Proleptic Priests: Priesthood in the Epistle to the Hebrews
Publisher T&T Clark
In no other New Testament writing does the interest in the cult and its practice figure more prominently than in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Whereas scholarly research has preoccupied itself with the high priesthood of Christ, comparatively little consideration has previously been given to the implied priesthood of the readers. Scholer begins with an examination of the role and function of the priesthood found in the Old Testament, Pseudepigrapha, Qumran, rabbinic, Philo and mystery traditions. His second goal is to discover why the readers of Hebrews may be described as priests, and how the high-priestly Christology of the writer impinges on the status of Christian believers. Finally, Scholer concludes that the priestly function of believers in Hebrews is to have 'access' to the divine presence, which for the writer is the significance of 'perfection' (teleioun). Such perfection does not await the eschaton, but rather anticipates a full consummation at the time of 'rest' (katapausis).