More Facts About Hebrews
Both points of interest may stem from Hebrews original nature. Many scholars believe Hebrews was first written as a sermon to a congregation. When the sermon was distributed to other churches, an epistle-sounding conclusion may have been added to the end. This could explain why there is no formal introduction to this letter like the ones we see in every other NT epistle.
Tradition holds that the book of Hebrews was written to Christian Hebrews. The author never explicitly says the audience is Jewish, but does assume that the audience is intimately familiar with the Old Testament, especially the Pentateuch.
Even so, this epistle is, I believe, one of Gods greatest gifts to His church: an expository look at the person, life, covenant, sacrifice, and ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ, who is indeed greater than all others.
Why Dont We Study Hebrews
Put more bluntly, why is it that so many Christians seek to avoid studying Hebrews? This gets to the heart of my purpose in this introductory lesson. I believe that we need to recognize why we shy away from Hebrews, and then get some perspective on these issues. So lets get to it. Why do people tend to avoid Hebrews?
1.Were cowards, especially me. As a preacher, I dont want to get in over my head. I remember a time years ago when a preacher I know started a chapter-by-chapter study of the Book of Job. He quit, right in the middle of the series. In fact, he may have quit before he got to the middle of the book. It was tough sledding, and I can fully understand why he gave up. Others may doggedly press on, causing the audience to wish the preacher would quit.
2.One of the reasons preachers dont want to tackle teaching through Hebrews is that congregations are not eager for them to do so.Hebrews is the Leviticus of the New Testament. I know that this is true with regard to its content, but I am speaking in terms of its popularity. If Leviticus is one of the least-read books of the Old Testament, Hebrews is one of the least-studied books in the New.
There is another reason why Gentiles must grasp the relationship of the Old Covenant to the New. Much of the error being disseminated among Gentile churches had a distinctly Jewish flavor. The Judaisers were seeking to put the Gentiles under the Old Testament law . Those who were causing trouble in the churches were Jewish :
Conflict Over The Interpretation Of Hebrews
Some people do not enjoy Hebrews because there seems to be so much disagreement among the scholars regarding the interpretation of this epistle. If the scholars cant agree on what it means, how am I to know? And sometimes the disagreements can get heated. For this reason, some chose to avoid Hebrews altogether.
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Jesus Is The Fulfillment Of The Hebrew Scriptures
The book of Hebrews compares and contrasts Jesus to key historical people and events from the Hebrew Bible. Through these comparisons, we see his superiority. He is greater than the angels, the Torah, Moses, the promised land, earthly priests, sacrifices, and the covenant. He is the hope for a new creation, our eternal priest, and the perfect sacrifice.
Who Wrote The Book Of Hebrews
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When you consider the wide agreement among biblical scholars about who wrote every other book of the New Testament, its a little mysterious that we dont know who wrote Hebrews.
There are a handful of contenders. Lets take a look at the reasons each of them might be the author.
Did Paul write Hebrews?
It is possible Paul wrote the book of Hebrews. There are a couple reasons why this might be the case.
First, in the earliest manuscript editions of the New Testament books, Hebrews is included after Romans among the books written by the apostle Paul. This was taken as evidence that Paul had written it, and some Eastern churches accepted Hebrews as canonical earlier than in the West.
Second, both Clement of Alexandria and Origen claimed a Pauline association for the book but recognized that Paul himself probably did not put pen to paper for this book, even though they did not know the authors name.
Clement of Alexandria suggests that Paul wrote the book originally in Hebrew and that Luke translated it into Greek, though the Greek of Hebrews bears no resemblance to translation Greek .
The King James Version assumes Pauline authorship
The nuanced position on the authorship question by the Alexandrian fathers was obscured by later church tradition that mistook Pauline association for Pauline .
Parallels between Hebrews and Pauls writings
Reasons Paul did not write Hebrews
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Princeton’s Wordnetrate This Definition:
the ethnic group claiming descent from Abraham and Isaac the nation whom God chose to receive his revelation and with whom God chose to make a covenant
Epistle to the Hebrews, Hebrewsnoun
a New Testament book traditionally included among the epistle of Saint Paul but now generally considered not to have been written by him
Christ As The Son Of God Is Higher Than The Angels
After an introduction , the apostle proves that Christ is higher than the angels with a long series of quotes from the Old Testament. The Hebrews should not be distracted by people who say that revelations through angels are important. They should fully focus on Christ, because God has revealed Himself in Him. How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation? .
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How Will We Approach This Series
My goal is to help us all understand the message of Hebrews as a book. The book has several sections, so we will begin at the first section and work through the entire book. I will begin each section with an overview of the entire section, and then well work our way through the smaller segments of that section. We will move at a fast enough pace so that the message of the whole book will not be lost in the details.
Let me give you an example of how this will work in the next few lessons. The first major section is Hebrews 1:12:18. In the next lesson, I will deal with the message of this entire section. This will be followed with a study of these segments:
In this series, I will be inviting even greater participation on the part of the congregation. I have asked those in the Friday morning study group to each focus on a particular dimension, or a particular commentary. Because there are many different ways of interpreting some passages, I will attempt to give these points of view a hearing, and then I will seek to represent these positions fairly, especially if I disagree with them. I am also inviting you in the audience to send me e-mails when you have found helpful information, have gained a certain insight, or have some matter about which you disagree or which needs further investigation. I hope that this will make the teaching of this series more interactive.
What Is Hebrews : 26 About Can Wilful Sin Be Forgiven
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it has happened to them according to the true proverb:epignsinepignsin real knowledgeit has happened to them according to the true proverb:For if we sin willfully after we have received the knowledge of the truth, there no longerremains a sacrifice for sinsepignsinepignsin real knowledgeVerse 1 is talking about animal sacrifices offered yearly being inadequate to make anyone perfect.For the lawandcan never with these same sacrifices, which they offer continually year by year, make those who approach perfectFor by one offering He has perfected foreverthe testimony of
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Week : A Warning Against Apostasy
Interrupting the exposition of Jesus role as High Priest , the author suddenly challenges readers to move beyond the basics of the faith toward spiritual maturity . He concludes by exhorting them and showing confidence in their ability to persevere, using Abraham as an example of faithful faith . The third of five warning passages appears in Hebrews 6:48, warning the readers of the danger of falling away.
Hebrews 5:116:20 glorifies God by pointing to Jesus Christ as the forerunner, anchor, and High Priest of our faith.
Read through the complete passage for this study, Hebrews 5:116:20. After reading the entire passage, begin by rereading the listed portions and recording your own responses to the following questions.
1. Warning Three: Against Apostasy
In Hebrews 5:1112, the author scolds the readers for their immaturity in the faith, for, he says, they have become dull of hearing and do not have a solid grasp on the fundamental truths of God . What are some possible reasons for their mental laziness and unwillingness to work out the deeper implications of the gospel in their lives?
At this point in their faith, the original audience should have matured enough to instruct others in the basic principles of the oracles of God, which he also refers to as the word of righteousness . What is the author referring to by basic principles and fundamental oracles of God ?
Why are these principles important for helping someone move toward maturity in the faith?
Hebrews 1: What Is Faith
Hebrews 11 has a nickname: the hall of faith. Picture a hallway in your old school where all the trophies are stored. The best athletes make it into the hall of fame. Similarly, Hebrews 11 covers the stories of some of the best faith-keepers ever at least, the best faith-keepers of the Old Testament! If youre looking to answer the question, What is faith? these stories are a great place to start. Youll get to see faith in action.
Along with reading Hebrews 11, it can be insightful to read from a study Bible or commentary. Below, we broke Hebrews 11 up into three sections. First, youll read a section of Scripture. Then, you can read commentary from the NIV Bible Speaks Today Study Bible.
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Hebrews Is About Jesus Supremacy
No other book of the Bible so powerfully demonstrates Jesus supremacy. Throughout Hebrews, the author compares Jesus to the heroes and icons of the Jewish faith. Each hero played a part, but His sacrifice, His covenant, and His current ministry are far, far greater than anything the others have to offer.
Jesus is greater than the angels, because He is the divine King .
Jesus is greater than Moses, because while Moses was a servant of God, Jesus is the Son of God .
Jesus is greater than Joshua, because Jesus brings a greater rest to the people of God .
Jesus is a greater priest than Aaron, because He is sinless and immortal .
But not only is Jesus better than any other human religious figureHe also has a better ministry after ushering in a better covenant built on better promises with a better sacrifice, that is, Jesus Himself .
And what should we do about this? The author of Hebrews encourages the audience to join him in two things:
Iii Christ Came To Bring Us Into His Family
- What theological truth can we get see in verse 10 regarding the purpose God created this world for
- How could Christ be perfected through sufferings if He was already perfect ?
- What does brethren mean? How can we be brethren of Christ?
- What do we learn about Jesus incarnation from this passage? What characteristics did He take on as a human?
- How did He render Satan powerless? What does that mean for us?
- What is the meaning of verse 16?
- Why did He become a man?
- What does propitiation mean?
- How is it beneficial for us that Christ was tempted like we are? What lessons can we learn from Him about how to respond to temptation?
Psalm 22:22 I will declare your name to my people in the assembly I will praise you.
1 Corinthians 15:20-28, 1 Corinthians 15:54 In these verses we see that Jesus conquered death.
Verses on sanctification:
2 Timothy 2:21 Those who cleanse themselves from the latter will be instruments for special purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
1 Thessalonians 5:23 May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.
Galatians 2:20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
Verses on the incarnation:
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Introduction To Hebrews: Who Were The Readers
Introduction to Hebrews
Throughout this blog series, weve been exploring introductory matters related to the book of Hebrews. Thus far, weve tried to detect clues within the letter as it pertains to the identity of the author and the central message of the book. In the final post of this series, well turn our attention to the question of audience.
Who Were the Readers?
Lets start with the most obvious clue, the title: To the Hebrews. It doesnt take a Sherlock Holmes to figure out that the letter was . Consequently, the author is quoting extensively from the OT and expects his readers to know the minutiae of the OT sacrificial system. In addition, its intriguing to speculate that the audience may have included some of the great many of the priests who became obedient to the faith mentioned in Acts 6:7, which would explain the unique emphasis on Jesus priesthood in Hebrews.
Ive already mentioned that because of the lack of reference to the destruction of the Temple, the letter was almost certainly written prior to AD 70, and thus during the reign of Nero. We know that when in the year 64 a massive fire broke out in Rome, Nero famously played the fiddle while Rome burntand then blamed the Christians. In the aftermath, many believers were fed to the lions in the Roman Coliseum, and unspeakable atrocities were committed against our ancestors in the faith.
Christ As A Human Is Superior To Moses
Christ is truly human and for a short time was lower than the angels, but now is exalted again. He did all of this for the salvation of man. He is able to help people who are tempted because He himself has suffered when tempted . Christ is not only exalted above the angels, he also exceeds Moses, the great prophet of the Jews, in faithfulness. Using the example of the people of Israel, the apostle encourages his readers to enter into the promised rest. They should not, through unbelief, neglect or ignore the promise proclaimed by the gospel, but they should listen to the Spirit and receive the eternal rest of God.
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Week : Jesus Is Superior To Angelic Beings
Hebrews 1:52:18 exalts Jesus above the angels as the unique Son of God who made propitiation for the sins of humanity and now serves as the Mediator and High Priest between God and humanity.
The appeasement of wrath by the offering of a gift or sacrifice. Jesus made propitiation for the sins of humanity by his suffering and death .
Read through the complete passage for this study, Hebrews 1:52:18. After reading the entire passage, begin by rereading the listed portions and recording your own responses to the following questions.
1. Jesus Status as Eternal Son and King
The author builds his support for the superiority of Jesus over the angels by stringing together various Old Testament texts to substantiate his argument. Jesus is shown as superior by the nature of his relationship to the Father , his position over the angels , and his kingly authority . How does the authors application of Old Testament texts to Jesus sonship , position , and authority fortify our faith in Jesus today?
In Hebrews 1:13, the writer applies Psalm 110:1 to Jesus, showing him as exalted to the right hand of God, a position of privilege and power . This particular psalm refers to the kings enthronement and victory over all of his enemies. What does Jesus posture of being seated communicate about Gods purposes in the life, death, and resurrection of Christ?
2. Warning One: Against Neglecting Salvation
3. Jesus as the Founder of Salvation
1. Gospel Glimpses4. Hebrews 1:52:18