Monday, February 09, 2009

Did the Prophet Caiaphas have authority from God?

Catholicism has presented to us that the Jews had no authority, and that it was Rome that appointed the High Priest. This concept has continued on into Protestantism and then even into the church. Interestingly our Bishops have authority given to them, by the state, to perform marriages. Without this authority they couldn't do so.

Rome, naturally, had to approve all political positions before they could be filled. And the position of the Presiding (Chief) High Priest for Israel was included. Yet was this merely approval or, as some propose, that Rome actually chose who would fill the position?

At the time of Moses, God set forth that from Aaron on, Aaron's descendants had automatic entitlement to the office, provided they were the oldest son of the oldest son etc, back to Aaron. In other words Aaron's oldest living son became the next President of the priesthood. His oldest living son became the next one, etc. So by this instruction from God, Caiaphas was the oldest son, and a descendant of Aaron.

Yet if Catholicism is correct then the Jews had somehow lost the line of authority or that Rome had appointed those with no authority instead. They claim the Jews to have had no authority. But does the New Testament support this or teach the opposite? And, if the latter, did Caiaphas continue to have authority after Christ?

In regard to the father of John the Baptist Luke says _

"There was in the days of Herod, the king of Judea, a certain priest named Zacharias, of the course of Abia: and his wife was of the daughters of Aaron, and her name was Elizabeth." Luke 1:5

This is speaking of the priestly course of Abia (Abijah) as mentioned in the Old Testament (1 Chron 24:10, Neh 12:4). It demonstrates that Zacharias had authority and was of Aaron directly.

Furthermore when Zacharias went into the temple and was visited by the angel Gabriel, Gabriel said nothing about him not having authority to be there.

So having established that priesthood authority did exist among the Jews, the question then becomes, was Caiaphas himself a true President of the Priesthood?

"And one of them, named Caiaphas, being the high priest that same year, said to them, You know nothing at all. Nor consider that it is expedient for us, that one man should die for the people, and that the whole nation not perish. AND THIS HE SPOKE NOT OF HIMSELF: BUT BEING HIGH PRIEST THAT YEAR, HE PROHESIED that Jesus should die for that nation. And not for that nation only..." John 11:49-52

This is clearly stating that Caiaphas was an authorised prophet of God, and that he had received revelation that was true.

So how did Jesus respond to Caiaphas's authority?

while Jesus knocked many of the ideas of the church leaders, he, nevertheless, supported the point that they sat in Moses seat of authority and should be obeyed.

"Then spoke Jesus to the multitude, and to his disciples, Saying, The scribes and pharisees sit in Moses' seat: All therefore whatever they bid you observe, that observe and do; but do not you after their works: for they say, and don't do it themselves." Matt 23:1-3

When Jesus was judged of the Jewish council, Mathew records that Jesus spoke nothing all night. That is until Caiaphas commanded him to answer his question. THEN Jesus answered.

"And the high priest arose, and said to him, Do you answer nothing? what is it which these witness against you? But Jesus held his peace. And the high priest answered and said to him, I adjure you by the living God, that you tell me whether you be the Christ, the Son of God. Jesus said to him, You have said..." Matt 26:62-64

So Caiaphas still had authority at this point.

Then did he lose authority after this, because he crucified Christ (as some others propose)?

"And you shall gird them with girdles, Aaron and his sons, and put the bonnets on them: and the priest's office shall be theirs for a perpetual statute: and you shall consecrate Aaron and his sons." Exo 29:9

God declared that this was a perpetual (never ending) situation. In other words nothing the High Priest does can effect his right to that office, provided he fulfilled the requirements laid down of washing and leaving alone dead bodies etc, for a period before performing his duties.

Some may question how it could be that there were 2 prophets upon the earth at the same time - Caiaphas and Peter (for example). Yet there are many prophets upon the earth right now. Also there was some form of president of the priesthood in the Americas at this time. And it would seem possible that there were others in other islands of the seas. Caiaphas had a right to automatic revelation for the Israelite church God had set up through Moses, and Peter had that right in the church of Jesus Christ.

6 comments:

Amonhi said...

Just a thought: That right to leadership by the Sons of Aaron is still in effect today in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints;

D&C 107: 17, 69, 73, 76
17 - "But as a high priest of the Melchizedek Priesthood has authority to officiate in all the lesser offices, he may officiate in the office of bbishop when no literal descendant of Aaron can be found, provided he is called and set apart and ordained unto this power by the hands of the Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood."
69 - "Nevertheless a bishop must be chosen from the High Priesthood, unless he is a literal descendant of Aaron;"
73 - "This is the duty of a bishop who is not a literal descendant of Aaron, but has been ordained to the High Priesthood after the order of Melchizedek."
76 - "But a literal descendant of Aaron has a legal right to the presidency of this priesthood, to the keys of this ministry, to act in the office of bishop independently, without counselors, except in a case where a President of the High Priesthood, after the order of Melchizedek, is tried, to sit as a judge in Israel."

D&C 68:19 - "But, as a high priest of the Melchizedek Priesthood has authority to officiate in all the lesser offices he may officiate in the office of bishop when no literal descendant of Aaron can be found, provided he is called and set apart and ordained unto this power, under the hands of the First Presidency of the Melchizedek Priesthood."

But, remember that we are dealing with Caiaphas who held the lower Levitical or Aaronic Priesthood and Peter who held the higher Melchizedek priesthood.

Regarding multiple prophets, Joseph Smith plainly taught on multiple occasions that the testimony of Jesus Christ is the spirit of Prophecy and that is what constitutes a prophet. This would make every member of the church a prophet or prophetess. That does not mean that every member is called to be the president of the Church or to serve in any other office within the church. As the testimony of Christ is a gift of the spirit, so then is prophecy a gift of the spirit which is available to all who believe. However, prophecy does not prove or disprove authority. It is not a sign we can seek to prove Gods servants.

Good article!

Doug Towers said...

Amonhi

Good extra point in regard present day Priesthood.

Also good points about prophets. I would have to say though that in this case it has actually declared that because he was the high priest at the time "he prophesied." That is actually declaring that he had a special right to prophesy by virtue of the office.

I'm glad you enjoyed the article.

Anders Branderud said...

I want to comment about “Matthew 23:1-3”:

Le-havdil, Ribi Yehoshua ha-Mashiakh (the Messiah) from Nazareth taught this in NHM 23:1-3:
”Then Yehoshua spoke to the qehilot and to his talmidim saying, ”The Sophrim and those of the Rabbinic-Perushim sect of Judaism who advocate that Halakhah must be exclusively oral sit upon the bench of Mosheh. So now, keep shomeir and do concering everything – as much as they shall tell you! Just don’t imitate their maaseh because they say but they don’t do.”
The Rabbinic-Perushim taught that one should follow the mitzwot (directive or military-style orders), and Ribi Yehoshua taught that one should listen to that. The Rabbinic-Perushim advocated Halakhah (oral Torah).

The problem is that most people fail to distinguish between the historical Ribi Yehoshua and his pro-Torah-teachings; and the redacted “gospels” of Christianity.
A logical analysis (found in www.netzarim.co.il (Netzarim.co.il is the website of the only legitimate Netzarim-group)) of all extant source documents and archeology proves that the historical Ribi Yehosuha ha-Mashiakh (the Messiah) from Nazareth and his talmidim (apprentice-students), called the Netzarim, taught and lived Torah all of their lives; and that Netzarim and Christianity were always antithetical.

The original words of the pro-Torah teacher Ribi Yehoshua were redacted by Roman Hellenists, and the redaction is found in the “gospels”. J…. is described in the “gospels”, and le-havdil the teachings of the historical Torah-teacher Ribi Yehoshua from Nazareth are found in the reconstruction (using a logical and scientific methodology to create the reconstruction), Netzarim Hebrew Reconstruction of Hebrew Matityahu (NHM).

The historical Jew Ribi Yehoshua is not the same as the Christian "J...." The historical Ribi Yehoshua was a human.
Anders Branderud

Doug Towers said...

Anders Branderud

In the world we are presented with many philosophies. The one you have been reading is one of these. The question isn't whether people can put up a good story. And whether they can make it sound sophisticated. The question is, "is it true?"

And whatever some reconstruction of the Bible states, that remains true.

The whole concept of a being beyond ourselves is a question. What have you done to find out if such exists?

We can take the Scriptures and come up with all sorts of faults. Because people wrote them. But what of the truths they teach? Was there and is there a Jesus Christ? Does Heavenly Father exist?

I have stood before Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father. We have conversed for long periods. If you want to know don't worry about the philosophies of men. Go talk to the source with genuine earnestness and you will have your answers.

One thing I certainly agree with you on is that Yehoshua Messiah was a human and still is. The part we may disagree on is that I know he is also what we term, "a God."

Amonhi said...

Doug Towers,

Amen to your words. I too have had the experiences you mentioned regarding meeting with Jesus, God and others, and I can vouch for what you said.
It is strange how people will pull apart the scriptures to focus on the faults and errors hoping to prove them wrong. As if they will somehow excuse themselves from the truths that are found in them.
The problem is that regardless of the scriptures, eternal principles are still true. Eternal principles are true whether they are found in the scriptures or not. Love your enemy is still a better way to live. Whether or not Jesus is a man or a God means nothing if he words and teachings are false. So focusing on his message is more important than focusing on the messenger. Any messenger can be nit picked to pieces and shown to be a fallible man. Even Christ. But that doesn’t mean he was not a prophet, son of God and taught true principles.
If they put the same energy and effort into understanding the truths taught in scripture they would become great philosophers and see the world clearly. Even aside from the story lines, the places, the people and events, what can be learned from them is incredible and freeing!

Also, I liked how you stated, “The part we may disagree on is that I know he is also what we term, "a God." What a great example for us to follow…

Thank you,
Amonhi

Doug Towers said...

Amonhi

I'm happy for you having had such experiences. Standing in the presence of the Father is the most wonderful thing I've experienced (in spite of seeing some lovely, highly spiritual women - a great experience also).

I have noticed a couple of disjointed statements of Christ within the NT; but I think they are either not tranlated correctly or have been doctored.

Some things he states disagree with other statements, but this is due to the inability of the people to hear the full truth.

Also I feel that sometimes the ignorance of the receiver is the problem in what he claims Christ said. He has never said anything incorrect to me at any time. All things he speaks come to pass and all doctrines I find to be true.

The same can be said for the Holy Ghost and Heavenly Father.