Inspired by New Testament Priesthood

Martin Harun


This paper gives a detailed exegetical study of priesthood in the New Testament as gleaned from the Letter to the Hebrews, Paul’s authentic letters, the Letters of later Pauline Communities, and the pastoral letters of Peter and Titus, with reference to the Gospels of Mathew and John as well as Revelation. Clearly for the New Testament writers, priesthood is not a cultic affair, but rather the living out of Christ’s one and only self-sacrifice for others. The author then contrasts the way in which ministries administered by a variety of people in the New Testament came to be accumulated in the ordained priesthood of the contemporary Catholic Church. Priests can actualise the priesthood as co-workers in a communion, realising their ministry in collaboration, both among themselves (ministerial priesthood), and with the laity (common priesthood), all contributing their specific gifts to the Body of Christ. And so Christ can be fully present and active in church and society. He concludes by noting that this vision is not far from the transforming vision of a community church as has been propagated by the Lumko Pastoral Institute. 


New Testament; ministerial priesthood; common priesthood; elders; service; sacrifice; Vatican II

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