#092 Welcome to Episode #092 of Way of the Bible podcast. This is our fourth of eight episodes in our twelfth mini-series entitled, Shepherding the Sheep | 1 Timothy to Hebrews. On this episode, Supremacy of Jesus, we’re going to overview the first three chapters of the book of Hebrews.
The author of Hebrews and the date of its writing are both unknown. However, it is conjectured based upon one of the earliest church fathers, Clement of Alexandria, and other clues within the text itself that Paul was the author. But this is up for much debate among scholars.
As to it’s date of writing, based upon it references to sacrifices at the temple in Jerusalem, and Timothy being released from prison it is believed to have been written before 70 AD when the temple was destroyed by the Romans. Many scholars suggest a date of writing between 64 and 66 AD.
While it is a New Testament book helpful to both Jews and Gentiles in the church, it is especially directed at believing Jews in the church. Many of whom because of intense persecution and isolation from their former communities of faith and family were considering turning away from salvation by grace through faith and returning to a works of the law faith and temple worship.
Paul’s epistles majored on the particulars of the mystery of Christ and sound doctrine as given by divine revelation. He would include Old Testament proof texts to confirm his teachings.
The writer of Hebrews, who I consider to be Paul, majored in using Septuagint translations of Old Testament texts to demonstrate the supremacy of Christ the God/man, the majesty of Christ and his works, and the excellence of the Christians walk of faith.
Just as the book of Romans was a treatise of the Christian faith for Gentiles. Hebrews is likewise a treatise of the Christian faith to the Jews. We see in Hebrews a reflection of Jewish religious and cultural practices seen in the sound doctrine and discipline of Christianity. Jesus the God/man is presented as Prophet, Priest, and King. Both his deity and his humanity are equally and forcefully asserted. There are over twenty titles in the text used to describe his attributes and accomplishments including “heir of all things;” “Apostle and High Priest;” “Mediator;” and “Founder and Perfector of our faith.” Hebrews unapologetically tells us that Jesus offers a better revelation, position, priesthood, covenant, sacrifice, and power than found in the Levitical Sacrificial system of Judaism.
The sound doctrine of Hebrews is presented in chapters 1 to 10. The supremacy of Christ the God/man is found in chapters 1 to 3 by showing Jesus was above all the prophets who came before him, over the angels of heaven, and even over Moses. The majesty of Christ and his works are illustrated in chapters 4 to 10 showing Jesus having a better priesthood, bringing a better covenant, and offering a better sanctuary and sacrifice.
The discipline/walk of the faith is described in Hebrews chapters 10 to 13 and includes the assurance of faith, the endurance of faith, and the call to love. With all that as a brief introduction to the book of Hebrews, let’s get started and overview chapters 1-3.
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