The Ordination of the Eschatological Kingdom of Priests at Pentecost

Some commentators have noticed vague parallels between Pentecost and the Golden Calf episode. While they argue this is to contrast a more faithful obedience, I will assert that the prophesied and renewed priesthood was ordained at Pentecost. The parallels between Acts 2 and Exodus 32 signify an eschatological shift in the identity of the priesthood. The first part of the paper investigates the OT background of the need for a new priesthood. I begin by arguing that the Levite ordination of Exod 32 was a judgment on the nation. Israel began as a kingdom of primogeniture priests, now that right has been given to only the Levites. Then, I survey relevant verses in Jer 33 and Mal 2 concerning the “covenant with Levi” and the hope of a renewed priesthood that would include Gentiles.

In part two, I examine Acts 2 and its use of the Golden Calf episode in Exod 32. I start by noting the numerous links that other scholars have already drawn to Acts 2’s usage of cultic imagery. Then in order from most substantial to corroboratory, I offer evidence of Exod 32 in Acts 2. Narrative parallels, the number 3,000, the immorality of the people, water and cutting imagery, and “filling” language all work together to paint a picture of the ordination of the new priesthood.

6 thoughts on “The Ordination of the Eschatological Kingdom of Priests at Pentecost”

  1. Watford, The Ordination of the Eschatological Kingdom of Priests
    Could be illuminating, although the shift in the nature of the priestly office from OT to NT is not clear from the proposal.

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  2. I think this proposal has
    I think this proposal has promise to show some literary and thematic connections between Acts 2 and Exod 32, but the theological implications of these connections being argued here seem less apparent to me.

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