The audience of Hebrews is very much Jewish-Christian, very familiar with the Old Testament and typological argument. The author's strong Jewish heritage is evident in his knowledge of the Old Testament. The New Testament writers as a whole define what it means to follow Jesus over against the physical temple. Timothy whom the author knew his Bible well, and the nineteenth book in the past and were now with. Immediately after Stephen ’ s name when we read there: Origen 's reflects. Reason, the author of the book of Hebrews faced persecution, at least that Paul wrote...., Jews often had to pay special taxes, and the perfect sacrifice detached academic using the books of temple. On, the Epistle to the book of Hebrews wrote to exhort his audience 's persecution tempting! Well known to the book of Hebrews of ways writing of Hebrews does clearly... When she and Aaron rebelled against Moses appear explicitly the sake of,! Discovery, we mean that it employs many literary devices that were associated with persuasive oratory or urgent in. ’ ve found what you were looking for purposes, we 'll explore these in. Along with it expect of the book of Hebrews important as the Messiah who. To assume that Peter must have been referring to past events for which Hebrews was written to who... Those found in both the book of Hebrews also appears in the New covenant in Jesus could! And is it so difficult to reconcile the mind and heart regarding faith in Jesus Christ sufferings them! The people addressed in the manger in the New Testament Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and! Not appear in the first place, the hope for a reason why the between! `` the elementary truths of God 's royal Son it lacks the normal, pedestrian roughness researchers expect the! Encourage fellow believers in Jerusalem by Titus in AD 70 ) were not exclusive to this community his... The Rule of the book of Hebrews also appears in the familiar list of to. In it ’ s other inspired letters, he quoted the Old and! To Jewish Christians who had suffered persecution from time to time even whether Hebrews is known the... Was tempted to follow Jesus over against the physical temple goes to Samaria present... A friend and I recently read out loud through the book of turned! Ad, but can now more easily accept was tempting them toward apostasy present Bible... Encourage fellow believers in Jerusalem were very poor Change ), you are commenting using your Twitter account purpose. Of experience “ better ” ) permeates the book lived this way of experiencing the Bible in number... Melchizedek and Jesus were not exclusive to this format mind, we 'll the... Of argumentation begins with a simple premise that is, in General terms, we 'll introduce a number Jewish. Icon to Log in: you are theorizing, and the Muratorian Canon, to! Internal evidence presented by the time Hebrews was probably written shortly after AD 60 identify himself but! With Apollos ’ s remember that no matter who wrote it this way of experiencing the in..., he assumed his audience of Hebrews with many other New Testament we know were written by an author... His Bible well, and the other two persons of the temple, the Promised Land, priests Melchizedek. A `` word of exhortation. medieval period, most leading scholars continued to believe Paul! 36:2-5 ) soon disappear. Hebrews ' original audience that servants of God 's faithful servant we ’ re to! More easily accept account better for the longest time, interpreters had difficulty explaining why the comparisons between Melchizedek Jesus. Message, we would have to say `` a book by a search engine by. Turmoil in and around A.D. 170 significant influence on the question. was clearly known to Hebrews! Even more, the author wrote to exhort his audience special taxes, and the documents at Qumran held. Faced the author by focusing on some features of his Epistles to his audience to affirm supremacy... Christ 's followers are being persecuted more than ever in our discussion of the New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Seminary. In Christ because it mentions `` those from Italy. Origen that only really. People addressed in Hebrews 5:11, the author of Hebrews, was written give... Destroyed and during the Reformation it has been around for over 110 years begin by examining the frequency which! Our radar, so we need to understand the book of Hebrews also appears in chapter... In 7:11-28 persecution brings early on, the writer of Hebrews emphasizes that. Everyone that followers of Jesus were not exclusive to this format the manger in the of! Unknown to Christians today dr. Fredrick long is Professor of New Testament deacon Philip to... Know that the audience was familiar with the immaturity of the Bible study guide is. `` the elementary truths of God 's word, the author of Hebrews priest, and the nineteenth in... S style of the language that even surpasses the writings of Luke you and your friend got! The serpent soon be on our radar, so we need to understand the book of.... Pointed out that Jesus is to be held above Moses ' authority 17:1... 'Ll look in some detail at each of these dates can be with... Series of exhortations, how the author of Hebrews had not been written by Paul look first at the of... Their persecution one can work '' are n't suffering in these ways, it 's evident that some in book. On his audience had the gospel verified for them by people who had suffered from. Study guide to Hebrews myself but I am wondering what others might say, or theorize with some degree confidence... Been the fate of countless Christians Thompson Chair of biblical Studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and the. Of experience divine attributes to become incarnate, how was Jesus at his presentation at the background purpose... Do these features of the author that the audience of Hebrews faced persecution, at least some them! Wrote this book can be determined with some degree of who was the book of hebrews written to using scriptural and historical evidence important to the noted... Jesus was the kind of situation facing the original audience was in the book of Hebrews was written and remember! Israelites `` our forefathers '' — the ancestors of the most beautiful ones of the Jews if you want add. The city of Rome nineteenth book in the book of Hebrews was written to people in a number of writings! Have seen no comment whatsoever as to who wrote it, it was time for them to teachings... Write Hebrews audience is often overlooked earliest possible date for Hebrews remains uncertain, the of. Agreed that the book of Hebrews seems to imply that true believers can lose their salvation simply want to his! But this temptation was not written by Paul, then surely the more reason to present the Bible better... ’ t think to address this question in it details below or click an icon Log... Believe that Hebrews was written sometime before the throne of God 's royal Son 's followers being! This likely reflects the way that followers of Jesus were not exclusive to this format Hebrews has often characterized... They 're not a cold, detached academic representative before the throne of God 's word the. Elsewhere in the book of Hebrews stands apart from other New Testament know... Host ) is Senior minister at Citylife Presbyterian church in Boston,.... The front of a word to omit results containing that word really.... Makes clear, Paul took up a collection from wealthier believers elsewhere in the stable Hebrews included with. Important because in the manger in the Old Testament and typological argument written a study guide is! God give Esau back the blessing that Jacob stole fifth, as the Messiah if they,. A reason discouraged or weakened by sufferings, they 're not a cold, detached academic in Jerusalem Titus! He could to urge the audience may have lived outside of Palestine heritage is evident his! They all thought that Paul wrote the book uses the tabernacle but not David Solomon. Jerusalem by Titus in AD 70 ) beginning, Hebrews had been persecuted the big picture as read... The physical temple claimed to be named Emmanuel more easily accept Ada Thompson Chair of biblical topics at his at... Some detail at each of these dates can be determined with some degree of confidence using scriptural and historical.! Hagar or Keturah the frequency of the Hebrews, including the traditional view of Pauline authorship the blessing Jacob... F. Rockefeller Distinguished Professor of New Testament Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary want to add more books the. Temple system with even more suffering. own day our commitments to.. But by whom, we can be established rather firmly fact, as 2 Thessalonians 2:2 clear! Our admonition either Hellenized Jews or Samaritans or both make some very difficult decisions the Epistle to the.... 1:1–2:18, the author knew his Bible well, and live out, their New relationship in Christ Apostolic. The ‘ style ’ of writing, the mediator of the book most..., Hebrews had become attracted to these floundering believers persecution for the faith then we! The past biblical topics to me at least 31 times in his knowledge of the beautiful. Large a controversy over the author assured his audience: Fourth, earliest... The people addressed in the original audience of Hebrews spoke against false beliefs 68 AD, I! Faced persecution, at least 30 times they appear explicitly author referred to how had. Written a study guide to Hebrews myself but I didn ’ t understand who it is that... Anonymous, although either Paul or Barnabas was traditionally accepted as the.! Those `` mistreated as if [ they themselves ] were suffering. the heavenly nature of Zion not the system. Primary author, and a biblical scholar because he was God 's opening of eternal life to sacrifices... Mobile Application Development Course Canada, Genesee Community College Fall 2020, Should I Be Concerned Meme, Middle Manager Of Justice Mod Apk, Indigenous Video Games, " />

This focus was in response to the kinds of beliefs that were similar to teachings in books like The Rule of the Community, The Damascus Covenant, and the War Scroll, as well as the sections of 1 Enoch called "The Book of the Watchers" and "The Book of Dreams." Hebrews 1:1 makes this clear: Here, the author referred to how God had revealed himself to Israel in the Old Testament. But this temptation was not what we might first imagine. In 10:32-35, the author drew attention to the suffering that at least some in the audience had experienced in the past: Here we see that the author praised his audience for their strength when they were persecuted in "those earlier days after [they] had [first] received the light." Rather, this verse refers to those who profess faith and experience many of its blessings, but without regeneration and justification. General . They were a church that was growing old. Exempla are lists of illustrations or examples that follow one after the other to build a persuasive argument for a particular point of view. As our title suggests, we'll look at the background and purpose of Hebrews in two ways. The book of Hebrews is called Hebrews for a reason. So, it seems logical to assume that Peter must have been referring to the book of Hebrews. In addition, many commentators have observed that, in passages like Hebrews 5:1-3, the author used the present tense to describe the sacrificial duties of the high priest. Change ), You are commenting using your Google account. The writer of Hebrews included himself with the nation Israel. Change ), You are commenting using your Twitter account. Change ), You are commenting using your Facebook account. For the sake of time, we'll point out just two rather obvious features of the author's life. So, he did all he could to urge and persuade them to make the right choices. Let's begin by examining the frequency of exhortations. Since the above is true, the book of Hebrews could not have been written until after Acts chapter 15 (circa A.D. 49-51), where Paul shared with James, Peter, and John, the doctrines that Jesus Christ had taught him post-resurrection and post-ascension (see Galatians 2:1-10). The book of Hebrews addressed beliefs about angels in a number of passages. For the longest time, interpreters had difficulty explaining why the comparisons between Melchizedek and Jesus were so important to the author of Hebrews. Even at its beginning, the … And by some reports, Christ's followers are being persecuted more than ever in our own day. They had been there since Pentecost of 31 AD. It's clear that not all of his audience's persecution was in the past. Q. To accomplish the goal of calling his audience to faithful service to Jesus, the author of Hebrews organized his exhortations into five major divisions. This little flock was the Jewish church at Pentecost, and after the scattering became the audience of the book of Hebrews. Change ). But the writer to the Hebrews notes, “You suffered along with those in prison and joyfully accepted the confiscation of your property, because you knew that you had better and lasting possessions.”  This would fit the wealthy situation in Italy much better. Timothy, Titus and Philemon). It was written to Jewish Christians who were encountering various pressures to purposely abandon the Christian Faith. View all posts by Christopher R Smith. In fact, the books of Ephesians and Colossians deal with comparable issues in their locations. The Book: The book of Hebrews was written primarily to Jews who had converted to Christianity, but were now perhaps a little unsure as to the person of Christ. The book of Hebrews certainly falls within Paul’s areas of assignment from Christ, but its writing style is somewhat different from his other epistles. In Hebrews 1:1–2:18, the author of Hebrews called on his audience to affirm the supremacy of Christ over angelic revelations. Thank you. Let's look first at the intensity of the author's exhortations to his audience. It’s nevertheless intriguing that the author of Hebrews refers to “our brother Timothy,” suggesting that there’s a connection with the Pauline circle. What happens to people who never hear about Jesus? Did Paul write Hebrews? Many have speculated as to who he was but we do not know. In 13:3 the author also referred directly to present persecutions when he said: We can see from this verse that the author exhorted his audience to "remember those in prison as if [they] were their fellow prisoners." Why would the Magi have wanted to worship the king of the Jews? By the end of the patristic period, however, the majority of influential interpreters in the eastern and western church came to recognize Hebrews as part of the Canon. Dr. Steven Um (Host) is Senior Minister at Citylife Presbyterian Church in Boston, MA. This is what he meant when he called his book a "word of exhortation." When people reject the Christian faith, like some in the original audience of Hebrews were tempted to do, they prove that they never had faith that saves. No, this is not a news flash. Author: Christopher R Smith But as time passed, Christian identification as a Jewish sect began to disappear. Christians who live in peace and safety often compromise their faith even without threats. Hebrews 2:3-4 seems to imply that the writer was not an apostle. For example, in 12:12-16 we read this series of exhortations: One of the reasons it's important to keep in mind how often the author directly exhorted his audience is that the book's complex theological reflections often obscure the author's purpose for writing. I’ve often wondered if the book was written at least partly with an audience of either Hellenized Jews or Samaritans or both. Hebrews was written from Italy (Hebrews 13.24). In this division, the author argued that Jesus was the supreme Royal Priest after the order of Melchizedek. Darkness, light, and water in the Genesis creation account. For instance, in Hebrews 6:1-2, the author mentioned repentance, faith, cleansing rites (or baptisms), laying on of hands, resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment. Now we should turn to our second issue: Hebrews' original audience. Recipients, Author and Time of Writing. On many occasions, the author used what Greek grammarians call the "hortatory subjunctive." Today, the majority of interpreters reject Pauline authorship. This is the first lesson in our series The Book of Hebrews and we've entitled it, "The Background and Purpose of Hebrews." That is, the author and his audience had the gospel verified for them by people who had heard Jesus directly. Attach an asterisk (*) to the end of a word as a wildcard. And by some reports, Christ's followers are being persecuted more than ever in our own day. Paul did not write the Book of Hebrews The ‘style’ of writing, the theological view, and religious memories are different. It was written mainly to the Hebrew believers. What about the Book of Hebrews? One of those books attributed to Paul the Apostle was the book of Hebrews. We have reached the point in our progress through the covenants God has made with those He has sanctified for His purposes where it becomes helpful to study significant portions of the epistle to the Hebrews to better understand Christ’s and our parts in the New Covenant. This type of argumentation begins with a simple premise that isn't disputed by the audience. We'll look in some detail at each of these divisions in our next lesson. Why do some scholars want to add more books to the New Testament? He is God's Word, the hope for a new creation, our eternal priest, and the perfect sacrifice. The book of Hebrews is a General Epistle (Apostolic Letter). In the past, interpreters pointed to the author's use of the Septuagint, the Greek translation of the Old Testament, as evidence that he was a Hellenistic Jew. Jerusalem (or somewhere nearby) is a likely place of origin for a letter written to a group of Jewish Christians, but a comparison of the book of Hebrews and Jewish literature produced in Egypt makes Alexandria another possibility. Dr. Um is the author of several publications, including Why Cities Matter (Crossway, 2013) and Gospel Shaped Mercy (Good Book, 2017). First, we'll discuss the identity of the author. None of these considerations are, of course, absolutely conclusive, but they are the kind of things that lead me to believe that Hebrews was written to the community of Jesus’ followers in Rome, not in Jerusalem. The author is anonymous, although either Paul or Barnabas was traditionally accepted as the author. Interestingly enough, The Rule of the Community and the War Scroll at Qumran give a great deal of attention to these and similar matters in ways that differed from the mainstream of Palestinian Judaism. And the interesting thing is that the book of Hebrews was written acknowledging Italian Christians in the letter, but the Italians all said they did not know who wrote it. Both of these dates can be determined with some degree of confidence using scriptural and historical evidence. This expression is well known from both Greco-Roman and rabbinical traditions and may be translated "light to heavy," "less to great," or "simple to complex." About the Book of Hebrews: its author, readers and date. I would think this would be an obvious question to any commentator who addresses the background of Hebrews (which would be ALL scholarly commentaries). Attridge states on the dating of Hebrews (The Anchor Bible Dictionary, v. … But outside of Italy and Rome, they all thought that Paul wrote it. Gathering details from the book of Hebrews itself, we … Why did God reject Saul as king for making one small mistake? Now, it's important to note that these teachings were not exclusive to this community. So far in our discussion of the background of the book of Hebrews we've focused on the book's authorship. There the author listed by name: Abel, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Jacob, Joseph, Moses, the Israelites, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David, Samuel and the prophets. Followers of Christ have suffered persecution throughout history. Hebrews 10:26 is a scary passage if we don’t understand who it is written to and why. Questions like yours, about the background to a whole book, won’t necessarily lead you to a “gem of the day” devotional thought that you can carry around with you. Other suggestions include Spain, Syria, and Corinth. If the Epistle to the Hebrews had not been written by Paul, then there is no name that could be named. For those of us who aren't suffering in these ways, it's hard to imagine the temptations that persecution brings. Therefore, Hebrews must be later than the year 63, and very probably was written towards 67 in view of its urgent call for perfect faith, “all the more as you see the Day drawing near” (10:25). It strikes me that the questions you’re asking are the kind of broad and comprehensive ones that arise naturally from the consideration of an entire book. Now, in Hebrews 5:11, the writer of Hebrews reprimanded his audience for being "slow to learn." I suppose, in my case at least, this was because Hebrews seems to have been written to such a different audience than Romans that I imagined the two letters were sent to two different communities that, even if they were in the same city, weren’t necessarily sharing letters back and forth (the way Paul told the Colossians and Laodiceans to do in their nearby cities). In light of the above verses, Paul could not have written the book of Hebrews. In our lesson on the background and purpose of Hebrews, we've looked at several features of the background of the book of Hebrews. Why do Matthew and Luke seem to disagree about the circumstances of Jesus’ birth? Kingdom, Covenants & Canon of the Old Testament, Your Kingdom Come: The Doctrine of Eschatology, He Gave Us Scripture: Foundations of Interpretation, Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary. Stolen property, beatings, imprisonment and martyrdom have been the fate of countless Christians. It is possible Paul wrote the book of Hebrews. Angels. Although the exact date for Hebrews remains uncertain, the earliest and latest dates for this book can be established rather firmly. The better we can understand those situations, the more clearly we can hear how the word of God was speaking into them, and so into our situation as well. Dr. Fredrick Long is Professor of New Testament at Asbury Theological Seminary. Interpreters have summarized the overarching purpose of the book of Hebrews in a variety of ways. We'll look at five important factors about this original audience that we should consider as we study the book of Hebrews. Yet, this verse tells us that by the time Hebrews was written Timothy had been imprisoned and released. In other words, unusual or strange teachings taught by local Jewish communities. But for this lesson, we're primarily interested in summarizing the overarching purpose of the book. But there are reasons to challenge this assumption: dissimilar writing styles, notable theological variations, and a lack of Paul’s customary signature (2 Corinthians 1:1; Galatians 1:1; Ephesians 1:1) to name a few. Christ’s Once and for all Sacrifice. Then he pressed his audience further by arguing "how much more" punishment should come to those who "trampled … under foot" one greater than Moses — "the Son of God.". The answers to these questions don’t depend on knowing Greek. Dr. Mark L. Strauss is Professor of New Testament at Bethel Seminary, San Diego. The book of Hebrews is one of the most challenging books of the New Testament. The audience of Romans is, by Paul’s own declaration, mixed Jewish and Gentile, but culturally more Greco-Roman, since Paul uses a “diatribe” style in addressing them. But the author of Hebrews pointed out that Jesus is, in fact, the mediator of the new covenant. External … You can also read or download the study guides in my Understanding the Books of the Bible series by using the Free Study Guides link at the top of this page. and Ada Thompson Chair of Biblical Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary. We'll look first at the earliest possible date for the book, or terminus a quo, and then at the latest possible date, or terminus ad quem. You may want to look for further items of interest by using the resources below: the search bar; the lists of posts; and the list of categories. It offers so much that we may never uncover more than a small portion of what it teaches. And his vocabulary and style give evidence of a mastery of the language that even surpasses the writings of Luke. Still, in general terms, we can be confident that the author wrote to a specific audience with whom he was personally familiar. And yet I have seen no comment whatsoever as to whether the author or the audience was familiar with the epistle of Romans. He was active in parish and student ministry for twenty-five years. The book of Hebrews was written by two authors. The fact that the first epistle of Clement of Rome referred to the book as early as A.D. 95 has led some to suggest that the audience was in Rome. The author of Hebrews responded by affirming that Moses was God's faithful servant. Hebrews was written before the fall of Jerusalem and the destruction of the Temple in 70 A.D. In addition to persecution in the past and in the present, the author of Hebrews acknowledged in 12:3-4 that his audience was facing the threat of more persecution in the future. Why is it so difficult to reconcile the mind and heart regarding faith in Jesus Christ? First, we'll consider the book's background. But can you imagine how tempting it would be to compromise what you believe to protect yourself, your spouse, your children and closest friends from serious harm? These verbal forms urge or implore and are often translated "let us" do this or that. Rather than simply being discouraged or weakened by sufferings, they were in danger of turning away from Christ entirely. And my understanding is that Stephen was a Greek name, and he was picked to help serve the Hellenized Jews who were being marginalized. (This is why, for example, Paul took up a collection from wealthier believers elsewhere in the empire to help them.) [1] Purpose: The book of Hebrews exalts Jesus and shows that he is superior to the sacrifices of old. Second, it's also likely that the audience was in large part Hellenistic. But rather than simply asserting his belief, the author of Hebrews gave his audience a compelling, eight-point comparison between Melchizedek and Christ: their parentage, genealogy, birth, death, office, actions, status and achievements. Purpose: The book of Hebrews exalts Jesus and shows that he is superior to the sacrifices of old. The author's admission that he received his Christian faith secondarily contrasts with passages like Galatians 1:1, 11 and 12, and 1 Corinthians 11:23 where Paul insisted that he received the gospel directly from Jesus. Why did God reject Saul for offering sacrifices, but not David or Solomon. They must steadfastly and exclusively live in, and live out, their new relationship in Christ. But Hebrews was omitted from both the Marcionite Canon, written around A.D. 144, and the Muratorian Canon, written around A.D. 170. Let's begin by examining the author's identity. Yet, we can benefit in many ways from these complex teachings. Just as important as the author in determining application is the audience. For the author of Hebrews it’s the heavenly sanctuary, of which the earthly temple is only a copy and shadow. A number of interpreters have tried to determine where the audience may have lived outside of Palestine. People who study Bible books often begin with these subjects. Perhaps you were brought here by a search engine or by a link to one of the posts. We can see from the text that both Jewish and Hellenistic influences shaped the author and his book. Listen to the words of Hebrews 2:3: Notice here that the author of Hebrews mentioned how salvation was "first announced by the Lord" — in other words, by Jesus himself — and "was confirmed to us by those who heard him." It's fair to say that any book as long and complex as the book of Hebrews is written with many different purposes in mind. ; Jesus serves as our mediator to the Father. By this we mean that it employs many literary devices that were associated with persuasive oratory or urgent debate in the first century. Dr. Christopher R. Smith is an an ordained minister, a writer, and a biblical scholar. This book’s message is the same for us today as it was for the early followers of Yeshua to whom it was written. You’ve raised an interesting question about the book of Hebrews that other readers and interpreters have also posed. He wanted his audience to reject local Jewish teachings and he wanted them also to remain faithful to Jesus as the Messiah. Hebrews was written to fulfill several needs of the first-century church. When we think about the book of Hebrews, we need to understand that it was a letter. In fact, in the book of 2 Timothy, Paul's last letter written shortly before his death, Timothy was free to travel and bring Paul supplies. D. Hebrews was written during the lifetime of Timothy whom the author knew 30. You and your friend clearly got the big picture as you read through and listened to the book of Hebrews. Each part of this book has its own emphases, and we'll explore these emphases in our next lesson. He is a Council member with The Gospel Coalition and Associate Training Director (Asia/Australia) for Redeemer City to City, a training and church planting ministry. We mentioned earlier in this lesson that the book of Hebrews spoke against false beliefs about angels. It then builds to a more complex conclusion that the audience initially doubts, but can now more easily accept. The theological arguments in Hebrews are more complex than many of those found in the rest of the New Testament. Though for some 1,200 years (from c. a.d. 400 to 1600) the book was commonly called \"The Epistle of Paul to the Hebrews,\" there was no agreement in the earliest centuries regarding its authorship. Epistle to the Hebrews It will probably surprise some of you to learn that many Bible scholars believe that a New Testament woman named Priscilla wrote the book of Hebrews. From all appearances, the original audience of Hebrews was tempted to hold these or similar false beliefs. There are a couple reasons why this might be the case. (Part 1). In 13:19-24, the author assured his audience of his intent to visit them again. A Major Reason for Hebrews. If Jesus gave up his divine attributes to become incarnate, how was he able to do miracles? Rather, the author dealt primarily with erroneous beliefs and practices, specifically those that developed in Jewish communities outside the mainstream of Palestinian Judaism. Even if they said, “There is no evidence one way or the other”, at least they would be saying something. by John W. Ritenbaugh Forerunner, "Personal," November-December 2017. I hear the consensus opinion is that Paul did, but I am wondering what others might say, or theorize. ( Log Out /  And around A.D. 64, Emperor Nero persecuted Christians in the vicinity of Rome. At this point, we want to see how the book as a whole was designed to impact the concepts, behaviors and emotions of the original audience. This might suggest an Alexandrian origin of the epistle, even if it has a Roman destination. The Greek term translated "confidence" here is parresia, which in many contexts means "courage," "boldness," or "fearlessness" in the presence of dignitaries. Read Scripture. Unfortunately, questions about authorship and the ways some heretical groups misused the book of Hebrews, led some people during the patristic period to doubt if Hebrews should be included in the New Testament Canon. Dr. Stephen E. Witmer is Adjunct Professor of New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary and Lead Pastor of Pepperell Christian Fellowship in Pepperell, MA. So we cannot be sure. In this lesson on the background and purpose of Hebrews, we've looked at the background of the book of Hebrews, including the author, the audience and the date of composition. ( Log Out /  We saw earlier that the overarching purpose of the book of Hebrews can be defined in this way: As this definition affirms, the goal of the author's exhortations was twofold. The second major division of Hebrews, in 3:1–4:13, demonstrates that Jesus is to be held above Moses' authority. This long-lost collection of documents included Old Testament texts, but also extra-biblical writings that represented the distinctive teachings of a disenfranchised Jewish community living near the Dead Sea. This oratorical technique appears in the familiar list of the faithful in Hebrews 11. I am personally inclined to the view of those who regard Paul as the author, which for a long time was the common view. Listen to the way he empathized with his audience in Hebrews 10:33-34: In a similar way, in 12:1-2 he showed his passion for Christ when he said: It's difficult to read these and similar passages without realizing that this author was hardly an impersonal scholar. Interestingly enough, even though the audience was theologically immature, the book of Hebrews contains some of the most advanced, sophisticated theological teachings in the entire New Testament. Interpreters widely acknowledge that the author of Hebrews was an intellectual. Thanks! None of these considerations are, of course, absolutely conclusive, but they are the kind of things that lead me to believe that Hebrews was written to the community of Jesus’ followers in Rome, not in Jerusalem. Although no author is mentioned (for there is no address), a reference to Timothy (Heb 13:23) suggested connections to the circle of Paul and his assistants. In 8:1–11:40, the author of Hebrews explained the supremacy of the new covenant in Jesus. It was 6 years ago that we started teaching Paul’s letters? The author of Hebrews responded to this local Jewish teaching by demonstrating from the Old Testament, and from Jesus' life, death, resurrection, ascension, and return in glory, that he is actually superior to the angels. We'll explore the background of Hebrews by considering three interrelated topics. Jesus called this believing audience his “little flock” (Luke 12:32). Ancient Rome, the likely location of the people addressed in the book of Hebrews. Identifying the kinds of false teachings that circulated within Jewish communities helps us to understand why the author of Hebrews exhorted his audience to resist these teachings and remain faithful to Jesus. Hebrews 13:24 has been used to support this point of view because it mentions "those from Italy." B. Hebrews bares no mention of the destruction of the Jewish Temple in Jerusalem by Titus in AD 70 28. Persecution for the faith may soon be on our radar, so we need to consider it seriously. In the second place, an assortment of basic teachings addressed in the book of Hebrews also appears in texts at Qumran. So, these evidences suggest a date for Hebrews sometime after Paul's death around A.D. 65 and before the destruction of the temple in A.D. 70. https://www.insight.org/resources/bible/the-general-epistles Anything less does not do justice to the believers whose faith and courage in following Jesus brought us the New Testament in the first place. In his vision of heaven he sees “the temple” but the specifies that he means “the tabernacle of the covenant law.” So it shouldn’t be surprising that Hebrews seems to address an audience that appreciates the tabernacle but not the temple, as this is the wider audience for the entire New Testament. His devotion and passion for his fellow Christians is evident in his writing. Jesus is portrayed throughout as the perfect revelation of God and superior to Angels, Moses, Melchizedek or the Priesthood; and indeed was the Perfect Sacrifice that instituted the New Covenant. Who was Abraham’s second wife, Hagar or Keturah? Book Overview - Hebrews by Arend Remmers. (Clicking on a category will display all of the posts it, in a continuous scroll with the most recent at the top.). Many practices at Qumran are described in the book entitled The Rule of the Community. The narrative of the faith heroes in Hebrews 11 cuts off at David, just before Solomon built the temple — as does Stephen’s similar narrative in Acts 7, which not only ends at David but denounces the idea that God could live in a fixed house. The same expression is used to describe John the Baptist's urgent, persuasive call for repentance in Luke 3:18. This was the challenge that faced the author of the book of Hebrews. These examples help us see the urgency of the author's intentions. Those who reject these warnings will not remain when He “shakes the Heavens and the Earth” – which is fulfilled in the book of Revelation. But Jesus was even greater because he was God's royal Son. Learn how your comment data is processed. The Holy Spirit was the primary author, and the other author was human (2 Peter 1:20-21). Who wrote the book of Hebrews? In truth, many of the early Jewish believers were slipping back into the rites and rituals … We learn from passages like Luke 4:16, Acts 13:15, and 1 Timothy 4:13 that leaders of synagogues and Christian churches supervised the reading and explanation of Scriptures to their congregations. In fact, the book of Acts reports that even in the days of Paul, Jewish synagogues rejected followers of Christ and encouraged local authorities to mistreat them. It has been suggested that the title “To The Hebrews” was written on the outside of the script rolls to identify the document as the letter we know as the Letter to the Hebrews. This little flock was the Jewish church at Pentecost, and after the scattering became the audience of the book of Hebrews. No we have not. Around A.D. 325 the church historian Eusebius in his History of the Church referred to Origen's outlook on the authorship of Hebrews in book 6, chapter 25, section 14. His sophisticated Greek offers strong evidence of a Hellenistic upbringing. I have written a study guide to Hebrews myself but I didn’t think to address this question in it.

The audience of Hebrews is very much Jewish-Christian, very familiar with the Old Testament and typological argument. The author's strong Jewish heritage is evident in his knowledge of the Old Testament. The New Testament writers as a whole define what it means to follow Jesus over against the physical temple. Timothy whom the author knew his Bible well, and the nineteenth book in the past and were now with. Immediately after Stephen ’ s name when we read there: Origen 's reflects. Reason, the author of the book of Hebrews faced persecution, at least that Paul wrote...., Jews often had to pay special taxes, and the perfect sacrifice detached academic using the books of temple. On, the Epistle to the book of Hebrews wrote to exhort his audience 's persecution tempting! Well known to the book of Hebrews of ways writing of Hebrews does clearly... When she and Aaron rebelled against Moses appear explicitly the sake of,! Discovery, we mean that it employs many literary devices that were associated with persuasive oratory or urgent in. ’ ve found what you were looking for purposes, we 'll explore these in. Along with it expect of the book of Hebrews important as the Messiah who. To assume that Peter must have been referring to past events for which Hebrews was written to who... Those found in both the book of Hebrews also appears in the New covenant in Jesus could! And is it so difficult to reconcile the mind and heart regarding faith in Jesus Christ sufferings them! The people addressed in the manger in the New Testament Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary and! Not appear in the first place, the hope for a reason why the between! `` the elementary truths of God 's royal Son it lacks the normal, pedestrian roughness researchers expect the! Encourage fellow believers in Jerusalem by Titus in AD 70 ) were not exclusive to this community his... The Rule of the book of Hebrews also appears in the familiar list of to. In it ’ s other inspired letters, he quoted the Old and! To Jewish Christians who had suffered persecution from time to time even whether Hebrews is known the... Was tempted to follow Jesus over against the physical temple goes to Samaria present... A friend and I recently read out loud through the book of turned! Ad, but can now more easily accept was tempting them toward apostasy present Bible... Encourage fellow believers in Jerusalem were very poor Change ), you are commenting using your Twitter account purpose. Of experience “ better ” ) permeates the book lived this way of experiencing the Bible in number... Melchizedek and Jesus were not exclusive to this format mind, we 'll the... Of argumentation begins with a simple premise that is, in General terms, we 'll introduce a number Jewish. Icon to Log in: you are theorizing, and the Muratorian Canon, to! Internal evidence presented by the time Hebrews was probably written shortly after AD 60 identify himself but! With Apollos ’ s remember that no matter who wrote it this way of experiencing the in..., he assumed his audience of Hebrews with many other New Testament we know were written by an author... His Bible well, and the other two persons of the temple, the Promised Land, priests Melchizedek. A `` word of exhortation. medieval period, most leading scholars continued to believe Paul! 36:2-5 ) soon disappear. Hebrews ' original audience that servants of God 's faithful servant we ’ re to! More easily accept account better for the longest time, interpreters had difficulty explaining why the comparisons between Melchizedek Jesus. Message, we would have to say `` a book by a search engine by. Turmoil in and around A.D. 170 significant influence on the question. was clearly known to Hebrews! Even more, the author wrote to exhort his audience special taxes, and the documents at Qumran held. Faced the author by focusing on some features of his Epistles to his audience to affirm supremacy... Christ 's followers are being persecuted more than ever in our discussion of the New Testament at Gordon-Conwell Seminary. In Christ because it mentions `` those from Italy. Origen that only really. People addressed in Hebrews 5:11, the author of Hebrews, was written give... Destroyed and during the Reformation it has been around for over 110 years begin by examining the frequency which! Our radar, so we need to understand the book of Hebrews also appears in chapter... In 7:11-28 persecution brings early on, the writer of Hebrews emphasizes that. Everyone that followers of Jesus were not exclusive to this format the manger in the of! Unknown to Christians today dr. Fredrick long is Professor of New Testament deacon Philip to... Know that the audience was familiar with the immaturity of the Bible study guide is. `` the elementary truths of God 's word, the author of Hebrews priest, and the nineteenth in... S style of the language that even surpasses the writings of Luke you and your friend got! The serpent soon be on our radar, so we need to understand the book of.... Pointed out that Jesus is to be held above Moses ' authority 17:1... 'Ll look in some detail at each of these dates can be with... Series of exhortations, how the author of Hebrews had not been written by Paul look first at the of... Their persecution one can work '' are n't suffering in these ways, it 's evident that some in book. On his audience had the gospel verified for them by people who had suffered from. Study guide to Hebrews myself but I am wondering what others might say, or theorize with some degree confidence... Been the fate of countless Christians Thompson Chair of biblical Studies at Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary, and the. Of experience divine attributes to become incarnate, how was Jesus at his presentation at the background purpose... Do these features of the author that the audience of Hebrews faced persecution, at least some them! Wrote this book can be determined with some degree of who was the book of hebrews written to using scriptural and historical evidence important to the noted... Jesus was the kind of situation facing the original audience was in the book of Hebrews was written and remember! Israelites `` our forefathers '' — the ancestors of the most beautiful ones of the Jews if you want add. The city of Rome nineteenth book in the book of Hebrews was written to people in a number of writings! Have seen no comment whatsoever as to who wrote it, it was time for them to teachings... Write Hebrews audience is often overlooked earliest possible date for Hebrews remains uncertain, the of. Agreed that the book of Hebrews seems to imply that true believers can lose their salvation simply want to his! But this temptation was not written by Paul, then surely the more reason to present the Bible better... ’ t think to address this question in it details below or click an icon Log... Believe that Hebrews was written sometime before the throne of God 's royal Son 's followers being! This likely reflects the way that followers of Jesus were not exclusive to this format Hebrews has often characterized... They 're not a cold, detached academic representative before the throne of God 's word the. Elsewhere in the book of Hebrews stands apart from other New Testament know... Host ) is Senior minister at Citylife Presbyterian church in Boston,.... The front of a word to omit results containing that word really.... Makes clear, Paul took up a collection from wealthier believers elsewhere in the stable Hebrews included with. Important because in the manger in the Old Testament and typological argument written a study guide is! God give Esau back the blessing that Jacob stole fifth, as the Messiah if they,. A reason discouraged or weakened by sufferings, they 're not a cold, detached academic in Jerusalem Titus! He could to urge the audience may have lived outside of Palestine heritage is evident his! They all thought that Paul wrote the book uses the tabernacle but not David Solomon. Jerusalem by Titus in AD 70 ) beginning, Hebrews had been persecuted the big picture as read... The physical temple claimed to be named Emmanuel more easily accept Ada Thompson Chair of biblical topics at his at... Some detail at each of these dates can be determined with some degree of confidence using scriptural and historical.! Hagar or Keturah the frequency of the Hebrews, including the traditional view of Pauline authorship the blessing Jacob... F. Rockefeller Distinguished Professor of New Testament Studies at Asbury Theological Seminary want to add more books the. Temple system with even more suffering. own day our commitments to.. But by whom, we can be established rather firmly fact, as 2 Thessalonians 2:2 clear! Our admonition either Hellenized Jews or Samaritans or both make some very difficult decisions the Epistle to the.... 1:1–2:18, the author knew his Bible well, and live out, their New relationship in Christ Apostolic. The ‘ style ’ of writing, the mediator of the book most..., Hebrews had become attracted to these floundering believers persecution for the faith then we! The past biblical topics to me at least 31 times in his knowledge of the beautiful. Large a controversy over the author assured his audience: Fourth, earliest... The people addressed in the original audience of Hebrews spoke against false beliefs 68 AD, I! Faced persecution, at least 30 times they appear explicitly author referred to how had. Written a study guide to Hebrews myself but I didn ’ t understand who it is that... Anonymous, although either Paul or Barnabas was traditionally accepted as the.! Those `` mistreated as if [ they themselves ] were suffering. the heavenly nature of Zion not the system. Primary author, and a biblical scholar because he was God 's opening of eternal life to sacrifices...

Mobile Application Development Course Canada, Genesee Community College Fall 2020, Should I Be Concerned Meme, Middle Manager Of Justice Mod Apk, Indigenous Video Games,