In the Old and New Testament churches, was there a priesthood of all believers?
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|Prior to Moses, under
Moses and after the cross, there was one gospel that
brought salvation. Under both the old and new covenants
there was a church that served as a means to unite
believers. In both as well, God conferred
responsibilities upon a priesthood of all believers.
Evangelicals use I Peter 2 to support their theory that a priesthood of all believers replaced the ministerial priesthoods of the Old Testament. In both the Old and New Testaments, there certainly was a universal priesthood of all believers who had sacred duties, but there is no indication in either testament that this replaced the ministerial functions in Christ's church.
If ministerial functions were replaced by a priesthood of all believers, why are offices like pastor, elder and deacon so frequently evident in evangelical churches? Why not entrust the functions previously performed by God's ministers to the laity and have them preach every Sunday? Why do evangelical churches rely so heavily upon one central personality to provide spiritual guidance and leadership?
There certainly was a priesthood of all believers in the New Testament church, and they had sacred responsibilities before God. But there is no evidence in the Bible that a priesthood of all believers usurped the authority of ministerial functions in Christ's church.
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