The book of Hebrews is somewhat unique in the New Testament. Like Revelation, it appears to be a genre apart from the rest of the books. In some ways, it is like a letter but in many ways not. It seems to be more of a literary piece, like an essay or white paper but still rings like a letter. One thing for certain is its structure is a higher level of writing than most of the other books.
No one can say for certain who wrote the book, and there are many good guesses. Certainly, it is a book written by someone whose life was steeped in the Jewish system as well as being written to others of the same understanding. Gentiles may well follow the arguments that are made, but they will always lack the fundamental historical and emotional finer points of the essay.
The reason for writing this book seems to be clear. Christians needed to be reminded of the superiority of Christ as savior. Christians also needed to be warned about the danger of going back into the old, outdated, and inferior system of the Torah. Finally, in lieu of the difficulties of living the Christian life, they needed to be encouraged and pushed into greater faithfulness. The writer sets out to do this by demonstrating the superior nature of the work of Christ and reminding them of all the people of faith that had preceded them.
In the following days, we will look at the verses that comprise this fascinating book. One by one we will think about the message they convey and try to bring some enlightenment for our own daily walk. The comments are given on each verse are not intended to be a scholarly commentary of Hebrews. There are a large number of those available and among them are several good ones by notable scholars. My purpose in this volume is to look at the text and give a medium level comment that would work well in a Bible class or as part of a home study.
If you are looking for the Hebrew and Greek explanation or the many arguments poised on every point you will need a much larger and thorough treatise than this one. The Task for Today portion of the comments is designed to suggest a practical thing that can be done on a daily basis in regard to the truth taught in the text itself. The entire work is based on what I personally believe and not on any particular school of thought or scholarship. I realize the danger involved in taking a hard and fast stand on some point of doctrine and am always praying for a greater understanding of the difficult questions and issues.
I will be using the ESV throughout the blog and so the text may be different than what you normally use. That’s okay, compare the two and make your own decision on which best represents the idea of the context. I have not found any translation that hits it one hundred percent, but this one is good. The blog quotes the Old Testament frequently, and the majority of those quotes are from the Psalms. The ESV handles the Old Testament scriptures very well and may offer the best source on the Psalms.