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Epistle to the Hebrews

(he' - brooz, ee - pis' - ul)

General Information

The Epistle to the Hebrews is the only New Testament letter not introduced by the name of its author. Traditionally, it has been ascribed to Saint Paul, but modern scholars suggest that it may have been written by another author, perhaps a disciple of Paul. The letter has a symbolic style and sustained argument that mark it as a Hellenistic work based on the Jewish tradition. It was probably written between AD 60 and 90 to a general audience.

The epistle falls into two parts. In the first part, Jesus Christ is described as superior to Moses; he is seen as the high priest who replaces the Levitical priesthood and who establishes a new Covenant to be accepted by faith (chaps. 1 - 10). In the second part, the author gives counsel on persevering faithfully in the new covenant (chaps. 10 - 13). Christians are urged to follow the example of Old Testament heroes of faith. The epistle's teachings on the person of Christ have been important to theology.

Anthony J Saldarini

Bibliography
G W Buchanan, To the Hebrews (1972); H Montefiore, A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews (1964); A Saphir, Epistle to the Hebrews (1983); R M Wilson, Hebrews (1987).


Epistle to the Hebrews

Brief Outline

  1. Pre-Eminence of Christ. Christ is superior to Angels and to Moses. (1:1-4:13)
  2. Priesthood of Christ. Christ is a Priest like Melchizedek (4:14-10:18)
  3. Perseverance of Christians. (10:19-12:29)
  4. Postscript, exhortations, personal concerns, benediction (13:1-25)


He'brews

General Information

Hebrews (Acts 6:1) were the Hebrew-speaking Jews, as distinguished from those who spoke Greek.



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