One of early Christianity’s most carefully crafted sermons, the epistle to the Hebrews addresses listeners who have experienced the elation of conversion and the heat of hostility, but who now must confront the formidable task of remaining faithful in a society that rejects their commitments. The letter probes into the one of most profound questions of faith: If it is God’s will that believers be crowned with glory and honor, why are the faithful subject to suffering and shame? Through the stories of Abraham and Sarah, Moses, and Rahab, whose faith enabled them to overcome severe trials and conflicts, and through the story of Jesus himself, whose sufferings opened the way to God’s presence for all, the sermon confirms the foundations of the Christian faith.
In a magisterial introduction, Craig R. Koester presents a compelling portrait of the early Christian community and examines the debates that have surrounded the epistle to the Hebrews for two millennia. Drawing on his knowledge of classical rhetoric, he clarifies the book’s arguments and discusses the use of evocative language and imagery to appeal to its audience’s minds, emotions, and will. Providing an authoritative, accessible discussion of the book’s high priestly Christology, this landmark commentary charts new directions for the interpretation of the epistle to the Hebrews and its influence on Christian theology and worship.
Logos Bible Software gives you the tools you need to use this volume effectively and efficiently. With your digital library, you can search for verses, find Scripture references and citations instantly, and perform word studies. Along with your English translations, all Scripture passages are linked to Greek and Hebrew texts. What’s more, hovering over a Scripture reference will instantly display your verse! The advanced tools in your digital library free you to dig deeper into one of the most important contributions to biblical scholarship in the past century!
“Jesus passes through the heavens like a priest moving through the forecourt of a sanctuary and into the holy of holies” (Page 282)
“(c) ‘Impossible that God should restore an apostate to repentance.’” (Page 312)
“The prospect that God will ‘consume those who stand in opposition’ to him (10:27c) is appealing only to those who are sure that the judgment is intended for others, not for themselves. Yet this passage is unsettling because it warns that God’s people can become God’s adversaries through persistent sin. Listeners do not appear to be guilty of heinous crimes, but they are susceptible to drift (2:1) and neglect (2:2; 10:25). The author’s words are designed to cut through the vagueness of the listeners’ situation and bring them to a zeal for God that is a fitting response to his zeal for them.” (Page 456)
“In a provocative twist, however, the author says, not that faith has proof, but that faith is proof of things unseen. The author does not assume that things exist simply because people believe they exist. Human faith does not create divine reality, but divine reality creates human faith. The unseen realities of God give proof of their existence by their power to evoke faith where otherwise there would only be unbelief. The object of Christian hope can be known by its effect upon human beings.” (Pages 479–480)
“Some suggest that the object of one’s hope finds ‘realization’ in faith (NAB2; cf. Chrysostom), yet this is awkward since the object of faith remained unrealized for people like Abraham (11:13, 39). More plausible is that Heb 11:1 uses metonymy, which defines something by what produced it (Rhet. ad Her. 4.32 §43; Attridge). Thus ‘faith is the assurance’ of what is hoped for because what is hoped for produces assurance.” (Page 472)