characters Í eBook or Kindle ePUB ✓ Garry Wills
Egan without it and opposed it Would Christianity be stronger without the priesthood as it was at its outset Meticulously researched persuasively argued and certain to spark debate Why Priests asserts that the anonymous Letter to Hebrews a late addition to the New Testament canon helped inject the priesthood into a Christianity where it did not exist along with such concomitants as belief in an apostolic succession the real presence i. Garry Wills' thesis is that there is no New Testament support for a priesthood in Christianity except in the Letter to the Hebrews Wills provides his own translation of this Letter and analyzes commentaries by 8 to 10 Bible scholars to show why the Letter to the Hebrews is so out of step with everything else in the New Testament He also concludes that at the Last Supper Jesus did not ordain his apostles nor did he institute a Eucharistic meal with transubstantiation While Wills lays out his points well there's no denying this is an academic book It is not an easy read but even the non scholar can follow along with Wills' argumentsI understand Wills' point but I'm not yet ready to say I agree with him I'm sure many others would call this book heresy It's been interesting to read this as we approach the Papal Conclave of 2013
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Why PriestsN the Eucharist the sacrificial interpretation of the Mass and the ransom theory of redemption But Wills does not expect the priesthood to fade entirely away He just reminds us that Christianity did without it in the time of Peter and Paul with notable success Wills concludes with a powerful statement of his own beliefs in a book that will appeal to believers and nonbelievers alike and stand for years to come as a towering achievement. Provocative take on the Roman Church's exaltation of a cultic priesthood whose only scriptural basis is found in the Letter to the Hebrews Wills suggests that the Letter was intended as solace to earl Christians who missed the certainty of the Mosaic Law and offers them the fulfillment of the Jewish priesthood in the human sacrifice of Jesus That notion was used in turn to fetishize the person with the power to repeat that sacrifice namely the priest While he doesn't seek the abolition of the priesthood he clearly believes that Catholicism would be better without it
Garry Wills ✓ 3 read & download
Why Priests? review Ï eBook or Kindle ePUB º In his most provocative book yet Pulitzer Prize–winner Garry Wills asks the radical uestion Why do we need priests Bestselling author of Papal Sin and Why I Am a Catholic Garry Wills spent five years as a young man at a Jesuit seminary and nearly became a priest himself But after a lifetimeIn his most provocative book yet Pulitzer Prize–winner Garry Wills asks the radical uestion Why do we need priests Bestselling author of Papal Sin and Why I Am a Catholic Garry Wills spent five years as a young man at a Jesuit seminary and nearly became a priest himself But after a lifetime of study and reflection he now poses some challenging uestions Why do we need priests at all Why did the priesthood arise in a religion that b. Gary Wills asks the uestion of why Christianity specifically Roman Catholicism needs priests in the first place He would keep “priests” around but only as church administrators and functionaries stripping them of their special “sacred” position and would move toward a Protestant model Some might ask if Wills isn’t a disguised Protestant already but he insists he is a loyal Catholic and doesn’t want to dismantle the church only make some needed changes He’s certainly written a provocative book reminiscent of his earlier PAPAL SIN STRUCTURE OF DECEIT in which he uestions the foundations of that institution and its unwillingness to admit that it is need of change a polite way of saying it’s been guilty of many coverups He argues in this book that early Christianity had no “priests” as such that its principal activity of the “Jesus movement” was a communal meal in which memories of Christ’s loving actions were shared “memories that would in time accumulate into the Gospels” The first early euivalents of “priests” were overseers who were responsible for making meeting arrangements and these gradually developed into a system of deacons and bishops But no one was specifically referred to as a “priest” in the Jewish tradition of priests and nowhere Wills says does Christ refer to his followers as “priests” nor does he ever call himself that There were no specific rites that we now associate with the priesthood “no hearing of confessions no giving the last rites no marrying no confirmation no presiding at the Mass no consecrating of the Eucharist” Wills thinks the institution of the priesthood developed as a result of asserting power a monarchal system of elevating individuals and setting them apart from ordinary humans The clincher in this argument was that only a priest had the God given power to transform bread and wine into the body and blood of Christ through the “sacrament” of the EucharistOf course scriptural justification had to be found for this view and it came from the anonymously written Letter to the Hebrews in which Wills finds a tortuous and unjustified rationale for Christ being a “priest” not of the regular Jewish Levite priesthood but rather a spiritual descendant of Melchizedek an obscure Old Testament figure and as such he became a sacrificial victim placating an angry God for the sins of man Hence the terminology of the “sacrifice” of the massMuch of the explanation of the mass and how bread and wine can be transformed into Christ comes from Thomas Auinas’ theories of “transubstantiation” which answers the common sense objection how of this is possible Bread and wine still exist as in their appearance but their substance has been changed All of this important as it makes one crucial activity of priests as having the highest importance; they become indispensable Wills much prefers Augustine’s theology of the Eucharist It’s a gathering of many individuals who are like the grains that go into making bread and the bread becomes a symbol of the union of many members in the solidarity of Christ Jesus is no longer a sacrificial victim but an instrument that results in peace and harmony The Last Supper in this view is an anticipation of a final “banuet” with a spiritual Father It looks forward in anticipation not back toward past actions Is this of much interest to anyone other than Catholics I think it is It demonstrates to me that the ideas and actions that religions reveal are symbolic in nature and always open to further interpretation Of course if you’re of a traditionalist bent you’d argue that this kind of thinking leads to endless proliferation resulting in thousands of sects all calling themselves “Christian” and believing an incredible variety of things A danger to be sure but Wills is concerned with the other extreme that rigidly locks in ideas that need a few fresh winds of scrutiny to blow through them