About Jesus  -  Steve Sweetman

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    My Commentary On
The Book Of Hebrews

 Next Section - Chapter 1:1 - 14



My commentary is based on the New International Bible, 1994 edition.  The section titles of this commentary are taken from the section titles of the same NIV Bible to make for easy reading and comparison. 


Concerning the authorship of the letter to the Hebrews, no one really knows for sure who wrote this account.  Some early church Fathers suggest, Barnabas, Paul, Apolos, or Silas, but there is just no historical evidence to make these claims.  There is also no internal evidence of who wrote this letter either. 


Much of the eastern church thought Paul wrote Hebrews, but the writing style of Hebrews is all together different than Paul's writing.  Some early church fathers thought that Paul wrote this letter in Hebrew and Luke translated it into Greek. It wasn't until the fourth century that the western church accepted Hebrews into the Canon of Scripture.  


The first person to quote from Hebrews was in AD 96 by Clement of Rome. 


It is pretty apparent that this book was written to Jews as a means of instruction and encouragement.  There are many Old Testament Scriptures quoted within its pages along with many references to Jewish Law and tradition.  They say there are 32 quotes from the Old Testament in Hebrews, 10 of which are from the Psalms.  You might say that as the Letter to the Romans was written to Romans, so the letter to the Hebrews was written to Jews.  The letter lays out the gospel in such a way that the Jewish reader will best understand it. 


Most scholars think that this letter was written between 60 and 70 AD.  They say this because there are some allusions to temple worship in Jerusalem .  The temple was destroyed by the Roman army in 70 AD.  Of course, if it was written after 64 AD,  we know that the Apostle Paul could not have written it.  Paul was executed in or around 64 AD for his faith in Jesus.


The purpose of this letter appears to be to challenge and encourage Jewish Christians in their faith.  It appears that they were falling behind in their interest and devotion to Jesus and His Kingdom.  We will take note of this as we pass through the verses of this letter.


We will also note the use of Old Testament Scriptures and how it relates to us as New Testament Christians. The writer had good knowledge of the Old Testament.  He also understood its new place in the lives of Jewish Christians. This subject was extremely debatable in the first century church.  It is also very important for us today.  We do need to clearly understand how the Old Testament relates to New Testament Christians, especially to Gentile New Testament Christians.  I believe how Christians understand the Old Testament is one of the most misunderstood things in the church today.  So many Christians, for example, pick and choose what parts of the Old Testament, especially the Law of Moses, to adopt and practice, something that you just can't do for many reasons. 


We must remember, the number one internal problem that the early church faced was the problem between Jewish and Gentile Christians.  How these two groups of people could live together in unity had to be addressed many times over, especially by the Apostle Paul.  The writer of Hebrews appears to be addressing this very issue. 


If you are looking for a good general commentary on the Old Testament, the inspired book of Hebrews is what you want to read.              


The basic theme to the book of Hebrews is that Jesus is better, better than angels, better, than the Law, just better than everything. Let us now look at the text of Hebrews and see the good news of Jesus that is found within its pages.  

Next Section - Chapter 1:1 - 14

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