Jesus As The Only Melchizedek Priest

Here I’ve re-posted a past discussion about a particular anti-Mormon argument. Things are busy right now so I haven’t had much time for posting, but there is so much in the archives here at Lehi’s Library that much of it is worth seeing again.

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This post is about the claim that Jesus Christ is the only individual who holds the Melchizedek Priesthood. The response to this claim comes from a poster at MADB named “aletheia”, and the original can be read here. I have not changed aletheia’s words, but have included a link he/she did not include. Everything after this sentence is taken word-for-word from aletheia’s post.

I’ve noticed that many of the critics of Mormonism have questioned the authority of the Melchizedek Priesthood because of Hebrews 7:23-24. That verse reads:

“And they truly were many priests, because they were not suffered to continue by reason of death: But this man, because he continueth ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.”

The margins of the authorized version claim that the word unchangeable means in transmissible in Greek and, thus, they claim that only Christ can hold the Melchizedek Priesthood.

However, the authorized translation has been questioned by many in its interpretation of this verse. W.E. Vine, a leading authority in New Testament Greek words, stated the following in his book, An Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words:

“Aparabatos (the Greek word for “unchangeable”) is used of the priesthood of Christ, in Hebrews 7:24, “unchangeable, unalterable, inviolable, revised version margin, a meaning found in the papyri; the more literal meaning in the authorized version…, “that doth not pass from one to another,” is not to be preferred. This active meaning is not only untenable, and contrary to the constant usage of the word, but does not adequately fit with either the preceding or succeeding context.”

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4 comments on “Jesus As The Only Melchizedek Priest

  1. David Larsen says:

    Good post, James! I really doesn’t make sense to say that Christ had an “intransmissible” priesthood. If only Christ could have the priesthood after the order of Melchizedek, then why does the author of Hebrews compare Christ to Melchizedek and apply a scripture to him (psalm 110) that originally applied to the Davidic kings? To me, its obvious that Hebrews is dealing with an ancient tradition that it is seeing return in Christ.
    If Christ didn’t pass it on to anyone, then whence does the Church get its “royal priesthood” mentioned by Peter (1 Peter 2:9)? The members of the Church were not likely mostly of priestly families, so I don’t think he was referring to their Aaronic priesthood.

  2. James says:

    Thanks David. John Tvedtnes has an article at FAIR that deals with the mainstream interpretation of the “priesthood of all believers” that is often argued from 1 Peter 2:9.

  3. Dan Rowley says:

    I wouldn’t dare think that I could go to the mercy seat and apply my own blood there.
    The blind leading the blind lol

  4. James says:

    LOL….neither would I!

    I wonder if you have some misconceptions about LDS beliefs.

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