The following articles have been compiled and indexed by inWORD Bible software.
Julie and the Baptismal Card
When our son Adam was baptized, a sister [in the Lord, by the name of] Julie, went looking for a card to celebrate the baptism. Julie worked in downtown San Antonio, a city which is predominantly Hispanic and Catholic. She knew there was a “religious” shop near her office, and she assumed that she would be able to find a suitable card there. So off she went at lunch.
Priesthood in the New Testament
In the New Testament ἱεράτευμα, hieráteuma (1 Peter 2:5, 2:9), “priesthood,” is not found with reference to the Jewish priesthood, but ἱερεύς, hiereús, and ἀρχιερεύς, archiereús, “high priest,” frequently occur. As until the fall of Jerusalem the activities of the priests were carried on in careful accordance with the prescriptions of the Old Testament, there naturally is nothing new or striking in the numerous New Testament references to their work. Perhaps the information of the greatest interest is found in Luke 1:5-9 to the effect that Zacharias was of the course of Abijah, the 8th of the 24 courses into which the priests were divided (compare 1 Chronicles 24:7-18), and that in these courses the priests divided their work by lot. In the Gospels the archiereis are mentioned oftener than are the hiereis, the power of the priesthood seeming to have been absorbed by a sort of priestly aristocracy. As under the political pressure of that time the office of high priest could seldom be retained until the death of the holder, there might even be several living at the same time who had for a longer or shorter time held this office which made a man the head of the nation, not only ritually, but also politically, since the high priest was ex officio presiding officer of the Sanhedrin. Not only would these ex-high priests naturally retain the title belonging to their former dignity, but probably the name had come to include as well other members of the same families or of families of equal position, so that it seems that “chief priests” is a more exact translation of archiereis than high priests. In the singular, however, the reference of archiereus is usually, if not invariably, to the individual who at the time given was holding the unique office of high priest. The word hiereus is of course employed in its ordinary signification on the rare occasions when reference is made in the New Testament to corresponding ministers of other religions, as to the priest of Zeus (Acts 14:13) and also to Melchizedek (Hebrews 7:1).