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Introduction to the New Testament: Romans to Revelation - Lesson 27

Hebrews

Hebrews is written to Hebrew Christians to demonstrate how Christ fulfilled the Mosaic covenant.

Craig Blomberg
Introduction to the New Testament: Romans to Revelation
Lesson 27
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Hebrews

General Letters

Part 2

II. Hebrews – The Superiority of Christ

A. Introduction to Hebrews

1. What we don't know for sure

a. Author (but not Paul – see 2:3, 2 Thessalonians 3:17)

b. Date (though probably pre-70)

c. Audience (though probably Jewish Christian)

d. Location (though probably Rome, 13;24)

2. What we are told

a. 12:4, 10:32-34 (implying between 49 & 64)

b. 13:22 and genre of sermon

B. Hebrews Themes

1. Prologue (1:1-4)

2. Superior to Angels (1:5-2:18)

3. Superior to Moses (3:1-4:13)

4. Superior to the Priesthood (4:14-7:28)

5. Superior to the Old Covenant (8:1-10:39)

6. Superior to the Old Testament Heroes of the Faith (11:1-12:29)

7. Conclusions (13:1-25)

C. Hebrews Outline

1. Prologue (1:1-4)

2. Superior to Angels (1:5-2:18)

a. In sovereignty (1:5-14): so follow Him closely (2:1-4)

b. In suffering (2:5-13): so we are free from sin (2:14-18)

3. Superior to Moses (3:1-4:13): so don't rebel, but enter God's rest

4. Superior to the Priesthood (4:14-7:28)

a. So accept God's grace (4:14-16)

b. Comparison with Aaron (5:1-10)

c. Key warning against apostasy (5:11-6:20)

d. Comparison with Levi (7:1-28) [Jesus is like Melchizedek]

5. Superior to the Old Covenant (8:1-10:39): so perseverance is crucial

6. Superior to the Old Testament Heroes of the Faith (11:1-12:29): so focus on Jesus

7. Conclusions (13:1-25)

D. Exegetical Highlights of Hebrews 1-5

1. High Christology of 1:1-4

2. Uses of Old Testament in 1:5-14

3. Relationship between humanity and Jesus in 2:5-9

4. Implications for counseling of 2:17-18 and 4:14-16

5. Stages of Sabbath rest in 4:1-11

E. Rest in Hebrews

1. Creation

2. Sabbath

3. Canaan

4. David's day

5. In Christ, now and in the life to come

F. Can a Christian Lose Salvation? (6:4-8)

[Hypothetical View – Not Possible; but if it were…]

[The following views represent a continuum from Calvinist to Arminian]

1. Calvinist

a. Preconversion Jew View: Those yet to make a serious commitment

b. Phenomenological Unbeliever View: In community of believers, but lacks genuine faith

2. Arminian

a. True Believer Under Judgment: Will face discipline but not lose salvation

b. Phenomenological True Believer: Apostasy can cause fallen Christians to lose salvation

[Covenant Community View: Rejection of Israel as a people; has little to do with individual salvation]

G. The Superior Priesthood of Christ (According to Hebrews)

[Levitical Priesthood vs. Jesus' Priesthood]

1. Many in number vs. one

2. Finite vs. eternal

3. Foreshadowed salvation vs. complete salvation

4. Offered by sinners for their own sin vs. offered by 1 without sin, not for himself

5. Repeated vs. once for all

6. Under temporary old covenant vs. under permanent new covenant

7. In earthly sanctuary vs. in heavenly sanctuary

8. Barriers to access to God vs. intimacy with God

9. Blood of bulls and goats vs. his own blood

10. Outward cleansing vs. inward cleansing

11. Conscience still guilty vs. full forgiveness

12. Incomplete sacrifice for incomplete sanctification vs. complete sacrifice for complete sanctification

13. No eternal security vs. ??

H. Jesus as a priest like Melchizedek (Chapter 7)

1. Abraham's descendant was Levi; Melchizedek received Abraham's offering

2. Since Jesus is God, Melchizedek and the tribe of Levi were priests to Jesus.

I. A Duel of Dualisms

1. God vs. Satan

2. Good vs. Evil

3. Moral vs. Cosmological

4. Heaven (reality) vs. Earth (shadow)

5. Eschatological

a. Jewish: This age and the age to come are separate

b. Christian: This age and the age to come overlap (tension of "now" and "not yet")

J. Exegetical Highlights of Hebrews 6-13

1. The significance of 2:3, 3:19, 4:2, 10:39 and 12:25 for the Calvinist-Arminian debate [see also Mathewson and deSilva]

2. 8:8-12 – longest Old Testament quote the New Testament from longest Old Testament prophecy of New Testament (new covenant)

3. 9:27 – crucial for eschatology

4. 10:29 – and the problem of sanctification

5. 11:1 – faith as believing God's promises about the future despite the appearances of the present

6. 11:39-40 – others don't receive all that was promised, so we can!

7. 12:1-3 – and the stadium metaphor

8. 12:4-13 – fathers and discipline

9. 13:17 – submission to church leaders


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Class Resources
  • Paul was trained as a Pharisee and persecuted Christians because he considered them enemies of God. After his conversion experience, he travelled in Asia Minor and Europe preaching the gospel and planting churches. Many of the letters in the New Testament are ones that he wrote to these churches.

  • Paul was trained as a Pharisee and persecuted Christians because he considered them enemies of God. After his conversion experience, he travelled in Asia Minor and Europe preaching the gospel and planting churches. Many of the letters in the New Testament are ones that he wrote to these churches.

  • Paul was trained as a Pharisee and persecuted Christians because he considered them enemies of God. After his conversion experience, he travelled in Asia Minor and Europe preaching the gospel and planting churches. Many of the letters in the New Testament are ones that he wrote to these churches.

  • A key theme in the book of Galatians is how the Law and the Gospel are related.

  • A key theme in the book of Galatians is how the Law and the Gospel are related.

  • A key theme in the book of Galatians is how the Law and the Gospel are related.

  • The return of Christ is a central theme in the letters to the Thessalonians.

  • The return of Christ is a central theme in the letters to the Thessalonians.

  • Paul addresses the extremes of asceticism and hedonism, as well as concerns regarding marriage, spiritiual gifts and the resurrection.

  • Paul addresses the extremes of asceticism and hedonism, as well as concerns regarding marriage, spiritiual gifts and the resurrection.

  • Paul addresses the extremes of asceticism and hedonism, as well as concerns regarding marriage, spiritiual gifts and the resurrection.

  • Paul responds to specific situations in the Corinthian church including emphasizing a correct perspective on giving and encouragement to see God's redemptive purpose in our suffering.

  • Paul responds to specific situations in the Corinthian church including emphasizing a correct perspective on giving and encouragement to see God's redemptive purpose in our suffering.

  • Paul wrote Romans as a systematic exposition of the gospel.

  • Paul wrote Romans as a systematic exposition of the gospel.

  • In Colossians, Paul emphasizes the deity of Christ. Philemon was written to a gentlema Paul knows to encourage him to welcome back Onesimus, his runaway slave, who became a disciple of Christ and was returning.

  • In Colossians, Paul emphasizes the deity of Christ. Philemon was written to a gentlema Paul knows to encourage him to welcome back Onesimus, his runaway slave, who became a disciple of Christ and was returning.

  • Paul describes to the followers of Jesus in Ephesus, who they are in Christ, and the ethical implications for how they should live their daily lives.

  • Paul describes to the followers of Jesus in Ephesus, who they are in Christ, and the ethical implications for how they should live their daily lives.

  • Paul contrasts the condescention and the exaltation of Christ, and addresses specific situations in the Philippian church.

  • Paul writes to encourage and instruct Timothy and Titus, both of whom are young pastors.

  • Paul writes to encourage and instruct Timothy and Titus, both of whom are young pastors.

  • Both 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians contain key passages addressing the roles of men and women in the local church.

  • Both 1 Timothy and 1 Corinthians contain key passages addressing the roles of men and women in the local church.

  • The book of James emphasizes that people demonstrate that they have true faith in Christ by their good works.

  • The book of James emphasizes that people demonstrate that they have true faith in Christ by their good works.

  • Hebrews is written to Hebrew Christians to demonstrate how Christ fulfilled the Mosaic covenant.

  • Hebrews is written to Hebrew Christians to demonstrate how Christ fulfilled the Mosaic covenant.

  • 1 Peter encourages followers of Christ to persevere even though they face persecution.

  • 1 Peter encourages followers of Christ to persevere even though they face persecution.

  • Jude and 2 Peter both emphasize refuting false teachers.

  • Major themes in John's epistles are sin, the love of God, the humanity and deity of Jesus, and the importance of obedience.

  • Major themes in John's epistles are sin, the love of God, the humanity and deity of Jesus, and the importance of obedience.

  • Revelation focuses on God's plan for cosmic history and the importance of perseverance during difficult circumstances.

  • Revelation focuses on God's plan for cosmic history and the importance of perseverance during difficult circumstances.

  • Revelation focuses on God's plan for cosmic history and the importance of perseverance during difficult circumstances.

  • Revelation focuses on God's plan for cosmic history and the importance of perseverance during difficult circumstances.

Using the English New Testament, this course surveys the New Testament epistles and the apocalypse. Issues of introduction and content receive emphasis as well as a continual focus on the theology of evangelism and on the contemporary relevance of the variety of issues these documents raise for contemporary life.