Author: Ron Graham
Word family: Priest, Highpriest, priesthood.
Synonyms: Mediator, intercessor, vicar
Related ideas: Christ, sacrifice, worship, preaching.
Definitions: A priest is person sanctified for service to God and privileged to enter into his presence in the holy place, and to offer sacrifices. In the Christian priesthood however, Christ alone made sacrifice for sins.
Greek References: hierus priest, 2409 (Strong) cf 2405-2418, archierus highpriest, 749. [Note: The English word "priest" is derived from the Latin presbyter, elder]
Comment: The book of Hebrews is the only New Testament book that has much to say about Christian priesthood. This book, however, compares the priesthood of Christ with the priesthood of the old testament, and says nothing about any other priests, except for one brief reference (Hebrews 13:15-16) which applies to all members of the church, as do the few similar references (cited above) to Christian priests and sacrifices. The early church had "apostles", "elders", "deacons", and "evangelists" as special appointments and vocations in the church, but no "priests". Any priesthood in the church of God is therefore unauthorised, other than that of all believers under Christ our great high priest.