More on Hebrews 1:1-4

In my own words, 10 things we learn about Jesus Christ from Hebrews 1:1-4: 1) He is the greatest revelation of God in history.2) He is the heir of all things – i.e., his “inheritance” is reality itself.3) Everything was made through Him.4) By addition of (2) + (3), He is the key agent at both the beginning and the end of time (cf. Col. 1:16).5) He is the shining out (apaugasma) of God’s glory. 6) He is the full representation of God’s very essence or being.7) He upholds the entire universe through his authoritative power. Without him, nothing would…

Comments on Hebrews (1:1-4)

I’ve finished my word-by-word study of Hebrews 1:1-4, the introduction to the book. It is a fascinating and theologically rich passage, a single Greek sentence, perhaps the densest summary of the person and work of Jesus Christ in the Bible. Christ’s prophetic, priestly, and kingly offices are all featured: prophetic: “(God) has spoken to us by His Son” priestly: “making purification for sins” kingly: “he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty on high” I see the key word of the whole sentence as ekathisen, “he sat down.” What the writer of Hebrews ends with, amidst all his…

Comments on Hebrews (1:1-2a)

When I am doing a study, I often find it helpful to write down a succinct summary of various noteworthy conclusions I make so that I can remember them and refer to them in the future. So, as I work my way through Hebrews, I will be making notes from time to time on things that particularly stand out to me. These notes will not be exhaustive or consistent; just occasional thoughts, quotes, insights, questions, comparisons, etc. My first reading was on 1:1-1:2a: “Long ago, at many times and in many ways, God spoke to our fathers by the prophets,…

Reflections on Hebrews (3): Faith and Sight in Chapter 11

In the past few weeks I have been posting reflections on Habakkuk and Hebrews. This week, my interest in these two books dovetailed as I got into Hebrews chapter 11, the famous “hall of faith.” Hebrews 11 follows from 10:35-39, in which the author of Hebrews quotes Habakkuk 2:4 (as Paul does in Romans 1:17 and Galatians 3:11 [cf. my first post on Habakkuk]) and sets forth two possibilities for his suffering readers: (1) faith (v. 38)/endurance (v. 36) or (2) shrinking back (v. 38)/throwing away confidence (v. 35). Its very significant that faith and perseverance are associated in the…

Reflections on Hebrews (2): Christ’s Superior Sacrifice in 9:11-12

In my continued reading through Hebrews, I am struck by the significance of 9:11-12 within the larger section of 8:1-9:28. In these verses the writer develops a comparison between the annual sacrifice made by the High Priest on the day of Atonement, as described in Leviticus 16, and the sacrifice made by Christ on the cross. Verse 11: But when Christ appeared as a high priest of the good things that have come, then through the greater and more perfect tent (not made with hands, that is, not of this creation) Verse 12: he entered once for all into the…

Reflections on Hebrews (1): What’s up with Melchizedek?

I am reading through Hebrews in my devotions right now, one of my favorite books of the bible, and a book I would like to do further study on in the years to come. For the first several chapters I had avoided commentaries, but this weekend I hit chapter 7, an extremely difficult text, and finally gave in and turned for help to William Lane’s Hebrews: A Call to Commitment (Regent College Publishing, 1985). I found it extremely helpful and I want to share some of the insights I gathered. My most basic question was, what’s up with Melchizedek? Why…