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Priesthood, book by H. H. Pope Shenouda III

1- The Story of this Book

 

These lectures began as part of a course on comparative theology as requested by the Theological College, in 1978 and then completed in 1981.Some of these lectures had in fact been attacked by the Plymouth Brethren denomination in various books, which opposes the fundamental sacrament of priesthood. Their oppositions are based on two grounds:

1) The claim that there is only one priest in heaven and on earth, and He is the Lord Jesus Christ.

2) The incorrect interpretation of the verse which says:

(Rev 1:6) and has made us kings and priests to His God and Father

This book sets out to refute both these points.

St-Takla.org Image: A Jewish High Priest in Robes and Brastplate صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: صورة كاهن يهودي أعلى في ملابسه الكهنوتية و الصدرية

St-Takla.org Image: A Jewish High Priest in Robes and Breastplate

صورة في موقع الأنبا تكلا: صورة كاهن يهودي أعلى في ملابسه الكهنوتية و الصدرية

I have also dealt with the attempts which Korah, Dathan and Abiram undertook in the days of Moses to seize the priesthood, saying that the whole nation was holy and priestly. I will then explain how God remains the same, both in the Old and the New Testament. And that the law of the priesthood has also stayed the same, but according to the rite of Melchizedek not that of Aaron.

The book is also centred around the sacrament of priesthood, a sacrament set aside for a select group and not for all.

It would suffice to refer to Saint Paul:

(Heb 5:4) And no man takes this honor to himself, but he who is called by God, just as Aaron was.

We have, however, put forward many proofs of this, such as that the priesthood is a vocation, something for which one is called for then chosen, and it is also a mission.

Priesthood is not for everyone, as we have discussed this issue before here on st-takla.org in other sections. It calls for special qualifications and requires the Laying of Hands and a Holy Breath, which are not given to all peoples.

We have also stated the various priestly titles and duties which are unique for the priests.

We have also linked the office of a priest to the altar, the holy sacrifice and the authority to tie and to loosen.

We have set aside a full chapter for the zealots who assume that Christ is the only priest, and hold the view that human priesthood, robs God of His Honour.

Following this, we deal with priesthood as service, and the clergymen as servants, and entrusted as His vicars.

In chapter 10, I conclude by answering various questions, not covered in previous chapters which already contain numerous examples of objections and replies to such objections. These ten chapters form the first part of our series about the priesthood. God willing, the second part will be about the pastoral work of the clergy, and about some of the qualities, which a clergyman needs to posses to successfully carry out their mission.

We have decreed that this book shall form part of the syllabus of all branches of our Theological Colleges.

Pope Shenouda III


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