In my latest video I answer this question: ‘Why is Melchizedek so important to the author of Hebrews? What’s the biblical-theological significance of Jesus being a priest after the order of Melchizedek?’
Alastair Roberts (PhD, Durham University) writes in the areas of biblical theology and ethics, but frequently trespasses beyond these bounds. He participates in the weekly Mere Fidelity podcast, blogs at Alastair’s Adversaria, and tweets at @zugzwanged.
Hello Alastair. This is a subject which interests me, and I would like to hear what you have to say, but I find that having to watch a video takes more time than I like to spend. If the same information were presented in text form, it would probably take a quarter of the time to assimilate it. Please would you consider the possibility of posting the text of your talk as well as the video, if that’s not too much extra work, so that people have the choice as to which medium of communication they prefer to use. Thanks. AJ
There isn’t a text. I answer questions off the top of my head. It would take a lot longer to produce a transcript.
OK, now I entirely understand. I’ll get back when I’ve watched the video.
Alastair – what do you make of the idea that Psalm 110 is in fact a coronation text, the induction of the Davidic kings into an order of Melchizedek? and of the possibly more controversial claims by Dr Margaret Barker about this Psalm and more generally, claiming that the Davidic kings were in fact priests in some sense, and were “born from above” and became sons of the LORD at their coronation in the Holy of Holies?
Toward the end of the podcast you briefly allude to Melchizedek’s typological fulfillment in Christ, with regard to his role as a priest who brings bread and wine to Abraham when he blesses him. Would you say this anticipates the eucharist? I have in mind something akin to the sacramental typology of I Cor. 10, where Paul connects Baptism and the Lord’s Supper with the crossing of the Red Sea and the spiritual food and drink that sustained Israel in the wilderness.
Some theologians I’ve read maintain that the order of Melchizedek’s priesthood was of universal scope, the original priestly office, which was exercised by other God fearers, such as Jethro, the priest of Midian. Any thoughts on that?
Yes, I think it does anticipate the Eucharist in some ways. Peter Leithart has written about this in Blessed Are The Hungry, if memory serves.
I would see Melchizedek’s work functioning in a manner akin to Noah’s priestly offerings.