Hebrews

An Introduction

Blaine Robison, M.A.

Published 10 May 2015; Revised 30 July 2018

Chap. 1  |  2  |  3  |  4  |  5  |  6  |  7  |  8  |  9  |  10  |  11  |  12  |  13 

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Sources: Bibliographic data for works cited may be found at the end of this article. Scripture quotations, unless otherwise indicated, are taken from Messianic Jewish Family Bible: Tree of Life Version, © 2014 by Messianic Jewish Family Bible Society.

Terminology: In order to emphasize the Jewish nature of the apostolic writings and message I use the terms Yeshua (Jesus), Messiah (Christ), Tanakh (Old Testament), and Besekh (New Testament) The abbreviation LXX stands for the Septuagint, the Jewish translation of the Hebrew Bible into Greek, which was in use by Jews by the mid-2nd century B.C.

Grammar: Unless otherwise noted the meaning of Greek words is from F.W. Danker, The Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament (2009), and the meaning of Hebrew words is from The New Brown, Driver, Briggs Hebrew and English Lexicon (1981), abbreviated as "BDB." Parsing data for Greek words is taken from Anthony J. Fisher, Greek New Testament. Explanation of grammatical abbreviations and a pronunciation guide for New Testament Greek may be found here.

Community

The letter titled Hebrews was apparently a kind of "open letter" intended to be circulated among Messianic Jewish synagogues or groups in the Diaspora. The title "Pros Hebraios, To the Hebrews" is found on the oldest MSS. Hebraios was used by Jews as a term of national identity in contrast to Gentiles (TWOT 2:643). The term corresponds to Heb. Ibri, (SH-5680), Hebrew, first in Genesis 14:13 to identify Abram. While Ibri may have originally been used by non-Israelites to refer to "one from beyond" or "from beyond the Euphrates," Ibri became the name by which the covenant people descended from Abraham through Isaac and Jacob would be known.

The subject matter concerns both Messianic Jews and unbelieving Jews. The use of "Hebrews" is appropriate to the universal appeal of the letter. The term "Hebrews" avoids the rivalry of sectarian groups within first century Judaism. The recipients are addressed as "brothers" a few times (3:1, 12; 10:19; 13:22). The word "brothers," plural of Grk. adelphos, lit. "of the same womb," in secular Greek meant "brother" as a relative. Usage in the apostolic writings is generally literal and primarily refers to blood siblings or fellow Israelites (Matt 4:18; 5:22-24; Mark 3:22; Acts 1:14; 3:22; 7:13).

Several passages provide information about the intended audience. Apparently the recipients are characterized by spiritual immaturity (5:11-12). At the same time the author acknowledges their good works for the needy (6:9-10). The recipients had also suffered greatly in the past with loss of property and imprisonment (10:32-34), but not martyrdom (12:4). Harsh treatment of Messianic believers occurred in many of the cities where Paul brought the good news.

Composition

The date of composition could be anytime before A.D. 70 and probably written from Italy (13:24). The destruction of Jerusalem in A.D. 70 is never mentioned as a past fact or even hinted at. The service and ministry of the priests at the Jerusalem Temple are referenced as a current activity (5:1-4; 7:5; 8:3; 9:6-7; 10:11; 13:11).

Creator

The letter does not give an author nor an amanuensis. The author is clearly a Jew considering the letter's detailed description of Judaism, references to the history of Israel, numerous quotations from the Tanakh and because the revelation of God was committed to the Jews (Rom 3:2). The earliest statement on authorship of the letter came from Clement of Alexandria (200 A.D.) who said that Paul wrote in Hebrew and Luke translated into Greek. Eusebius provides the historical note.

"He says that the Epistle to the Hebrews is the work of Paul, and that it was written to the Hebrews in the Hebrew language; but that Luke translated it carefully and published it for the Greeks ["Hellenists" = "Hellenistic Jews"], and hence the same style of expression is found in this epistle and in the Acts." Eusebius, Church History, VI, 14:2.

Another early witness of the same time as Clement, the papyrus text called p46, also credited the book to Paul (Kaiser 357).

Debate

Nevertheless, authorship of Hebrews has been debated for centuries. Tertullian (220 A.D.) suggested Barnabas as the author. Origen (280 A.D.) said the thought was of Paul, but written by another. Other Fathers named Luke as the author. Augustine and Jerome (4th Cent.) named Paul as the author, but this was primarily for establishing canonicity for the New Testament. No books could be considered canonical that were not written by apostles and if the "thought" of Hebrews could be said to be "of Paul" then it should be included among Paul's letters.

Since the Protestant Reformation a variety of suggestions have been made as to authorship. Martin Luther nominated Apollos on the assumption that the Greek of the letter had Hellenistic overtones. Apollos, whom Paul commended (1Cor 3:5-6, 22; 4:6; 16:12), was born in Alexandria (Acts 18:24), so commentators automatically assume he was a Hellenistic Jew. However, Luke refers to him as a Ioudaios or Judean Jew. Modern Christian commentators have generally rejected Paul as the author and suggested other names, such as Luke, Clement of Rome, Barnabas, Silas, Philip, John Mark, and Priscilla (Fruchtenbaum 3). The suggestion of Priscilla is negated by the fact that in 11:32 the author uses a masculine participle to describe himself.

A number of reasons are offered for rejecting the testimony of the earliest witnesses affirming Paul's authorship. The Greek composition is much more polished than anything else Paul wrote. Of course, since Paul typically used a secretary to pen his letters, there is no way to actually determine his writing style. Second, there is no mention of the Temple and Jerusalem. And, for Christian scholarship there is no abandonment of the Law or Torah in Hebrews. Yet, these reasons are really subjective.

The passage 2:3 is thought to provide a clue, "It was first spoken through the Lord and confirmed to us by those who heard" (TLV). Most scholars believe "those who heard" to be an allusion to the Twelve and others who benefited from the personal ministry of Yeshua. This description is thought to exclude Paul, as if he was suddenly teleported from some far off land into Judea after the resurrection. Paul would later state that he had personal knowledge of Yeshua prior to the Damascus Road experience (2Cor 5:16). In reality the comment in 2:3 can serve as a neat summary of Paul's retrospective narrative in Galatians 1:15—2:9.

We might also consider that verse divisions were an arbitrary decision. In the Greek text "it was confirmed" immediately precedes the text of verse 4, so the verb could just as easily have begun verse 4 rather than being part of the thought of verse 3. In addition, verse 4 clarifies the intent of the verb "confirmed." In other words, the revelation was confirmed to the author "by signs and wonders and various miracles and gifts of the Ruach ha-Kodesh" (TLV), as it had been to the Twelve.

Another self-reference that supposedly implies a second-generation disciple is in 4:2 as commonly translated "For we also have had the good news proclaimed to us, just as they did" (NIV). However, the Greek text begins, "For indeed we are" with the present tense verb eimi, to be. The verb "proclaimed" is a perfect participle and most versions translate it as passive voice, but since there is no "to us" in the Greek text the verb could be middle voice "have been proclaiming." Thus, the point of the author is "We are now and have been proclaiming the Good News, even as they." The "they" is undefined but may be an allusion to other messengers, such as the Twelve.

Still another verse that makes interpreters doubt Paul's authorship is 4:4, "For He has said somewhere (Grk. pou, adv.)," as if the author did not know where in the Bible the quoted verse, Genesis 2:2, came from. Of course, this doubt should extend to any of the proposed authors. Any Torah-observant Jew should know the source of "God rested on the seventh day." The adverb pou simply means "in a certain place." It is not as ambiguous as the English translation of "somewhere." The quoted text is from the second half of the verse in the LXX, and substitutes "God" from the first half of the verse for "He" and changes the singular "work" to plural "works." Another consideration is that the declaration "He rested on the seventh day" occurs in both Genesis 2:2 and 2:3, as well as Exodus 20:11 and 31:17. So, in a sense the quotation conflates these verses, and the use of pou is simply for the purpose of economizing words.

Determination

It's possible that a leaf identifying the author was lost, since 1:1 seems to be an abrupt beginning for a letter. The phrase "God after he spoke long ago to the fathers" in 1:1 would be a natural conclusion to a long historical narrative such as occurs in Stephen's speech (Acts 7:2-50) and Paul's sermon in Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:17-25). Jewish argumentation relied on historical context. Since Paul was writing to Messianic Jews there would be no reason not to identify himself as in his other letters, thus the suggestion of a missing leaf has merit.

If someone else wrote the letter that person would have surely identified himself. The explanation of Clement of Alexandria is perfectly reasonable. In fact, there is nothing in the letter that could not have come from Paul the Pharisee with Luke as his amanuensis and translator. There are many words unique to Hebrews, but these do not preclude Paul's authorship, but rather reflect Luke's deft hand at translation. The avoidance of mentioning the Temple and Jerusalem directly would appeal to many Jews outside of Judea who regarded the Temple institution as corrupt (which it was).

Stern points out that Messianic Jewish scholars have accepted Paul as the author of Hebrews. The German Messianic Jew Dr. Joiachim Heinrich Biesenthal (1804–1886) wrote commentaries on the Gospels, Acts and Romans. In 1878 he published a commentary on this letter called Das Trostschreiben des Apostels Paulus an die Hebrδer, in which he expressed the view that Paul wrote it "in the dialect of the Mishna, the language of the schools," i.e., Hebrew. The Messianic Jewish commentator Yechiel Lichtenstein agreed in his Commentary to the New Testament (Institutum Delitzschianum, Leipzig, Germany, 1904), saying that Paul's approach and subject matter in this letter differ from those in his other letters because they had a mixed audience and in this he was following his own advice in "becoming a Jew to the Jews" (1Cor 9:19–22). (Stern 661)

While commentators offer reasons why other notable persons wrote Hebrews, I believe the real reason for rejection of the earliest witnesses is simple. Unbelieving Jews, as Pamela Eisenbaum who contributed the commentary on Hebrews in the Jewish Annotated New Testament, don't want to admit that an orthodox Jew wrote Hebrews because of its supposed "supersessionist" character (JANT 407). Eisenbaum's view is that the letter argues for the superiority of Yeshua over all else, the New Covenant has made the Old Covenant obsolete (8:13) and rendered the Mosaic Law as a shadow (10:1). Such language helped foster the view that Judaism is an inferior religion, only a temporary guide to the Messiah. Eisenbaum views the letter to the Hebrews as anti-Judaism, but this total misreading of Paul's work results from her prism of unbelief.

Christian scholars don't want Paul to be the author because it does not support the mythological paradigm of replacement theology. According to NIBD the purpose of the letter was to show that "Christianity is superior to Judaism" (469). The "anti-Judaism, anti-Law, St. Paul" would never write such a thoroughly Jewish letter to Messianic Jews to encourage them to maintain their Jewish faith. Stern has no aversion to Pauline authorship but other Messianic Jewish scholars, as Fruchtenbaum and Sacks, are more definite in leaving the matter unsettled. While the existing MSS of Hebrews may lack the name of the author I believe the preponderance of evidence supports Paul as author.

Connections

Some specific correlations may be made in Hebrews with Paul's other writings. We may begin with the title, "To the Hebrews." After the introduction of the Greek word Hebraios (Hebraic Jew) in Acts 6:1 it is used thereafter only in connection with Paul (2Cor 11:22; Php 3:5). The related term Hebrais (Hebrew language) also appears only in connection with Paul (Acts 21:40; 22:2; 26:14).

The prolific quotations and allusions to the Tanakh are typical of Paul's manner of argument. In addition, quotations from the Tanakh in Hebrews that appear elsewhere in the Besekh, with one exception, are made only by Paul:

· 1:5 and 5:5 — the quote from Psalm 2:7 also appears in Paul's sermon in Pisidian Antioch (Acts 13:33).

· 1:6 — the quote from Deuteronomy 32:43 occurs elsewhere only in Romans 15:10.

· 2:6-8 — the quote from Psalm 8:4-6 appears elsewhere only in 1Corinthians 15:27.

· 10:30 — the quote from Deuteronomy 32:35 occurs also in Romans 12:19.

· 10:37-38 — the quote from Habakkuk 2:3-4 is quoted elsewhere only in Romans 1:17 and Galatians 3:11.

· 11:18 — the quote from Genesis 21:12 appears elsewhere only in Romans 9:7.

A number of words and phrases point to the authorship of Paul with Luke's assistance, some of which occur elsewhere only in the writings of Paul.

· Yeshua being the "heir of all things" in 1:2 conveys the same thought at Romans 8:17.

· The unique word hupostasis ('nature,' 1:3; 3:14; 11:1) occurs elsewhere only in 2Corinthians 9:4 and 11:17.

· The word diaphoros ('excellent,' 1:4; 8:6; 9:10) occurs elsewhere only in Romans 12:6.

· The statement in 1:3 that Yeshua holds all things together echoes the same thought in Colossians 1:17.

· The mention of "dead works" (6:1; 9:14) resonates with Paul's rejection of "legalistic works" as of any value in salvation or righteousness (Rom 3:20, 27-28; 4:2; 9:32; 11:6; 1Cor 9:20; Gal 2:16, 18; see these verses in the CJB).

· The mention of the "New Covenant" (8:8; 9:15; 12:24) occurs elsewhere only in Luke 22:20; 1Corinthians 11:25 and 2Corinthians 3:6.

· The "first covenant" (8:13; 9:1, 15, 18) corresponds to the "Old Covenant," which is only mentioned in 2Corinthians 3:14.

· The statement in 11:12 that Abraham at age 100 was "as good as dead" is phrased exactly as it is in Romans 4:19.

· The "heavenly Jerusalem" in 12:22 corresponds to the "Jerusalem above" in Galatians 4:26. (The only other mention of a heavenly Jerusalem is in Revelation.)

· The instruction in 13:17 to obey congregational leaders is comparable to the instruction in 1Corinthians 16:16; 1Thessalonians 5:12-13 and 1Timothy 5:17.

· The use of "our Lord Yeshua" (13:20) is a very common expression in Paul's other letters, occurring almost 50 times.

· The expression "word of exhortation" (logos paraklēsis, 13:22) is the same exact phrase used in Acts 13:15 when the synagogue leader in Pisidian Antioch asked Paul if he had a "word of exhortation" and Paul got up to proclaim his message of the Messiah. I can imagine the statement of 13:22 being spoken with a slight smile at the remembrance of that occasion.

· The expression "the God of peace" in 13:20 occurs elsewhere only in Paul's writings (Rom 15:33; 16:20; Php 4:9; 1Thess 5:23).

· The mention of Timothy in 13:23 occurs elsewhere in the Besekh only in Luke's narrative of Paul's ministry (Acts 16:1; 17:14-15; 18:5; 19:22; 20:4) and Paul's letters (Rom 16:21; 1Cor 4:17; 16:10; 2Cor 1:1, 19; Php 1:1; 2:19; Col 1:1; 1Thess 1:1; 3:2, 6; 2Thess 1:1; 1Tim 1:2, 18; 6:20; 2Tim 1:2; and Phlm 1:1).

· The mention of "holy ones" in 13:24 is a frequent occurrence in Paul's other letters.

Content

Theme/Message

The letter begins with announcing Yeshua as the supreme revelation of God (1:1-4) and then proceeds to establish Yeshua's superiority. Yeshua is superior to the angels (1:5—2:18), to Moses (3:1—4:13), and to the priests of Aaron's line (4:14—7:28). Yeshua is the superior sacrifice (8:1—10:39). The letter goes on to make a plea for persevering faithfulness (11:1—12:29).

Tanakh References

There are over thirty direct quotations from the Tanakh, second only to Romans — 1:5; 5:5 (Ps 2:7); 1:6 (Deut 32:43); 1:7 (Ps 104:4); 1:8-9 (Ps 45:6-7); 1:10-12 (Ps 102:25-27); 1:13 (Ps 110:1); 2:6-8 (Ps 8:4-6); 2:12 (Ps 22:22); 2:13 (Isa 8:17-18); 3:7-11, 15; 4:3, 5, 7 (Ps 95:7-11); 4:4 (Gen 2:2); 5:6, 10; 7:17, 21 (Ps 110:4); 6:14 (Gen 22:17); 8:5 (Ex 25:40); 8:8-12; 10:16-17 (Jer 31:31-34); 9:19-20 (Ex 24:8); 10:5-9 (Ps 40:6-8); 10:30 (Deut 32:35-36); 10:37 (Hab 2:3-4); 11:5 (Gen 5:24); 11:18 (Gen 21:12); 12:5-6 (Prov 3:11-12); 12:12 (Isa 35:3); 12:20 (Ex 19:13); 12:21 (Deut 9:19); 12:26 (Hag 2:6); 12:29 (Deut 4:24); 13:5 (Deut 31:6, 8); and 13:6 (Ps 27:1; 118:6).

As in other books of the apostolic writings all the quotations from the Tanakh tend to be from the Septuagint (LXX), although in some cases the author may have quoted from a variant Greek text or provided his own translation. The LXX was used because: (1) Almost all the apostolic writings were written in Jewish Greek, so a Jewish-Greek text of the Tanakh was helpful for quotations. (2) At the time of Yeshua, most Jews were living in the Greek world, and therefore the LXX was the text used by many Jews, if not by most. At that time there was no standardized Hebrew text. The Masoretic Text, as the Hebrew Bible came to be known, was developed over the following centuries (MW-Notes 322).

Israel's History

In his letter to Messianic Jews Paul makes many historical references. The names of prominent personalities in the Tanakh are mentioned, including Moses (11 times), Abraham (10 times), Melchizedek, (8 times), Isaac (4 times), Jacob (3 times), David (2 times), Esau (2 times), and once each for Abel, Enoch, Noah, Sarah, Joseph, Rahab, Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, and Samuel. Each of these famous persons has a spiritual lesson associated with his or her name.

• In 1:1 the letter begins with the mention of the Hebrew prophets.

• In 2:2 the phrase "word spoken through the angels" alludes to the belief that the angels were instrumental in giving the Torah (Acts 7:53; Gal 3:19).

• In 2:16 Paul identifies Yeshua as the "Seed of Abraham" just as he does in Galatians 3:16 and goes on to say that Yeshua had to be made like his brethren so that he could become a merciful and faithful high priest and make a permanent atonement for the sins of the people.

• In 3:3 Paul compares Yeshua to Moses as faithful in their calling.

• In 3:7-11 the quotation from Psalm 95 alludes to the rebelliousness of the wilderness generation.

• In 3:16-17 Paul alludes to the exodus from Egypt, saying that God was angry with that generation for 40 years.

• In 3:18-19 he notes that Israel did not enter the Land because of their unbelief.

• In 4:4 Paul mentions the fact of God resting on the seventh day after creation.

• In 6:13 Abraham is mentioned in connection with God swearing to bless and multiply Abraham. As a result Abraham waited patiently and received the promise, which represents the unchangeable purpose of God to bring the high priest Messiah.

• In 7:1-10 Paul repeats the meeting of Abraham with Melchizedek who is a type of the Son of God. Paul notes that the greatness of Melchizedek is illustrated by the fact that Abraham gave him tithes of his spoils from war. The only one greater than Abraham of his generation was the priest-king of Salem. The action of Abraham provides for the later legislation for the sons of Levi to collect tithes from the people. This means that the biblical obligation of tithing devolves from Abraham and not Moses, which explains Yeshua's insistence of tithing as an obligation, though of lesser importance to other virtues (Matt 23:23).

• In 8:5 Paul mentions the fact that was shown a pattern for constructing the tabernacle and all its furnishings.

• In 8:6 he alludes to the New Covenant by the term "better covenant" that had been promised by Jeremiah.

• In 8:7 he refers to the Old Covenant as the "First."

• In 8:8-12 he quotes the prophecy of Jeremiah 31:31-34.

• In 8:13 Paul declares that the "New" covenant made the first covenant obsolete regarding the ministry of priesthood, and will eventually disappear. See the comment below on the covenants.

• In chapter 11 Paul illustrates the trusting-faithfulness of many great Bible heroes. The word pistis, which occurs 24 times in the chapter, does not refer to doctrinal belief as in Christianity, but loyalty and fidelity to divine expectations. Paul lists 17 individuals who manifested this godly characteristic:

11:4 Abel

11:5 Enoch

11:7 Noah

11:8-10, 17-18 Abraham

11:11 Sarah

11:20 Isaac

11:21 Jacob

11:22 Joseph

11:23-29 Moses

11:30 Joshua

11:31 Rahab

11:32 Gideon, Barak, Samson, Jephthah, David; Samuel and all the prophets.

In this hall of fame Abraham has a special place and more verses are devoted to him than any other person. Abraham demonstrated trusting-faithfulness in specific ways (verses 8-19). First, when he was called to leave Haran, he obeyed even though he was going to a place he had never been before. Second, Abraham lived as an alien in the land of promise as God directed, in hope of seeing a permanent place built by God. Third, he believed God's promise of descendants as numerous as the stars of heaven and the sands of the seashore. Fourth, Abraham's trust in God affected Sarah so that she too considered that God would be faithful to His promise. Finally, Abraham demonstrated his trust when tested by preparing his son Isaac as a burnt offering. Paul interpreted Abraham's obedience as a belief that God would raise Isaac from the dead (Heb 11:19).

• In 12:18-21 Paul refers to the experience of fire, darkness and wind at Mount Sinai when God gave the Torah to Israel.

• In 12:26 he mentions God shaking the earth when He spoke from Mt. Sinai.

Jewish Culture

Paul makes many references to aspects of contemporary Jewish culture and religion.

• In 5:1 Paul mentions the selection criteria for the Jewish high priest and his principal duty.

• In 7:8 he mentions the practice of tithing.

• In 7:14 he notes that Yeshua descended from the tribe of Judah, whereas Torah specified that priests must come from the tribe of Levi.

• In 7:27 he points out that the chief priests offer up sacrifices for their own sins before making a sin offering for the people.

• In 7:28 he notes that the Torah appoints [present tense] priests who are weak.

• In 8:3 he mentions that the high priest is appointed [present tense] to offer both gifts and sacrifices.

• In 8:4-5 he says that the priests who offer gifts and sacrifices serve as a copy and shadow of heavenly things.

• In 9:7 and 9:25 he mentions Yom Kippur, the Day of Atonement, during which the high priest enters the Holy of Holies only after presenting a sin offering for himself and a sin offering for the people for unintentional sins.

• In 10:11 he notes that every priest [in Jerusalem] stands daily ministering and offering time after time the same sacrifices, which can never take away sins.

• In 12:22 he mentions Mt. Zion, the location of the Temple in Jerusalem.

• In 13:2 he exhorts his readers not to neglect hospitality, an important virtue in Jewish culture.

• In 13:4 he reminds his readers of the Torah standard of fidelity in marriage and avoiding sexual sins that God will judge.

• In 13:11 he mentions that the bodies of those animals whose blood is brought into the holy place by the high priest as an offering for sin, are burned outside the camp.

Personal Elements

• Four times (3:1, 12; 10:19; 13:22) Paul uses the direct address of "brothers" to indicate both his ethnic bond and close relationship with his readers.

• In 12:9 Paul alludes to the fact that like other Jewish boys he was disciplined by his father.

• In 13:22 Paul uses humor to say that he had written a brief exhortation.

• In 13:23 Timothy had been imprisoned, but had been released. Paul expects to accompany Timothy when he comes.

• In 13:24 Paul bears greetings from those in Italy.

Additional Note: Old and New Covenants

Kaiser, as other Christian scholars, also suggests the closing statement of 8:13 that the first covenant "will soon disappear" may serve as an allusion to the fall of Jerusalem and destruction of the Temple (358). Yeshua had prophesied that Jerusalem would be surrounded by armies (Luke 19:43-44; 21:20) and the Temple destroyed (Matt 24:2; Mark 13:2; John 4:21). The historical record of Josephus (Wars IV-VI) confirms the fulfillment of Yeshua's prophecy in every detail. The destruction of the Temple would change compliance with the first covenant. Much of the instruction of the Torah concerns the work of priests at the Temple and God's judgment meant that the "ceremonial" aspects of the Torah would no longer have validity or authority.

However, the letter contains no immediate threat of Roman destruction and Paul never even mentions the Temple. He only speaks of the Tabernacle which had been gone for a thousand years. His focus is on the content of the first covenant and its system of religion. As Stern points out,

"What is actually on the verge of vanishing is the old priesthood, not the old covenant — or, perhaps we may say, not God’s unchangeable nature which stands behind the old covenant. The priesthood is the subject of the whole section (indeed, the sacrificial system is the subject of the whole letter), and it is this which is about to disappear or, at the very least, take on a very much transformed role." (691)

 The New Covenant did not really replace the Old Covenant, since covenantal promises to Israel and the ethical and moral precepts of the Old Covenant continue in force. In software terms the New Covenant functions like an upgrade, providing greater power to accomplish God's expectations in individuals lives. What is obsolete, as chapter 9 and 10 will make clear, is that the ground of atonement has changed. No longer does the blood of bulls and goats atone. Instead the burden of sin was laid on Yeshua, the perfect atoning sacrifice.

Works Cited

Danker: F.W. Danker, The Concise Greek-English Lexicon of the New Testament, University of Chicago Press, 2009.

Fruchtenbaum: Arnold G. Fruchtenbaum, "Hebrews," Ariel's Bible Commentary: The Messianic Jewish Epistles. Ariel Ministries, 2005.

JANT: Jewish Annotated New Testament, eds. Amy-Jill Levine and Marc Brettler. Oxford University Press, 2011.

Kaiser: Walter C. Kaiser, The Promise-Plan of God: A Biblical Theology of the Old and New Testaments. Zondervan 1978, 2008.

MW-Notes: Daniel Gruber, The Messianic Writings. Elijah Publishing, 2011. Annotations by the author.

NIBD: Nelson's Illustrated Dictionary of the Bible. Herbert Lockyer, ed. Thomas Nelson Publishers, 1986.

Sacks: Stuart Sacks, Hebrews Through a Hebrew's Eyes. Lederer Books, 1995.

Stern: David Stern, Jewish New Testament Commentary. Jewish New Testament Publications, 1996. 

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