Where do those 400 deaconesses of the Coptic Church fit in on that list?Mor Ephrem said:Well, I don't mind using this distinction for the purpose of discussion here, but I'm not willing to dogmatise such a distinction. We have plenty of experience with using the term "priest" as the English word we use for "presbyter", experience we don't really have with calling your newly baptised niece "priest".minasoliman said:Okay, so here is the way I have been defining the terms. I have been avoiding equating "priest" with "presbyter" for the Biblical reason that the term "priest" was a more general baptismal term.
Interesting. "Virgins", "widows", and "orphans" are almost certainly traditional "orders" (we read about them in the NT), with "monks" and "hermits" being later additions that, IMO, ought not to be numbered with the seven. But numbering the seven orders has always varied by tradition.The more interesting thing is that the first 6 the "priest" reply mentions is part of that seven, and the last three is not. I have been taught that the "seventh" order was "doorkeeper" and for some reason, it is not listed.
In our tradition, the "seven orders" are
1. Baptised (laity)
2. Confessors (which is more like "catechist" than "someone who suffered for confessing the faith")
Bishops, for whatever reason, are not explicitly mentioned in this list, and I suspect it is a holdover from a time when "bishops" and "presbyters" were not so different. There are other orders, of course, but these are considered either to be outside the "seven order" structure or "sub-orders" of one of the seven.
For us, "doorkeeper" is combined with "subdeacon".