Q. My evangelical friend says that the priesthood is not longer valid. I say that I've seen bishops and priests mentioned in the New Testament, therefore, the priesthood is valid. What do you say?
A.In the Old Testament, priests were necessary. There were certain requirements to become a priest; the priest had to be a son of Aaron (Exodus 29:9), sanctified to office (Exodus 29:44), with no physical blemish (Leviticus 21:17-23). Being listed in the geneology is also necessary. (Ezra 2:62).
The priests had specific duties. They had to keep the sanctuary (Numbers 3:88), keep the lamp burning continually (Exodus 27:20,21), continue the sacred fire (Leviticus 6:12,13), cover the furniture when moved (Numbers 4:5-15), burning incense (Exodus 30:7,8), offering sacrifices (Leviticus 1:1-17), blessing the people (Numbers 6:23-27), purifying the unclean (Leviticus 15:15-31) diagnosing leprosy (Leviticus 13:2-59), blowing the trumpets (Numbers 10:1-10), carrying the ark of the covenant (Joshua 3:6-17), and teaching the Law (Leviticus 10:11).
These priests were called Levites. Notice they are only mentioned in the OT.
Jesus Christ has fulfilled the priesthood; He is our High Priest. (Hebrew 8:1-6)
The Catholic Church's bishops and priests are very different from the Scriptural bishops and priests. Ontological changes notwithstanding.
I would say that the priesthood, as conducted by the Church of Rome, is not a scriptural ministry. Rather, it replaces the fulfilled priesthood of Christ with a priesthood made up of the rules of men and tradition.