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Book of Hebrews


Authorship and Origin:

The author of Hebrews is not known, as the date and place of origin are also uncertain. Some very old traditions attribute the book to Paul, but it is unlikely that he wrote it as it differs greatly in style and more importantly in theological language from his other works. Even very early Christians such as Origen did not accept the Pauline authorship. The earliest reference to Hebrews is in a letter from Clement of Rome, dated about 96 A.D., so the letter was written before that time period.

Much can be determined however, about the author from the book itself. For example, he was well versed in Greek, apparently read the Old Testament in Greek (as he quotes from the Greek version of the time), and was knowledgeable of current trends in opinions and philosophies such as those of Philo and Greek thought.

Overview and Significant sections

The book was probably written to Jewish Christians, who under persecution, may have been considering abandoning their new faith and returning to the synagogue. Or perhaps it was to a group of Jewish believers that still held strongly to some of the synagogue ways. The author seeks to strengthen and reawaken these believers in the truth. These Christians were likely second generation Christians, and therefore may have not been as strong and as clear on the truth.

An interesting thing to note about this book, is that the author uses quotes from the Old Testament as though they were direct quotations from God himself. His perspective as a believer and that Jesus Christ fulfilled the Old Testament gives him this ability. Secondly, the author exhibits some Platonic ways of viewing the spiritual world versus the natural world.

There are some very well know scripture passages that come from this book. In particular:
We are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses.
Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.

The book can be divided into these main sections:

  • The Great Salvation
  • The rest of God
  • Our Greate High Priest
  • the New Covenant
  • the superiority of Faith
  • the worship and conduct of believers

Significant sections:

For more detailed study:
Read Chapter 1. (the entire book is available here.)
The Concise Matthew Henry Commentary on this book. study of this book.
the World Wide Study Bible has Dictionary, Commentary, Scripture and sermons available on this book.