Summary: The Study Of The Letter to the Hebrews

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The Study Of The Letter to the Hebrews

2 Timothy 3:16 (KJV)

16 All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

The letter to the Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians in Palestine. We know this because those who received the letter were very familiar with the temple and its sacrifices. They were also well acquainted with the Old Testament Scriptures. The title "To the Hebrews" has been the title of the letter from the very earliest times. The term "Hebrews" was used to describe only the people of Israel who lived in Palestine. Everywhere else in the first century, they were called "Jews." Hebrews reflects the situation faced by the Jewish Christians in Palestine in the ten year period before the Romans destroyed Jerusalem in A.D. 70.

The writer of Hebrews, as well as all the other books of the New Testament, was the Holy Spirit. The human writer used by the Holy Spirit is not mentioned in the book. The most widely held view is that Hebrews was written by the apostle Paul. This has been accepted from the earliest days of the church. Clement of Alexandria, an early Christian writer, said Paul wrote Hebrews in the Hebrew language and Luke later translated it into Greek.

Hebrews was written from Italy (Hebrews 13:24). Timothy was with the writer at the time it was written (Hebrews 13:23). Hebrews deals with the situation of the Jewish Christians in Palestine in the last few years before Jerusalem’s destruction. The time fits that of Paul’s first imprisonment in Rome which was from A.D. 61 to A.D. 63.

The purpose of writing Hebrews was to encourage Jewish Christians who were being persecuted. Because of this, they were tempted to return to the Jewish religion. The writer shows them that the old Jewish faith has been fulfilled in Jesus Christ. He does this by showing that the religion of Christ is superior in every way. In fact, the key word in Hebrews is "better."

• Christ has a better name than the angels (Hebrews 1:4).

• Better things were expected of the Christians (Hebrews 6:9).

• Melchizedek was better than Abraham (Hebrews 7:7).

• Christians have a better hope (Hebrews 7:19).

• Jesus is the mediator of a better covenant which is established upon better promises (Hebrews 7:22; 8:6).

• The great heroes of faith looked for a better country and a better resurrection (Hebrews 11:16, 35).

In chapter one, Christ is shown to be superior to the angels. He created all things, and sustains them by the word of His power. Even though they are mighty created beings, angels are simply the servants of those who shall inherit eternal salvation.

In chapter two, the reason God became a man in the person of Jesus Christ is revealed. Christ became man in order that He might die for the sins of man and thereby free him from sin and death.

In chapter three, Christ is shown to be superior to Moses, the great Lawgiver. Moses was only a servant in God’s house. Christ is the Son over God’s house.

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