The Epistle to the Hebrews Jesus the Better Way Hebrews in the New Testament



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The Epistle to the Hebrews Jesus the Better Way

Hebrews in the New Testament

  • Gospel (4)
  • Matthew
  • Mark
  • Luke
  • John
  • History (1)
  • Acts
  • Epistle (21)
  • Paul (13)
  • Romans
  • 1 and 2 Cor.
  • Galatians
  • Ephesians
  • Philippians
  • Colossians
  • 1 and 2 Thess.
  • 1 and 2 Tim.
  • Titus
  • Philemon
  • Epistle (21)
  • General (8)
  • Hebrews
  • James
  • 1 Peter
  • 2 Peter
  • 1 John
  • 2 John
  • 3 John
  • Jude
  • Prophecy (1)
  • Revelation

Time Period in NT History

  • Preparation for the Church / Life of Christ
  • c. A.D. 1 – 30
  • ( Matthew through John )
  • Establishment of the Church
  • c. A.D. 30 – 60
  • ( Acts through Philemon )
  • Latter Developments in the Church
  • c. A.D 60 – 90
  • ( Hebrews through Revelation )
  • Period 1
  • Period 2
  • Period 3

Book Background

  • Title: Hebrews
    • 1. The title “Hebrews” (Pros Hebraious, To the Hebrews) is not original with the book, but was later assigned to the book. Hebrews is the first of eight books known as the General Epistles. These eight books are called General Epistles because they are addressed to a “general”, widespread audience rather than a particular local church (Corinth, Ephesus, Philippi, etc.) or particular individual (Timothy, Titus, Philemon).

Book Background

  • Title: Hebrews
    • 2. “The Epistle of Paul the Apostle to the Hebrews” is a title that is found in some editions of the King James Version, but there is no early manuscript evidence to support this wording and it was not a part of the original letter. It was added later.

Book Background

  • Author: Unknown
    • 1. Like the genealogy of Melchizedek (7:3), the author of Hebrews is unknown. Different authors have been suggested (Barnabas, Luke, Apollos, Silas, Paul, etc.).

Book Background

  • Author: Unknown
    • 2. The language and style of writing used in the salutation is very similar to what Paul would use (13:18-25), but the typical mention of Paul’s name in a greeting is missing from the book (see Rom. 1:1; 1 Cor. 1:1; etc.). Also, the author appears not to have been an apostle, but one who received the gospel message from the apostles (2:3). Another consideration is to note that the author quotes exclusively from the Septuagint and not from the Hebrew text as Paul often does in his epistles.

Book Background

  • Author: Unknown
    • 3. Men like Clement of Alexandria, Origen, and Athanasuis believed that Paul wrote the book. The original recipients knew who he was (13:18-25), but no one knows for certain who wrote the book. However, we can all know for certain what his message was.

Book Background

  • Audience: Jewish Christians
    • 1. Hebrews was written to “brethren” (3:1,12; 10:19; 13:1,22). The traditional view is that the audience was primarily a group of Jewish Christians. There are several references to Old Testament passages, persons (Moses, Joshua, Melchizedek, Aaron, Abraham, etc.), and institutions (priesthood, tabernacle, sacrifices) which would have been understood by a Jewish audience more so than a Gentile audience.

Book Background

  • Audience: Jewish Christians
    • 1. (continued) The repeated use of the present tense in connection to the sacrificial system points to the temple still being in use (8:4,13; 9:4,5,9; 10:1,8,11; 13:10-11). Also, there is no specific mention of Gentiles in the book. The readers may have been Jewish Christians in or around Rome (13:24).

Book Background

  • Audience: Jewish Christians
    • 2. The readers were Christians who had obeyed the gospel (2:3-4; 3:1,12,14; 6:9). They knew the author (13:19) and Timothy (13:23). They were not novices (5:12; 6:1-3) and they had been ministers to the saints (6:10). They had been persecuted, but not to the point of bloodshed (10:32-34; 12:4; 13:3). They had leadership (13:7,17,24).

Book Background

  • Audience: Jewish Christians
    • 2. (continued) However, they were in danger of drifting (2:1), neglect (2:3), and falling away (3:12; 4:1,11; 12:12-15). They were dull of hearing (5:11) and needed to press on to maturity (6:1). They were going after strange teachings (13:9-10). Some were even making a custom of forsaking the assemblies (10:25), sinning willfully (10:26), and shrinking back to perdition (10:39).

Book Background

  • Purpose: Exhortation
    • 1. Hebrews is a book of exhortation (13:22). It was written to exhort the readers not to fall away from Christ. These readers who once stepped out of Judaism into Christianity, are now turning back to the Old Law or turning aside to worldliness (2:1,3; 3:12-13; 4:1,11; 5:11; 6:1,4-8; 10:25,26,39; 12:12,15,25; 13:9-10). They may have done this to avoid persecution.

Book Background

  • Purpose: Exhortation
    • 2. Hebrews exhorts the readers to mature and press forward (6:1,9-12) rather than fall away. They are exhorted several times to “hold fast” what they have in Christ (3:6,14; 4:14; 10:23). The author’s appeal to mature is based upon the absolute sufficiency, supremacy and superiority of Jesus Christ. He is the “better” way! The author’s appeal in the book peaks with the statement: “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever” (13:8).


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