Wednesday, October 17, 2012
Introduction to Hebrews & Hebrews 1
Introdcution to Hebrews
We leave Uganda early this morning and arrive back in the USA late afternoon.
Hebrews The authorship of Hebrews remains a mystery. Some early church leaders attributed this letter to Paul but the language, style, and themes are not reflected in any of Paul’s other works. Hebrews itself is anonymous. It was written in excellent Greek and the author had an intimate understanding of the Old Testament scriptures. Hebrews is not a “letter” in the same way as Paul’s epistles are. Hebrews is probably better understood as a theological paper or even an extended sermon. Many scholars date this document in the late AD 60’s (before the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple in AD 70) because that event would require mentioning in this document that speaks so much of the priests and their sacrificial work in the Temple. There are others that suggest a date later in the 1st Century because the struggle between the Jewish Christians and the non- Christian Jews is presented in such sharp contrast – a condition that existed only after the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the temple in AD 70. Hebrews’ main theme is that Christ is the great high priest, the mediator of the new covenant who offers the one truly effective sacrifice for the sins of the world. Key Learning: Jesus is the ultimate and final blood sacrifice that takes away the sin of the world. No other blood sacrifice is needed or necessary.
The author is writing this letter to show the preeminence of Jesus. In chapter one, we learn that Jesus is the reflection of God’s glory, the exact imprint of God’s very being, he sustains everything (3). He is more important than the angels and, in fact, the angels worship him. Chapter one exists solely for the purpose of showing that Jesus the Son of God, is Superior to Angels.