Talk:Universal priesthood (doctrine)

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(heading inserted by User:Rursus)[edit]

Note by User:Rursus, for the following three comments:

  1. please, insert new comments on article at end,
  2. please, sign your comments by inserting ~~~~,
  3. please, don't discuss the factual accuracy of what Luther says, this is a discussion what Luther said about priesthood and believers, not whether he spake truth,

this is an encyclopedia, here we refer to what other say, we don't do research ourself. Said: Rursus 17:30, 7 July 2008 (UTC)

The Messiah's ministry destroyed and obviated and made utterly irrelavant the Temple cult. It is no coincidence that the coming in of Christianity dove-tailed with the destruction of the Temple, the two were at odds. The Truth of Christianity comes only with the Falsehood of the (elite) Temple Priesthood. A "Kingdom of Priests" is precisely what the Messiah introduced, in the sense of 1 Peter 2:9.

In the Old Testament, Israel and Judah are notorious for persecuting Prophets and apostasizing. Scripture reads, "...Kingdom of Priests..." Yet, these kingdoms had an elite priesthood. Such is merely more apostasis. Do I understand that the orthodox churches use this as justification for theirs? That would not seem to make sense, to base church hierarchy on sin. This could perhaps be clarified to more properly portray the orthodox churches' positions. The preceding unsigned comment was added by 66.235.44.73 (talk • contribs) .

The priesthood in the Old Testament was established by God, as recorded in the Pentateuch, when Aaron and others were made priests. Priests played an essential role in the whole system of Temple worship. Jesus affirmed their role when he told the healed lepers to go and show themselves to the priests, in accordance with the scripture. Luke 1 also begins with Zechariah serving as a priest before God, and no hint is given of his office being part of any apostasy; only his initial unbelief is criticized by the narrative. So yes, Orthodox churches do base their priesthood in part on this Old Testament priesthood. The 'elders' or 'presbyters' that Paul speaks of are also understood to be priests. Wesley 22:53, 3 March 2006 (UTC)

Also, regarding the sin of the temple priest was completely detached and seperate from the authority of given to the priest by God. This is clearly stated in Matthew Chapter 23: 1Then Jesus said to the crowds and to his disciples: 2"The teachers of the law and the Pharisees sit in Moses' seat. 3So you must obey them and do everything they tell you. But do not do what they do, for they do not practice what they preach. Despite the sins of some priest, they were still given authority by God. Orthodox teaching is based not only on the Old Testament, but on the words of Jesus himself. Just as God the Father founded the first covenant with Moses, the Church of Jesus was founded on St. Peter. staroftheshow86

Same thing?[edit]

If this is identical with priesthood of all people, universal priesthood, universal priesthood of all believers and all believers' priesthood, some redirects to this article would be nice. That is, if those are not merely similar names for similar concepts in individual branches of the religion.

If I knew anything about Christian theology, I would have done it myself. Wikipeditor 21:22, 28 May 2006 (UTC)

Restorationist interpretations[edit]

Not sure the best way to introduce this into the article, but many Restorationist groups have significant doctrinal attachment to this tenet. In the churches of Christ fellowships, for example, it is used to establish that although a congregation may have one or more (paid or unpaid) designated minister(s), all the members have a responsibility for the church and for doing many of the activities commonly associated with a minister, such as evangelizing. Therefore there is, officially at least, no clergy/laity distinction, although those members who make up the congregation's eldership usually have authority over the members. Although this tenet would imply that all members could preach, women typically are excluded from certain roles on the basis of interpretation of other segments of the scriptures. It seems as if this should fit in somewhere around the place where the article mentions congregational polity, but I'm not sure where or how. Lawikitejana 02:25, 10 September 2006 (UTC)

Clarify please[edit]

from the section: Non-Protestant Interpretations of 1 Peter 2:9

"Korah then with his 250 followers break away from the authority of Moses to follow there person misinterpretation of the "priesthood" and as a result are slain by God for offering incense"

I don't understand what "to follow there person misinterpretation" means. It could be mispelling of (there -> their) and/or grammar. I would fix it myself if I understood what the author meant. EmeraldElement 20:23, 28 November 2006 (UTC)

This article was extremely biased![edit]

It was even rude and sarcastic! Good thing I fixed it. -RedBlade7 18:08, 13 June 2007 (UTC)

I see nothing rude or sarcastic in the items you changed. Could you explain what you mean? Thanks! --Ctobola 19:11, 18 June 2007 (UTC)

This Doctrine is misrepresented[edit]

This is a false representation of the Doctrine of the Priesthood of the Believer (PB). The following reasons will show why:

1. This doctrine was established in the Old Testament and did not begin in the New Testament. I submit the following verse of scripture for evidence:

Exodus 19:5,6

Now therefore, if ye will obey my voice indeed, and keep my covenant, then ye shall be a peculiar treasure unto me above all people: for all the earth is mine: And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of priests, and an holy nation. These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.


2. The (PB) is a seperate doctrine unrelated to the Old Testament office of Priests.

3. The true doctrine of (PB) is defined by the above verse. Obey, keep my commandment, peculiar, and holy are all words that define this doctrine.

4. This doctrine has to do with the relationship and responsibility of the individual believer and has never been understood as the replacement of the OT office priests.


This entry is in complete error and has no basis or foundation.

Deleted section[edit]

I deleted the following section because it seemed purely argumentative and also seemed out of place where it was.


This seems to go against Exodus 19:6, to which Saint Peter was alluding in the First Epistle of Peter:
" ...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)

At Sinai, the Israelites rejected being individual kingdom priests, after hearing God speak once directly to them, but instead asked Moses to be their mediator. See Exodus 20:19 "They said to Moses, 'Speak with us yourself, and we will listen; but don't let God speak with us, lest we die.'"

Thus, the Kingdom of Israel retained a priesthood distinct from the common priesthood of the individual 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:

"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 breaks away from the authority of Moses to follow their personal interpretation 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])

1 Timothy 2:5-6 ("...who gave himself as ransom for all. This was the testimony at the proper time."), to Christians of Apostolic Churches, is understood as meaning Jesus is the only mediator in terms of the sacrifice for salvation.


Does anyone think this should be restored in some form? And who exactly is meant by the "Apostolic Churches"? I think the author may have meant Protestants here, but Roman Catholic and Orthodox Christians also consider themselves apostolic, and would also agree that "Jesus is the only mediator in terms of the sacrifice for salvation." Wesley 03:59, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Not knowing exactly what the original author believed by "apostolic". It would appear that the author meant some pentecostal denominations that use this term.--Drboisclair 14:42, 21 September 2007 (UTC)
I take that back. I would guess that the author means Orthodox + Roman Catholic + High Church Lutherans and Anglicans.--Drboisclair 14:57, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

The need for detailed work[edit]

We have a presentation in this article of what the general priesthood means in Lutheranism, but we need representation from other denominations as to what they believe about this concept. Lutheranism does not use this doctrine to reject regular called and ordained ministers in their congregations. As one can see from the article linked at the bottom of this article, Timothy Wengert shows that this was never Luther's intention. Further work needs to be done on how Philipp Jakob Spener developed this concept, and the manner in which this concept was further developed in the 19th century.--Drboisclair 14:29, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Further on this: there are Lutherans, though, who believe that the "priesthood of all believers" does away with the medieval concept of the "clergy." This, however, cannot be based on Luther. It is a belief of Pietism.--Drboisclair 17:52, 21 September 2007 (UTC)

Comment: I have a hard time to see what's the difference of "Priesthood of all believers" from the notion I've heard (i.e. Swedish Church, Anglicanophile Lutheran and many other oecumenical "philes"), tells me about "part of one body", and the other "we are all saints". The critics document from Timothy Wengert jumps to conclusions which I cannot subscribe to, such as: "Thus, this text cannot mean", on the page 11 of his text. Hermeneutics (probably known to Luther) may entail that Luther mean both things simultaneously. Wengert's criticism isn't that well formulated, he may be right, he may be thinking much too logically in a common sense matter. Said: Rursus 13:14, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
But ... in a way Wengert's logical discourse reasoning is not in accord to Luther's earthy pragmatic directly-to-the-point reasoning, so it seems a little unlikely Wengert has understood anything at all. Said: Rursus 17:05, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
It is a fallacy to ascribe the title of this concept to Luther. You could say that it is a Priesthood of all baptized Christians--which also does not appear in Luther's writings but is implied by his treatise On the Ministry. I think that you are selling Wengert short. He is an expert in this field.--Drboisclair (talk) 17:19, 7 July 2008 (UTC)
Not a fallacy, which is a logic error, but maybe I was factually wrong. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 12:04, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Priesthood of All Believers in Catholicism[edit]

The Catholic Church does recognize that there is a priesthood of all believers, of which the priesthood of the ordained is a special form. I haven't done research into Catholic theology for a while, but it would be good to include a treatment that correctly describes the Catholic form of this doctrine. Atterlep (talk) 16:26, 31 July 2008 (UTC)

Is it surprising that Catholics quote the Bible too? 68.127.86.15 (talk) 13:40, 1 November 2009 (UTC)

Way too Lutheran[edit]

I like Luther, but come-on, anyone reading this as new information would think that Luther created the concept & owns near exclusive rights to the idea. That Lutheran banner has no more business as the header here than it would in sola scriptura or Sola gratia. Oh, wait...it is on Sola gratia too!!! Alright Lutherans, stop trying to claim ownership of everything non-Roman Catholic.--LanceHaverkamp 03:40, 10 March 2009 (UTC) —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lance W. Haverkamp (talkcontribs)

Luther is not just a "Lutheran." He is also considered the Father of Protestantism, cf. Martin Luther. Apart from the New Testament's presentation of the doctrine of the Universal Priesthood, Luther was the first Christian theologian to draw this out to any extent. Unfortunately Luther's doctrine is misunderstood. He never called it the "priesthood of all believers." Another point to make here is that Luther did not advance this doctrine with the idea to abolish a Christian clergy. The mention of the quotations from Luther are not intended to claim this concept as an exclusively Lutheran teaching or to dominate it from a Lutheran perspective.--Drboisclair (talk) 10:06, 23 March 2009 (UTC)
With the Lutheranism template so close to the top does give the impression that this is "way too Lutheran." I have rectified this by putting the Protestantism template at the top and the Lutheran template lower with the Baptist template in the history section.--Drboisclair (talk) 10:14, 23 March 2009 (UTC)

Individualism[edit]

The article could maybe mention the role of this doctrine in the rise of individualism in the early Modern West. ADM (talk) 06:51, 22 March 2009 (UTC)

ah, anglo-catholic bias...so pervasive[edit]

I see that we define Anglicans as "non-protestants" here. Sigh. john k (talk) 16:14, 27 August 2010 (UTC)

Actually, (cf. Anglicanism), seems like we tend to portray Anglicanism as one of four main Christian traditions; that being Anglicanism, Protestantism, Catholicism, and Orthodoxy. Though it still sounds strange calling them non-Protestants... putting all that aside, I'm not sure what point about the priesthood of all believers this article is trying to make (or why). I'll readily admit to being a bit rusty on specifics, but it seems like the article is trying to create two ideas of the "priesthood of all believers", that is, Protestantism vs. everyone else, and I'm not entirely sure this dichotomy bears out, or that it is possible to lump all "non-Protestant" beliefs together. Reading it, I'm not even sure what the practical difference is supposed to be. Seems like all of them would say that 1 Peter 2:9 indeed applies to all believers, all of them agree believers have access to God, all of them (perhaps excepting some Emerging church implementations) allow for church order and appointed ministers to serve without considering that a contradiction, and none of them (explicitly) put priests on a different spiritual level. I'm well aware of the significance of this issue during the Reformation; it is clear that Luther saw priests as attempting to mediate between man and God, so naturally there is a tendency for much of Protestantism to emphasize the lack of need for any such mediator other than Christ. However, it seems there are plenty of Catholic believers who would deny this role for their priests (certainly Anglicanism would) and would assert that their role in mediating sacraments does not obscure or challenge Christ's mediation, just as ministers within much of Protestantism still tend to perform the sacraments of communion and baptism. And Protestantism can hardly be described as a monolith; there are plenty of ideas on what this means even within Protestantism itself. I believe this article has employed original research with a smattering of WP:Synthesis to arrive at a somewhat simplistic dichotomy that does not seem to be borne out by sources to support this view. So I can agree the portrayal of Anglicanism is strange, but that is the first of many strange things about this article that would need to be addressed. Ideas?
-- Joren (talk) 21:05, 27 August 2010 (UTC)
Yes, Anglicanism says that because it is also full of Anglo-Catholic bias. I'm not completely familiar with the theological issues involved here, but I'd guess that most articles like this are full of strange idiosyncratic biases that are often difficult to detect unless one is attuned to them. I'm not actually Christian, but I've had a fair bit of experience with articles dealing with Anglicanism, so I'm pretty attuned to what kind of stuff smacks of Anglo-Catholic bias (calling Anglicanism non-protestant; use of the word "Catholic" in non-standard ways, attempts to claim that Anglicanism existed before the Reformation), but I have less of a sense of the kinds of bias that gets inserted by other religious groups. In this case, I'm not really sure - it does seem like the article is overly simplistic though. I'm not sure I have any ideas. I would like to change the description so it doesn't call Anglicanism non-protestant, though. john k (talk) 00:15, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Looking at the article again, you're definitely right that the article seems to have an agenda to define "protestant" as those denominations which believe in the priesthood of all believers, and to lump together as "non-protestant" all denominations that do not. john k (talk) 00:17, 28 August 2010 (UTC)
Now, it seems like a general tendency here on Wikipedia to describe Anglicans as Protestants. The case isn't that easy: some Anglicans regard themselves as Protestant Catholics while some don't. And they're not alone in this intermediary position: the Lutheran Swedish Church is generally regarded as semi-Catholic and generally odd by the main stream Lutherans (for a broad spectrum, see Porvoo Communion). Between the Anglicans and the Roman Catholics, there are a diversity of Old Catholics who seem to attain every intermediary position attainable, while on the other hand, there is also a continuum of Protestants between the extreme anti-Catholic position and this intermediary Protestant Catholic position. Rursus dixit. (mbork3!) 12:14, 3 January 2011 (UTC)

Mormon Section[edit]

I removed the Mormon section because the page didn't have sections by different churches. This page as would any theological page would be crazy long if each church added there own section. Beyond that the page made it seem like they didn't believe in priesthood of all believers they believe in the priesthood of those that followed the criteria that they had in that section. So it didn't fit. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Bob1201 (talkcontribs) 18:09, 10 March 2012 (UTC)