Priesthood in the New Testament, from Scofield Reference Notes (1917)

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The New Testament priesthood, Summary:

(1) Until the law was given the head of each family was the family priest Genesis 8:20; 26:25; 31:54.

(2) When the law was proposed, the promise to perfect obedience was that Israel would be unto God “a kingdom of priests” Exodus 19:6. but Israel violated the law, and God shut up the priestly office to the Aaronic family, appointing the tribe of Levi to minister to them, thus constituting the typical priesthood Exodus 28:1.

(3) In the dispensation of grace, all believers are unconditionally constituted a “kingdom of priests” 1 Peter 2:9; Revelation 1:6 the distinction which Israel failed to achieve by works. The priesthood of the believer is, therefore, a birthright; just as every descendant of Aaron was born to the priesthood Hebrews 5:1.

(4) The chief privilege of a priest is access to God. Under law the high priest only could enter “the holiest of all,” and that but once a year Hebrews 9:7, but when Christ died, the veil, type of Christ’s human body Hebrews 10:20 was rent, so that now the believer-priests, equally with Christ the High Priest, have access to God in the holiest Hebrews 10:19-22.

The high Priest is corporeally there Hebrews 4:14-16; 9:24; 10:19-22.

(5) In the exercise of his office the New Testament believer-priest is

(1) a sacrificer who offers a threefold sacrifice: (a) his own living body. Romans 12:1; Philippians 2:17; 2 Timothy 4:6; 1 John 3:16; James 1:27 (b) praise to God, “the fruit of the lips that make mention of His name” (R.V.), to be offered “continually”; Hebrews 13:15; Exodus 25:22 “I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat”); (c) his substance ; Hebrews 13:16; Romans 12:13; Galatians 6:6; 3 John 1:5-8; Hebrews 13:2; Galatians 6:10; Titus 3:14.

(2) The N.T. priest is also an intercessor 1 Timothy 2:1; Colossians 4:12


1 Peter 2:9

But ye are a chosen generation, a , an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light:

Genesis 8:20

And Noah builded an altar unto the LORD; and took of every clean beast, and of every clean fowl, and offered on the altar.

Genesis 26:25

And he builded an altar there, and called upon the , and pitched his tent there: and there Isaac’s servants digged a well.

Genesis 31:54

Then Jacob offered upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount.

Exodus 19:6

And ye shall be unto me a kingdom of , and an . These are the words which thou shalt speak unto the children of Israel.

Exodus 28:1

And take thou unto thee Aaron thy brother, and his sons with him, from among the children of Israel, that he may unto me in the priest’s office, even Aaron, Nadab and Abihu, Eleazar and Ithamar, Aaron’s sons.

Revelation 1:6

And hath made us unto God and his Father; to him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

Hebrews 5:1

For every high priest taken from among men is ordained for men in things pertaining to God, that he may offer both for sins:

Hebrews 9:7

But into the second went the high priest alone once every year, not without blood, which he offered for himself, and for the of the people:

Hebrews 10:19-22

19 Having therefore, brethren, to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus,

20 By a way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh;

21 And having an over the house of God;

22 Let us draw near with a in full assurance of faith, having our hearts sprinkled from an evil conscience, and our bodies washed with pure water.

Hebrews 4:14-16

14 Seeing then that we have a great high priest, that is passed into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us our profession.

15 For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet .

16 Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain , and find to help in time of need.

Hebrews 9:24

For Christ is not entered into the holy places made with hands, which are the figures of the true; but into heaven itself, now to appear in the for us:

Romans 12:1

I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye your bodies a , holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.

Philippians 2:17

Yea, and if I be offered upon the of your faith, I joy, and rejoice with you all.

2 Timothy 4:6

For I am now ready to be , and the time of my departure is at hand.

1 John 3:16

Hereby perceive we the love of God, because he for us: and we ought to lay down our lives for the brethren.

James 1:27

Pure religion and undefiled before God and the Father is this, To visit the in their affliction, and to keep himself unspotted from the world.

Hebrews 13:15

By him therefore let us offer the to God continually, that is, the fruit of our lips giving thanks to his name.

Exodus 25:22

And there I will meet with thee, and I will commune with thee from above the mercy seat, from between the two cherubims which are upon the , of all things which I will give thee in commandment unto the children of Israel.

Hebrews 13:16

But to and to forget not: for with such sacrifices God is well pleased.

Romans 12:13

Distributing to the of saints; given to hospitality.

Galatians 6:6, 10

6 Let him that is taught in the word unto him that teacheth in all good things.

10 As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the .

Hebrews 13:2

Be not forgetful to entertain strangers: for thereby some have entertained unawares.

Titus 3:14

And let ours also learn to maintain for necessary uses, that they be not unfruitful.

1 Timothy 2:1

I exhort therefore, that, first of all, supplications, prayers, , and giving of thanks, be made for all men;

Colossians 4:12

Epaphras, who is one of you, a servant of Christ, saluteth you, always labouring fervently for you in prayers, that ye may stand in all the will of God.


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