The word priest possesses the ability to conjure up many different images in the mind of a Christian; a person in a black robe and white collar is probably the most often recalled. In all of the different traditions of Christianity, whether Protestant, Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, or a combination thereof, each has its own representation, even theology, of what a priest is. How should a priest serve? What about the doctrine of the priesthood of the/all believer(s)? Should we even have priests? Is the place of priest biblical? All of these are valid questions that deserve responsible answers.
“God’s Mediators” authored by Andrew Malone answers these questions, I think, in broad terms; that is to say, not necessarily tackling each one individually but rather discussing the thread of the biblical role of a priest in the Church. He wants to engage the entire biblical canon and how that informs and transforms our notion of the priest. This is a study in biblical theology after all, and his desire is this study ‘drives us to be more thorough readers of the Bible’ and ‘more accurate exegetes of Scripture.’ In the introduction where these two statements are found are also other key elements which guide the reader in understanding this book. First, he presents the idea that the biblical doctrine of the priesthood is personal, academic, and pastoral; all of which Christians belong to in some capacity. Second, he presents a portrait of the priesthood as a study in biblical theology, something I appreciate due to my unfamiliarity. He even acknowledges the weaknesses and strengths found in a study of this kind, something not all authors are willing to do (or admit!). Finally, it is thoroughly canonical. The book starts with the Aaronic priesthood and concludes with how the priestly commission fits into the Church’s mission.
I have never read a book related to priestly anything; theologically or biblically. This study not only incites my curiosity further as to what Scripture says but also how that applies today and some new ideas to pursue in research. One particular aspect that I appreciated is his dedication and delicacy in presenting the idea of the priest from the Hebrew Scripture (Old Testament). I am thankful he took time to engage the Hebrew Bible which in turn allows me as the reader to comprehend the New Testament and how all of this information can corollate to the Church’s mission.
I am thoroughly pleased with this book. I think you will enjoy it; especially if priest/priesthood doctrinal studies are something that piques your interest. I find this study absolutely fascinating and I hope you will consider adding this to your library.
Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book from InterVarsity Press. The opinions I have expressed are my own, and a positive review was not required. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255.
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