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Priests exist in many religions today, such as all or some branches of Judaism, Christianity, Shintoism, Hinduism.

Their office or position is the priesthood, a term which also may apply to such persons collectively.

According to the trifunctional hypothesis of prehistoric Proto-Indo-European society, priests and priestesses have existed since the earliest of times and in the simplest societies, most likely as a result of agricultural surplus and consequent social stratification.

The necessity to read sacred texts and keep temple or church records helped foster literacy in many early societies.

Some translations have ‘keystone’ (for an arch) rather than ‘cornerstone’ (to form a right-angle join).