THE EPISTLE TO THE HEBREWS
(insert link) || Go to Hebrews 1 || (insert link)
Outline (from KJV Companion Bible)
A | 1:1—2:18 Doctrinal Introduction
B | C 3:1—4:13 The Mission of Christ & Warning
D | 4:14-16 General Application, “Having Therefore”
B | C 5:1—10:18 The Priesthood of Christ
D | 10:19—12:29 Practical Application, “Having Therefore”
A | 13:1-25 Practical Conclusion
Outline from Chuck Missler
A | 1—7 Jesus: The New & Better Deliverer
- 1—2 the God-man: better than the Angels
- 3 An Apostle better than Moses
- 4:1-13 A Leader better than Joshua
- 4:14-17 A Priest better than Aaron
B | 8—8 Calary: A New & Better Covenant
- ?—? Offers better promises
- ? Opens a better sanctuary than tabernacle or a templt
- ? Sealed by a better sacrifice
- ? Achieves far better results
C | 10—12 Faith: The True & Better Response
D | 13 Parting Words
Subject: The Messiah of the OT Scriptures must suffer as Man (ie. incarnate) and Jesus is the Messiah: Christ, The New & Living Way
Objectives: combat possible/temporary apostasy (2:1-4, 10:19-25); encourage reader to press on to “spiritual maturity” (5:11-14, 10:32-39); comfort them in their persecutions (11:1-12:3). Primary mission was as the Apostle to the Gentiles (Acts 9:15); however, he longed to connect with his previous brethren, the Hebrews.
- Using OT alone, demonstrates how Messiah is superior to the 3 pillars of Judaism:
- Moses and
- Levitical Priesthood
- Deviates from logical arguments to include five major warnings:
- The nature of the warnings
- To whom they were written
- The dangers presented by not persevering (ie. not about finding Christ but finishing well).
- “To the Hebrews”: to the nation under its earliest name, Palestinian Jews and the Diaspora (John 7:35 ) alike.
- Outwardly for believers:
- Aimed at waverers:
- And opposers:
- Outwardly for believers:
Authorship: The arguments in favour of the Pauline authorship are much more weighty than those in favour of all other candidates (Apollos, but no evidence + he’s from Alexandria; Barnabas + style doesn’t match; Priscilla (wife of Aquila), but no evidence; No evidence that Timothy was an assistant to anyone but Paul; etc.) put together:
- “… perfect manner of the law of the fathers” The thoughts and reasonings are Paul’s, whatever the style and language may be. All his other epistles were written to churches mainly composed of Gentiles. In addressing such an epistle to Hebrews, he would naturally write as an instructed scribe, one brought up “at the feet of Gamaliel, and taught according to the perfect manner of the law of the fathers” (Acts 22:3). It is therefore futile to argue that if Paul were really the author, the language and style would have been in exact accord with those of the other epistles. Had this been so, it would be an argument against, and not in favour of, Paul’s authorship.
- External testimony There is a certain amount of external testimony that Paul was the writer, but none to any other.
- No other epistle The testimony of 2 Peter 3:15-16, strictly interpreted, proves that Paul wrote an epistle to the Hebrews, and if this is not the epistle, where is it? No trace or indication of any other has ever been found.
- 15 And account that the longsuffering of our Lord is salvation; even as our beloved brother Paul also according to the wisdom given unto him hath written unto you;
- 16 As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.
The testimony of 2 Timothy 3:16 which states that All scripture is given by inspiration of God (from “God-breathed”), and is profitable for:
- for doctrine (ie. what’s right),
- for reproof (ie. what’s not right),
- for correction (ie. how to get it right) and
- for instruction in righteousness: (ie. how to stay right)”
Aside: what exactly does “fall from your own steadfastness mean” in 2 Peter 3:17? Salvation? Nope.
- Anonymity required Its anonymity is eminently in favour of Pauline authorship. The suspicion with which the Jews regarded Paul, and their furious hatred of him (Acts 21:21 2 Cor 11:24, Phil 3:2, Thess 2:15), would be ample reason why, in addressing so important a letter to his own race, he should withhold his name. If it was necessary at the time of its publication to send out such an epistle, equally necessary was it that it should not be handicapped with a name regarded generally by the Jews as that of an infamous renegade. The argument of the value of an unsigned article in any important journal applies with great force in the case of Hebrews.
- Date of writing and publication Owing to the fixed idea in the minds of most commentators that the reference to Timothy in 13:23 must have been connected with the Neronian persecution, the date is usually assigned to a period shortly before the destruction of the Temple, which took place late in A. D. 69 (Ap 50 VI). The very latest “guess” is that “it may have been written at any time between A.D. 65 and 85. This is vague and unconvincing.
In Ap 180 the chronological position of Hebrews is shown, A.D. 53-54 while modern tradition places it after 2 Tim, circa A.D. 68. That the former is correct seems clear for the following reasons:
- If Hebrews was written in or about the year 68, Paul’s ministry had existed for 22 years (since his and Barnabas’s “separation” for the work, in 46, Acts 31:2) without the aid of a written statement of such paramount importance as this. What was the immediate object of publishing then, only a year or two before the destruction of the Temple, and very shortly before his own death (2 Tim 4:6)), so weighty an argument ended and its place taken by a New (Heb 8:13)? It is incredible that the apostle who was inspired to write and publish Romans at a comparatively early date should not have been allowed to put forth Hebrews till the very end of his ministry. “To the Jew first” is verily applicable in this connexion.
- Paul was at Jerusalum for the Council meeting (51) when the very subjects of Hebrews had evidently been bitterly discussed (Acts 15:5-7). Shortly thereafter he writes Thess 1 and 2, both of which contain poignant references to “shameful treatment” at the hands of his own people.
- Some authoritative statement must be placed in the hands of even an earthly ambassador in regard to new and altered relationships between his supreme head and those to whom he is commissioned and sent. The 1919 Treaty of Versailles may be used as illustration. No representative there reported ultimately by word of mouth to his country, but by presentations of a copy of the entire Treaty; same with this treatise-epistle. Paul as God’s ambassador to the Diaspora and Gentiles, must have had some documentary argument, proof and testimony, in support of his (and of Timothy’s and others’) oral teaching and instruction, for circulation among the “many thousands” of Jews who believed at and after Pentecost, yet all of whom were “zealots of the Law” (Acts 2:41, 4:4, 6:7, 21:20) and with whom Paul and his fellow workers must have come into contact. To have attached his own name to this would have defeated his purpose, as above mentioned.
- The approximate time, therefore, for writing and publishing such a body of doctrine must have been shortly after the beginning of his ministry, and, consequently, Hebrews was in all probability written during the eighteen months of Paul’s sojourn at Corinth, during which he was “teaching among them the word of God” (Acts 18:11).
- Lastly, weighty support is given to these conclusions by the position Hebrews occupies in the four most important MSS, N, A, B, C and in others. in some MSS, Hebrews is found in different positions with regard to the other books of the New Testament. In certain it appears as it stands in our Bibles, but in these four N (Codex Snaiticus), A (Codex Alexandrinus), B (Codex Vaticanus), and C (Codex Ephraemi), it is placed after 2 Thessalonians. This testimony to the foregoing is significant, and is not to be lightly set aside.
- The Salutation The final verse, 13:25 “Grace be with you all. Amen.” suggests Pauline authorship given the salutations of his other publications:
|chron – #||Epistle||New International Version
|King James Version
|New Revised Standard Version
|English from Aramaic
|1||Romans||16:27 To God only wise, be glory through Jesus Christ for ever. Amen.|
|2||1 Cornthians||16:23-24 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. My love be with you all in Christ Jesus. Amen.|
|3||2 Corinthians||13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen.|
|4||Galatians||6:18 Brethren, the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.|
|5||Ephesians||6:24 Grace be with all them that love our Lord Jesus Christ in sincerity. Amen.|
|6||Philippians||4:23 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.|
|7||Colossians||4:18 The salutation by the hand of me Paul. Remember my bonds. Grace be with you. Amen.|
|8||1 Thessalonians||5:28 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.|
|9||2 Thessalonians – a response to forgeries that was floating around (see 2Th 2:2)||3:17 The salutation of Paul with mine own hand, which is the token in every epistle: so I write.
3:18 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all. Amen.
|10||1 Timothy||6:21 Which some professing have erred concerning the faith. Grace be with thee. Amen.|
|11||2 Timothy||4:22 The Lord Jesus Christ be with thy spirit. Grace be with you. Amen.|
|12||Titus||3:15 All that are with me salute thee. Greet them that love us in the faith. Grace be with you all. Amen.|
|13||Philemon||1:25 The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen.|
|14||Hebrews||13:25 Grace be with you all. Amen.|
- The Love of Christ Romans 8:35-39, Paul lists 7 + 10 things that cannot separate you from the love of Christ. In Hebrews 12:18-24, there is a similar list of 7 + 10. In Galations 5: 19-21, another 17.
- Other Style Indentifiers
- Paul uses Greek word for huios “sons” instead of teknon “children” which other writers use.
- Doctrines discussed in Rom 8:16 & Heb 10:15 are co-linear, in 1 Cor 3:13 and Heb 5:12-14 are co-linear
- Heb 13:18 … “Pray for us”. Only Paul has made that statement.
- Implication of Haakkuk 2:4 > “.. the just .. shall live .. by his faith”. “The just” is defined in Rom 1:17, “shall live” is defined in Gal 3:11 and “by his faith” is defined in Heb 10:39; implying that Paul wrote all three.
- Hebrews 13:23 references Timothy and
- Timothy accompanied Paul (2 Cor 1:1. Col 1:1 and 1 Thes 1:1)
- There is no evidence that Timothy accompanied anyone else
- Hebrews 13:23 references Timothy and
- Need for Anonymity The Jews were violently prejudiced against Paul’s ministry:
- Paul was hated for converting to Christianity,
- Jews reputed his apostleship to the point of riots (Acts 21:27-28, 22:17-22)
- They feared his attack against their ancient rituals and ceremonies and
- Paul never recovered the confidence of the Jewish side; yet, he was also distrusted by the Christians because, as Saul, he had persecuted them.
- Apostleship not required
- Power of Hebrews relies solely on correct application of the OT … the Greek version!
- Christ is exalted, not any apostleship
- Paul will be a chameleon if required 1 Cor 9:22-23
- s Start at 31:36