This is a review of the first installment of the 13-part series from VeggieTales creator Phil Vischer which sets out to teach kids about the Bible. I purchased many of the “What’s In The Bible” (WITB) DVD’s based upon a recommendation from someone at our church and because someone from a men’s small group that I was involved with allowed me to preview two DVDs from the series. Having watched some of the Veggie Tales video’s and being generally pleased with their content, I decided that I would buy THE WITB series for the spiritual edification of my children. However, before doing so, I quickly found out that there were issues with some of the content that is included in the series’ first video. Although, I did eventually purchase 10 of the 13 videos in the series, I could not in good conscience purchase the first video after what I discovered. This post is only a review of content from the first video in the series: Buck Denver Asks: What’s in the Bible? Volume 1- In the Beginning
Category: Refuting Compromise
Melchizedek abides a priest continually and Jesus has a priesthood that is said to be unchangeable.
In the series “13 reasons why Melchizedek was actually the pre-incarnate Word of God” the following article is reason # 6.
[Melchizedek is] Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a [high] priest continually.
But this man [Jesus], because he continueth [for] ever, hath an unchangeable priesthood.
Before us lies a great paradox that should have caused the Melchizedek-disparaging commentators to cease with their naturalistic interpretations of the text. Hebrews 7:24 makes it known through what is attributed to Christ that Melchizedek’s priesthood could neither be transmitted to another nor interrupted by death. Thus if Melchizedek is still a high priest (as Hebrews 7:3 very clearly states) then Jesus cannot at the same time also be a high priest since there can only be one perpetual high priest at a time. Yet, Hebrews 6:20 (Jesus, made an high priest for ever after the order of Melchisedec) states that Jesus is a high priest forever as well. The only rational conclusion that this verse leaves us with is that Melchizedek is really the pre-incarnate Word of God Who is spoken of in John 1:1.
Melchizedek is made like unto the Son of God
In the series “13 reasons why Melchizedek was actually the pre-incarnate Word of God” the following article is reason # 5.
Melchizedek is made like unto the Son of God
What does Hebrews 7:3 mean?
Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually.
The prima facie understanding seems clear: Melchizedek is made to resemble the Son of God.
The mere fact that Scripture says Christ and Melchizedek share mutually unique characteristics should clue us into the possibility that they might be the same person (i.e. the Word of God). Hebrews 7:3 says that Melchizedek was made like unto the Son of God while Hebrews 7:15-17 says that the Son of God is a priest after the order and similitude of Melchizedek. The reciprocity of both figures is undeniable. Still, some are inclined to argue that because a comparison is made between Melchizedek and the Son of God, it must imply a distinction between the two such that they cannot be the same person.
For instance, Arno Clemens Gaebelein writes:
Who was Melchisedec? Some have said he was Shem and not a few maintain that he was the Lord Himself, one of the theophanies, a pre-incarnation manifestation of the Son of God. The latter view is certainly wrong, for Scripture states that Melchisedec is “made like unto the Son of God”, that is, he is a pattern, a similitude of Him; Melchisedec was therefore not the Lord Himself.
[The Annotated Bible: The Holy Scriptures Analyzed and Annotated, Volume 8 By Arno Clemens Gaebelein, p.266]
John Gill adds:
others have supposed that he [Melchizedek] was the Son of God himself: but he is expressly said to be like unto him, and Christ is said to be of his order; which manifestly distinguish the one from the other.
[John Gill’s Exposition of the Bible, Hebrews 7]
Strong & McClintock:
others, as we have seen, in their anxiety to vindicate the dignity of Abraham from marks of spiritual submission to, any mortal man, have held that Melchizedek was no other than the Son of God himself. But in this case it would hardly have been said that he was made “like unto the Son of God” (Heb 7:3), or that Christ was constituted” a priest” after the order of Melchizedek (Heb 6:20), or, in other words, was a type of himself.
[Melchizedek, The Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological, and Ecclesiastical Literature. James Strong and John McClintock; Haper and Brothers; NY; 1880.]
Bruce A. Demarest:
In its straightforward, literal sense, vs. 3 offers compelling proof that the Salemite priest-king was a pre-incamate manifestation of the Logos. However, the statement that Melchizedek “resembles” the Son of God tends to undermine the Christophany thesis: “simile non est idem” [similar is not the same].
[Bruce A. Demarest, Hebrews 7:3: A Crux Interpretum Historically Considered, p.149]
However, such thinking is flawed for mere comparisons do not always require the presence of entirely distinct entities. Nor is the idea that Melchizedek is the same as Christ derived from their resemblance as Demarest seems to imply. Rather the interchangeable relation between Melchizedek and Christ is a necessary consequence of the transitivity between Melchizedek, the Word of God and Christ.
Melchizedek was a human incarnation of God’s Word and Christ is a human incarnation of God’s Word. The divine claims said of Melchizedek (i.e. that he is uncreated, without descent and immortal) are a testament to the divinity of the Word of God. Yet, the Word permanently became flesh in the person of Christ and dwelt among us (John 1:14). One can compare Melchizedek to Christ while acknowledging that both incarnations are the same person.
Paul in Philippians 2:6 compares Jesus to God (i.e. “[Jesus] didn’t think it robbery to be equal with God”) yet no one would argue that Paul disbelieves Jesus is God. Another comparison is made in Revelation 3:21 between Christ’s throne and the throne of God the Father; yet Revelation 22:3 informs us that these two thrones are one in the same. Therefore, a comparison does not necessarily imply distinction. Melchizedek was made like unto the Son of God in the sense that He and Christ are both manifestations of the same Word of God.
Dr. Henry Morris also tells us that:
No mere earthly king was ever “made like unto the Son of God,” nor was there ever one who “abideth a priest continually (same word as “forever”). It is difficult to see how these descriptions could be properly applied to anyone but the Lord Jesus Christ, who came to encourage Abraham in this unique pre-incarnate experience, assuming a human form “like unto” that which He would assume forever when He became the incarnate Son of God. For the first time He founded and implemented forever the priestly order of Melchizedek. The fact that he was “made like unto the Son of God” accords with one of Christ’s pre-incarnate appearances; at His human birth, he became the incarnate Son of God forever. Melchizedek was also said to be a man (Heb_7:4), but the same is true in the case of other theophanies, one of which was likewise manifested to Abram and Lot (Gen 18:2, Gen 18:22; Gen 19:1-24).
Thayer’s Greek Lexicon tell us that the Greek word aphomoioo which is rendered in the KJV as “made like unto” also means “to express [one’s] self in.” Therefore one could also say that Melchizedek expresses himself in the Son of God. But then again so does “the Word” for both John 1:14 and John 1:34 tell us that the second Person in the Trinity (1 John 5:7) Who is called “the Word” (Greek: Logos) is also made like unto the Son of God. Since both Melchizedek and the eternal Word of God are made like unto the Son of God, then it follows by logic’s property of transitivity that Melchizedek was the pre-incarnate Word of God.
- See notes on Gen 14:18, Heb 7:3, The DEFENDER’S Study Bible, Henry M. Morris, Ph.D., LL.D., Litt.D.