Melchizedek

Stephen

Active member
I believe Melchizedek was the pre-carnate Jesus. Any other opinions ?

Heb 7:1 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.

New Testament exposition rules this out. Jesus has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek (Heb 6:20) which means he likely wasn't before. Further, he "resembled the son of God" in Hebrews 7:3, which means he was Jesus in type, but not actually Jesus. The writer is drawing a contrast between the Priest presented in Genesis 14 versus the priest presented in Leviticus. The high priest after the order of Melchizedek is presented as a type of the priest to come and the writer uses the type to explain how Christ serves. And also, since he was a king and priest which is what Christians are supposed to be, a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9)


My current odds on favorite is that Abraham was dealing with Shem. I also think Job may have been one.
 

robycop3

Active member
Heb 7:1 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.

New Testament exposition rules this out. Jesus has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek (Heb 6:20) which means he likely wasn't before. Further, he "resembled the son of God" in Hebrews 7:3, which means he was Jesus in type, but not actually Jesus. The writer is drawing a contrast between the Priest presented in Genesis 14 versus the priest presented in Leviticus. The high priest after the order of Melchizedek is presented as a type of the priest to come and the writer uses the type to explain how Christ serves. And also, since he was a king and priest which is what Christians are supposed to be, a royal priesthood (1 Peter 2:9)


My current odds on favorite is that Abraham was dealing with Shem. I also think Job may have been one.
I'm going by Hebrews 7:1-4.
 

e v e

Active member
I believe Melchizedek was the pre-carnate Jesus. Any other opinions ?
yes it is.
in Genesis 14 , Melchizedek (meaning ‘the righteous king’) represents Christ ,
and Hebrews 7 repeats that Abraham served Melchizedek . In context , the rule
which previously was Adam’s , now has been transferred to Christ (see Is. 45) ;
and though Abraham indeed represented Adam, Abraham is in the new situation
of “all adm-souls imprisoned on earth”, hence the final rule is now with Christ .
 

rakovsky

Member
Heb 7:1 This Melchizedek was king of Salem and priest of God Most High. He met Abraham returning from the defeat of the kings and blessed him, 2 and Abraham gave him a tenth of everything. First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”; then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.” 3 Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.

New Testament exposition rules this out. Jesus has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek (Heb 6:20) which means he likely wasn't before.
It doesn't rule out that Melchizedek was an appearance of the preIncarnate Logos.
If says that he "became a priest forever", "where our forerunner, Jesus, has entered on our behalf. He has become a high priest forever, in the order of Melchizedek."
To say that someone became a priest forever can include the idea that the person was a priest but then "became one forever".
This is like saying that a living person got "life forever". It doesn't mean that the person wasn't already alive.
 

rakovsky

Member
So the incarnate Melchizedek that met Abraham was "pre-incarnate"? That doesn't make any sense.
Yes, it makes sense because Jesus says that He is the Alpha and the Omega.
There is this theology in the New Testament about the "pre-incarnate" Christ, ie. Christ acting in OT times.
John 8 has this story:
56. Your father Abraham rejoiced to see My day, and he saw it and was glad.”

57. Then the Jews said to Him, “You are not yet fifty years old, and have You seen Abraham?”

58. Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM.”

Paul writes about the Israelites in the desert:
“for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:4)

Paul says of Melchizedek:
"Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever."
How is Melchizedek without parents? How is he without beginning of days or end of life?
This is not a regular human, but someone with divine attributes like the pre-Incarnate Christ who is without father or mother.
Also, "resembling" in Biblical literature does not necessarily exclude "being."
The ancient prophets could see a being like an angel without excluding that the being WAS an angel.
Judges 13:6
Then the woman came and told her husband, saying, A man of God came unto me, and his countenance [was] like the countenance of an angel of God, very terrible: but I asked him not whence he [was], neither told he me his name:

In Hebrew, it calls an angel a malak. In the story of God visiting Abraham, it says that three angels came.
So whether in Judges the woman saw God or saw an angel, the term "like" an angel does not exclude that the being was an angel.
 
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rakovsky

Member
I See Melchizedek as a clear ANTITYPE of Jesus, but see no reason to assume that he was a "Theophanie", or that there ARE any "Theophanies".
A Theophany is a divine appearance. There were divine appearances narrated in the OT:
 

Bob Carabbio

Active member
A Theophany is a divine appearance. There were divine appearances narrated in the OT.
Of course, according to Your definition, there were "divine appearences" God, after all, walked in the Garden with Adam, and Eve. It's a matter of Record. but whether it was a "pre-incarnate Jesus" or not is an open question. If you want to "ASSUME it was Jesus" then fine. God, after all, can manifest HIMSELF in any number of different ways (like a burning bush, or a wrestler), to any degree of solidity required for the occasion.
 

Stephen

Active member
Yes, it makes sense because Jesus says that He is the Alpha and the Omega.

  • The Father calls himself the alpha and omega (Rev 1:8)
  • The angel calls himself the alpha and omega (Rev 21:6)
  • And Jesus or the angel calls himself the alpha and omega and it is most likely the angel based who the text says is speaking at the time (Rev 21:13).

I don't know what you are trying to do with this information.

There is this theology in the New Testament about the "pre-incarnate" Christ, ie. Christ acting in OT times.

So there is this theology that there was a incarnate man that was also at the same time pre-incarnate?

John 8 has this story:

So Jesus says he is the person in question ("ego eimi"). The blind man says the same thing in the next chapter ("ego eimi"). What has this got to do with an incarnate man being simultaneously a pre-incarnate man?

Paul writes about the Israelites in the desert:
“for they drank from the spiritual rock that accompanied them, and that rock was Christ.” (1 Corinthians 10:4)

Paul actually goes through the time and trouble to explain that these are "typoi" (types) 2 verses later.


Paul says of Melchizedek:
"Without father or mother, without genealogy, without beginning of days or end of life, resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever."
How is Melchizedek without parents? How is he without beginning of days or end of life?
This is not a regular human, but someone with divine attributes like the pre-Incarnate Christ who is without father or mother.
Also, "resembling" in Biblical literature does not necessarily exclude "being."
The ancient prophets could see a being like an angel without excluding that the being WAS an angel.

The author to the Hebrews is not providing new revelation, he is teaching from existing revelation as he does throughout the letter. He points out that in the type of Melchizedek, the father and mother aren't listed and incorporates that into the type, and compares it to the Aaronic priesthood where all of these things are important.

(Jesus has a father btw)


In Hebrew, it calls an angel a malak. In the story of God visiting Abraham, it says that three angels came.

So whether in Judges the woman saw God or saw an angel, the term "like" an angel does not exclude that the being was an angel.

Jesus was contrasted against the angels in Heb 1-2. He's not an angel.
 

rakovsky

Member
Stephen,

It can take a long time of studying the Orthodox Christian or Jewish thinking on these topics to get it. Probably also Catholic writing will have the explanations. And in truth, so will some Protestant writings and even modern commentaries. One of the issues is that we are talking about about tradition.

It's one thing to pick up a Bible in English and use our modern understanding of how the universe works and to conclude that Jesus didn't exist before his incarnation. It's another thing to know that in Hebrew the term for Angel can include Divine beings who are higher than the classical rank of angels due to the definition of the word, m a l a k. So when Angels visit Abraham and Genesis it can mean what it says that this was a visit by God to Abraham.

With the Alpha and Omega idea, Jesus Calling himself that points to him being first and last in comparison to humans who are living inside a time. That is during the entire existence of Jesus. Before mankind was created, the logos of God who is Christ already existed. So in that sense Jesus is the alpha and the first.

You ask: "So there is this theology that there was a incarnate man that was also at the same time pre-incarnate?"
What I was talking about when I used the term preincarnate Christ was that Jesus existed before the Incarnation that happened in about 2 BC to 1 AD. So he existed at the time of Abraham, which was before Christ took on flesh and became man.

I welcome you to be open-minded on the topic and research about the preincarnate Christ.
 

rakovsky

Member
Of course, according to Your definition, there were "divine appearences" God, after all, walked in the Garden with Adam, and Eve. It's a matter of Record. but whether it was a "pre-incarnate Jesus" or not is an open question. If you want to "ASSUME it was Jesus" then fine. God, after all, can manifest HIMSELF in any number of different ways (like a burning bush, or a wrestler), to any degree of solidity required for the occasion.
Well it is not just an assumption that the Christian view would be that the logos was making some appearance in Old Testament times because there is evidence for this also. The fact that there were three Divine beings who visited Abraham is evidence that the Logos was included in the visit. Or for instance Daniel had a vision of one like the son of man being presented to the Ancient of Days, and this is usually thought of in Christianity as being a story about the Divine Messiah.
 

rakovsky

Member
The author to the Hebrews is not providing new revelation, he is teaching from existing revelation as he does throughout the letter. He points out that in the type of Melchizedek, the father and mother aren't listed and incorporates that into the type, and compares it to the Aaronic priesthood where all of these things are important.

(Jesus has a father btw)
It's true that the Logos had a Father before the incarnation, and an Old Testament mortal would as well. But the Logos did not have a human father. If the Logos showed up in Old Testament times as a priest-king and looked human, he would not be recorded by Old Testament writers as having a father or mother.

When Paul says that Melchizedek did not have a father or mother, Paul could mean either that Melchizedek did not have a human father or mother, or Paul could mean that like a divine being who appeared in ancient times, Melchizedek was not ascribed a father or mother in the ancient records.

What makes Paul say that Melchizedek was without beginning or end of life? Is it just that the Bible did not state his lifespan or mention his death? Well certainly there are other Biblical characters who the Bible doesn't give a lifespan in years for, but Paul would probably not call them without beginning or end.

Paul says that Melchizedek is "first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace". It's not just a matter of the king being the ruler of a city called Salem which literally means peace- The term in Hebrew that Melchizedek is called is King of Peace. In English, "Melchizedek, King of Salem" sounds like it could mean the same kind of thing as "John, King of England", ie a first name and a known city. But in Hebrew, the same words mean "Righteous King, King of Peace." And that is a title that would be specific to God.

Knowing that Paul has the idea of Christ the Logos being in the OT like in the story of the rock accompanying the Israelites, I'm inclined to think that Paul is alluding to this as an OT Christophany. Maybe Paul is being deliberately open on the topic, because he says that Melchizedek resembles Christ. Resemble in Biblical thinking can mean only resemble or also go along with identification. So for instance, if Christ had a divine likeness or "resembled" a man to those who saw him, or if in the story in Judges the woman saw one "like" a malak, those terms of likeness or resembled can all go along with the being either being divine, a man, or an angel. It's simple. If you see a being who "resembles" a man in the distance, but you are not up close and believe that he could be a divine being, you can say that the one whom you saw "resembled" a man without committing to whether he is one or not. The same thing goes if you saw a small bear far away and didn't know if it was a bear or large dog. You can say that it "resembled" a bear. The term resemble doesn't commit to it being one or not.
 

Stephen

Active member
Stephen,

It can take a long time of studying the Orthodox Christian or Jewish thinking on these topics to get it. Probably also Catholic writing will have the explanations. And in truth, so will some Protestant writings and even modern commentaries. One of the issues is that we are talking about about tradition.

As a protestant, tradition carries little to negative weight.

It's one thing to pick up a Bible in English and use our modern understanding of how the universe works and to conclude that Jesus didn't exist before his incarnation. It's another thing to know that in Hebrew the term for Angel can include Divine beings who are higher than the classical rank of angels due to the definition of the word, m a l a k. So when Angels visit Abraham and Genesis it can mean what it says that this was a visit by God to Abraham.

I'm sure it can mean that. However, in several instances in the bible, when it says God visited, it was actually an angel. For example, Jacob wrestled with "God". Later exposition says it was an angel (Hosea 12:4). And when Moses spoke with YHWH in the bush in Exodus 3, Exodus 3 makes it very clear that it was an angel, and even gave the "I AM that I AM" name. Further, the NT confirms it was an angel (Acts 7:30).

With the Alpha and Omega idea, Jesus Calling himself that points to him being first and last in comparison to humans who are living inside a time. That is during the entire existence of Jesus. Before mankind was created, the logos of God who is Christ already existed. So in that sense Jesus is the alpha and the first.

You ask: "So there is this theology that there was a incarnate man that was also at the same time pre-incarnate?"
What I was talking about when I used the term preincarnate Christ was that Jesus existed before the Incarnation that happened in about 2 BC to 1 AD. So he existed at the time of Abraham, which was before Christ took on flesh and became man.

So the thought is that Jesus was incarnated before he was incarnated.

I welcome you to be open-minded on the topic and research about the preincarnate Christ.

Is the reverse true? Are you open to jettisoning traditions?
 

Stephen

Active member
It's true that the Logos had a Father before the incarnation, and an Old Testament mortal would as well. But the Logos did not have a human father. If the Logos showed up in Old Testament times as a priest-king and looked human, he would not be recorded by Old Testament writers as having a father or mother.

When Paul says that Melchizedek did not have a father or mother, Paul could mean either that Melchizedek did not have a human father or mother, or Paul could mean that like a divine being who appeared in ancient times, Melchizedek was not ascribed a father or mother in the ancient records.

He could just mean that his mother and father weren't recorded while at the same time noting that the priesthood the Hebrews were familiar with had a specific ancestor. As he says:

Heb 7:15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry

What makes Paul say that Melchizedek was without beginning or end of life? Is it just that the Bible did not state his lifespan or mention his death? Well certainly there are other Biblical characters who the Bible doesn't give a lifespan in years for, but Paul would probably not call them without beginning or end.

In context, Paul compares the fact that Melchizedek type doesn't list his birth or death and incorporates it into his exposition of the type. He is making an argument from the bible, not inventing something new. The type of Melchizedek in Genesis completes the type, because the priest after the order of Melchizedek has an indestructible life (per David's revelation in Psalm 110). These facts complete the type in the author's exposition:

Heb 7:15 And what we have said is even more clear if another priest like Melchizedek appears, 16 one who has become a priest not on the basis of a regulation as to his ancestry but on the basis of the power of an indestructible life. 17 For it is declared:
“You are a priest forever, (Now quoting Psalm 110)​
in the order of Melchizedek.”

And there is one more way in which the priesthood of Jesus is better, it is by sworn oath.

18 The former regulation is set aside because it was weak and useless 19 (for the law made nothing perfect), and a better hope is introduced, by which we draw near to God.
20 And it was not without an oath! Others became priests without any oath, 21 but he became a priest with an oath when God said to him:
“The Lord has sworn
and will not change his mind:
‘You are a priest forever.’”

22 Because of this oath, Jesus has become the guarantor of a better covenant.

Aaron was made a priest without a sworn oath, in contrast Jesus was made a priest forever by sworn oath.

Paul says that Melchizedek is "first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace". It's not just a matter of the king being the ruler of a city called Salem which literally means peace- The term in Hebrew that Melchizedek is called is King of Peace. In English, "Melchizedek, King of Salem" sounds like it could mean the same kind of thing as "John, King of England", ie a first name and a known city. But in Hebrew, the same words mean "Righteous King, King of Peace." And that is a title that would be specific to God.

In the type, it is pretty simple
-First, the name Melchizedek means “king of righteousness”;
-then also, “king of Salem” means “king of peace.”

Righteousness precedes peace. Peace is the fruit of the righteousness which produces it. The author is using his name as part of the type.

Christ was righteous, and he brings righteousness, and after a period of transition there will be peace. This is corroborated by the prophetic vision in Revelation showing Christ coming on a white horse and conquering.

Knowing that Paul has the idea of Christ the Logos being in the OT like in the story of the rock accompanying the Israelites, I'm inclined to think that Paul is alluding to this as an OT Christophany. Maybe Paul is being deliberately open on the topic, because he says that Melchizedek resembles Christ. Resemble in Biblical thinking can mean only resemble or also go along with identification. So for instance, if Christ had a divine likeness or "resembled" a man to those who saw him, or if in the story in Judges the woman saw one "like" a malak, those terms of likeness or resembled can all go along with the being either being divine, a man, or an angel. It's simple. If you see a being who "resembles" a man in the distance, but you are not up close and believe that he could be a divine being, you can say that the one whom you saw "resembled" a man without committing to whether he is one or not. The same thing goes if you saw a small bear far away and didn't know if it was a bear or large dog. You can say that it "resembled" a bear. The term resemble doesn't commit to it being one or not.

Certainly if you say it resembled a bear, and you've had a close up view of object resembling a bear, then by saying it resembled a bear you are stating that it wasn't a bear because you would know if it was actually a bear.

Likewise, if the writer is providing new revelation regarding Melchizedek, then by saying "resembling the son of God" he means he wasn't the son of God. If however he is explaining an old testament type using evidence available to his audience in their own bibles, then by saying resembling the son of God, he is showing how detailed the type is, by showing how even the absence of details completes the type of Melchizedek.
 

rakovsky

Member
Is the reverse true? Are you open to jettisoning traditions?
You mean just taking the Bible and rejecting caring what anyone else thinks about a passage and just reading the passage to mean where one "feels led?"
If I watch that happening, the problem becomes arbitrariness where JWs say one thing and Protestants say the opposite. And so those who use that method have a general trend of breaking into factions because they don't care what the others think.
So I am open to jettisoning certain "traditions", but not to jettisoning "Tradition", because if you forget about Tradition like garbage, you create a level of arbitrariness that is like a ship with no rudder or no sail, just being led by unsteady currents to wherever your own perceptions of being spirit-led lead you.
As a protestant, tradition carries little to negative weight.
Classically, Luther or Calvin would not give a doctrine's place in "tradition" as a reason to reject an individual doctrine. They would not say that Augustine taught X or a Council taught Y, so therefore it's more likely wrong. At most they would assert their right to believe differently than the council. Anglicans and Methodists actually consider Tradition one of the basic sources of their religion.
 
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