · Prayer Music · Liturgy · Calendar Symbols · Art · Criticism Important figures Apostle Paul · Church Fathers Constantine · Athanasius · Augustine Anselm · Aquinas · Palamas · Wycliffe Tyndale · Luther · Calvin · Wesley Arius · Marcion of Sinope Pope · Archbishop of Canterbury Patriarch of Constantinople Christianity Portal This box:      The Roman Catholic Church... The Eastern Orthodox Church is a Christian body that views itself as: the historical continuation of the original Christian community established by Jesus Christ and the Twelve Apostles, having maintained unbroken the link between its clergy and the Apostles by means of Apostolic Succession. ... The term Oriental Orthodoxy refers to the churches of Eastern Christian traditions that keeps the faith of only the first three ecumenical councils of the undivided Church - the councils of Nicea, Constantinople and Ephesus. ... Catholic deacon candidates prostrate before the altar of the Cathedral of Our Lady of the Angels in Los Angeles during a 2004 diaconate ordination liturgy Holy Orders in the Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, Oriental Orthodox, Anglican, Assyrian, Old Catholic, and Independent Catholic churches includes three orders: bishop, priest, and deacon. ...


See also

In traditional Christian iconography, Saints are often depicted as having halos. ...

External links

  • “The Priesthood of All Believers and Other Pious Myths”

  Results from FactBites:
 
Priesthood of all believers - definition of Priesthood of all believers in Encyclopedia (325 words)
Many Protestants believe that in likening the whole body of believers to the priesthood of ancient Israel, it removes the possibility of a spiritual aristocracy or hierarchy within Christianity.
(Galatians III:28) The doctrine of the priesthood of all believers is one of the sources of the powerful Western social and political ideal of human equality.
Orthodox Christians traditionally believe that this passage gives responsibility to all believers for the preservation and propagation of the Gospel and the Church, as distinct from the liturgical and sacramental roles of the ordained priesthood and consecrated episcopate (see Apostolic Succession).
Encyclopedia: Priesthood of all believers (1658 words)
(Galatians 3:28) The doctrine of the priesthood of all believers is one of the sources of the powerful Western social and political ideal of human equality.
priesthood of all believers underscores for Baptists the conviction that ministry is at the center of Christian discipleship.
The priesthood of all believers is a core principle of Baptist doctrine.
  More results at FactBites »

 
 

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