It looks like the replacement volume(s) for Hebrews in the ICC has a Nov 2013 publication date. This is great news for all us Hebrews scholars and students. The Moffatt edition was an excellent commentary, but it has long been in need of a replacement.
Le premier contact avec l’Épître aux Hébreux est rebutant. De toute la collection des écrits néo-testamentaires, en effect, cette lettre est, avec l’Apocalypse, la plus éloignée au point de vue littéraire de notre mentalité occidentale et moderne.
L’Épitre aux Hébreux (vol. 1): 1.
The OT is the “bone and marrow” of Hebrews. From beginning to end this book is an expository “sermon” that rests on careful OT interpretation. The pastor quotes the OT, alludes to the OT, summarizes OT passages, recounts events from the lives of OT persons, and often echoes the idiom of the Greek OT.
One of the best things that Logos Bible Software has going on is what they call Community Pricing. Logos finds classic works that are in the Public Domain and puts them online to see what the community—that is Logos users—is willing to pay to produce them. This is a win for all because the more users who bid, the lower the final price will be!
Here is a short video that explains the whole process even better.
Classic Commentaries and Studies on Hebrews
The best of the best in Community Pricing are the Classic Commentaries and Studies Collections. These particular collections have brought some of the best commentaries that were once out-of-print back into the light! In fact, although not specifically related to this series, one such collection that Logos has produced via Community Pricing is the Cambridge Greek Testament for Schools and Colleges (21 vols.). While I myself do not buy many electronic commentaries, I will say that I did jump on the bandwagon for one collection in particular.
The Classic Commentaries and Studies on Hebrews (31 vols.) was just too good to pass up! For me, the one commentary I was most excited for was the classic two volume work from Franz Delitzsch. Now, I know that this has been reprinted by the good folks over at Wipf & Stock. But the price tag of $68 for a reprint was nearly three times the cost of the entire 31 vols. that Logos had on Community Pricing. So that was a no brainer. Not only did I get Delitzsch’s commentary, I also received George Milligan’s Theology of the Epistle to the Hebrews, Hoskier’s Commentary on the Various Readings in the Text of the Epistle to the Hebrews in the Chester-Beatty Papyrus P46, and Goodspeed’s The Epistle to the Hebrews.
While 31 vols. for such an amazing price is always a good thing, I do not necessarily need all these commentaries. But that is a small price to pay for getting what I really wanted, namely the work of Delitzsch. I would recommend that you go and check out some of the Classic Commentaries and Studies Collections that Logos has thus far produced. While there, I would place a bid on both the Biblical Apocrypha collection as well as the Minor Prophets.
Disclaimer: Although I work for Logos Bible Software, I write this in all sincerity and without any pressure to do so. Logos is a great place to work! In fact, they are hiring.
I have often thought that while the Gospels give us a historical picture of life of Jesus—his miracles, his teachings, his passion, etc.—the book of Hebrews gives us the theological why for all of these things. What do I mean by this? In my opinion, no other NT writing gives us such insight into the person of Christ like Hebrews does. In fact, the author strives to show how Jesus is superior to everything: superior than angels, Moses, Aaron and the whole Levitical system, Melchizedek, etc. Tucked away in Hebrews we find such passages as:
3 ὃς ὢν ἀπαύγασμα τῆς δόξης καὶ χαρακτὴρ τῆς ὑποστάσεως αὐτοῦ, φέρων τε τὰ πάντα τῷ ῥήματι τῆς δυνάμεως αὐτοῦ, καθαρισμὸν τῶν ἁμαρτιῶν ποιησάμενος ἐκάθισεν ἐν δεξιᾷ τῆς μεγαλωσύνης ἐν ὑψηλοῖς, 4 τοσούτῳ κρείττων γενόμενος τῶν ἀγγέλων ὅσῳ διαφορώτερον παρʼ αὐτοὺς κεκληρονόμηκεν ὄνομα. Τίνι γὰρ εἶπέν ποτε τῶν ἀγγέλων (Heb 1:3–4)
10 τὸν δὲ βραχύ τι παρʼ ἀγγέλους ἠλαττωμένον βλέπομεν Ἰησοῦν διὰ τὸ πάθημα τοῦ θανάτου δόξῃ καὶ τιμῇ ἐστεφανωμένον, ὅπως χάριτι θεοῦ ὑπὲρ παντὸς γεύσηται θανάτου. 10 Ἔπρεπεν γὰρ αὐτῷ, διʼ ὃν τὰ πάντα καὶ διʼ οὗ τὰ πάντα, πολλοὺς υἱοὺς εἰς δόξαν ἀγαγόντα τὸν ἀρχηγὸν τῆς σωτηρίας αὐτῶν διὰ παθημάτων τελειῶσαι. 11 ὅ τε γὰρ ἁγιάζων καὶ οἱ ἁγιαζόμενοι ἐξ ἑνὸς πάντες· διʼ ἣν αἰτίαν οὐκ ἐπαισχύνεται ἀδελφοὺς αὐτοὺς καλεῖν 12 λέγων·
ἀπαγγελῶ τὸ ὄνομά σου τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς μου,
ἐν μέσῳ ἐκκλησίας ὑμνήσω σε,
13 καὶ πάλιν·
ἐγὼ ἔσομαι πεποιθὼς ἐπʼ αὐτῷ,
ἰδοὺ ἐγὼ καὶ τὰ παιδία ἅ μοι ἔδωκεν ὁ θεός.
14 Ἐπεὶ οὖν τὰ παιδία κεκοινώνηκεν αἵματος καὶ σαρκός, καὶ αὐτὸς παραπλησίως μετέσχεν τῶν αὐτῶν, ἵνα διὰ τοῦ θανάτου καταργήσῃ τὸν τὸ κράτος ἔχοντα τοῦ θανάτου, τοῦτʼ ἔστιν τὸν διάβολον, 15 καὶ ἀπαλλάξῃ τούτους, ὅσοι φόβῳ θανάτου διὰ παντὸς τοῦ ζῆν ἔνοχοι ἦσαν δουλείας. 16 οὐ γὰρ δήπου ἀγγέλων ἐπιλαμβάνεται ἀλλὰ σπέρματος Ἀβραὰμ ἐπιλαμβάνεται. 17 ὅθεν ὤφειλεν κατὰ πάντα τοῖς ἀδελφοῖς ὁμοιωθῆναι, ἵνα ἐλεήμων γένηται καὶ πιστὸς ἀρχιερεὺς τὰ πρὸς τὸν θεὸν εἰς τὸ ἱλάσκεσθαι τὰς ἁμαρτίας τοῦ λαοῦ. 18 ἐν ᾧ γὰρ πέπονθεν αὐτὸς πειρασθείς, δύναται τοῖς πειραζομένοις βοηθῆσαι (2:10–18)
14 Ἔχοντες οὖν ἀρχιερέα μέγαν διεληλυθότα τοὺς οὐρανούς, Ἰησοῦν τὸν υἱὸν τοῦ θεοῦ, κρατῶμεν τῆς ὁμολογίας. 15 οὐ γὰρ ἔχομεν ἀρχιερέα μὴ δυνάμενον συμπαθῆσαι ταῖς ἀσθενείαις ἡμῶν, πεπειρασμένον δὲ κατὰ πάντα καθʼ ὁμοιότητα χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας. 16 προσερχώμεθα οὖν μετὰ παρρησίας τῷ θρόνῳ τῆς χάριτος, ἵνα λάβωμεν ἔλεος καὶ χάριν εὕρωμεν εἰς εὔκαιρον βοήθειαν (4:14–16)
7 ὃς ἐν ταῖς ἡμέραις τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ δεήσεις τε καὶ ἱκετηρίας πρὸς τὸν δυνάμενον σῴζειν αὐτὸν ἐκ θανάτου μετὰ κραυγῆς ἰσχυρᾶς καὶ δακρύων προσενέγκας καὶ εἰσακουσθεὶς ἀπὸ τῆς εὐλαβείας, 8 καίπερ ὢν υἱός, ἔμαθεν ἀφʼ ὧν ἔπαθεν τὴν ὑπακοήν, 9 καὶ τελειωθεὶς ἐγένετο πᾶσιν τοῖς ὑπακούουσιν αὐτῷ αἴτιος σωτηρίας αἰωνίου, 10 προσαγορευθεὶς ὑπὸ τοῦ θεοῦ ἀρχιερεὺς κατὰ τὴν τάξιν Μελχισέδεκ (Heb 5:7–10)
Τοιγαροῦν καὶ ἡμεῖς τοσοῦτον ἔχοντες περικείμενον ἡμῖν νέφος μαρτύρων, ὄγκον ἀποθέμενοι πάντα καὶ τὴν εὐπερίστατον ἁμαρτίαν, διʼ ὑπομονῆς τρέχωμεν τὸν προκείμενον ἡμῖν ἀγῶνα 2 ἀφορῶντες εἰς τὸν τῆς πίστεως ἀρχηγὸν καὶ τελειωτὴν Ἰησοῦν, ὃς ἀντὶ τῆς προκειμένης αὐτῷ χαρᾶς ὑπέμεινεν σταυρὸν αἰσχύνης καταφρονήσας ἐν δεξιᾷ τε τοῦ θρόνου τοῦ θεοῦ κεκάθικεν. 3 ἀναλογίσασθε γὰρ τὸν τοιαύτην ὑπομεμενηκότα ὑπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν εἰς ἑαυτὸν ἀντιλογίαν, ἵνα μὴ κάμητε ταῖς ψυχαῖς ὑμῶν ἐκλυόμενοι (Heb 12:1–3)
12 Διὸ καὶ Ἰησοῦς, ἵνα ἁγιάσῃ διὰ τοῦ ἰδίου αἵματος τὸν λαόν, ἔξω τῆς πύλης ἔπαθεν. 13 τοίνυν ἐξερχώμεθα πρὸς αὐτὸν ἔξω τῆς παρεμβολῆς τὸν ὀνειδισμὸν αὐτοῦ φέροντες (Heb 13:12–13)
Whereas the Gospels illustrate the suffering of Jesus and his horrific death at the hands of the Romans, Hebrews gives us a insight into the reasons for this death in a way the Gospels do not. I cannot help but feel encouraged by these verses. It portrays the humanity of Christ in a way that the Gospels do not, and for me these verses have been an anchor during some of the most horrific trials and storms I have yet to face. It does this soul good to dwell on the humanity of Christ and his sufferings, and these verses remind me that Jesus knew and experienced suffering like every human being that has walked this earth. For me, it is easy to remember that Jesus was and is God; it is a lot harder for me to remember that Jesus was also a man acquainted with sorrows, experienced disappointment, and knew what heartache was. That brings me great comfort.
In light of my recent post on Gareth Cockerill’s fine addition to the New International Commentary on the New Testament, I decided that I would give a copy away! Go to my Theological Musings Facebook page and enter the contest. The more you spread the word about the giveaway, the more chances you have to win!
NB: Nick, you are ineligible due to to the fact you seem to always win every book giveaway. :p
PS: Of course I am kidding Nick.
How do you replace a legend? When an iconic sports figure leaves the sport he loves, how does that team ever replace him? It comes to no surprise to those who know me that I am a die-hard fan of the Pittsburgh Penguins. I remember staying up late on a number of occasions to watch the Pens play deep into overtime in the Stanley Cup playoffs (side note: The Pens have played in two of the top five longest games in Playoff history). When my favorite player Mario Lemieux decided to hang up his skates, I thought hockey was over in Pittsburgh. Who could ever replace the face of the Pens franchise? Thankfully a new superstar has emerged in Pittsburgh!
In the world of New Testament commentaries there is arguably no greater name than the late Frederick Fyvie Bruce. So when the time came to replace Bruce’s commentary on Hebrews in the NICNT, the baton had to pass to someone who could pick up the mantle of Hebrews studies and take readers further than what Bruce had accomplished. It goes without saying that this would be no small task, and time will eventually tell if Gareth Cockerill has succeeded as a worthy replacement for Bruce.
In the twenty-plus years since Bruce’s NICNT was last revised, there has been a number of excellent commentaries published on the epistle to the Hebrews. One can quickly bring to mind Johnson’s contribution to the NTL series, Ellingworth’s exhaustive NIGTC volume, O’Brien’s excellent addition to the PNTC volume, and Koester’s AB commentary. Thankfully there has been no shortage of fine critical commentaries published.
When I pick up a critical commentary on Hebrews one of the first things I look at is the author’s treatment of the structure of Hebrews. This is a topic of much interest for me personally, as I have spent a good amount of time reading (and re-reading) books, journal articles, and essays on the structure of Hebrews. Cockerill uses roughly sixteen pages to discuss various aspects of the structure of Hebrews. He interacts with the important works in the field of study (Vanhoye, Übelacker, Swetnam, Guthrie, Westfall, Koester, etc.), highlighting their strengths and weakness. This synthesis of previous studies lays the ground work for Cockerill’s own understanding of the structure of Hebrews.
Cockerill describes his treatment of the structure as one that is “sensitive to the formal features of the text, to its use of Scripture, and to the rhetorical shape.” But according to Cockerill, his analysis “puts considerable emphasis on the pastor’s use of imagery and on the concrete way in which he has arranged his material to motivate his hearers…The final justification for this structuring is the insight it provides into the individual parts and total impact of this sermon” (62). While Cockerill does provide much in the way of justification for his structuring, it nonetheless is a little convoluted in its presentation. Instead of presenting a linear rationale for his structuring, I often found myself flipping back and forth, trying to conceptualize the overall structure of Hebrews. This is not to say that his argument is flawed, it just could have been presented in a much easier-to-follow format.
The parallels between certain sections of Hebrews are brought out in a clear and convincing manner. For example, Cockerill notes that 1:1-2:18/12:4-29 form a chiasm:
God has Spoken in his Son (1:1-2:18)
(a) In His Son (1:1-4)
(b) Through the Eternal Son (1:5-14)
(c) Don’t Neglect “So great a salvation” (2:1-4)
(d) By the Suffering Son (2:5-18)
God Speaks/Will Speak in His Son (12:4-29)
(‘d) The Suffering of Legitimate Sons and Daughters (12:4-13)
(‘c) Don’t Fall into Apostasy (12:14-17)
(‘b) Through the Son from Heaven (12:18-24)
(‘a) At the Judgment (12:25-29)
Cockerill offer a number of helpful charts that illustrate his argument. These are helpful, considering the above comments on the difficulty of following Cockerill’s argument at some points.
In light of this, anyone who has spent anytime with Hebrews knows that there are patterns and intricate features that the author Hebrews utilized all throughout his letter. As the various studies on the structure of Hebrews mentioned above show, there is no real unanimity when it comes situating Hebrews within any particular structure. Nonetheless, Cockerill has taken the best from all of these and has presented a well argued and coherent discussion on the structure of Hebrews.
Inevitably when one thinks of Hebrews, one of the firsts things that come to mind—other than who the author is—are the so-called “warning passages.” No doubt these have been the rise and fall for many. While there are many articles, books, etc. written on these passages, it is important that they not be divorced from their historical and linguistic context. Too often we can isolated them and use them as proof texts in or Calvinist/Arminian debates. While I do not have time to discuss each of the passages individually, I will note that Cockerill does a fine job in situating these tricky passages within their respected contexts. He shows how each of them relates to their surrounding context and continues the discussion forward. The reader will find a great amount of care for these sections.
As I mentioned above, it will be sometime before we know if Cockerill is a worthy replacement for Bruce. But what I can say is that Cockerill is off to a good start! He has a fine introduction; a detailed and exhaustive commentary; and he is sensitive to both the author and the readers. I think it is safe to say that when a student or pastor is looking for a commentary on Hebrews, Cockerill should be added to the “commentaries on Hebrews hall of fame.”
With book like Christology, Hermeneutics, and Hebrews, it is difficult for me to write a true review of the book; I would be stuck writing thirteen separate reviews for each of the chapters in the book. So instead I offer an apology for why you should read this book. If time permits, I will post a thought or two in the future on certain chapters of the book
The subtitle of the book—Profiles from the History of Interpretation—informs you from the start the direction of the book. The authors trace the history of the christological interpretation of Hebrews through some of the earliest Greek commentators like Chrysostom and Cyril of Alexandria, the medieval works of Aquinas, the Reformers Calvin and Luther, and finishing in the modern period with three essays on modern interpretation of christological interpretation from a two biblical scholars and theologian. The essays highlight an aspect of a famous interpreter from the past and how they understood the christology of Hebrews in their days.
For a student of Hebrews, this book is a must read! Each of the essays offers the reader a robust history in christology and a better reading of some of the key texts in Hebrews. One final note. The essays by Attridge and Hagner are incredible! Both of these seasoned Hebrews scholars have much to offer. I found that reading these two essays first helped guide my reading of the remaining essays. In all I would recommend Christology, Hermeneutics, and Hebrews to every serious student of Hebrews as well as the reader who wants to gain a better understanding of the history of interpretation and how is develops through time.
Today’s QOTD is brought to you by Gareth Cockerill:
First and most fundamentally, God’s word in the incarnate, obedient, now exalted Son fulfills all that God has said. Therefore, the Son stands in complete continuity with and fulfills all previous revelation. Second, the Old Covenant with its priesthood and sacrifices has always been and continues to be a type of foreshadowing of the full sufficiency of Christ as Savior. It was never meant to be an adequate means of salvation in itself. This relationship between old and new is demonstrated both by the descriptions of the old order in the Pentateuch and and by the promises and intimations of fulfillment in Christ found mostly in the psalms, prophets, and related literature. Third, those who live by faith in the word of God constitute the one people of God throughout history. Their goal has always been and continues to be final entrance into God’s eternal “rest.” Thus the examples of both the faithful and the unfaithful along with God’s promises, warnings, and words of encouragement to his people of old retain their validity with increased urgency because of what Christ has done. To be faithful today is to join the faithful of all time.
To that I say amen and amen!
Edwin Mellen Press sent over a review copy of Jon Isaak’s Situating the Letter to the Hebrews in Early Christian History. A review will appear here once I get to reading it.
The fine folks over at Continuum were kind enough to send along a review copy of Christology, Hermeneutics, and Hebrews: Profiles from the History of Interpretation, edited by Jon Laansma and Daniel Treier, both of whom are professors at Wheaton College.
Here is a description of the book:
Christology and Hermeneutics discusses the history of the interpretation of the Letter to the Hebrews. Contributors assess the study and interpretation of Hebrews across the last two millennia. Beginning with the Patristic period, the book goes on to examine the responses of Thomas Aquinas, Martin Luther, John Calvin, as well as more recent figures such as Karl Barth and contemporary global interpreters.
The premise behind the work is to move study of Hebrews away from the perennial arguments about its authorship and provenance and to instead engage with it from a theological perspective, focusing upon the text’s reception history. Consequently the issue of the Christological message in Hebrews is at the forefront and is considered both in terms of the interpreter’s context and historical setting. At the end of the book the investigations are summarised and responded to by leading scholars Harold Attridge, Donald A. Hagner and Kathryn Greene-McCreight; providing a fitting conclusion to a radical academic project.
If you are interested in the essays included in the book, here is the table of contents:
List of Contributors (xi)
Hebrews: Yesterday, Today, and Future; An Illustrative Survey, Diagnosis, Prescription Jon C. Laansma (1)
Christological Ideas in the Greek Commentaries on the Epistle to the Hebrews Frances M. Young (33)
Irenaeus and Hebrews D. Jeffrey Bingham (48)
‘Clothed with Spiritual Fire’: John Chrysostom’s Homilies on the Letter to HebrewsCharles Kannengiesser (74)
Thomas Aquinas and the Epistle to the Hebrews: ‘The Excellence of Christ’ Daniel Keating (84)
Christology in Martin Luther’s Lectures on Hebrews Mickey L. Mattox (100)
The Perfect Priest: Calvin on the Christ of Hebrews R. Michael Allen (120)
Typology, the Messiah, and John Owen’s Theological Reading of Hebrews Kelly M. Kapic (135)
The Identity of the Son: Karl Barth’s Exegesis of Hebrews 1.1-4 (and Similar Passages) Bruce L. McCormack (155)
The Living Word versus the Proof Text? Hebrews in Modern Systematic Theology Daniel J. Treier and Christopher Atwood (173)
Hebrews and the History of Its Interpretation: A Biblical Scholar’s Response Harold W. Attridge (202)
Hebrews: A Book for Today; A Biblical Scholar’s Response Donald A. Hagner (213)
Hebrews: Yesterday, Today, and Future; A Theologian’s Response Kathryn Greene-McCreight (225)
Index of references to Premodern Sources (254)
Index of Authors (261)
David M. Allen, Deuteronomy and Exhortation in Hebrews: A Study in Narrative Re-presentation. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe: 238. Mohr Siebeck, 2008
Hebrews, therefore, does not just use Deuteronomy; it becomes a new Deuteronomy.
With these words, David Allen concludes his marvelous study on the use of Deuteronomy Auctor’s letter to the Hebrews. Prof Allen’s monograph offers a detailed study of language, background, and narrative of Deuteronomy, especially the Song of Moses and its contribution to the composition and argument of the letter to the Hebrews. Allen’s book was a delight to read as it was informative.
The follow review will highlight a few points points of the book, offering praise and critique along the way. Not too often does one read a book and find his views about a given topic confirmed 0n almost every point. This is precisely what I found myself doing. Before I began reading–before I had even known about Prof Allen’s monograph–I was coming to some of the same conclusions that are argued for in Deuteronomy and Exhortation in Hebrews: A Study in Narrative Re-presentation.
In chapter one Allen summarizes the scholarship of Hebrews and Deuteronomy, particularly the use of the OT in Hebrews. Early on, Allen begins to build a case that Hebrews shares many affinities with Deuteronomy, specifically with Deut 32. There is also a lengthy section of the text of Deuteronomy as well as a section on Intertextuality and and Methodology. Allen acknowledges George Guthrie’s seminal work on the structure of Hebrews. Allen agrees with Guthrie’s analysis of two distinct thoughts in Hebrews: doctrinal and hortatory (p.12). While I agree with a lot of what Guthrie argues for in his work, I am not convinced that he–and Allen–are correct in treating them as distinct.
Chapter three focuses on the use of Deuteronomy in Hebrews. Allen analyzes the OT in Hebrews at four different levels: (direct) quotations, string allusions, echoes, and narrative affiliations. Each of these levels presents more of a challenge as Allen progresses through Hebrews. While I do think Allen makes a strong case for his argument, presenting much in favor of his view, I am nevertheless not as convinced at points. This is not because of a weakness in his argument, but rather because I am always uneasy when it comes to echoes and allusions of the OT in the NT. Even Allen admits this is a tricky practice: “Defining echoes is more complex and some element of subjectivity is inevitable in their identification” (p.17). In all, his treatment of the intertextuality is one of the best on Hebrews I have yet to read.
Because a textual link to Deuteronomy is not as strong in Hebrews, Allen’s thesis is based heavily on themes, motifs, and other OT pictures. It is here that I find his argument fascinating and very convincing. One of the strong points of Allen’s work is his insistence that just like Israel stood at the doorstep to the promised land, so too the New Covenant community (i.e. the Church) stands at the doorstep of the promised land. Allen argues that for Israel it was an exodus, but for the Church is a an eisodous: a entering in.
I wish I had more time to go more in-depth in my review of David Allen’s fabulous book. I would highly recommend this work to anyone who wants to understand Hebrews at the discourse level. Hebrews can be a difficult and confusing book, but David Allen paints a narrative masterpiece that weaves through the epistle, allowing the reader to see the big picture of Hebrews. Allen closes his work with the following:
By undertaking this intertextual engagement with Deuteronomy, the epistle’s writer transfers his audience away from their allegiance to an outdated, redundant Sinai existence, dons Mosaic garments and addresses them afresh on the plains of Moab. Within Hebrews’ new covenant situation, the exhortation to “Choose Life” remains as pressing as ever.
NB: If you want to read this work for yourself, here is a link to David Allen’s dissertation online.
I just cannot get away from the Letter to the Hebrews! It is rich in theology, intertextuality, exhortations to endure in the faith, warnings to shake ones complacency, and most important of all: Jesus! Hebrews is the most Jesus rich of all the writing of the New Testament!
If you know me, you know two things: First, I love the Epistle to the Hebrews. And second, you probably know more about Ceslas Spicq’s L’Épitre aux Hébreux (The Epistle to the Hebrews) than you care too. Well, to say that I am excited about what I am about to say would be an understatement. I am pleased to announce that my awesome employer, Logos Bible Software, is looking to publish the first ever English edition of Ceslas Spicq’s magisterial commentary. Yes, you read that right! Now, everyone I have ever talked to death about this work—how awesome it is, how it needs to be translated, how I am going to do whatever I can to get it translated—can rest assured that I will not talk about it…as much.
My History with Ceslas Spicq
My love for this great French scholar began back during my undergraduate days. I was beginning my love for all things Epistle to the Hebrews. It the last semester of my major, Greek, that I took exegesis of the Epistle to the Hebrews. I was loving life and enjoying my critical study of the Greek text. I checked out every major commentary the library had on Hebrews (my classmates were not too thrilled, to say the least), and I began to work through them and I kept running into one name over and over. Can you guess who this was? Indeed, it was Mr. Spicq. Now, I tried desperately to track down a copy, but there were none to be found. Anywhere! This was frustrating me because every major commentator on Hebrews interacted with Spicq, and I wanted to see what made this man so vital that he was worthy of interacting with.
I soon came to find out that not only was Spicq’s commentary impossible to find, it also was not in print (I think it may have only been published the initial time in 1952-53) or translated into English. For a budding Hebrews scholar and bibliophile, this is simply unacceptable! I made it my mission in 2006 to see to it that there would be an English edition for the world to enjoy.
If at First You Do Not Succeed…
A few years back a good friend and I decided that we could not sit around and wait to see an English edition of Spicq. So, we jumped into our cars and headed down to Pasadena, to Archive’s Bookstore. The owner of the bookstore also owns a publishing house that specializes in re-prints of classic works. We had a good converstaion with him, pleading our case as to why Spicq needed to be re-published and translated. We left there with a promise that he would do what he could to make this happen.
Well, weeks turned into months and I heard nothing from the owner of the bookstore. During that time I also tried to contact the publisher and inquire about rights, permissions, etc. I never once got a reply. Well, we finally heard back from the owner of the bookstore and he said that he tried to get in touch with the publisher, but they never returned their message. So, the dream was dead. I figured if Archives could not make this happen, it will never come to pass.
Try and Try Again…
Flash-forward now to 2012. With the help of two wonderfully kind gentlemen—Father Benedict Viviano and Rev Dr Jerome Murphy-O’Connor—this time I was able to get in touch with the French Publisher Gabalda and get permission to do an English translation of Spicq. This has been a dream of mine for a number of years. I must say, Logos has been awesome to let me go out and make this dream a reality. They supported my efforts and shared my desire to see Ceslas Spicq’s work translated and shared with the world.
Now, all that you need to do is head over to Logos and get your order your in today. By placing your Pre-Pub order, you are holding your place in line. You are not charged a dime until the book is published and shipped to you electronically. So what are you waiting for? Go to Logos now and make my dream a reality.
Before I finish, go check out my post on the Logos Blog. It will give you my “apologetic” for Ceslas Spicq’s L’Épitre aux Hébreux.
Update: This is the week of blessing for me. After years of searching the internet, trying hard to find a copy of vol 2 of L’Épitre aux Hébreux, I can say now that my journey has ended! I have finally have the complete set of of Ceslas Spicq’s L’Épitre aux Hébreux. Now I will look for his Esquisse d’une Histoire de l’Exégèse Latine au Moyen Age.
I happened to stop by ChristianBook.com and noticed that they were having a sale on some commentaries. One of these commentaries is Luke Johnson’s excellent commentary on Hebrews. While it normally lists for $50, CBD has it on sale for the unbelievable price of $12.99. So I suggest that you take your Starbucks money for the week and save it to buy this excellent commentary. You will thank me later.
“The final disclosure of God’s mind and purpose has been made in his Son.” James Moffatt.
A number of years ago I wrote my senior paper on Hebrews 1.1-4, giving it the title In These Last Days: The Final Communicative Act of God. Tonight I just cracked open Moffat’s ICC commentary on Hebrews and read the above quote. He says pretty much the same thing I said. Just thought that to be cool.
Below is the template that I will follow for my review of King L. She’s The Use of Exodus in Hebrews. As I read and review each chapter I will add links to each corresponding chapter.
Part One: Descriptive Use of Exodus in Hebrews
2. Descriptive Analysis of Significant Exodus Citations and Cultic Vocabulary in Hebrews
Part Two: Prescriptive Use of Exodus in Hebrews
3. Presuppositions of a Prescriptive Analysis in Hebrews
4. Prelude to Prescriptive Analysis in Hebrews
5. Auctor’s Attitude toward the Old Testament in Light of the Christ Event
6. History of the Interpretive Influence of Exodus
7. Auctor’s Typological Use of Exodus in Light of the Christ Event
8. Hermeneutical Methodology Employed in the Use of Exodus by Auctor
Finally! We now know who wrote Hebrews.
My best friend Drew started a blog while I was in the midst of my exile. He is a PhD student at SWBTS, and like yours truly has a love for Hebrews. I like to think that I have taught him all that he knows in regards to Hebrews, but time will tell. Lord knows he is a much smarter man than I ever can be. Anyways, go to his site and encourage him as he currently reads through the Greek New Testament.