FRDB Archives

Freethought & Rationalism Archive

The archives are read only.


Go Back   FRDB Archives > Archives > Biblical Criticism - 2001
Welcome, Peter Kirby.
You last visited: Today at 05:55 AM

Notices

 
 
Thread Tools Search this Thread
Old 10-26-2001, 08:14 AM   #1
3DChizl
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 160
Post Melchisedec (Long version)

A page I found about Melchisedec
I have found very little information on Melchisedec - does anyone know what the Christian opinions are on him?
The following is from the above link -
Quote:
5.9 Melchizedek, A god greater than Jesus?
In the Bible we can read about another god. His name is Melchizedek (or Melchisedec). He is first mentioned in Genesis


"And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all."

Genesis 14:18-20


This in itself may not be all that significant until we read Hebrews


"For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils."

Hebrews 7:1-4


Is this God's brother? Is this God's cousin? Is this a completely different God? For these are certainly divine attributes. According to the Bible in our hands today, Jesus (pbuh) had a beginning (he was "begotten" , and an end "he gave up the ghost" (Luke 23:46). This mighty being, however, is alleged to have had neither. It is stated plainly here in the Bible, that he was "made like unto the son of God." Why do they not worship him then? The church now will allege that Jesus peace be upon him was "begotten" by God. Tell us what you mean when you say "begotten." What did God Almighty do to "beget" Jesus (pbuh)? Further, if Jesus (pbuh) was "begotten," but Melchisedec who was "made like unto the Son of God," was not, then does this not make Jesus (pbuh) a "son of God" but Melchisedec an independent god with neither offspring nor parents? Is a god with no parents not greater than one who needs parents? Where is Melchisedec now?


From these verses we get the following picture:


Melchizedec is equal to the Son of God
Melchizedec's ministry is eternal
Melchizedec, unlike Jesus (pbuh), is an independent god, with neither father nor mother.
Melchizedec, unlike Jesus (pbuh), was never "born" or "begotten" but was ever present.
Melchizedec, unlike Jesus (pbuh), will never die but is eternally without death.
Everything but God has a beginning of days. Even air, water, and food have a beginning of days. Melchizedec, however, does not. Therefore, he is claimed to not need God nor water, food, nor air to breathe.
Does this not sound preposterous? Notice how when Jesus (pbuh), a man, is preached as being a god most people have no trouble with that. They are willing to see proof of his godhead even where it can not be found (see chapter one). This is because this is a well established doctrine in Paul's church. However, when the same Bible tells them in no uncertain terms that another man, Melchisedec, is a god, then they are willing to "interpret" the verses fifty different ways and attach to them all manner of abstract interpretations to disprove this claim since Melchisedec "cannot possibly" be a god. Why? Because the church has not told us to worship Melchizedec?. If the Bible remains the word of God then why should we place the words of men (the church) above the words of God?
Here is the long version.
My original post in regards Melchisedec was based on accounts of him in Genesis and Hebrews. References to him are vague at best, yet through further study I noticed that he was key to the transition of the Old Testament to the New. The web page I mentioned in the first place, referring to an on-line book that seeks to disprove much of Jesus’ being the savior as compared to Mohammed is biased but makes a few good points.

What should I have learned about him in Sunday school? Blue Letter Bible provides some background as to Christian opinion, as well as Xenoswhich appears to be evangelical, the original link provides a Muslim opinion and the Jewish opinion is MIA. From the following I have concluded that if he existed, he was a leader of some reasonably powerful, probably monotheistic type religion during the days of the Old Testament. To speculate further is merely to create another unfounded opinion such as I just have. His story is interpreted in different ways, but the prevailing view among Christians seems to be that he was an earlier incarnation of Christ. Here are some excerpts.

“…he is a figure of mystery until you come to the New Testament”

The Xenos account is a good summery so I’ll quote it. If you wish to go on there are some other references from the Blue Letter Bible (BLB).

From: MELCHIZEDEK AND THE PRIESTHOOD OF CHRIST
Hebrews 4:14-5:10; 7:1-28 Dennis McCallum
Quote:
When reading these two passages, Christians can easily become totally confused and give up. Yet, these are surely two of the richest passages in the whole of Scripture. Therefore, the author rebukes those of his audience who have no taste for meat (5:11-14) and who are therefore immature. They couldn't understand, and it will be even harder for us to do so, since we have none of the Jewish liturgical background they did. For this reason we will have to start with some background considerations.
The Setting
1. Priests
The issue at hand in this passage is priesthood. We today can hardly understand the importance of this office to the Jewish people for whom the book of Hebrews is written. Based on Old Testament teaching, these people were raised with firm convictions that a priest was absolutely necessary in their relationship with God. The priest was a go-between or an intercessor between man and God. Such a person was necessary because of the Holiness of God. Holiness means God is totally separate from fallen man and, in a real sense, unapproachable. For this reason, God ordained that certain men who were ritually cleansed in a special way should approach him on behalf of the people. These men were chosen by God for the office. They would give sacrifice to God which symbolically atoned, or paid for the people's sins. We see this principle at work very early in the story of Job (42:7-9).
When God established His covenant with the Jews at Sinai, he chose one family to act as priests. This family was the family of Aaron and in addition, Aaron's tribe, the Levites. The book of Leviticus is written to instruct the "levitical" priests on how to perform their service. One example of their service is the day of atonement. On this day, among other things, the priest in charge would give an animal sacrifice for the forgiveness of the people's sins. He then would take some blood (a symbol of death) from the sacrifice and enter the small cubicle where God dwelt in a special way. There he would display the blood symbolically to God(1) thus demonstrating that the sacrifice had been given--a life had ended, implying that the wages of sin (death) had been paid. (See Leviticus 17:10) Only the high priest could come into this cubicle in the temple. If any one else came in, he would be struck dead. This rule was so steadfast that, according to later tradition, a rope was tied around the priest's ankle so that, if he collapsed or died while in the cubicle, he could be pulled out by rope rather than have someone else go in for him.
You can see how this demonstrates the unapproachability of God. At the same time, it shows the definite need for a priest to represent us as sinners before God.
Things to Notice: -- These points are briefly stated in Hebrews.
Priests give sacrifice to God and represent the other peoples (5:1).
Priests must be cleansed in a special ritual way (5:3).
Priests are chosen for the office by God (5:4).
The Problem
As mentioned above, a Jewish priest must be from the tribe of Levi. The author of Hebrews intends to show that Jesus is in fact the only ordained priest that God has for believers. However, Jesus was not from the tribe of Levi but from the tribe of Judah. (See Heb. 7:13,14.) This means that according to Mosaic law, Jesus lacked the first requirement for priesthood.
Besides this, even if the readers of Hebrews granted that Jesus was a priest, He was no longer on earth at the time the book was written. This would mean, according to Old Testament law, that some one should take over to perform the services in the temple. In other words, even if Jesus had been a priest, He would not have been one after His ascension.
The Audience's Beliefs
The Jews to whom the book is written are apparently somewhat confused as to what they believe. They are willing to admit that Jesus is the promised Messiah of Israel. Along with this, they probably believed that He would return to rule the world. However, for the reasons mentioned above, they were not sure where they stood in relation to ritual Judaism.
Since they could not be sure that Christ was the only ordained priest, they felt it could hardly do any harm to offer sacrifice in the temple as well. This way they would have "double coverage" and they would avoid persecution from fellow Jews for denying Judaism.
According to the author of Hebrews, this solution was intolerable. We will see the reasons for his strong stand in the section "So What?" Now let us see his argument.
The Argument
The author's task is indeed great. He must prove, using only Old Testament scripture, that Jesus is our only priest, not only during his life, but for all time. Anyone intending to approach God must do so through Him alone, thus rendering the Old Testament ritual cultus obsolete and even blasphemous.
Melchizedek: A Priest Out of Nowhere
Look at Gen. 14:17-20.
17 After Abram returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings allied with him, the king of Sodom came out to meet him in the Valley of Shaveh (that is, the King's Valley).
18 Then Melchizedek king of Salem brought out bread and wine. He was priest of God Most High,
19 and he blessed Abram, saying, "Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth.
20 And blessed be God Most High, who delivered your enemies into your hand." Then Abram gave him a tenth of everything.
This passage introduces us to a rather obscure Old Testament figure named Melchizedek. Melchizedek is a priest. Yet the priesthood was not established for at least 500 years after this incident! This incident occurred in roughly 2000 BC, but the priesthood referred to in Leviticus was set up in the 1400's BC. Obviously, this man must have been a priest in some order other than the levitical order.
This unusual man meets the great patriarch Abraham one day as Abraham is returning with the booty he has won from a battle with some enemy troops. There a very brief but very strange transaction occurs. Notice verse 19. Melchizedek blesses Abraham. According to Biblical and ancient practice this means that both Melchizedek and Abraham realized that of the two of them, Melchizedek had greater stature. Fathers, for instance, always bless sons. The son would never pronounce a blessing on the father. Yet, while Abraham apparently viewed Melchizedek as greater, he was himself probably the greatest name in the whole Old Testament! He was the father of the Jews, the father of all the great men of God who followed after. When we realize how great Abraham was it becomes doubly hard to understand how Melchizedek could be even greater.
In addition, notice that Abraham gives a tithe of his booty to Melchizedek. This also indicates that Abraham recognized Melchizedek as his priest. Both the blessing and the tithe point to the same thing--the great stature of this man. He stands as a priest at a time there were no priests, and holds a stature greater than the patriarch Abraham. Clearly, if Melchizedek appeared at the time of the writing of Hebrews, all lesser priests would have to step aside and give way to him.
When you think about it, this short incident proves that there is such a thing as a priesthood which is wholly outside of the Jewish people. After all, Abraham was the only living Jew at the time this story occurred. Think about this in relation to the question of whether Jesus qualifies as priest for all believers. If he were a priest like Melchizedek, it wouldn't matter that he wasn't a Levite. If only the author of Hebrews could somehow find a passage linking the Messiah to this sort of priesthood, he would win his case. He would have proven, using only the Old Testament, that Jesus is the sole authorized priest of God.
The Missing Link
Look at the beginning of Psalms 110.
1 Of David. A psalm.
The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet."
2 The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies.
3 Your troops will be willing on your day of battle. Arrayed in holy majesty, from the womb of the dawn you will receive the dew of your youth.
Note in verse 1 that King David says "The Lord says to my Lord..." The first Lord is Yahweh. The second is Adonai. This second term is one of three common names of God in the Old Testament. It could in some cases be used of a ruler much as we might refer to the house of Lords. However, David, himself, was an absolute monarch. Who would he refer to as his Adonia? The most likely answer is "the Messiah." This is how this Psalm has been understood by early rabbis and by the New Testament. It is a prophetic Psalm describing what the Father will do for the son.
Now read verse 4 "The Lord has sworn and will not change his mind: 'You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek.'"
Everything is right here!
The Father promises the Messiah that He will be a priest according to the higher order of Melchizedek. This eliminates the first problem given above. Since Jesus is not to be a priest in the levitical order, He need not be from the tribe of Levi. Also He is a priest forever. This eliminates the second problem above. No one is to take over when He leaves.
Isn't it amazing that with one mention of Melchizedek in 2000 BC only three verses long, and another in 1000 BC only one verse long, we have ironclad proof that Jesus Christ is the only proper priest then and now? This should teach us something about the Word of God. Although the book spans 2000 years, it is a perfect unit. Also, it seems plain that the author of Hebrews would never have been able to put this all together by himself. God directed him to it.
Who Is Melchizedek?
It is interesting to notice that the name Melchizedek comes from one Semitic root which means "king," and another, which means righteousness. His name literally means King of Righteousness (Heb. 7:2). Also, He was the King of Salem. Salem is the word from which comes "Shalom" or peace. Therefore here is also the "King of Peace" (Heb. 7:2).
Another strange thing is that as great as this man was, we are given no explanation as to why. Usually a genealogy is given to show that a great one is from some special family (see Mt. 1:1-18). This was more important to ancient and medieval culture than it is today. It would be especially important in the Bible where God so often deals with families and nations. But in this case genealogy is given (Heb. 7:3)!
Could it be that Melchizedek, the King of Righteousness and Peace was in fact Jesus Christ Himself? That's what some interpreters think, based on Hebrews 7:3 and 8.(4) If this is right, then Christ, Himself, must have appeared in this case as He did again in Gen. 18:16-33 for some special reason. Probably He foresaw that the priesthood question would become a problem later, so He intervened at this time to solve it. Then by inspiring David and the author of Hebrews to make the appropriate comments, the new arrangement was clarified.
Other interpreters see Melchizedek as a type of Christ. The comment in Heb. 7 that "without beginning of days or end of life, like the Son of God he remains a priest forever," would be referring to Psalms 110 according to this interpretation. There, as we saw, Messiah is a priest forever. Also, they point out, Melchizedek was king of an actual Jebusite city--Salem. Whether Melchizedek was Christ himself, or a type of Christ is not really important because either way, the lesson is the same for us--Jesus Christ is the sole authorized priest for all time, completely and permanently replacing the Old Testament priestly cultus.
So What?
When we establish the fact that Christ is our sole Priest, we have not gone far enough. We have yet to ask "so what?" The facts in scripture are not alive until we apply them--first to the people they were addressed to, then to ourselves.
Why is God inspiring the author to make such a big deal out of the eternal priesthood of Christ? Why are Christianity and Jewish Priestcraft incompatible? We find the answers to these questions in the remainder of Hebrews 7.
In Heb. 7:11 the writer asks his audience, "If the Levitical priesthood is so great for bringing man and God together, then why did God start planning for a new order way back in the time of Abraham?" It should be obvious that the Mosaic system was never intended to be the ultimate solution to sin, but only a temporary teaching experience.
However, another important factor comes in at this point.
"On the basis of it (the Levitical priesthood) the people received the Law." This statement reflects the two part covenant form of the Mosaic law. On the one hand, the people were given commandments (i.e., the ten commandments) and told that they must obey them. On the other hand, if they did disobey, they would seek forgiveness through some of the temple rituals. This formed a second clause to the covenant. If the second clause is abrogated totally, what does this say about the first clause? It says that the first clause is also totally abrogated.
So we see that what is at issue here is very grave indeed. Verse 12 says "When the Priesthood is changed, there takes place a change of law also." Mixing Jewish temple ritual with faith in Christ really constitutes mixing works with grace. Our acceptance by God must come only by believing in Christ's sacrifice of Himself for us on the cross. To worry about whether they should add their own sacrifices as well meant that they doubted Jesus' sacrifice was good enough! This is clearly an intolerable stand.
Imagine how it must have grieved the author of Hebrews to see this trend in the Jewish church. No doubt he had spent his life teaching them to trust in the grace or free gift of God through Christ. Yet now his hard work was going up in smoke before his eyes, because they were turning to their own works for assurance of salvation. No wonder he makes a big deal out of the abrogation of the Mosaic law! He realizes that their life and faith will suffer shipwreck if they continue in this direction.
Application for Today
In this sense the priesthood of Christ begins to also apply directly to us today. Many times we tend to feel that good works on our part will make us in some way more acceptable to God. Sometimes this is explicitly or implicitly taught from the pulpit. We know this because many Christians who attend evangelical churches (who should know better) still believe that Christianity consists mainly of obeying the Ten Commandments, etc. This lack of clear focus concerning the essence of true spirituality, present now as then, is dealt with emphatically in chapter seven.
Look at verse 18. "On the one hand there is a setting aside of a former commandment because of its weakness and uselessness." This must have sounded like pure heresy! How could the law of Moses be weak and useless? Even more outrageous would be the suggestion that it should be annulled or set aside. Notice that the word for putting away here is the same as the word for "putting away sin" in chapter 9:26. This is a very strong statement!
Now to those today who love the law--who feel that it cannot be dispensed with in the Christian life--we have only one question. Why does the Bible teach that the commandments are weak and useless?
One answer that might be given is that this only applies to the ceremonial portion of the law of Moses. However, this could hardly be true. In II Cor. 3:7, Paul speaks of the "ministry of death inscribed on stones." This is obviously a reference to the Ten Commandments themselves! Yet they are called the ministry of death. This is coupled to the preceding statement, "We are...servants of a new covenant, not of the letter, but of the spirit, for the letter (the ministry of death) kills, but the spirit gives life."
Paul is saying here that legalistic living produces alienation from God. When we try to please God with works of law we always fail to keep the rules as we should. This always leads to feelings of guilt and shame when we approach God in prayer. The only other possibility is to rationalize our sin or pretend that our good works outweigh the bad, and such dishonesty is also a barrier to fellowship with God. Paul calls this alienation death. Instead he says, we are now servants of the new covenant of the Spirit.
Hebrews 7:19 says the same thing. After saying that on one hand there is a setting aside of the former commandment. . . he now says, "On the other hand there is a bringing in of a better hope through which we draw near to God." This "better hope" is the new law-free relationship we have with God. With Christ as our priest and sacrifice, we know that all our sins are surely forgiven. Therefore there is no need to feel shame or guilt, or to rationalize our sins. As far as lifestyle is concerned, in Hebrews 10:16 God says, "I will put my laws upon their hearts, and upon their mind I will write them." We have the Holy Spirit actually living within us. He is able to tell us what to do and give us the power to do it. As a result we can "draw near to God" without fear of any kind. Let us not forget, however, that this kind of relationship is only possible when we first "set aside" the old system of works.
No wonder the author of Hebrews is so insistent on dropping any form of self-performance. Isn't it encouraging to see that the sure proof of Christ's priesthood is the basis upon which this truth is set? To any who will believe "He is able to save forever those who draw near to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them."(Heb. 7:25)
From HEBREWS: ALL ABOUT FAITH by Ray C. Stedman (BLB)
“…he is a figure of mystery until you come to the New Testament”
When Hebrews talks about faith, therefore, it must help us to see the object of faith, because our faith will be strong if we believe and understand that the object of our faith is strong...
In the first ten chapters of Hebrews, there is a very simple structure. Jesus Christ is being compared to a number of other leaders and systems and religious values that the people to whom this letter was first written had once felt were important…Throughout this letter, Christ is compared with the basic thing that men trust in days of peril and trial. And every one of them is found insufficient except him… the writer dismisses the prophets as having no equality with Jesus Christ. … He points out immediately that the Son, the Lord Jesus, is superior to any angel…Moses was a servant in the house of God; but Jesus is the Son to whom the house belongs, and for whom it is built, so he obviously has superiority. …Now the next challenger to the superiority of Christ is Aaron, the high priest of Israel, along with the whole system of priesthood. A great deal of this letter has to do with this subject of priesthood, and it is very important, because priests have great value… But now this writer goes on to show that Jesus Christ has a higher priesthood, symbolized by a man named Melchizedek. Melchizedek appears in the Old Testament in a very mysterious way. He steps out of the shadows for a moment and deals with Abraham, and then returns to obscurity and is never heard from again. He is referred to several times in the Old Testament, but he is a figure of mystery until you come to the New Testament, and here in Hebrews, we are helped to see what this strange man signified.
He was a picture of the priesthood of Jesus Christ. His characteristics were those of the priesthood Christ has today. First, he was instantly available. The story, recorded in Genesis 14, tells of Abraham meeting the King of Sodom, after his defeat of the five kings. Although Abraham did not know it, he was in trouble. The King of Sodom was out to make him a very subtle offer that would derail Abraham in his walk of faith. He could not possibly have detected the subtlety of this offer; but Melchizedek suddenly appeared. He was instantly available.
Furthermore, because he was a king without father or without mother---this is far as the record goes in the Old Testament---he was a picture of Christ in his eternal relationship---he was permanently available. His service to Abraham at this time was to strengthen him, picturing the way Jesus Christ actually strengthens us. Melchizedek strengthened Abraham by the offering of bread and wine which in the communion service are the symbols of the body and the blood, the life of the Lord Jesus.
That is why Melchizedek appears in this book, to present the picture of Jesus Christ as instantly available to us. This is why the glory of the priesthood of Christ is so intensely superior to anyone else.

From: A Sermon (No. 1835) Delivered on Lord's Day Morning, April 12th, 1885, by
C. H. SPURGEON, At the Metropolitan Tabernacle, Newington (BLB)
Abraham had already been greatly blessed so much so that he is described as "he that received the promises." Yet a receiver of promises so great, a man with whom God had entered into solemn covenant, was yet blessed by Melchizedek, and without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better. This great man yet further blessed the blessed Abraham, and the father of the faithful was glad to receive benediction at his hands. No small man this: no priest of second rank; but one who overtops the sons of men by more than head and shoulders, and acts a superior's part among the greatest of them…
"Consider how great this man was" as to the singularity of his person, "without father, without mother, without descent": that is to say, we know nothing as to his birth, his origin, or his history. Even this explanation hardly answers to the words, especially when it is added, "Having neither beginning of days, nor end of life." So mysterious is Melchizedek that many deeply-taught expositors think that he was veritably an appearance of our Lord Jesus Christ. They are inclined to believe that he was not a king of some city in Canaan, as the most of us suppose, but that he was a manifestation of the Son of God, such as were the angels that appeared to Abraham on the plains of Mamre, and that divine being who appeared to Joshua by Jericho, and to the three holy ones in the furnace….
He had no predecessor in his priesthood, and he had no successor. He was not one who took a holy office and then laid it down; but as far as the historic page of Scripture is concerned we have no note of his quitting this mortal scene; he disappears, but we read nothing of his death any more than of his birth. His office was perpetual, and passed not from sire to son; for he was the type of "One who is made not after the law of a carnal commandment, but after the power of an endless life."

From: Robert Jamieson, A. R. Fausset and David Brown Commentary Critical and Explanatory on the Whole Bible (1871) THE EPISTLE OF PAUL THE APOSTLE TO THE HEBREWS Commentary by A. R. FAUSSETT CHAPTER 7 (BLB)
Hbr 7:1-28 . CHRIST'S HIGH PRIESTHOOD AFTER THE ORDER OF MELCHISEDEC SUPERIOR TO AARON'S.
Nothing is said in Genesis of the end of his priesthood, or of his having had in his priesthood either predecessor or successor, which, in a typical point of view, represents Christ's eternal priesthood, without beginning or end. Aaron's end is recorded; Melchisedec's not: typically significant. "The Son of God" is not said to be made like unto Melchisedec, but Melchisedec to be "made like the Son of God." When ALFORD denies that Melchisedec was made like the Son of God in respect of his priesthood, on the ground that Melchisedec was prior in time to our Lord, he forgets that Christ's eternal priesthood was an archetypal reality in God's purpose from everlasting, to which Melchisedec's priesthood was "made like" in due time. The Son of God is the more ancient, and is the archetype: compare Hbr 8:5 , where the heavenly things are represented as the primary archetype of the Levitical ordinances. The epithets, "without father," &c. "beginning of days, "nor end," "abideth continually," belong to Melchisedec only in respect to his priesthood, and in so far as he is the type of the Son of God, and are strictly true of Him alone. Melchisedec was, in his priesthood, "made like" Christ, as far as the imperfect type could represent the lineaments of the perfect archetype. "The portrait of a living man can be seen on the canvas, yet the man is very different from his picture." There is nothing in the account, Gen 14:18-20 , to mark Melchisedec as a superhuman being: he is classed with the other kings in the chapter as a living historic personage: not as ORIGEN thought, an angel; nor as the Jews thought, Shem, son of Noah; nor as CALMET, Enoch; nor as the Melchisedekites, that he was the Holy Ghost; nor as others, the Divine Word. He was probably of Shemitic, not Canaanite origin: the last independent representative of the original Shemitic population, which had been vanquished by the Canaanites, Ham's descendants. The greatness of Abraham then lay in hopes; of Melchisedec, in present possession. Melchisedec was the highest and last representative of the Noahic covenant, as Christ was the highest and ever enduring representative of the Abrahamic. Melchisedec, like Christ, unites in himself the kingly and priestly offices, which Abraham does not. ALFORD thinks the epithets are, in some sense, strictly true of Melchisedec himself; not merely in the typical sense given above; but that he had not, as mortal men have, a beginning or end of life (?). A very improbable theory, and only to be resorted to in the last extremity, which has no place here. With Melchisedec, whose priesthood probably lasted a long period, the priesthood and worship of the true God in Canaan ceased. He was first and last king-priest there, till Christ, the antitype; and therefore his priesthood is said to last for ever, because it both lasts a long time, and lasts as long as the nature of the thing itself (namely, his life, and the continuance of God's worship in Canaan) admits. If Melchisedec were high priest for ever in a literal sense, then Christ and he would now still be high priests, and we should have two instead of one (!). THOLUCK remarks, "Melchisedec remains in so far as the type remains in the antitype, in so far as his priesthood remains in Christ." The father and mother of Melchisedec, as also his children, are not descended from Levi, as the Levitical priests ( Hbr 7:6 ) were required to be, and are not even mentioned by Moses. The wife of Aaron, Elisheba, the mother from whom the Levitical priests spring, is mentioned: as also Sarah, the original mother of the Jewish nation itself. As man, Christ had no father; as God, no mother.

[ October 30, 2001: Message edited by: 3DChizl ]

[ October 30, 2001: Message edited by: 3DChizl ]

[ October 30, 2001: Message edited by: 3DChizl ]
3DChizl is offline  
Old 10-26-2001, 11:41 AM   #2
Justus
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: upstate NY USA
Posts: 54
Thumbs up

Quote:
Originally posted by 3DChizl:
<STRONG>A page I found about Melchisedec

The following is from the above link - just wondered why I never heard about him at sunday school...


[ October 26, 2001: Message edited by: 3DChizl ]</STRONG>
Good Questions .... In my limited experience (Prostant / American Baptist) Melchizedek is often used to place emphasis on the practice of Tithing ..... The authorship of the book of Hebrews is questionable (arguablly NOT Paul) .... IMO reference to Melchizedek is used in an attempt to place Jesus higher than Abraham and thus make (selection / election) of G-d's choosen people more inclusive ... also in light of the destruction of the Temple to do away with ritual sacrfices ..... .... Very Glad you posted this ... I am really curious as to the response by both Thesist & Non-Thesists

Justus is offline  
Old 10-30-2001, 06:29 AM   #3
3DChizl
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 160
Post

BTW - Does anyone know where to locate the Jewish perspective?
3DChizl is offline  
Old 10-30-2001, 06:44 AM   #4
CyberShy
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 87
Post

Quote:
but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually
notice: LIKE the Son of God.
Melchisedec will be a priest continually like the Son of God.
Jesus is oftenly compared with Melchisedec, being a king, a priest and a prophet.

In fact we're all sons of God. But there is one Son of God.

CS
CyberShy is offline  
Old 10-30-2001, 06:47 AM   #5
3DChizl
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 160
Post

CS-Can I today make a computer LIKE the one that will exist 10 years in the future? If I do will it not be LIKE the one I make today?
3DChizl is offline  
Old 10-30-2001, 07:21 AM   #6
CyberShy
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 87
Post

3D,

Melchisedec and Jesus are alike because they're both king, priest and prophet for eternity.

There are other parts that are not alike, Jesus performed miracles, died on the cross etc.

It's like: "I have a car and the colour is like yours, but your car is different though"

CS
CyberShy is offline  
Old 10-30-2001, 07:46 AM   #7
3DChizl
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 160
Post

CS-
Since you seem to be an apologist - do you agree that Mel was an earlier incarnation of Christ?
3DChizl is offline  
Old 10-30-2001, 07:57 AM   #8
CyberShy
Junior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: The Netherlands
Posts: 87
Post

Quote:
Since you seem to be an apologist
I'm sorry, I'm dutch and I have no clue what an apologist is.

Quote:
do you agree that Mel was an earlier incarnation of Christ?
no, he was an 'example' like Adam and Moses were.
CyberShy is offline  
Old 10-30-2001, 10:21 AM   #9
Nomad
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Aug 2000
Location: Calgary, AB, Canada
Posts: 410
Post

Quote:
"And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: And blessed be the most high God, which hath delivered thine enemies into thy hand. And he gave him tithes of all."
Genesis 14:18-20

"For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Now consider how great this man was, unto whom even the patriarch Abraham gave the tenth of the spoils."
Hebrews 7:1-4
Let’s look at the remaining times Melchizedek is mentioned in the Bible:

Psalm 110:1-4 The LORD says to my Lord: "Sit at my right hand until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet." The LORD will extend your mighty scepter from Zion; you will rule in the midst of your enemies. Your troops will be willing on your day of battle. Arrayed in holy majesty, from the womb of the dawn you will receive the dew of your youth. The LORD has sworn and will not change his mind: "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."

Here we see one of the Psalms quoted by Jesus Himself in relationship to His own Messianic claims (Mark 12:36, Matt. 22:44, see also Hebrews 1:13). In other words, Jesus Himself is claiming to be a priest, forever, in the order of Melchizedek. Hebrews drives this point home not only in chapter 7, but also Hebrews 5 and 6.

Hebrews 5:4-6 No one takes this honor upon himself; he must be called by God, just as Aaron was. So Christ also did not take upon himself the glory of becoming a high priest. But God said to him, "You are my Son; today I have become your Father." And he says in another place, "You are a priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."

The author of Hebrews sees Melchizedek as one who is greater than Abraham, Levi, and Aaron, and thus, that the priesthood of Jesus is greater than that of Aaron and the Levites.

Now we can examine the claims made in 3D’s web site:

Quote:
From these verses we get the following picture:

Melchizedec is equal to the Son of God
No, he is “like a son of God”, something that is very common in Hebrew literature, and even Hebrew Scripture. Exodus 4:22 identifies all of Israel (in other words, all Jews/Israelites) as God’s son(s). Isaiah 43 repeats this same message, that God’s chosen people are His children, His sons and daughters. Jeremiah links Ephraim (Israel) in the same way, calling him God’s firstborn son (Jeremiah 31:9, 20).

Quote:
Melchizedec's ministry is eternal
Yes, as is Aaron’s (Numbers 25:11-13, 1 Chronicles 23:13).

Quote:
Melchizedec, unlike Jesus (pbuh), is an independent god, with neither father nor mother.
Since Mechizedek is never called a god, anywhere, how did you come up with this?

Quote:
Melchizedec, unlike Jesus (pbuh), was never "born" or "begotten" but was ever present.
This seems reasonable, but Jesus is also without beginning or ending as well (John 1:1-3 Revelation 1:8, 21:6, 22:13).

Quote:
Melchizedec, unlike Jesus (pbuh), will never die but is eternally without death.
Actually, Jesus died, but rose again, and has now freed all of us from death.

Quote:
Everything but God has a beginning of days. Even air, water, and food have a beginning of days. Melchizedec, however, does not. Therefore, he is claimed to not need God nor water, food, nor air to breathe.
Where do you see this in the text? From the accounts we simply do not know when Melchizedek was born. I see nothing that says he was a god of any kind. Which text are you thinking of?

Quote:
If the Bible remains the word of God then why should we place the words of men (the church) above the words of God?
The Word of God comes from the Church, so they are the same thing (Matthew 28:18-19, Luke 10:16, 1 Timothy 3:15). That which is not codified in the Bible is called Tradition, and we derive our doctrines from both together.

Nomad

P.S. There is very little Jewish literature or discussion of Melchizedek. Josephus mentions him in Antiquities 1.10.2:

So Abram, when he had saved the captive Sodomites, who had been taken by the Assyrians, and Lot also, his kinsman, returned home in peace. Now the king of Sodom met him at a certain place, which they called The King's Dale, where Melchisedec, king of the city Salem, received him. That name signifies, the righteous king: and such he was, without dispute, insomuch that, on this account, he was made the priest of God: however, they afterward called Salem Jerusalem. Now this Melchisedec supplied Abram's army in an hospitable manner, and gave them provisions in abundance; and as they were feasting, he began to praise him, and to bless God for subduing his enemies under him.

Josephus sees him as the king of Salem (Jerusalem), and a priest of God. This is pretty much what we see in the Scriptures as well, including Psalms and Hebrews. So far as I am aware, the only church that sees him as a god is the Mormons.
Nomad is offline  
Old 10-30-2001, 11:27 AM   #10
3DChizl
Regular Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: West Virginia
Posts: 160
Post

Quote:
Now we can examine the claims made in 3D’s web site:
I said: The web page I mentioned in the first place, referring to an on-line book that seeks to disprove much of Jesus’ being the savior as compared to Mohammed is biased but makes a few good points.
The site I was talking about in the first place
My claim is, admittedly buried deep in the muck of my looooong post: From the following I have concluded that if he existed, he was a leader of some reasonably powerful, probably monotheistic type religion during the days of the Old Testament. To speculate further is merely to create another unfounded opinion such as I just have. His story is interpreted in different ways, but the prevailing view among Christians seems to be that he was an earlier incarnation of Christ.

Would you agree?
3DChizl is offline  
 

Thread Tools Search this Thread
Search this Thread:

Advanced Search

Forum Jump


All times are GMT -8. The time now is 12:22 PM.

Top

This custom BB emulates vBulletin® Version 3.8.2
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.