One covenant, or two?


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On 7/12/2018 at 11:23 PM, zamber said:

Two covenants, two priesthoods.Priesthood of Levi (Aaron) and Priesthood of Melchizedek. Melchizedek is the higher priesthood because Abraham paid tithes to Melchizedek.

The "old" and "new" covenant designations are a false dichotomy. 

 

This isn't as clear to me as to you, obviously, but I fail to see how the Covenants would be with priesthoods and not with His people?

This seems more to clarify the priestly order to interpret His laws and commandments, not with the actual promises TO His people. Which is how I'm reading it.

Please elaborate.

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Matthew 22:35-40 King James Version (KJV)  "Then one of them, which was a lawyer, asked him a question, tempting him, and saying,  Master, which is the great commandment in the law? Jes

On 7/16/2018 at 4:34 PM, Key said:

This isn't as clear to me as to you, obviously, but I fail to see how the Covenants would be with priesthoods and not with His people?

This seems more to clarify the priestly order to interpret His laws and commandments, not with the actual promises TO His people. Which is how I'm reading it.

Please elaborate.

 

The Levi priesthood was only for a short time. See below. The word "priest" means to make a bridge, as in bridge to god. That means it would be necessary to go through the priest.

 

 

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King James Bible
If therefore perfection were by the Levitical priesthood, (for under it the people received the law,) what further need was there that another priest should rise after the order of Melchisedec, and not be called after the order of Aaron?

 

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3 hours ago, zamber said:

 

The word "priest" means to make a bridge, as in bridge to god. That means it would be necessary to go through the priest.

 

 

 

The English word "priest" does not mean bridge. And the Hebrew word "kohayn" does not mean bridge either.

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2 hours ago, RabbiO said:

The English word "priest" does not mean bridge. And the Hebrew word "kohayn" does not mean bridge either.

 

A priest is most certainly a bridge between God and man.  The word pontifex translated to English is "bridge builder" which is the reason the pope is called "pontifex maximus." The etymology of the English word priest is "one put over others" related to "prime" as in first. So a "priest" was over the people and below a god.

The etymology of "kohan" is soothsayer/to divine. So, a kohan of Baal or whatever would speak to a claimed god, then tell the laity what the claimed god said, thus a bridge between the god and man. The Hebrew testament used the word "kohen" for the priests of the pagans such as the Philistines, see the quote.
 

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 They are a bridge between the nation and God.  The Levites represent the people before God and represent God before the people.

https://www.etzion.org.il/en/levite-genes

 

 

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 the priest the vehicle of divine grace, the mediator through whose ministry the sins of the community, as of the individual, could be atoned for. 

http://www.jewishencyclopedia.com/articles/12358-priest

 

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 A priest's work is essentially mediatorial. He stands much like a bridge between God and the people.

 

When the priests in Israel drew near to God, they took with them the thanksgiving, the entreaties, and the sacrifices of themselves and of the people. However, this is a two-way street—or a bridge. They also brought back with them the gifts—namely things like reconciliation, understanding of God's will, and all kinds of other blessings of God.  

https://www.bibletools.org/index.cfm/fuseaction/Topical.show/RTD/CGG/ID/11888/Priest-as-Mediator-between-God-Man.htm

 

 

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 The Egyptian Potiphera is called a cohen (Genesis 41:45). So are certain Philistines (1 Samuel 6:2) and in Israel, priests of Baal (2 Kings 10:19).

 

The first time the word cohen occurs is in Genesis 14:18, where it is ascribed to the mysterious Melchizedek, who would be a type of the Messiah to come. It's curious to see that Melchizedek's descent was ostensibly unknown to the author of the story, as much as the origin of his office is to us.     http://www.abarim-publications.com/Meaning/Cohen.html#.W1u_6PlKiUk

 

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On 7/27/2018 at 12:09 PM, zamber said:

 

The Levi priesthood was only for a short time. See below. The word "priest" means to make a bridge, as in bridge to god. That means it would be necessary to go through the priest.

 

 

 

Still not understanding. Are you saying the Covenants were meant for priests and not His people? That would certainly eliminate any need for the people to really follow His Commandments then, wouldn't it, as they would only apply to priests, from what you're saying?

The topic of this thread pertains to the biblical Covenants, not to any priesthoods, unless you can present some clear persuasion to prove the case otherwise.

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Also had a thought. Priest are no longer necessary as a "bridge" to God in Christianity, as Jesus became the intercessor or "bridge" upon our behalf. Priests are only to help our understanding of God and His teachings.

Leviticus seems to outline the priesthoods, but does not specify that the Covenants are for them as the Covenants were established before the priests.

Therefore, the priests are an inclusion with the people the Covenants were meant for.

Edited by Key
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On 7/27/2018 at 9:42 PM, zamber said:

The etymology of the English word priest is "one put over others" related to "prime" as in first. So a "priest" was over the people and below a god.

That is one theory. The following is the more commonly accepted theory, as explained by the Oxford English Dictionary...

"From Old English prēost, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch priester, German Priester, based on ecclesiastical Latin presbyter ‘elder’ (see presbyter)."

Edited by mererdog
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On 7/27/2018 at 9:42 PM, zamber said:

The word pontifex translated to English is "bridge builder" which is the reason the pope is called "pontifex maximus."

There are some who say that the pontifex were originally engineers, as well as priests. That they literally built bridges. It makes a fair amount of sense.

And bear in mind that the word pontifex is a holdover from the Pagan Roman priesthood. Its origins have nothing to do with Christianity, Judaism, or monotheism.

Edited by mererdog
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I am late to this conversation, if that is OK. But I am here. I have learned that when Jesus came, he came as the fulfillment of all Old Testament prophecies, and fulfilled the letter of the law, as well as to teach what was called the New Way, which was also simply called, "The Way." Jesus came to teach the heart of the law, with love, empathy and compassion, which was something new to both the Sadducees and the Pharisees. Jesus taught that it was OK to heal on the Sabbath, to eat by plucking grain and eating it, etch. It is at least the Christian view that if you keep the Golden Rule laws, you do in fact keep all of the Ten Commandments.

 

Now for a new thought. Have you read the Secret Book of John among six other Nag Hammadi scriptures? They tell of the Father of Jesus not being the father of humans. They explain how humans are half of the good seed from the Good God of heaven, and half of the bad seed of a fallen angel. Even Jesus said, in the traditional Bible in John 8:44, that his father is not our father, that our father is the devil. Later when Jesus gives the parable of the good seed and the bad seed in the farmer's field, he says that the wheat and the weeds should grow together, so the wheat does not get lost. Think of it. If we are made of both good and bad seed DNA, we would not survive if that were to be split apart. So we must choose in this life whether to choose good or choose bad in life.

 

This evil fallen angel, written about in the Nag Hammadi scriptures, says we called the one who created us, God. Yet this "God" was of a fallen nature, egotistical in nature. When he first realized his own being, he stood up and said, "I am the Lord they God. There is none before me." This is the "God" who wipes out city after city in the Old Testament, killing every man, woman and child. It is this "God" who demanded the Ten Commandments, with severe penalties to all who disobeyed. Does this sound like an all loving God?

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On August 6, 2018 at 1:11 AM, Rev Linda Hourihan said:

Jesus came to teach the heart of the law, with love, empathy and compassion, which was something new to both the Sadducees and the Pharisees.

Apparently what you know of the PharIsees and the Sadducees would fit into a thimble and still leave room for your finger.

 

Of course, I could be wrong and you've actually spent a considerable amount of time studying both and are prepared to discuss at length - and please feel free to take as much space as is necessary - and in detail, the research that lead you to your present conclusions.

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Hello RabbiO ~ You are absolutely correct, except you are giving me too much credit. What I presently know of the Pharisees and the Sadducees would fit on the head of the pin, which is vastly more than what a thimble holds.

 

I am currently studying in the Seminary, the course, Comparative Religions. I am only on week 1. I know I have much to learn.

 

What I know about the Jewish religion is what my Christian upbringing has provided me, which is precious little about the Pharisees and Sadducees. Part of my homework for this course is to visit other religions which I know little about. Connecting with a Rabbi and visiting a Jewish Temple is on my to do list. But I see I need even more education. I want to know the Jewish faith from a Jewish stand point, not from a Christian one.

 

This course suggested for me to get a lot of books. Presently I am diving into the I Ch'ing, which seems to be one of the oldest works of literature.

 

A am open to study all works helpful to my spiritual growth, both so I can better understand what each religion teaches, as well as help someone in that faith.

 

Thank you for your comment. I'd be interested in your understanding of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

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Upon reflection, I do know a bit about the Pharisees and Sadducees. The following is my understanding of the Pharisees and the Sadducees.

 

PHARISEES

 

The Pharisees were a prominent sect of Judaism existing in the first century C.E. According to some scholars, the name literally means  "Separated Ones; Separatists," referring perhaps to avoidance of ceremonial uncleanness or to separation from Gentiles. Just when the Pharisees had their beginning is not preciously known. The writings of the Jewish historian Josephus indicate that in the time of John Hyrcanus I (latter half of the second century B.C.E.) the Pharisees already formed an influential body. Josephus wrote, "And so great is their influence with the masses that even when they speak against a king or high priest, they immediately gain credence." - Jewish Antiquities, XIII, 288 (x,5)

 

Josephus also provides details of the Pharisees. He observed, "They believe that their souls have the power to survive death and that there are rewards and punishments under the earth for those who have lived lives of virtue or vice: eternal imprisonment is the lot of the evil souls, while the good souls receive an easy passage to a new life." - Jewish Antiquities, XVIII, 14 [I,3])

 

"Every soul, they maintain, is imperishable, but the soul of the good alone passes into another body, while the souls of the wicked suffer eternal punishment." Regarding their ideas about fate or providence, Josephus reports, "(They) attribute everything to fate or to God; they hold that to that act rightly or otherwise rests, indeed, for the most part with men, but that in each action Fate cooperates." - The Jewish War, II, 162, 163 (viii, 14).

 

The Christian Greek Scriptures reveal that the Pharisees fasted twice each week, titled scrupulously (Matthew 9:14; Mark 2:18; Luke 5:33; 11:42; 18:11,12.), and did not agree with the Sadducees in saying that "there is neither resurrection nor angel nor spirit within us, but the Pharisees believe in all of these." (Acts 23:8) The Pharisees prided themselves on being righteous (actually self-righteous) and looked down on the common people. (Luke 18:11,12; Job 7:47-49). To impress others with their righteousness, the Pharisees broadened the scripture - containing cases that they wore as safeguards and they enlarged the fringes of their garments. (Matthew 23:5). They loved money (Luke 16:14) and desired prominence and flattering titles. (Matthew 23:6, 7; Luke11:43). The Pharisees were so biased in their application of the Law that they made it burdensome for the people, insisting that it be observed according to their concepts and traditions. (Matthew 23:4) They completely lost sight of the important matters, namely, justice, mercy, faithfulness, and love of God. (Matthew 23:23; Luke 11:41-44) The Pharisees went to great lengths in making proselytes. (Matthew 23:15)

 

The main issues over which they contended was with Christ. Jesus involved Sabbath observance (Matthew 12:1, 2; Mark 2:23, 24; Luke 6:1,2), adherence to tradition (Matthew 15:1, 2; Mark 7:1-5), and association with sinners and tax collectors (Matthew 9:11; Mark 2:16; Luke 5:30). The Pharisees apparently thought that refinement resulted from association with persons who did not observe the Law according to their view of it. (Luke 7:36-39) Therefore, when Christ Jesus associated and even ate with sinners and tax collectors, this prompted them to object. (Luke15:1,2)  The Pharisees found fault with Jesus and his disciples because of their not practicing the traditional washing of hands. (Matthew 15:1, 2; Mark 7:1-5; Luke 11:37, 38) But Jesus exposed their wrong reasoning and showed them to be violators of God's law on account of their adherence to man-made traditions. (Matthew 15:3-11; Mark 78:6-15; Luke 11:39-44) Rather than rejoicing and glorifying God in connection with the miraculous cures performed by Christ Jesus on the Sabbath, the Pharisees were filled with rage over what they deemed a violation of the Sabbath law and therefore plotted to kill Jesus. (Matthew 12:9-14; Mark 3:1-6; Luke 6:7-11; 14:1-6) To a blind man whom Jesus had cured on the Sabbath, they said concerning Jesus, "This is not a man from God, because he does not observe the Sabbath." (John 9:16)

 

The attitude the Pharisees displayed showed that they were not righteous and clean inside. (Matthew 5:20; 23:26) Like the rest of the Jews, they were in need of repentance. (Compare Matthew 3:7, 8; Luke 7:30) But the majority of them preferred to remain spiritually blind (John 9:40) and intensified their opposition to the Son of God. (Matthew 21:45, 46;; John 7:32; 11:43-53, 57) There were Pharisees who falsely accused Jesus of expelling demons by means of the ruler of the demons. (Matthew 9:34; 12:24) and of being a false witness. (John 8:13) Certain Pharisees tried to intimidate the Son of God (Luke 13:31),  demanded that he display a sign to them (Matthew 12:38; 16:1; Mark 8:11), endeavored to trap him in his speech (Matthew 22:15; Mark 12:13; Luke 11:53, 54), and otherwise tried to test him by questioning. (Matthew 19:3; 22:34-36; Mark 10:2; Luke 17:20) Jesus finally silenced their questioning by asking them how it would be possible for David's lord also to be David's son. (Matthew 22:41-46) The mob that later seizes Jesus in the garden of Gethsemane included Pharisees (John 18:3-5, 12, 13), and Pharisees were among those who requested that Pilate secure Jesus' tomb so that the body could not be stolen. (Matthew 27:62, 64)

 

During the earthly ministry of Christ Jesus, the Pharisees exerted such great influence that prominent persons were afraid to confess him openly. (John 12:42, 43) One of such fearful ones evidently was Nicodemus, himself a Pharisee. (John 3:1-2; 7:47-52; 19:39) There may also have been Pharisees who later became Christians. For example, the Pharisee Gamaliel counseled against interfering with the work of Christians (Acts 5:34-39), and the Pharisee Saul (Paul) of Tarsus, became an apostle of Jesus Christ. (Acts 26:5; Philippians 3:5)

 

SADDUCEES

 

The Sadducees were a prominent religious sect of Judaism associated with the priesthood. (Acts 5:17) They did not believe in either resurrection or angels. (Acts 23:8)

 

The precise time for the emergence of the Sadducees as a religious sect is not known. First, historical mention of them by name appears in the writings of Josephus, which indicate that they opposed the Pharisees in the latter half of the second century B.C.E. Jewish Antiquities, XIII, 293 [x. 6]

 

Josephus also provides information about their teachings. However, there is a question as to whether his presentation is completely factual. Unlike the Pharisees, Josephus says the Sadducees denied the workings of fate, maintaining that an individual, by his own actions, was solely responsible for what befell him. Jewish Antiquities, XIII, 172, 173 [v.9]

 

They rejected the many oral traditions observed by the Pharisees and also Pharisaic belief in the immortality of the soul and in punishments or rewards after death. In their dealings with one another, the Sadducees were somewhat rough. They were said to be disputatious. According to Josephus , their teachings appealed to the wealthy. Jewish Antiquities,  XIII, 298 (x, 6); XVIII, 16, 17 (I, 4); The Jewish War, II, 162,-166 (viii, 14)

 

As pointed out by John the Baptized, the Sadducees needed to produce fruits befitting repentance. This was because they, like the Pharisees, had failed to keep God's Law.  (Matthew 3:7, 8) Christ Jesus  himself compared  their corrupting teaching to leaven. (Matthew 16:6, 11, 12)

 

With reference to their religious beliefs, Acts 23:8 states, "Sadducees say there is neither resurrection, nor angel nor spirit, but the Pharisees publicly declare them all." It was in connection with the resurrection that the brother-in-law marriage that a group of Sadducees attempted to stump Christ Jesus. But he silenced them. By referring to the writings of Moses, which the Sadducees professed to accept, Jesus disproved their contention that there is no resurrection. (Matthew 22:23-34; Mark 12:18-27; Luke 20:27-40) Later, the apostle Paul, went before the Sanhedrin, divided that highest Jewish court by playing the Pharisees against the Sadducees. This was possible because of the religious differences existing between them. (Acts 23:6-10)

 

Although religiously divided, Sadducees joined Pharisees in trying to tempt Jesus by asking him for a sign. (Matthew 16:1), and both groups were united in their opposition to him. Biblical evidence indicates that the Sadducees took a leading part in seeking Jesus' death. Sadducees were members of the Sanhedrin, which court plotted against Jesus and later, condemned him to death. Included in the court where Chiapas, the Sadducee and high priest,, and evidently also other prominent priests. (Matthew 26:59-66; John 11:47-53; Acts 5:17, 21)

 

Therefore, whenever the Christian Greek Scriptures speak of certain action as being taken by the high priests, Sadducees were evidently involved. (Matthew 21:45, 46; 26:3, 4, 62-64; 28:11, 12; John 7:32) Sadducees appear to have taken the lead in trying to stop the spread of Christianity after Jesus' death and resurrection. (Acts 4:1-23; 5:17-42; 9:14)

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More to the point of this initial topic of One Covenant or Two, I checked out The Interlinear Bible (Hebrew-Greek-English), which sent me to Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. It is true that the Hebrew word "kohen" means one officiating, a priest, or one acting as priest, as Zamber aptly points out that even pagans had their priests who served their gods, as intermediaries between their god and the people. This concordance says that the Jewish priestly role began in the days of Moses (commonly referred to as the Old Covenant). Jesus (known as the New Covenant) says he came to fulfill the Law (Old Covenant) not destroy it. This an interesting question.

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On 8/11/2018 at 12:23 PM, LinLight said:

More to the point of this initial topic of One Covenant or Two, I checked out The Interlinear Bible (Hebrew-Greek-English), which sent me to Strong's Expanded Exhaustive Concordance of the Bible. It is true that the Hebrew word "kohen" means one officiating, a priest, or one acting as priest, as Zamber aptly points out that even pagans had their priests who served their gods, as intermediaries between their god and the people. This concordance says that the Jewish priestly role began in the days of Moses (commonly referred to as the Old Covenant). Jesus (known as the New Covenant) says he came to fulfill the Law (Old Covenant) not destroy it. This an interesting question.

But the original context of the debate I mentioned, does not demonstrate relevance of any priests or what their roles were to each Covenant, which I had been impressioned to believe changed little, rather it was to state or question to whom the Covenants actually were relevant?

Old Testament was a Covenant for the Hebrews, whilst the New Testament was a Covenant for the gentiles, the person informed. True, or not?

Of course, within this thread has been posted a reply that there were actually more than two Covenants made in the Bible. Thoughts?

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On 8/13/2018 at 12:58 PM, ChristLight said:

The first thing that comes to mind is when God says he will never again send a flood to kill all mankind. Could that be considered a covenant, a promise between God and man?

I suppose that might in some way be construed as a covenant. Covenants, though, are often seen as a two way agreement. In the way of the Covenants covered in this thread, these agreements would be seen as, "if you obey these rules, then favor of God may be bestowed upon you. (Which may include everlasting last life beyond this world.)"

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On ‎8‎/‎13‎/‎2018 at 3:58 PM, ChristLight said:

The first thing that comes to mind is when God says he will never again send a flood to kill all mankind. Could that be considered a covenant, a promise between God and man?

I would consider the context of that agreement as a threat...he won't send water, he'll send fire, instead.

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28 minutes ago, cuchulain said:

I would consider the context of that agreement as a threat...he won't send water, he'll send fire, instead.

I know. For this very reason, I have been taking a much deeper look at which "God" is saying this. I seems that the "God" of the Old Testament is not a very loving "God," but a violent and blood thirsty "God."

 

This is making me take a better look at the Nag Hammadi Scriptures, when they say that we were not made by God the Father of Jesus, but by Yaldaboath, who was made out of wisdom, but not love. I dismissed this years ago when I first heard it. But then I came across John 8:44, where Jesus specifically says that his Father is not our father, that our father is the devil and the father of lies.

 

Interesting.

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5 hours ago, Key said:

I suppose that might in some way be construed as a covenant. Covenants, though, are often seen as a two way agreement. In the way of the Covenants covered in this thread, these agreements would be seen as, "if you obey these rules, then favor of God may be bestowed upon you. (Which may include everlasting last life beyond this world.)"

I have been looking very closely at all of this, and the promises and threats from the "God" of the Old Testament. More and More I see that Jesus in John 8:44 really meant what he said, when Jesus specifically says his Father is not our Father, that our father is the devil and the father of lies. I can better understand, that God, the Father of Jesus had compassion on us, because he IS Love, and not a vengeful god. No wonder we have to go through Jesus to get to the God of LOVE.

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On 8/16/2018 at 4:47 PM, ChristLight said:

I have been looking very closely at all of this, and the promises and threats from the "God" of the Old Testament. More and More I see that Jesus in John 8:44 really meant what he said, when Jesus specifically says his Father is not our Father, that our father is the devil and the father of lies. I can better understand, that God, the Father of Jesus had compassion on us, because he IS Love, and not a vengeful god. No wonder we have to go through Jesus to get to the God of LOVE.

That would bring up another concept, as well. There are many who believe that it isn't meant to go through Jesus, at all, rather it should be to emulate Jesus to find favor with His father to be adopted, of sorts, by Him.

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