Hebrews Introduction Pt. I

The Epistle to the Hebrews is one of my most favorite books in all of the NT. There are so many amazing truths that are contained in this book as well as many mysteries. I have decided to post a few of my introductory studies on this amazing Epistle. The nature of these articles will seem a little choppy due to my cutting and pasting them here. I do apologize for any grammar mistakes as well as sentenced that do not flow well. If you want to study this book your self, I would recommend the follwing aids:

F.F. Bruce: Hebrews (NICNT); William L. Lane: Hebrews (Word Biblical Commentary, 47a-47b); Harold Attridge: Hebrews (Hermeneia); P.E. Hughes: Hebrews; Andrews H. Trotter, Jr.: Interpreting the Epistle to the Hebrews. There are many other helpful books that you can get, but these are a few of the best available now.

Studies in the Epistle to the Hebrews

 

Dating the Epsitle Part I

 

Just as the authorship of Hebrews is uncertain, so to is the date of its composition. According To F. F. Bruce, “A first-century date is required by the external evidence (the near-quotation of the epistle by Clement of Rome c. A.D. 96) and by the internal evidence, according to which the author and, probably, his readers came to know the gospel from people who themselves had listened to the teachings of Jesus (Heb 2.3)” [Bruce, xlii, Hebrews: NICNT] In regards to Clement usage of Hebrews in his epistle, note the following:

 

I Clement 17.1 – Let is be imitators also of those who went about “in goatskins and sheepskins,” preaching the coming of Christ.

 

Hebrews 11.37 – They were stoned, they were sawn I two, they were killed with the sword. They went about in skins of sheep and goats, destitute, afflicted, mistreated.

 

Also:

 

I Clement 36.2-6 – [2] Through him let us look steadily into the heights of heaven; through him we see as in a mirror his faultless and transcendent face; through him our foolish and darkened mind springs up into the light; through him the Master has willed that we should taste immortal knowledge, for “he, being the radiance of his majesty, is as much superior to angels as the name he inherited is more excellent.” [3] For so it is written: “He makes his angels winds and his ministers fire.” [4] But of his Son the Master spoke thus: “You are my Son; today I have begotten you. Ask of me, and I will give you the Gentiles for your inheritance, and the ends of the earth for your possession.” [5] And again he says to him: “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies a footstool for your feet.” [6] Who, the, are these enemies? Those who are wicked and resist his will. [Holmes, pgs. 49, 69; The Apostolic Fathers: Greek Texts and English Translations; cf. Lane, lxii. For this quote from Clement, See Attridge, pgs. 6-8; Hebrews: Hermeneia].

Hebrews 1.3-5, 7 – He is the radiance of the glory of God and the exact imprint of his nature, and he upholds the universe by the word of his power. After making purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high, having become as much superior to angels as the name he has inherited is more excellent than theirs. For to which of the angels did God ever say, “You are my Son, today I have begotten you”? Or again, “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”?

Because the writer as well as the audience came to faith because of the preaching of those who heard Jesus, Lane concludes that a date no earlier than A.D. 60 can be assigned to this epistle [Lane: lxii].

Another factor in the dating of Hebrews is its usage of present tense verbs in connection with the sacrifices [For a full discussion on this, see Carson, Moo, Morris, pg. 399-400, An Introduction to the New Testament; cf. Lane, lxiii; Bruce, xliii-xliv].

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