Elders are priests? From 1 Clement

It is often said by fellow evangelicals that it is a post-Constantinian development (and maybe even medieval) that the elders and deacons of the Church started to be identified with Aaronic priests and Levites of the OT. And that because of this the 'biblical' concept of the priesthood of all believers was gradually lost.

The problem? Clement, a disciple of Paul and bishop of Rome, writing around the year 100AD, makes the connection explicitly himself:

1 Clement 40 -- LET US PRESERVE IN THE CHURCH THE ORDER APPOINTED BY GOD.

These things therefore being manifest to us, and since we look into the depths of the divine knowledge, it behoves us to do all things in [their proper] order, which the Lord has commanded us to perform at stated times. He has enjoined offerings [to be presented] and service to be performed [to Him], and that not thoughtlessly or irregularly, but at the appointed times and hours. Where and by whom He desires these things to be done, He Himself has fixed by His own supreme will, in order that all things being piously done according to His good pleasure, may be acceptable to Him. Those, therefore, who present their offerings at the appointed times, are accepted and blessed; for inasmuch as they follow the laws of the Lord, they sin not. For his own peculiar services are assigned to the high priest, and their own proper place is prescribed to the priests, and their own special ministrations devolve on the Levites. The layman is bound by the laws that pertain to laymen.

Comments

JackOfClubs said…
Nice catch. An even clearer example, (though a bit later), is from Ignatius to the Philadelphians:

"Let governors be obedient to Caesar; soldiers to those that command them; deacons to the presbyters, as to high-priests; the presbyters, and deacons, and the rest of the clergy, together with all the people, and the soldiers, and the governors, and Caesar [himself], to the bishop; the bishop to Christ, even as Christ to the Father."

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