Some Random Notes on Hebrews

This semester I have to write a paper on the so-called warning passages in Hebrews.  First, the debate about whether these passages teach one can lose his/her salvation really have no interest for me.  It seems most people want to read these passages divorced from the their contexts, being more interested in the Calvinist-Arminian debate.  I am convinced that if you just allow these passages to remain in their contexts and understand their coherence and cohesion to the discourse as a whole, there would be more of an understanding of there purpose in Hebrews.

On another note, Peter T. O’Brien’s new Pillar commentary on Hebrews has been released and it is fantastic! The introduction is well written (it is not a book in and of itself like Lane’s introduction in the WBC).  I was very happy to see a section on discourse analysis, discussing the works of both Guthrie and Westfall.  This is a neglected area of study in the overall structure of Hebrews, and O’Brien’s discussion of this is very helpful and informative.  As I read more of this work I will post my thoughts.

Last, as I was leaving for class today there was a package on my front porch.  A few weeks ago I tracked down a copy of Spicq’s commentary on Hebrews volume 1.  If you know the scholarship of Hebrews, then you know that value of this work.  I have been searching for a copy of this work for years, and was never able to secure one.  It is a pain to track down, and seems to be as rare as finding oil in my home town.  Nevertheless, I was able to find a copy of volume one through an online bookstore site in Europe.  It was shipped from Holland, and boy is it in a rough state.  It must be a first printing (1952), for it a paperback with very brittle pages that seem ready to go up in flames at the first strike of a match.  I hope to be able to preserve it as best as possible, but I need to find out the best way to go about it.

Well, there may be some more Hebrews news in the future, but that is for another date altogether.


10 thoughts on “Some Random Notes on Hebrews

  1. As far as I know Spicq’s commentary only came out in 1952-1953. He has another commentary dated 1977, but I think this one is considerably shorter.

    A lot of French works were published on very poor quality paper. It has an acid that turns the pages brown and brittle. I think there is a way to treat the paper so that it does not continue to deteriorate, but of course the damage already done is irreversible.

  2. Brian,

    Thanks for stopping by. I am aware of his 1977 commentary, but as you mentioned it is shorter. As I am sure you know all to well, this Spicq’s 2vol work is pretty much non-existent. I am sure to find gold in my backyard before I am to find vol.2. But we shall see how the search goes.

    BTW, how is your PhD studies coming along?


  3. I don’t remember. I got it through the internet. Probably from an overseas source, but I am not sure. My copies are not ideal; many of the pages are still uncut. I just did a search; I didn’t find a copy. Sorry.

  4. Nice grab on Spicq’s commentary! I wonder if you could have someone bind it in hardback like libraries do to their paperbacks.

    Regarding the warning passages deal, I’m with you on not reading Calvinist/Arminian debates into them. I don’t even really like dealing with systematic theology since it often becomes a cherry picking contest. But I’m afraid Hebrews’ contribution to the C/A debate is unavoidable. As you well know, I think Auctor is saying his readers could fail to enter heaven (based of course on my understanding of the discourse), and it is hard to see that as irrelevant to the debate. I hope I haven’t missed your point, because again, I whole heartedly sympathize with your frustration of eisegesis.

  5. Pingback: Hebrews Carnival March 2010 « Polumeros kai Polutropos

    • Clif,

      Nice name! Unfortunately there is no English translation of Spicq’s work on Hebrews. I tried to see if a local publisher would be willing to translate this, but they never heard back from the original publisher. Hopefully someday someone will translate this for us all.


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