Comments on Hebrews (10:19)

I could study nothing but Scripture and John Owen’s Commentary on Hebrews for the rest of my life, and I would not feel constricted at all. There is so much to it. Today for sermon prep I was reading Owen on 10:19: “we have confidence to enter the holy places.” Holy places refers to the Most Holy Place, or innermost room, of the Old Testament tabernacle, which typified God’s presence. Owen writes: “The nature of gospel worship consists in this, that it is an entrance with boldness into the presence of God. However men may multiply duties, of what sort…

Comments on Hebrews (5:1-10)

I am resuming my Hebrews study in 5:1-10 with Peter T. O’Brien and John Owen as my aides. What has struck me most so far about Owen is his concern for application. The structure of his presentation is a bit different from many modern commentaries. First, he goes through the verse and analyzes its grammar, syntax, and flow of thought (interacting with Greek, Syriac, and Latin manuscripts – pretty amazing for his times!). Not a word is missed in this section: he is meticulous and scrutinizing the contours of the text. Then Owen goes through the same verse all over…

Hebrews and Supersessionism

Markus Bockmuehl helpfully points out that the alleged supersessionism of the early and middle chapters of Hebrews is seriously tempered by the later chapters, and particularly chapter 11, with its appeal to old covenant believers as the “great cloud of witnesses” who exemplify faith in God to the new covenant community. “The undoubtedly supersessionist flavour of Heb. 8 and 9 is seriously misread of one takes it as the author’s general theological principle for the heritage of Israel and of the Old Testament. As the context of those chapters makes clear, the claim of obsolescence is in fact highly specific…

Hebrews: Commentary on Psalm 110?

“The extent to which the argument of Hebrews is structured as exegesis of Ps. 110, with other texts cited to aid this exegesis, is such that more than one scholar has called Hebrews itself a commentary on Ps. 110.” Richard Bauckham, “The Divinity of Jesus Christ in the Epistle to the Hebrews,” in The Epistle to the Hebrews and Christian Theology, (Eerdmans, 2009), 18.

Comments on Hebrews (1:5-14)

Hebrews 1:5-14 consists of a series of quotes from the Old Testament serving to establish the superiority of Christ over angels. My initial thought in tackling this section was, why so many OT quotations? Wouldn’t one or two have sufficed to prove his point, instead of seven (Psalm 2, I Samuel 7:14, Deuteronomy 32, Psalm 104, Psalm 45, Psalm 102, Psalm 84)? I don’t know the answer to this, and Ellingworth (my primary commentator) did not address it. Some cautious but vague suggestions would be (1) for greater emphasis on Christ’s supremacy and (2) to show how his presentation is…

Comments on Hebrews (1:6)

This morning I studied Hebrews 1:6: “And again, when (God) brings the firstborn into the world, he says, ‘let all God’s angels worship him.’” Amidst other questions, I was curious what event (if any) is being referred to with the words “when (God) brings his firstborn into the world.” I was surprised to discover that Lane, Ellingworth, and Attridge (three weighty commentators) all argue that it refers to the Son’s enthronement/exaltation. I’m not exactly sure how to assess this, but its amazing how frequently the motif of Christ’s exaltation/enthronement keeps recurring throughout the commentaries. I think there is something to…