Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Criswell Theological Review Article on Hebrews

The latest issue of Criswell Theological Review has an article on Hebrews:

Mel Winstead. "The Significance of Verbal Aspect on the Participles in Hebrews 6:1–12." Criswell Theological Review ns 12.1 (Fall 2014): 109–22.

Here is the description from their blog:

"Finally, our sixth article is provided by Mel Winstead who serves as Assistant Professor of Biblical Studies at Southern Evangelical Seminary in Charlotte, NC. In his essay, Winstead endeavors to show how the grammatical factor of verbal aspect can enhance our understanding of New Testament texts. To do so, Winstead examines the role of verbal aspect in Greek grammar and then surveys its role in the use of various participles in the famous warning passage of Hebrews 6:1-12."

Wednesday, December 31, 2014

Hebrews Highlights December 2014

Paul Himes gives some recommendations for Resources for Studying and Teaching the Epistle to the Hebrews. However, he misidentifies the author of the WBC series, who is William Lane (not William Lane Craig). He does not mention another good conservative commentary: the one by Gary Cockerill in the NICNT series. I am puzzled why he identifies Lane's, and even Attridge's, commentary as secular. I would add Craig Koester's contribution to the Anchor Bible Commentary and David deSilva's contribution to the Social-Scientific Commentary series as top commentaries.

Peter Leithart opines about Atonement according to Hebrews. He also comments on the enigmatic passage, "We Have an Altar," in Hebrews 13:10–12.

Benesh Dissertation on Hebrews

I see that the latest Tyndale Bulletin (65.2) has a summary of Dana Benesh's  dissertation:

Dana Benesh. "Thomas Aquinas on Hebrews: The Excellence of Christ."

"Due to the influence of his two great Summae, Thomas Aquinas' reputation as a 'systematic' theologian far surpasses his reputation as a biblical exegete. Yet his commentaries merit attention due to Thomas' ability to explicate Scripture, his contributions to the development of exegesis, and the fact that his commentaries reflect the same doctrinal and theological concerns as his better-known works. An examination of Thomas Aquinas' commentary on Hebrews is worthwhile, given the growing interest in pre-modern exegesis as well as the priority that Thomas assigned to the epistle. Organizing the entire corpus of Scripture according to the purposes of God, Thomas orders the Old Testament books in regard to God as king or Father and the New Testament books in regard to Christ and the church. In Thomas' scheme, Hebrews comes immediately after the four gospels. Among all the epistles, Hebrews is preeminent, according to Thomas, because it reveals the power of the grace of Christ as head of the church. The aim of this dissertation is to understand and appreciate Thomas' exposition of Hebrews in the context of his theological works and in the context of medieval exegesis."

Dana is a former colleague of mine at Baylor. I had not heard the news, so congratulations to her!

Sunday, November 30, 2014

Hebrews Highlights November 2014

Chuck Grantham continues to assemble antique commentary quotes: Hebrews 11:1–7, Hebrews 12:1–7, 12:18–24, 13:1–8.

Henry Neufeld has been active this month as he is revising his book on Hebrews. He has Some Thoughts on the Christ of Faith after Reading Hebrews. He also muses about whether the best reading is Chwris or Chariti in Hebrews 2:9. He then discusses A Gender Neutral Example in Hebrews 2:6–8. He then offers a Quick Follow-up on Hebrews 2:6–8. Then he has a lengthy post on Hebrews Background. He comments on Yet More Hebrews and Old Testament-New Testament Continuity. He then explains How and Why Ezekiel, Hebrews, and Leviticus Shaped [His] Theology.

Mark Beuving distinguishes between Discipline vs. Punishment in his discussion of Hebrews 12:5–11.

Steve Walton summarizes Ross Wagner's paper at IBR on Hebrews and its usage of Psalms 8 and 40.

Ken Schenck has some thoughts on Hebrews and the New Perspective.

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

Hebrews at the Annual Meeting of the SBL

The following are papers on Hebrews that will be delivered at the annual meeting of the Society of Biblical Literature:


Institute for Biblical Research
4:00 PM to 6:00 PM
Room: 202 B (Level 2 (Indigo)) - Hilton Bayfront (HB)Theme: Emerging Scholarship on the New Testament
This session showcases emerging New Testament scholars sponsored by Fellows of the Institute of Biblical Research. All are welcome to attend the session. Summaries of the papers will be read at the session leaving opportunity for discussion. Full papers will be available at the Institute of Biblical Research website: (click on Emerging Scholarship on the New Testament Group) no later than October 1, 2014. For information on this session please contact Ruth Anne Reese (

Ruth Anne Reese, Asbury Theological Seminary, Presiding

Phillip Strickland, McMaster Divinity College
“Le style, c’est l’homme”: The Use of Literary Stylistics in the Defense of Lukan Authorship of Hebrews—A Critical Assessment (10 min)
Discussion (20 min)


9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Room 3 (Upper level) - San Diego Convention Center (CC)Amy Peeler, Wheaton College (Illinois), Presiding

Forays into the Reception of Hebrews in Systematic Theology

Martin Wessbrandt, Lunds Universitet
The Reception of Hebrews’ Doctrine of the High Priesthood of Christ in First Clement (25 min)

Michael Kibbe, Wheaton College Graduate School
Sacrifice On the Cross or Offering After the Cross? The History and Significance of a Key Issue in Hebrews’ View of the Atonement (25 min)

Cynthia Westfall, McMaster Divinity College, Respondent (15 min)

David Moffitt, University of St. Andrews
Although He Was the Son: Reevaluating Supersessionist Accounts of the Christology and Soteriology of Hebrews in light of Jesus’ Perfection (25 min)

Hebrews and Rhetoric

Jason A. Whitlark, Baylor University and Michael Martin, Lubbock Christian University
Designing Hebrews: A Proposal for Its Rhetorical Structure (25 min)

Alan Mitchell, Georgetown University, Respondent (15 min)

Discussion (20 min)


Hebrews; New Testament Textual Criticism; Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds
Joint Session With: Hebrews, New Testament Textual Criticism, Papyrology and Early Christian Backgrounds
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: Room 28 B (Upper level) - San Diego Convention Center (CC)Theme: The Transmission and Reception of Hebrews: Perspectives from Early Manuscripts
Gabriella Gelardini, Universität Basel, Presiding (5 min)

AnneMarie Luijendijk, Princeton University
The Hebrews Papyri from Oxyrhynchus (25 min)

Georg Gäbel, Westfälische Wilhelms-Universität Münster
Separated by Grace?! Heb 2:9 and the Mutual Interdependence of Christological Debates and Textual Transmission (25 min)

Craig Koester, Luther Seminary, Respondent (20 min)
Thomas Wayment, Brigham Young University, Respondent (20 min)
Matthew Novenson, University of Edinburgh, Respondent (20 min)
Discussion (25 min)


Development of Early Christian Theology
4:00 PM to 6:15 PM
Room: Room 32 B (Upper level) - San Diego Convention Center (CC)Theme: Spirit and Bible: The Development of Early Accounts of the Spirit in the Christian Scriptures
Mark Weedman, Johnson University, Presiding

Matthew W. Bates, Quincy University
The Spirit as Distinct Person: Prosopological Exegesis and Divine Differentiation (25 min)


Letters of James, Peter, and Jude
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: 502 B (Level 5 (Cobalt)) - Hilton Bayfront (HB)Theme: The Letters of James, Peter, and Jude in the History of Interpretation
Alicia Batten, Conrad Grebel University College, Presiding

Liz Myers, Independent Scholar
Authorship of 1 Peter as Witnessed by the Epistle to the Hebrews (25 min)
Discussion (5 min)


Intertextuality in the New Testament
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: 204 A (Level 2 (Indigo)) - Hilton Bayfront (HB)Theme: Varieties of Intertextual Methods
Erik Waaler, NLA University College, Presiding

Liz Myers, Independent Scholar
Assessing the Direction of Intertextual Borrowing between New Testament Books: A New Methodology and Application to 1 Peter and Hebrews (30 min)
Discussion (15 min)


Children in the Biblical World
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: 500 (Level 5 (Cobalt)) - Hilton Bayfront (HB)Theme: Children and Sacrifice
This is a joint session with the AAR Childhood Studies and Religion section.
John W. Martens, University of Saint Thomas, Presiding

Tsui Yuk Louise Liu, Chinese University of Hong Kong
Offering of Isaac and Its Reception: Mediating Children and Sacrifice in Early Judaism and Early Christianity of Isaac (25 min)


Rhetoric and the New Testament
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: 400 B (Level 4 (Sapphire)) - Hilton Bayfront (HB)Theme: Rhetorics of Vision and Visual Rhetorics: Ekphrasis and Beyond I
Lillian Larsen, University of Redlands, Presiding

Scott D. Mackie, Independent Scholar
Seeing a Way in the Wilderness: Visually Oriented Rhetoric in Hebrews 3–4 (25 min)
Discussion (20 min)


Social History of Formative Christianity and Judaism
1:00 PM to 3:30 PM
Room: 202 B (Level 2 (Indigo)) - Hilton Bayfront (HB)Theme: Priests, Meats, and Sacrifice: Representation and Praxis
Gil Klein, Loyola Marymount University, Presiding (5 min)
Philippa Townsend, Ursinus College
“Priest of the Uncircumcised”: Melchizedek and the Gentiles in Hebrews and Beyond (25 min)


Mysticism, Esotericism, and Gnosticism in Antiquity
4:00 PM to 6:30 PM
Room: 410 B (Level 4 (Sapphire)) - Hilton Bayfront (HB)Theme: Early Christianity
Featuring reviews of Jared Calaway, The Sabbath and the Sanctuary: Access to God in the Letter to the Hebrews and its Priestly Context (Mohr Siebeck, 2013).

Jeffrey Pettis, Fordham University, Presiding

Gabriella Gelardini, Universität Basel
Review of Jared Calaway, The Sabbath and the Sanctuary (20 min)

Eric F. Mason, Judson University
Review of Jared Calaway, The Sabbath and the Sanctuary (20 min)

Jared Calaway, University of Mississippi, Respondent (25 min)
Discussion (10 min)

Benjamin Ribbens, Trinity Christian College
The Function of the Heavenly Cult in Hebrews and Its Predecessors (30 min)


9:00 AM to 11:30 AM
Room: Room 29 D (Upper level) - San Diego Convention Center (CC)Theme: Putting Mark in Its Place — Mark and the Rest of the NT (not Gospels or Paul)
Papers are sent to formal members to be read in advance. Presentations consist of a short summary followed by extended discussion among seminar members.
Tom Shepherd, Andrews University, Presiding

Elizabeth Shively, University of St. Andrews
Redemption from Satan, Sin, and Death: Mark 10:45b and Its Relationship to Images of Redemption in Hebrews (10 min)
Discussion (30 min)

Hebrews at the 2014 ETS Annual Meeting

The following are papers dealing with Hebrews at the annual meeting of the Evangelical Theological Society.

Thursday, November 20

8:30 AM-11:40 AM
History & Interpretation: How Important is History to Interpreting the General Letters

11:00 AM—11:40 AM
What has Social History to do with Hebrews? Familial Language within an Interpretive Framework

3:00 PM-6:10 PM
Pacific Salon Six
(McMaster Divinity School)
3:00 PM—3:40 PM

(Wheaton College)
Can You Get There From Here? Hermeneutical Trajectories and the Use of the OT in Hebrews
3:50 PM—4:30 PM

(Trinity Christian College)
Does Christ Atone for Sins in Heb 2:17?
4:40 PM—5:20 PM

(Philomath, OR)
Who Used Whom? The Likely Direction of Borrowing between Hebrews and 1 Peter in Light of Probable Literary Dependence
5:30 PM—6:10 PM

(University of Manchester)
The Combined Concept of Priesthood and Covenant in Hebrews

3:00 PM-6:10 PM
General Studies 3
(Grace Bible College)
3:00 PM—3:40 PM

(The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary)
Literary Design in Hebrews 11: Possible Inclusios and the Theme of Death and Deliverance

4:40 PM—5:20 PM
(University of Notre Dame)
The Implausibility of a Roman Destination for Hebrews

5:30 PM—6:10 PM
(McMaster Divinity College)
Sprinkling the Blood–A Study of Intertextuality in Heb 9.1–22

Friday, November 21

1:00 PM-3:40 PM
Royal Palm Salon Five
(Wheaton College & Graduate School)

1:00 PM—1:35 PM
(Wheaton College)
The Covenant of the Father

1:45 PM—2:15 PM
(Wheaton College & Graduate School)
Putting Words in His Mouth: The Son Speaks in Hebrews
2:25 PM—3:00 PM

(University of St. Andrews)
The Worship of the Great High Priest: Some Reflections on the Humanity and Atoning Work of the
Son in Hebrews
3:10 PM—3:40 PM

(Yale University)
How Atoning Sacrifice Works in Hebrews

1:00 PM-4:10 PM
General Studies 5

2:40 PM—3:20 PM
(Golden Gate Baptist Theological Seminary)
Did Ignatius use Hebrews?

Tuesday, November 4, 2014

New Stolz Article on Hebrews 1:6

A new article on Hebrews has appeared in the latest issue of Biblica:

Lukas Stolz. "Das Einführen des Erstegeboren in die οικουμενη (Hebr 1,6a)." Biblica 95 (2014): 405–23.

Here is the synopsis:
"The meaning of the firstborn's ei)vsagwgh/ into the oi)koume/nh in Hebrews 1,6a is greatly disputed. Proposed interpretations are the presentation of the Son after the creation, his incarnation, his baptism, his exaltation and his parousia. The arguments seem to speak for the lastmentioned and against the currently very popular exaltation reading."

Interesting. In my research, I detected that the current trend is towards the exaltation reading as the synopsis indicates. I adopted the exaltation reading myself in my dissertation. It will be interesting to see if Stolz has any new arguments favoring the parousia reading.

Saturday, October 25, 2014

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Monday, October 13, 2014

Attridge Reviews Cockerill's Commentary

Harold Attridge reviews Gary Cockerill's NICNT commentary The Epistle to the Hebrews in the most recent issue of The Journal of Theological Studies. Most of the review is hidden behind a subscription wall, but I thought I would draw attention to it anyway.

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Scacewater Review of Ounsworth, Joshua Typology in NT

Todd Scacewater reviews Richard Ounsworth's monograph Joshua Typology in the New Testament for Westminster Theological Journal.

Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Hebrews Highlights September 2014

Durham University has announced a conference on Neglected Texts and Early Christian Identities. These texts include Hebrews.

Chuck Grantham has assembled antique commentary quotes on Hebrews 1:1–4, Hebrews 2:1–4, and Hebrews 2:14–18, Hebrews 3:7–15.

Denny Burk comments on What the Bible teaches about spanking. The discussion includes seven propositions about discipline from Hebrews 12:4–11.

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Thomas Schreiner's New Commentary on Hebrews

Thomas Schreiner informed me that his non-techncial commentary on Hebrews will be coming out in February 2015:

Commentary on Hebrews. Biblical Theology Christian Proclamation Commentary (Holman).

Part of the blurb on the Amazon website:

In his volume on Hebrews, Thomas R. Schreiner says, "The words of Jesus on the cross, 'it is finished' (John 19:30) capture the theology of Hebrews.

"My aim in this commentary is to focus on the biblical theology of the letter. The emphasis on biblical theology shows up especially in the introduction and conclusion where theological structures and themes are considered. In the introduction I will examine four different structures that are woven into the entire letter: 1) promise/fulfillment; 2) eschatology; 3) typology; and 4) spatial orientation (which can also be described as the relationship between heaven and earth in the letter). The commentary will conclude, after presenting an exegesis of each chapter, with a discussion of some major theological themes in Hebrews.
"Most modern commentaries consist of significant introductions and then conduct an intensive exegesis of the text, chapter by chapter and verse by verse. By way of contrast, the introduction and the commentary are relatively brief and non-technical.  With the proliferation of commentaries today, a new commentary should have a distinctive approach. We now have many excellent commentaries on Hebrews which examine the letter in some detail. Many of these commentaries provide a useful function in that they draw on other parallels from both Jewish and Hellenistic literature to illuminate Hebrews. The advantage of such an approach is that the reader is plunged into the cultural world of the author. On the other hand, the careful sifting of various traditions may cause the reader to lose track of the argument of the letter. At the same time, the theology of the author may be muted, not because it isn’t recognized but because it may be difficult to follow in the welter of information given to readers. I hope a commentary that probes the theology of Hebrews will prove to be helpful. I have been helped by many scholars in preparing this commentary, especially those who have written in depth commentaries and those who have written monographs on the letter. No one writes from an objective standpoint, and hence I should state up front that I write as an evangelical Christian who believes that the scriptures are the living and authoritative word of God."

Friday, September 5, 2014

Amy Peeler's New Book on Hebrews

Amy Peeler's dissertation is now published as a book:

Amy L. B. Peeler. You Are My Son: The Family of God in the Epistle to the Hebrews. The Library of New Testament Studies. Bloomsbury T & T Clark, 2014.

Blurb from the web page:

"The author of Hebrews calls God 'Father' only twice in his sermon. This fact could account for scholarship's lack of attention to the familial dynamics that run throughout the letter. Peeler argues, however, that by having God articulate his identity as Father through speaking Israel's Scriptures at the very beginning and near the end of his sermon, the author sets a familial framework around his entire exhortation. The author enriches the picture of God's family by continually portraying Jesus as God's Son, the audience as God's many sons, the blessings God bestows as inheritance, and the trials God allows as pedagogy. The recurrence of the theme coalesces into a powerful ontological reality for the audience: because God is the Father of Jesus Christ, they too are the sons of God. But even more than the model of sonship, Jesus' relationship with his Father ensures that the children of God will endure the race of faith to a successful finish because they are an integral part of comprehensive inheritance promised by his Father and secured by his obedience. Because of the familial relationship between God and Jesus, the audience of Hebrews - God's children - can remain in the house of God forever."

Amy and I attended classes together at Princeton. We were working on our dissertations simultaneously and we had articles published in the same issue of Perspectives in Religious Studies in 2012. I am happy to endorse her book.

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Hebrews Highlights August 2014

Here are some of the highlights on Hebrews for the month of August:

New Book Announcement:

The T & T Clark blog announces the publication of Jonathan I. Griffiths' book, Hebrews and Divine Speech.

Synopsis from their website:
"Griffiths offers here an analysis of the theme of divine speech in Hebrews, which recurs throughout the book, often in contexts suggesting connections to other areas of scholarly interest (Christology, soteriology, cosmology, and the writer’s understanding of the nature of his discourse). Through exegetical analysis of the text, and specific focus on the key terms of logos and rhēma, Griffiths finds that, for the writer, God’s speech is the means by which the place of divine rest is accessed, and is supremely expressed in the person of his Son. Hebrews is thus a means of communicating the divine word and effecting an encounter between his hearers and the God who speaks."

Book Reviews:

Carl Mosser reviews Jody Barnard's,  The Mysticism of Hebrews.

Kevin McCruden and Gabriella Geleardini review Gary Cockerill's commentary on The Epistle to the Hebrews.

See my previous post for other reviews.

New Online Articles:

The following article is now available on the Bulletin for Biblical Research website:

Stewart, Alexander. “Cosmology, Eschatology, and Soteriology in Hebrews: A Synthetic Analysis.” Bulletin for Biblical Research 20.4 (2010): 545–60.


Cliff Kvidahl interviews George Guthrie on Studying the Book of Hebrews.


Henry Neufeld queries How Detailed Can We Get? when discussing introductory issues in Bible books. He also comments on the Prologue to the Hebrews.

Jared Compton summarizes Gary Cockerill on the Point of Hebrews 11.

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Book Reviews

I have not posted on this blog lately because I moved over the summer and there has been very little activity regarding Hebrews on the biblioblogs. However, there are a number of book reviews that I need to draw your attention to:

Herbert Bateman's Interpreting the General Letters: An Exegetical Handbook has gotten some considerable attention. See the reviews by Charles Savelle, Brian Renshaw, Joel Watts, and Jason Gardner. I just received a copy of the book for review from RBL, but my review will not come out for some time since I have other books to review ahead of it and RBL takes a while to publish reviews submitted to it.

Mike Kibbe reviews Georg Walser's Old Testament Quotations in Hebrews. My own review for RBL should be out soon.

Shawn Wilhite reviews Jon Laansma's essay in his volume co-edited with Daniel Treier, Christology, Hermeneutics and Hebrews: Profiles from the History of Interpretation.

Clifford Kvidahl reviews the first chapter of George Guthrie's The Structure of Hebrews: A Text-Linguistic Analysis.

Jared Compton reviews David Moffitt's Atonement and the Logic of Resurrection in the Epistle to the Hebrews. Do read the exchange between Jared and David in the comments section. The comments section also draws attention to an earlier review of David's work by Aubrey Sequeira.

Finally, I should mention that Christian Brady has posted a synopsis of the paper he presented at the international SBL, "Hebrews 11 is a Midrash of 1 Macc. 2."

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

R.I.P. Ellen Aitken

I received this shocking bit of news this evening: Ellen Aitken, Dean of the Faculty of Religious Studies at McGill University passed away on Saturday after a short bout with cancer.

While I have only had a couple of brief conversations with her over the years, I saw her nearly every year at the national SBL meeting since she was on the steering committee for the Hebrews Group and was usually at the Hebrews sessions. She had a chapter on Hebrews in her dissertation-turned monograph, Jesus' Death in Early Christian Memory: The Poetics of the Passion. She produced several articles/essays on Hebrews and delivered many papers on Hebrews at various conferences.

May she rest in peace.