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Priesthood And Vocation Essay

715 words - 3 pages

The position of priesthood in the church has been evident since the earliest existence of thechurch. Jewish priests first were established in the seventh century BC performing religiousceremonies. They were even more established around 950 BC due to the establishment ofthe Temple in Jerusalem.The major role of the traditional Jewish priest was to perform sacrificial rituals.According to the Bible, the Temple was built as a place for God to live with the people. Itwas the holiest building that existed, and needed to be kept holy by the priests. Their role ofthe priests was to perform animal sacrifices to God as an offering. The priests performedthese sacrifices as specialists on behalf of a community or congregation in order to restore theholiness of the community and of the Temple. It was believed that if there was sin among thepeople then God would not come and be with them.After the Temple was destroyed during the war with Rome, these animal sacrificeswere stopped, and there were no more active Jewish priests. The religious leadership in thesynagogue was led by the rabbis.In the Protestant religion there exists a 'priesthood of all believers'('Priesthood', 529).This meant that each member in the community serves as his or her own priest, with directaccess to communication with God. Protestants believe that the role of the priest is an'officiating mediary'('Priesthood', 529), rather than a one who performs ritual sacrifices. Thisstems from the Protestant belief that Jesus Christ served as 'the ultimate' sacrifice, andtherefore there is no use in animal sacrifices. Protestants also do not call their religious leaders'priests' because the name itself implies that he is of a higher level than his fellow man or thathe has more access to God than others.There exists two different forms of priesthood: hereditary and vocational priests. Ahereditary priest is a limited position in that it can only be held by a person who a directdescendent of the tribe of Levi. This tribe is one of the original 12 tribes of Israel as set forthin Genesis 49. There exists among this tribe one High Priests who head of the other priests.He is the only priest who was allowed to view the holy Ark of the Covenant during...

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