The elders of the community should be called in to pray over the sick person. In the early Church the elders or ‘presbyters’ (presbuteroi, presbyteroi) exercised leadership in the community; they also taught and preached. They were the predecessors of our ‘priests’ who now have this leadership role. But there were as yet no priests, as we understand the term now, in the early church. Or rather, there was only one High Priest, Jesus Christ (see the Letter to the Hebrews). via Sacred Space.

Of course, this admission makes no difference to Catholic theologians, since what matters most to them is their tradition. Their tradition supercedes the Bible, for it is, in their view, the official interpretation of the Bible and the subsequent development of the Roman Catholic Church’s practices. They also readily admit that baptism in the first century was immersion. But things are different now, and that is a good thing. Continue reading