Category Archives: Eric Wolf

The King With No Parents

Melchizedek enters the Biblical stage in Genesis 14:18. Abram has just saved his nephew Lot from peril and captivity. In Genesis 14:18-20a we read:

“Melchizedek king of Salem brought bread and wine; he was a priest of God Most High.
He pronounced this blessing: Blessed be Abram by God Most High, Creator of heaven and earth. And blessed be God Most High for putting your enemies into your clutches.”

His succinct introduction tells us a few things about Melchizedek:

  • His name means righteous king (melchi-tzedek).
  • He is the king of Salem (Shalem in Hebrew; remember that Shalom means peace).
  • He is a priest of God Most High.
  • He blesses Abram yet he also places the correct emphasis on God.

In the New Testament Melchizedek is referred to in Hebrews, which is the letter that asserts Jesus Christ to be the eschatological high priest. Hebrews 5 quotes Psalm 110 that refers to the Lord: “you are a priest forever of the order of Melchizedek.”

Hebrews 7:3 says of Melchizedek “Without father, without mother, without genealogy, having neither beginning of days nor end of life, but resembling the Son of God, he remains a priest forever.”

Unlike Abraham or Jesus, we don’t know where Melchizedek came from- we don’t know who his parents are, let alone his genealogy. Therefore as a priest of God Most High he resembles a Son of God- eternal, divine. Translations use the word ‘like’ or ‘resemble’; they never claim that Melchizedek actually is divine.

Jesus as high priest is the Son of God, yet he also has a genealogy- we know that He is human. Jesus is both human and the divine Son of God.

— Eric Wolf

Hebrew Play with MLK

Inspired by Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., in my opinion for all intents and purposes a 20th century American martyr.

The good minister’s initials are of course MLK, which just happens to also be a first semester Hebrew word. MLK in Hebrew (pronounced ‘melek’, remember their language was written before the invention of vowels) means ‘king’. So the good minister was a king in more languages than one!

In today’s liturgical reading from Hebrews 7 the author references Melchizedek from both Genesis and Psalm 110. The word ‘Melchizedek’ begins with ‘MLK’ and ends with ‘ZDK’, which is the Hebrew word for righteousness.

About Melchizedek, Hebrews 7:2b reads: “His name first means righteous king, and he was also “king of Salem,” that is, king of peace.” We know Melchizedek from Genesis at the time of Abraham; he was the king of Salem, which was the ancient (pre-Davidic) name for Jerusalem.

Salem spelled in Hebrew (remember, drop the written vowels) is SLM. The Hebrew consonant ‘S’ is sometimes pronounced as our ‘s’ and sometimes as our ‘sh’, so in Hebrew SLM can be either ‘Salem’ or ‘Shalom’, the Hebrew word for ‘peace’. (An aside: the Arab word for peace is ‘Salaam’). So as is noted by the author of the Letter to the Hebrews, Melchizedek as ‘king of Salem’ is also ‘king of peace’.

So Melchizedek is in the Bible, both O.T and N.T., as a type or precursor for Jesus Christ, our king of peace. What a great image as we remember this week the foremost Christian hero of the civil rights movement. MLK was truly a testament pointing to Jesus Christ, the true ‘King of Peace’!

— Eric Wolf

Romans 15:4 Guest Blog

Romans 15:4 gives Catholic authors who have no other forum a pedestal from which to address the world.

Vatican II flung wide open the windows of the Church to enable an aggiornamento, a bringing the Church up to date. Now, fifty years later, it is appropriate for a 21st century aggiornamento to synchronize the Church not only with modernity but simultaneously with truth of our faith in the kerygma of Jesus Christ as espoused in Holy Scripture and Tradition.

As with any publication, these blogs are the opinion of the author, and may or may not coincide with that of the editor/publisher.

This site is especially appreciative of Holy Scripture, so I find it appropriate to dedicate it in the words of St. Paul (Rom 15:4):

“For whatever was written previously was written for our instruction, that by endurance and by the encouragement of the scriptures we might have hope.”

— Eric Wolf