I'd never heard that angle in talking about seed. That's fascinating. You see it even more in verse 10. --Mjberkey 22:26, 9 July 2007 (CEST)
I find it interesting that when contrasting the two, the author explicitly brings out the establishment of family lines in the levitical priesthood while does not bring out what is implied in the contrast. The priesthood held by Melchizedec is "having neither beginning of days, nor end of life;", which implies (following the contrast) that the levitical priesthood is "has beginning of days, and end of life". The levitical priesthood was established with the old law, thus having the beginning of days. The end of life (to me) I think is fascinating, especially when compared to D&C 13, "and this shall never be taken again from the Earth, _until_ the sons of Levi do offer again and offering unto the Lord in righteousness." -- document
As I see it your question is asking how the Latter-day Saint understanding of Priesthood is consistent with Heb 7:24? Is that right? I read through the external link. If I understand correctly, I think your answer comes down to two different uses of the word priesthood. Would you feel comfortable suggesting a short answer using the lexical notes and exegesis sections? Then you could refer readers for more detail to the external link. My concern is that without this some (including myself originally) might misread the question as a suggestion that LDS belief is inconsistent with the scriptures. Re-reading through your external link I don't think that is what you are saying. --Matthew Faulconer 16:58, 19 Aug 2005 (CEST)
PS one more thing. In my earlier question to you (before I revised it) I said that your article said that LDS belief and the scripture are not consistent. When I re-read it I realized I had misread. I should have read more closely the first time or at least reserved judgement until I had a better understanding. Please accept my appologies. --Matthew Faulconer 19:29, 19 Aug 2005 (CEST)
Nice article Steven. I wrote what I hope is a good summary in the exegesis that addresses Matthew's concerns. A couple notes:
- Most LDS readers will read "unchangeable" in their scriptures which doesn't have a non-transferable connotation. This is why I added the Greek translation link which mentions this connotation, but since there are two definitions listed and the first doesn't necessarily have this connotation, I think most readers will still question whether the text really connotes non-transferable....
- I was cautious in tone regarding Melchizedek and associations of eternity. I don't think this is something most LDS members have heard of. Are there any specific sources that could be added to substantiate this eternity connotation in rabinnic or ancient Hebrew texts?
- I think the 'priestly duties' point about the priesthood is interesting. Are there any other sources to read more about this?
--RobertC 19:10, 19 Aug 2005 (CEST)
Robert, you wrote a better summary than I could have. (I will make only a slight change in one word in your statement, from priesthood to priestly, which I think conveys a nuance that helps to reiterate my point.) Thank you.
Regarding the eternal aspect of Melchizedek; John Welch gives an excellent overview of the diverse material on Melchizedek through the ages in his article (currently) titled "The Melchizedek Material in Alma 13:13-19". Here is an excerpt:
. . . there have come about as many interpretations of Melchizedek as there have been heresies and orthodoxies, for few systematic biblical commentators have passed over this intriguing figure without accommodating him in one way or another. The importance ascribed to him varies with the system in which each interpretation stands. In some views he is regarded merely as a political figure who established certain legal precedents, while in others he becomes a central eschatological figure who will lead the war against Satan in the final battle against evil. Elsewhere he is raised to membership in the Godhead by one early Christian sect, while he is defamed as a bastard by Jewish apologists who found his unpedigreed preeminence in the Pentateuch disquieting. Gnostics and Christian mystics have ascribed cosmological powers to him, whereas Protestants have dismissed any notion that he was anything more than a feudal Canaanite king.
Commenting on Heb. 7:8, George Wesley Buchanan pointed out that there would be no reason for the writer of Hebrews to state that the Levites, who "receive tithes," were "mortal men," unless it was contrasted with Melchizedek. Let me quote directly from his work:
Of Melchizedek "it is attested that 'he lives.'" When the subject is left undetermined in reference to a statement or testimony, the author regularly means "God," "the scripture," or "the Holy Spirit" says or testifies, but there is no basis in the scripture quoted, or in any of the proof texts from scripture used by the author, which would justify the claim that Melchizedek "lives." The only apparent quotation that might justify this claim is in the little poem quoted in 7:3. There the subject, which the author held to be Melchizedek, was said to have no end "of life" (zoes). That seems to have been used as a proof text to show that Melchizedek "lives" (ze), just as "without geneology" was used to prove Melchizedek was not from the geneology of the Levites (7:6). If this is the correct analysis of the data, then the author evidently held the poem to have doctrinal status very nearly that of the scripture. If we only had access to the source from which this poem was taken, many points would be clearer. George Wesley Buchanan, To the Hebrews. Translation, Comment and Conclusions, The Anchor Bible, ed. William Foxwell Albright and David Noel Freedman (New York: Doubleday, 1972), p. 121-122.
The point about priestly duties is my own conclusion based on the understanding that the transition from the Jewish priestly system to the Christian priesthood was still in flux at the time that Hebrews was written. --Steven Barton 06:56, 20 Aug 2005 (CEST)
Robert, you posted a link to an Aramaic version of the New Testament. Is this something you think would be good to add to the Site:Other scripture resources? --Matthew Faulconer 08:18, 20 Aug 2005 (CEST)