How is this extreme example indicative of what modern day “priests” possess? I don’t see it at all… I have to admit I do not like the term priest. It reminds me of the RCC sacerdotal and sacrificial “alter Christus” priesthood. I do not see “priests” as necessary to absolve my sins. Simply because it is nowhere mentioned in scripture. Let’s assume the elders in the NT were given the same power as the apostles. How do they use it? Is it that God absolves your sin through them? Or is it that they have the power and duty as Pastors proclaim conditional forgiveness of sins to all who confess with a contrite heart? In all the writings of the NT they talk about baptism and the Eucharist, about preaching the gospel, rebuking and excommunication, but you never see the elders told to bind and loose sins in the way I’m seeing on this thread. Let’s not confuse the apostles with the people they left to oversee the church. I don’t care if 100 years after the term priest developed and they all believed they had the power to forgive sins and the bishop of Rome now has the keys of Peter. My question is, what did the apostles ordain? Did they give the power of forgiving sins to presbyters in the way it is being used here, and did they submit the people to that authority so that you need a priest and their absolution to be forgiven? If they did, I have no problem with it. If they didn’t, then I see no reason to see myself as needing a priest to have my sins forgiven, although it is useful. The veil of the temple was torn, it signified the end of a mediatorial priesthood. We no longer have any other priest but Christ our high priest. The modern day “priests” should be there to offer absolution through their pastoral role, in proclaiming the gospel, in rebuking, and in proclaiming the forgiveness of sins to those who confess with a contrite heart. Proclaiming forgiveness, not giving it, since God alone forgives.