First published in 1952–1953, Ceslas Spicq’s two-volume commentary L’Épitre aux Hébreux (The Epistle to the Hebrews) still ranks as one of the most important contributions to scholarship on the letter to the Hebrews in the last seventy years. While exegetical in depth and scope, Spicq also writes with clarity, explaining in great detail the message of Hebrews. Volume one contains 445 pages of exhaustive and detailed introduction covering such topics as the authenticity of Hebrews, the use of the Old Testament, the author and recipients of the letter, the Philonic background of Hebrews, and a detailed study of the language and literary characteristics of Hebrews. In volume two, Spicq spends 457 pages commenting on the text of Hebrews, offering his insights and evidence for his conclusions in the introduction.
A New Approach to Translation Projects
Logos Bible Software is pleased to announce the first ever English translation of Ceslas Spicq's The Epistle to the Hebrews. Using the Pre-Pub Process for this project allows us to invest resources in translating The Epistle to the Hebrews only if there is sufficient demand. Spicq's commentary, which currently is only accessible to French readers, will soon be widely accessible to everyone. As the scope of the project becomes clearer, the price might increase, such as when we announce the translator and we begin the work of translation. That means users who pre-order the earliest with the fewest details available will get the best price.
- First-ever English translation
- Detailed discussion on the relationship between Hebrews and Philo
- Thorough analysis on the language and literary characteristics of Hebrews
- Thirty-two pages of bibliographic information
Praise for the Print Edition
Spicq's commentary represented a major advance in the study of Hebrews. Exegetically thorough and theologically reflective, Spicq's work influenced scholarly work on Hebrews in many languages for several decades. It remains an important resource for those who wish to mine the treasures of Hebrews.
David Peterson, Senior Research Fellow and Lecturer in New Testament, Moore College
I am delighted that someone is taking time to translate this classic work, which nearly all scholars who work in Hebrews references. Thank you for taking the time to provide an English translation for subsequent students to use in their study of the book.
Herbert Bateman, Professor of New Testament, Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary
The first volume of this outstanding work appeared in 1952. It gave a comprehensive and detailed introduction to the Epistle to the Hebrews. The introduction alone is a book of major importance. The second volume of commentary maintains the same high standard. It is extensively documented, but not dependent on others. Comprehensiveness of outline is matched by detail of discussion and documentation. The author knows well the scholarship of all centuries and denominations. His work is thorough and clear, and becomes a basic book on Hebrews. It carries on careful linguistic and background study, but goes on to intensive examination of the full meaning of the text. Eleven excursuses on important problems are a valuable feature. This seems to me the best Roman Catholic commentary on the Epistle; no scholar should neglect it.
Floyd V. Filson, Journal of Biblical Literature, Vol. 72:3, 73:3
Spicq’s commentary is a valuable contribution to Hebrews research. Inasmuch as he is the author of one of the great commentaries on Hebrews...it is an important source, for it maintains high standards of scholarship, a wealth of references to ancient sources, and an extraordinary bibliography.
James Thompson, Robert and Kay Onstead Distinguished Professor of Biblical Studies, Abilene Christian University
[Spicq's] massive commentary is an almost inexhaustible mine of information and an indispensable tool for all serious students of Hebrews.
Ronald Williamson, author of Philo and the Epistle to the Hebrews
By far the most extensive and scholarly commentary of the twentieth century. Spicq has demanded the attention of most later scholars dealing with Hebrews.
George Wesley Buchanan, Christianity, Judaism, and Other Greco-Roman Cults: Studies for Morton Smith at Sixty
Ceslas Spicq's commentary is a milestone in Hebrews scholarship and a monument of theological exegesis, from one of the greatest biblical scholars of the twentieth century. At long last, it is available in English. Once again, thanks are due to Logos for this favor and feat.
Scott Hahn, Professor of Theology and Scripture, Franciscan University of Steubenville
[Spicq’s] work on the Epistle to the Hebrews is a monument of dedicated piety and erudition.
Philip E. Hughes, author of A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews
Before I met Paul and all his interpreters and commentators, I was introduced to the riches of NT scholarship through Ceslas Spicq's masterful commentary on Hebrews, in French. That was my sophomore year in college. I have read few commentaries on any biblical book since then that have influenced me as much as Spicq on Hebrews. Its translation into French is long overdue, so may it happen soon.
Michael J.Gorman, Raymond E. Brown Professor of Biblical Studies and Theology, St. Mary's Seminary & University Baltimore, MD and author of Reading Paul
Arriving some 60 years after its publication, this translation of Spicq’s 2-volume work is a most welcome surprise and truly a gift to Hebrews scholarship! With it’s massive introduction, containing an invaluable 53 page discussion of the “Philonisms” of Hebrews, and its thorough commentary (clocking in at some 439 pages), it is not an exaggeration to say that no Hebrews scholar can claim their work to be “exhaustive” unless reference is made to Spicq.
Scott D. Mackie, author of Eschatology and Exhortation in the Epistle to the Hebrews
Few commentaries on Hebrews are as impressive as Ceslas Spicq’s two-volume tome. Even fewer can claim the staying power of this volume. Sixty years of Hebrews research has not eclipsed its usefulness to all who study Hebrews. It easily ranks in the top ten commentaries on Hebrews in the 20th century. Whether one’s interest is background material or exegetical data, Spicq does not disappoint. The footnotes alone are a gold mine. No scholar, pastor or student should be without it.
The new translation from the French of Ceslas Spicq's L’Épitre aux Hébreux (1952) is a watershed event. It is exciting to finally see an English translation of this key scholarly work. His extensive research and his articulate insights concerning the book of Hebrews have had a continual impact on the scholarship of Hebrews. While scholarship has made significant advances in the past sixty years, Spicq still holds a significant place in the dialogue. The greater accessibility of his work to students and pastors is greatly appreciated.
Cynthia Long Westfall, Assistant Professor of New Testament, McMaster Divinity College. Author of A Discourse Analysis of the Structure of Hebrews: Relationship between Form and Meaning
Spicq's classic commentary provides both a full introduction to Hebrews and its theology (Vol 1) and a detailed commentary on the whole epistle (Vol 2). Readers thus benefit from both substantial excurses (on topics such as the letter's understanding of angels, faith and sacrifice) and from clear explanations of the precise meaning of individual verses. The commentary is essential reading for those interested in the connections between Hebrews and Philo, and also includes a particularly useful overview of Hebrews' use of the Old Testament. No serious scholar writes on Hebrews without referring to Spicq's excellent study, so its availability in translation to a wider audience is an exciting and long overdue development.
Susan Docherty, Head of Theology and Combined Honours Programme Leader. Author of The Use of the Old Testament in Hebrews: A Case Study in Early Jewish Bible Interpretation
Ceslas Spicq’s commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews remains one of the most extensive and influential scholarly works ever written on Hebrews. His work has made an immense impact on Hebrews studies and still must be addressed today, even though some of his provocative conclusions have been overturned in recent decades. Spicq stands as one of the chief catalysts for the dramatic escalation of interest in Hebrews studies over the past 60 years. I am delighted that this influential work will be available in English, and will be accessible to a wider audience.
Barry Joslin, Associate Professor of Christian Theology, Boyce College. Author of Hebrews, Christ, and the Law: the Theology of the Mosaic Law in Hebrews 7:1-10:18
- Title: The Epistle to the Hebrews
- Author: Ceslas Spicq, OP
- Translator: To Be Announced
- Publisher: J. Gabalda
- Publication Date: 1952-53
- Pages: 902
About Ceslas Spicq
Ceslas Spicq (1901–1992) was a French Dominican scholar and member of the theological faculty at University of Fribourg, Switzerland, with a brief stint at the École Biblique at Jerusalem. He studied at the Collège St.-Croix at Neuilly from 1912 to 1920. After receiving his doctorate, he taught Sacred Scripture at Le Saulchoir from 1928–1939. He was a solider in the French Army (1939–1941), and for a brief time a prisoner of war. After the war, he settled into his position as Professor of New Testament Exegesis at the University of Fribroug (1953–1971). Spicq was a member of the Pontifical Biblical Commission, serving in a number of important capacities. Throughout his life he authored a number of important commentaries, monographs, and articles, including Esquisse d’une Histoire de l’Exégèse Latine au Moyen Age, Agapè dans le Nouveau Testament: Analyses des textes, Théologie morale du Nouveau Testament, Dieu et l’homme selon le Nouveau Testament, Les épîtres de saint Pierre , and Notes de lexicographie néo-testamentaire, translated by James Ernest as Theological Lexicon of the New Testament.