About Jesus - Steve Sweetman
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.
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.
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
first person to quote from Hebrews was in AD 96 by Clement of Rome.
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.
scholars think that this letter was written between 60 and 70 AD.
They say this because there are some allusions to temple worship in
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.
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.
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.
you are looking for a good general commentary on the Old Testament, the
inspired book of Hebrews is what you want to read.
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