Lecture 1- General Lit and theology

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Lecture 1- General Lit and theology
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2012-06-13 23:57:09
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Lecture 1 – The Epistle “to the Hebrews”: With Confidence, Draw Near to God
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  1. Recognize explanations of the audience of Hebrews.
    • Are they “Hebrews”?
    • Jewish conceptual framework supports this understanding

    Would Gentile Christians be less concerned with Jewish cultic practice than Jewish Christians?

    • Cf. consider Jewish practice in Galatia,
    • Is the pressing issue a return to Temple worship?
    • Is the pressing issue the Day of Atonement?
    • Does the author use rabbinic methods of interpreting the Bible?
  2. Recognize explanations of the audience of Hebrews.
    • Are they “Gentile Christians”?
    • 1.1.1.1 Language of sermon
    • 1.1.1.2 Original “Christian” Scriptures: Septuagint (LXX) 1.1.1.3 The Readers’ Early Instruction (6:1-3)
    • 1.1.1.4 Hebrews and the Pauline mission
  3. Recognize-
    1.1.1.1 Withdrawal of some members (Heb 10:25) 1.1.1.2 Christian disciples and societal pressures

    Pressing Issue: The disciples’ continuing struggle with sin and their inability to fully understand and appropriate the implication of their stance before God in Christ.
    the presenting pastoral issue with Hebrews.
  4. Recognize the possible genres of Hebrews
    • Hebrews as “letter”: Heb 13:18-25 1.1.2
    • Hebrews as “sermon” 1.1.2.1
    • Heb 1:1-4 as oratorical opening
    • The genre of “word of exhortation” (Heb 13:22)
  5. Recognize- A. 1:1-10:18 The Doctrinal portion of the Epistle/Sermon. Jesus the Mediator of the New Covenant is introduced, compared and demonstrated to be superior to the mediators of the Old Covenant: prophets, angels, Moses, Joshua, Aaron.

    1: 1-4 The mediator of the New Covenant is introduced as God’s Son. The Son’s superiority to the prophets is implied.
    1: 5- 2:18 The Son is demonstrated to be more excellent than the angels.
    1: 5-18 The Son-Name is superior to the Servant-Name borne by the angels, and the Son’s sovereignty is superior to the angel service.
    2: 1-4 Exhortation to carefully attend to the revelation given by the son is combined with a warning against its rejection.
    2: 5-18 As the Son of Man, Jesus leads redeemed humanity towards dominion over the world to come.
    3:1-4:13 The Son is shown to be more excellent than Moses
    3:1-6 Jesus faithfully mediates the New Covenant just as Moses faithfully mediated the Old Covenant; but Jesus is, as Son, over God’s household, while Moses was a servant in the household.
    3: 7-4:7 Exhortation to follow Jesus onto the rest of God is coupled with a warning not to follow the example of the wilderness generation in falling short through unbelief and disobedience.
    4: 8-13 The promise of God’s rest for His people was not completed in its entirely by the entry into Canaan under Joshua. There is available today a Sabbath Rest
    One of the four main points of Hebrews’s outline (Sect. 1.4 &Sect. 2 outline points A, B, C & D).
  6. Recognize the four main points of Hebrews’s outline (Sect. 1.4 &Sect. 2 outline points A, B, C & D).
    • .B. 4: 14-10:18 The Son in His Melchizedek priesthood is demonstrated to be superior to Aaron in his levitical priesthood.
    • 4:14-5:10 Jesus is a High Priest
    • 5:11-6:20 Exhortation to press on to spiritual maturity is followed by a warning against apostasy.
    • 7:1-28 The Melchizedek priesthood is shown to be superior to the Levitical priesthood of Aaron.
    • 8:1-13 The Old Covenant was but temporary and inadequate, it has now been replaced with a New Covenant superior in its priesthood and sanctuary, and in its accomplishments.
    • 9:1-28 A contrast is drawn between the sacrifices (blood) that inaugurated the Old and the New Covenant. The sacrifice that inaugurated the New Covenant is superior for it was performed in a more perfect Sanctuary and its cleansing blood is once for all.
    • 10: 1-18 Christ provides a perfect redemption for worshippers who seek access to God through Him.
  7. Recognize-
    C. 10:19-12:29 Practical Applications drawn from Doctrinal exposition. Because of the superiority and finality of the New Covenant, the readers are urged to boldness in using access to God that was opened up through Christ and to remain steadfast in their faith while encouraging others.

    10:19-39 Exhortation to enter into the holiest through Jesus’ blood and remain faithful is combined with a warning against apostasy.

    11:1-12:3 Encouragement to preserve in faith is given through displaying examples from the Old Testament, and Jesus’ own endurance and faith [Enconium on faith].
    12:4-13 A reminder is given that to regard affliction as fatherly discipline is reasonable.

    12: 14-29 Exhortation to live as partakers of God’s holiness is combined with the final warning against apostasy.
    One of the four main points of Hebrews’s outline (Sect. 1.4 &Sect. 2 outline points A, B, C & D).
  8. Recognize the four main points of Hebrews’s outline (Sect. 1.4 &Sect. 2 outline points A, B, C & D).
    • D. 13:1-25 Conclusion [Epilogue]
    • 13:1-6 Ethical precepts are related to their social life.
    • 13:7-17 Make a clear break with the “dominant” group. An apparent tendency to disown the teachings and example of early Christian leaders is checked with exhortations to make a clean break with those clinging to Judaistic teachings.
    • 13:18-25 A gracious benediction is spoken and final greetings are sent
  9. Understand the overview of the pastoral strategy of Hebrews (Sect. 3.1).
    1.1.1 The author’s primary rhetorical goal 1.1.1.1 “Persevere for in Christ you have a better way!”

    1.1.1 The author’s rhetorical strategy

    Jesus is the Mediator of a New (and final) Covenant. As such, He is superior to all previous mediators of the Old Covenant: prophets, angels, Moses, Joshua, Aaron.

    He reminds his readers that they share a holy calling (3:1), partakers of Christ Himself (3.14) and thus they have full access (“with confidence”) to the throne of grace (4.16), i.e., the very presence of God!
  10. Understand the overview of the pastoral strategy of Hebrews (Sect. 3.1).
    The five warning passages (2:1-4; 3:7-4:13; 5:11-6:12; 10:19-30; and 12:14-29) are strategically placed throughout the expositions about Jesus. The passages call for reflection on an explicit course of action. Two distinct options with dire consequences are presented to the readers. The readers are to “despise shame,” as did Abraham, Moses, and Jesus, with a view to attaining the promised reward. Two of the five warning passages appeal to the need to listen to God’s message (2.1-4; 12:14-29) and two call for an emotive and explicit expectation to trust and obey God (3:7-4:13; 10:19-30). Between them is Hebrews 5:11-6:12 with its dire warning of the impossibility of restoring the apostate
  11. Understand the overview of the pastoral strategy of Hebrews (Sect. 3.1).
    • 1.1.1.1 He mobilizes the community members to support one another, to keep watch for signs of straying or succumbing to society’s pressures, and to show such love for and solidarity with one another that each member finds the strength to press on.
    • 1.1.1.2 He replaces any self-image the believers might have formed on account of their neighbors’ censure and rejection with a powerful picture of their place in God’s plan.
  12. Explore the aspects of grace and human response: a) between God and humans in Hebrews and b) between patrons and clients in the ancient world (Sect. 4.1, 4.2 and Scholar’s Corner box: Hebrews, Apostasy and No Return?).
    • (a)
    • 1.1.1 Places in Hebrews where God’s gifts or Christ’s gifts and gracious actions are in view.
    • 1.1.1.1 Freedom from the fear of death (2:14-15).
    • 1.1.1.2 The help of a powerful and exalted benefactor (2:16-18).
    • 1.1.1.3 The mediation of a sympathetic, unfailing high priest (4:14-16; 7:26-28; etc.).
    • 1.1.1.4 The gifts of “having once been enlightened, having tasted the heavenly gift, having received a share of the Holy Spirit, and having tasted the goodness of the word of God and the powers of the age to come” (6:4-5).
    • 1.1.1.5 “A sure and steadfast anchor for the soul” (6:19).
    • 1.1.1.6 The removal of the defilement of sin from their conscience and from the memory of God (8:7-10:18), fitting the disciples to stand in God’s real presence.
    • 1.1.1.7 The promise of entrance into God’s realm (4:1; 9:24; 11:16; 12:28; 13:14).
    • 1.1.2 Places in Hebrews where human response is in view.
    • 1.1.2.1 “How will we escape if we neglect so great a provision for deliverance?!” (2:3).
    • 1.1.2.2 “Watch out, brothers and sisters, lest there be in any among you a wicked, distrustful heart that turns away from the living God!” (3:12). 1.1.2.3 “Let us fear lest, while the promise to enter into God’s rest remains, any of you think it advantageous to fall short of it” (4:1).
    • 1.1.2.4 “Since we have such a great high priest, ... let us draw near to the throne of favor with boldness, in order that we may receive mercy and find favor for timely help” (4:14-16).
    • 1.1.2.5 “Don’t become sluggish, but rather become imitators of those who, through patient trust, inherit what God has promised” (6:12).
    • 1.1.2.6 “Since we have boldness to enter the Holy Places through the blood of Jesus, ... let us hold onto the profession of our hope without wavering ... and let us consider one another unto an outpouring of love and good works, ... encouraging one another — and this all the more as you see the Day drawing near!” (10:19-25).

    1.1.1.1 “Don’t throw away your boldness, for it holds a great reward” (10:35).

    • 1.1.1.2 “Don’t be immoral or godless like Esau, who gave away his birthright for a single meal” (12:16).
    • “Since we are receiving an unshakable kingdom, let us show gratitude, through which we will serve God in a manner pleasing to him with reverence and godly fear” (12:28).
    • 1.1.1.2 “Jesus suffered outside the gates in order to consecrate the people through his own blood; therefore let us go out to him outside the camp, carrying the disgrace he bore” (13:12-13).
    • 1.1.2 Occurrences of “grace” (Greek: charis) in Hebrews: Heb 2:9; 4:16; 10:29; 12:15; 12:28; 13:9, 25.

    1.1.3 “Faith” and “Trust” (Gk.:pistis) in the context of Hebrews 1.1.3.1 pistis 1.1.3.2 apistia
  13. Explore the aspects of grace and human response: a) between God and humans in Hebrews and b) between patrons and clients in the ancient world (Sect. 4.1, 4.2 and Scholar’s Corner box: Hebrews, Apostasy and No Return?).
    Hebrews, Apostasy, and No Return? It would be inappropriate to derive from these texts a “doctrine of the impossibility of a return for the apostate” for a number of reasons. The most important of these is the fact that Greco-Roman texts about patronage and reciprocity bear witness to a kind of “double standard” in patron-client relations. On the one hand, recipients of gifts were to keep in mind certain “facts,” including the necessity of returning a favor and the exclusion from favor of those who showed themselves ungrateful, while givers were to keep in mind other “facts,” like the importance of giving with no thought of a return and the nobility of extending favor even to those who have proven themselves ungrateful. If human patrons could extend grace to the ungrateful, how much more does this remain a possibility for God? Nevertheless, such thoughts ought never to enter our minds as a prelude to presuming upon God’s favor. As “clients” ourselves, we are to keep in mind the first set of facts, and let them guide us, along with the first recipients of Hebrews, always to choose the course of action that shows respect, loyalty, and gratitude toward God and Jesus.
  14. Explore the aspects of grace and human response: a) between God and humans in Hebrews and b) between patrons and clients in the ancient world (Sect. 4.1, 4.2 and Scholar’s Corner box: Hebrews, Apostasy and No Return?).
    • 1.1.1 Overview of argument
    • 1.1.2 An argument from analogy: Heb 6:7-8
    • 1.1.3 A case study: Heb 6:4-6
    • 1.1.3.1 Portraying people who have received multiple gifts from God
    • 1.1.3.2 Portraying people who then break faith with their
    • Benefactor The recipients’ case up to this point: Heb 6:9-12
  15. Understand the three aspects of Hebrews as a call to persevere in gratitude .
    • 1. The Comparisons of Christ with Other Mediator Figures
    • Christ and Angels (Heb 1:5-2:4)
    • Christ and Moses (Heb 3:1-6)
    • Christ and the Levitical Priests and Cult (Heb 5:1-10; 7:1-10:18)
    • 2. The preacher’s exhortation to give God’s gift of deliverance the attention it deserves (2:1-4; 4:14-16; 10:22).
    • 3. The preacher’s exhortation to show gratitude through
    • Testimony (Heb 10:23; 13:15)
    • Loyalty (Heb 10:24-25, 32-34; 13:3, 13-14)
  16. Explain the warning against ingratitude (Sect. 4.3).
    Warnings against the consequences of ingratitude

    • Heb 6:4-8
    • It is impossible for those who have once been enlightened, who have tasted the heavenly gift, B)'> who have shared in the Holy Spirit, 5 who have tasted the goodness of the word of God E)'> and the powers of the coming age 6 and who have fallena]'>[a] away, to be brought back to repentance. F)'> To their loss they are crucifying the Son of God G)'> all over again and subjecting him to public disgrace. 7 Land that drinks in the rain often falling on it and that produces a crop useful to those for whom it is farmed receives the blessing of God. 8 But land that produces thorns and thistles is worthless and is in danger of being cursed. H)'> In the end it will be burned.

    Heb 3:7-4:11 - Warning Against Unbelief

    Heb 10:26-31

    If we deliberately keep on sinning A)'> after we have received the knowledge of the truth, B)'> no sacrifice for sins is left, 27 but only a fearful expectation of judgment and of raging fire C)'> that will consume the enemies of God. 28 Anyone who rejected the law of Moses died without mercy on the testimony of two or three witnesses. D)'> 29 How much more severely do you think someone deserves to be punished who has trampled the Son of God E)'> underfoot, F)'> who has treated as an unholy thing the blood of the covenant G)'> that sanctified them, H)'> and who has insulted the Spirit I)'> of grace? J)'> 30 For we know him who said, “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,”a]'>[a] K)'> and again, “The Lord will judge his people.”b]'>[b] L)'> 31 It is a dreadful thing M)'> to fall into the hands N)'> of the living God.
  17. Recognize

    Christ-centered reading of the Old Testament
    the contributions of Hebrews to early Christology (Sect. 5).
  18. 7. Analyze how Hebrews plays a role in Christian Formation (Sect.6).
    1.1 Don’t Lose Sight of Life’s Top Priority!

    Don’t Lose Sight of What You Have in Christ!

    • 1.1.1 We have an anchor for the soul.
    • 1.1.2 We have access to all the help we need.
    • 1.1.3 We have the dignity of a holy, priestly calling
    • 1.1.4 We have access to the Throne of Grace
    • 1.1 Don’t Lose Sight of What is Due God!
    • 1.1.1 The counterpart in Hebrews to all the “since we haves” is the “let us have”: “let us have gratitude” (Heb 12:28).
    • 1.1.2 The connection between grace and response is the joint between theology and ethics.
    • 1.1.3 The connection between grace and response is the joint between love for God and love for neighbor.

    1.1.4 “Free grace,” costly gratitude. Don’t Lose Sight of One Another
  19. Recognize

    Titles of Christ in Hebrews·
    Son, 1:2; 3:6; 5:8; 7:28·
    Son of God, 4:14; 6:6; 7:3·
    Heir of all things, 1:2·
    Pioneer of salvation, 2:10·
    High Priest, 3:1, 4:14·
    Apostle, 3:1·
    Forerunner, 6:20·
    Lord, 7:14·
    Surety of a better covenant, 7:22·
    Minister in the sanctuary, 8:2·
    Mediator of New Covenant, 9:15; 12:24·
    Great Priest, 10:21·
    Pioneer and perfecter of faith, 12:2·
    Great Shepherd of the Sheep, 13:20
    the contributions of Hebrews to early Christology
  20. Recognize
    Wisdom and the Pre-Incarnate Son
    the contributions of Hebrews to early Christology
  21. Recognize

    1.1 Christ as Priest and Sacrifice
    1.1.1 Melchizedek as a “type” for Christ
    1.1.1.1 Gen 14:17-20
    1.1.1.2 Philo Legum Allegoriae 3.79-80 Melchizedek as the one guided by “right principle.”
    1.1.1.3 Dead Sea Scrolls, Melchizedek, as the agent of the liberation promised in the Jubilee year of Leviticus.
    the contributions of Hebrews to early Christology
  22. Recognize

    Day of Atonement ritual as prototype for Christ’s sacrifice
    the contributions of Hebrews to early Christology

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