Monday, October 19, 2020

The Concept of διαθήκη in Hebrews 9:16–17

New article:

Kyu Seop Kim. "The Concept of διαθήκη in Hebrews 9.16–17." Journal for the Study of the New Testament 43.2 (2020): 248–65.


"Many exegetes assume that wills were of immediate effect when they were written and that it was common in Graeco-Roman society to transfer the unrestricted ownership of property to heirs regardless of the testators’ death. However, these assumptions are not sustainable when we explore actual testamentary practices in ancient society. In documentary papyri, the transfer of patrimonum rarely took place during the lifetime of the testator, and the death of the testator was conditio sine qua non for the efficacy of the testament. These aspects lead the reader to a new understanding of Christ’s death in Heb. 9.16-17."

Friday, October 9, 2020

Hebrews in the Southern Baptist Theological Journal

The Southern Baptist Theological Journal has dedicated nearly an entire issue to the Book of Hebrews. Articles can be downloaded individually or you can download the entire issue.

Stephen J. Wellum

Editorial: Christ is Better!

Thomas R. Schreiner

The Trinity in Hebrews

Jonathan I. Griffiths

Leading Many to Glory: An Exposition of Hebrews 2:5-3:3

Brian Vickers

Seeing is NOT Believing: Faith Versus Sight in Hebrews

Barry C. Joslin

Theology Unto Doxology: New Covenant Worship in Hebrews

Gareth Lee Cockerill

From Deuteronomy to Hebrews: The Promised Land and the Unity of Scripture

Ardel B. Caneday

God’s Parabolic Design for Israel’s Tabernacle: A Cluster of Earthly Shadows of Heavenly Realities

James M. Hamilton, Jr.

Typology in Hebrews: A Response to Buist Fanning

William James Dernell

Typology, Christology and Prosopological Exegesis: Implicit Narratives in Christological Texts

Monday, August 31, 2020

Hebrews Highlights August 2020

Chris Ritter completed his sermon series on Hebrews with a sermon on chapter 13: Greater Than: What to Tell Yourself.

Amy Peeler and David Capes discuss Jesus as the author and perfecter of faith in Hebrews 12:1–2.

Reading Hebrews in a Time of Pandemic

New article:

Andrew T. Lincoln. "Reading Hebrews in a Time of Pandemic: Heroism and Hope in the Face of Fear." Expository Times 131.11 (2020): 471–79.


"Despite its well-known difficulties, the epistle to the Hebrews offers resources for reflection in a time of pandemic. Covid-19 has, in its own way, exposed how the existential fear of death can be crippling in its dominance and yet also provoke heroic actions. In the midst of its catastrophic effects for individuals and societies there has also been a demand for some signs of hope that might sustain efforts to find a better future. To read Hebrews in this setting is to be reminded that some of its major themes resonate with the experience of the pandemic’s broad characteristics. It deals with its recipients’ perceived bondage to the fear of death. It claims that this fear has been overcome through the heroic death of Christ, whose pattern of life is to be emulated in the heroism of his followers. It sets these topics within an overall message of hope, in which God’s action in the exalted Christ is seen as both a ‘word against death’ and the promise of a better world. The article explores further the potential appropriation for present-day readers of Hebrews’ treatment of each of these topics—fear of death, heroism and hope."

Friday, July 31, 2020

Hebrews Highlights - July 2020

Nijay Gupta make recommendations for 5 Books Every Pastor Should Read on Hebrews.

Chris Ritter continues his sermon series on Hebrews:
What Can Wash Away My Sins?

David Pallmann has a Critique of Eternal Security based on the warning passages in Hebrews.

Peter Goeman attempts to answer the question: Where was the Altar of Incense Located? (I.e., is Hebrews 9:3–4 wrong?).

Andrew Perriman offers a novel interpretation of Hebrews 1:6 in his post about Jesus and the empire to come.

Monday, July 20, 2020

Lost Commentary of Cyril of Alexandria Found!

Roger Pearse has announced on his blog that Cyril of Alexandria's lost Commentary on Hebrews has been found. It is preserved in three Armenian manuscripts and has now been published. Quick! Someone who knows Armenian translate the thing!

Tuesday, June 30, 2020

Hebrews Highlights - June 2020

James Arlandson tries to answer the question, Who Was Melchizedek?
He then tries to answer the question, Does Hebrews 7:1–10 Teach Church Policy on Tithing?

Chris Ritter has started a series on Hebrews: Greater Than: The Covenant of the Son. It includes a brief introduction and discussion of chapters 1 and 2. Part two: A Sharp Word for Serious Times deals with chapters 3 and 4. Part three: Detours covers chapters 5 and 6. His fourth installment is on Jesus, Our Melchizedek.

Ken Schenck has started reviewing Susan Docherty's monograph, The Use of the Old Testament in Hebrews. Part 1.
Part 2: Previous Scholarship.
Part 3: The Study of Midrash.
Part 4: Septuagintal Studies.

Wednesday, June 10, 2020

An Earth Bible Commentary on Hebrews

Bloomsbury has announced the publication of this new commentary:

Jeffrey S. Lamp. Hebrews: An Earth Bible Commentary: A City That Cannot Be Shaken.

"In this new ecological commentary on the letter to the Hebrews, Jeffrey S. Lamp makes use of approaches developed in the relatively new field of Ecological Hermeneutics to shed light upon the connection of Hebrews with Earth.

Hebrews is frequently characterized as portraying a dualistic cosmology that diminishes the material world, muting the voice of Earth. Conversely, Lamp argues that though Hebrews cannot be construed as an ecological treatise, the contours of the letter's presentation may be subverted by reading from an ecological perspective, such that cues provided by the author of Hebrews serve as opportunities to hear Earth's voice in the letter. Three movements, corresponding to thematic interests of the author of Hebrews, form the framework of this ecological reading: the Son as the agent of creation, the Son depicted as the Second Adam, and the New Jerusalem as the eschatological dwelling place of God. This ecological reading of Hebrews aims to shape its readers into those who fulfill the soteriological aims of God in and for the world."

Friday, June 5, 2020

My Newest Acquisition

I just got in the mail today this rare copy of a dissertation that I had not known about previously:

Ngoupa, Hans Ejengele. “La perfection dans l’Épître aux Hébreux.” Ph.D. diss., Institute Protestant de Théologie, Montpellier, 1982.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Moffitt Reviews Holmes

New review in RBL:

David Moffitt reviews Christopher T. Holmes, The Function of Sublime Rhetoric in Hebrews: A Study in Hebrews 12:18–29.

"In this study, Christopher T. Holmes provides a focused analysis of the rhetorical and stylistic features of Hebrews 12:18–29, their intended effects upon the audience, and the role of the passage in the larger argument of Hebrews. He draws extensively from the first-century treatise, De Sublimitate, arguing that it provides a significant context for interpreting the rhetoric and style of Hebrews. Although New Testament scholars have drawn significantly from the ancient handbooks of Aristotle, Quintilian, and Cicero in the last several decades, this is the first monograph-length study to use De Sublimitate as the primary analytical tool for New Testament interpretation. The result of the study shows that the author's efforts to move the readers »beyond persuasion« shed new light on the thought and genre of Hebrews. Christopher T. Holmes offers both exegetical insights about Hebrews and an additional way to think about the distinctiveness of early Christian rhetoric."

Two New Articles in JSNT

Two new articles in the Journal for the Study of the New Testament:

Moore, Nicholas J. “Sacrifice, Session, and Intercession: The End of Christ’s Offering in Hebrews.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 42.4 (2020): 521–41.

"A growing number of scholars have argued that Christ’s offering in Hebrews is not limited to the cross but extends into heaven; in recent work David Moffitt contends that Christ’s heavenly, atoning offering is perpetual and coextensive with his intercession. This article calls this further step into question, by examining the function of Christ’s heavenly session in Hebrews’ construal of sacrificial process, and by exploring the nature of his heavenly intercession and its relation to his offering and enthronement. It argues that Christ’s session is a hinge, marking an emphatic close to his sacrificial work for the forgiveness of sins, and inaugurating his royal reign and priestly prayer."

Moffitt, David M. “Jesus as Interceding High Priest and Sacrifice in Hebrews: A Response to Nicholas Moore.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 42.4 (2020): 542-52.

"Is Jesus’ perpetual intercession for his people in Hebrews (Heb. 7.25) understood as a constitutive part of his atoning, high-priestly ministry? Nicholas Moore argues that Jesus’ act of sitting at God’s right hand is the decisive end of Jesus’ atoning sacrifice and so also of Hebrews’ Yom Kippur analogy. Among other points, I argue in response that Jesus’ ongoing absence from his people, status as high priest and current location in the heavenly holy of holies imply that Hebrews’ Yom Kippur analogy extends beyond Jesus’ act of sitting to include his present ministry of intercession. Not only were prayer and atoning sacrifice closely correlated for Second Temple Jews, Hebrews presents Jesus as the high priest who, in his resurrected humanity, is always also the sacrifice in the Father’s presence. Jesus presented himself to the Father once, but he is perpetually the high priest and sacrifice who ministers in God’s presence. For Hebrews, the Yom Kippur analogy (and so also Jesus’ atoning ministry) ends when, like the earthly high priests, Jesus leaves the heavenly holy of holies to return to and again be present with his people (Heb. 9.28). Only then will his followers receive the salvation for which they are waiting. Until that approaching day arrives, Jesus’ ongoing intercession with his Father ensures that his people will be saved completely."

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

Johnsson Dissertation Finally Published

William Johnsson's important 1973 dissertation, "Defilement and Purgation in the Book of Hebrews" was never published, that is, until now:

William G. Johnsson. Defilement and Purgation in the Book of Hebrews. Fontes Press.

"At the epicenter of the book of Hebrews stands a prolonged exposition of the Israelite cult. While many studies have focused on the theology of the cult, Johnsson uses a structuralist and religio-historical approach to analyze Hebrews as a religious document that shares anthropological parallels with other major religious groups and their documents.

Johnsson's initial survey of scholarship on the cult in Hebrews lays the foundation for analyzing the key terms of 'defilement,' 'purgation,' and 'blood,' which stand at the heart of the cultic argumentation of Hebrews. These terms and their associated ideas are analyzed closely in their contexts within Hebrews 9-10, which reveals significant theological implications for the human condition as laid out in the rest of the discourse."

I did some of the editorial work on one of the chapters (and it was a ton of work), so I am glad to see it finally in print.

Thursday, May 21, 2020

My Review on Davis, The Place of Paideia in Hebrews' Moral Thought

My review has finally appeared in RBL:

Davis, Phillip A., Jr. The Place of Paideia in Hebrews' Moral Thought. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/475. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2018.

Thursday, May 7, 2020

New Article on Syncrisis and Encomium in Hebrews

The most recent issue of Catholic Biblical Quarterly has the following article:

Jerome H. Neyrey. "Syncrisis and Encomium: Reading Hebrews through Greek Rhetoric." Catholic Biblical Quarterly 82.2 (April 2020): 276–99.

Abstract: "Although the use of rhetoric to interpret NT texts, even Hebrews, is hardly new, here I employ an unfamiliar, and so unused source of Greco-Roman rhetoric, the progymnasmata (preliminary rhetorical exercises). They provide excellent examples of genres that form the skeleton and substance of the argument in Hebrews." These progymnasmata consisted of twelve to sixteen exercises of increasing difficulty, among which I focus on "comparison" (σύγκρισις) and "encomium" (ἐγκώμιον). Progymnastic rhetoric states that "comparison" are made out of the "headings' of the "encomium." Thus, one comparison is in fact two encomia, for example, Jesus and Israelite priests, each figure described according to traditional encomiastic patterns."

Neyrey claims that hardly anyone has applied the progymnastic exercises of encomium and syncrisis to the Book of Hebrews. He only cites C. F. Evans' slender monograph, The Theology of Rhetoric: The Epistle to the Hebrews. In fact, I deal at length with the progymnastic exercises of encomiastic topics and syncrisis in my monograph, The Characterization of Jesus in the Book of Hebrews. Moreover, Michael Martin and Jason Whitlark deal with syncrisis at length in structuring Hebrews' argument in Inventing Hebrews: Design and Purpose in Ancient Rhetoric. So, in fact, there has been more work done applying the progymnastic exercises of encomium and syncrisis to Hebrews than Neyrey gives credit for in his article. This is a surprising oversight from a scholar of the caliber of Neyrey.

Tuesday, May 5, 2020

New Book: Strangers on the Earth

Wipf & Stock have announced the publication of this new book:

James W. Thompson, Strangers on the Earth: Philosophy and Rhetoric in Hebrews.

"Contrary to what we might imagine from its title, the Epistle to the Hebrews is immersed in Hellenistic thought. Its author demonstrates an acquaintance with Greco-Roman rhetoric, and often supports his arguments with the assumptions of Hellenistic philosophy. While he shares the apocalyptic worldview of other Jews in this period, he recasts it with the language of Middle Platonism."

Friday, March 6, 2020

Yauri Reviews Healy's Commentary on Hebrews

Benjamin Rojas Yauri reviews Mary Healy's commentary Hebrews of the
Catholic Commentary on Sacred Scripture series in RBL.

Saturday, February 29, 2020

Friday, February 14, 2020

Tuesday, January 14, 2020

New Introduction and Study Guide on Hebrews

Bloomsbury is announcing the publication of this book:

Patrick Gray and Amy Peeler. Hebrews: An Introduction and Study Guide (Bloomsbury).

My Newest Acquisition

This book just came in the mail today, all the way from Italy:

Michael Tait. Too Many Priests? Melchizedek and the Others in Hebrews.