Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Hebrews Highlights February 2015

February was a slow month for blog posts on Hebrews.

Jared Calaway has posted the abstract for his recent paper, "Jesus as Creator, Sustainer, and Destroyer in Hebrews."

I have about a half dozen books to review for this blog and hope to have these review up very soon in the upcoming weeks. I have had other writing projects that have taken priority, not to mention that my full-time job takes much of my time.

Long's Short Review of O'Brien's Commentary

Phillip Long reviews Peter O'Brien's commentary on The Letter to the Hebrews in the Pillar Commentary series.

Friday, February 27, 2015

Exploring the High Priesthood of Jesus in Early Christian Sources

New article on Hebrews:

Filtvedt, Ole Jakob, and Martin Wessbrandt. "Exploring the High Priesthood of Jesus in Early Christian Sources." Zeitschrift für die neutestamentliche Wissenschaft 106.1 (2015): 96–11.


"Das Faktum, dass der Hebräerbrief die einzige neutestamentliche Schrift ist, in der explizit von Jesus als Hohepriester gesprochen wird, hat Ausleger zu der Annahme verleitet, dass diese christologische Konzeption auf den anonymen Autor des Briefes zurückgeht. Sowohl textinterne als auch externe Indizien legen jedoch nahe, dass der Hohepriestertitel seinen Ursprung im Gottesdienst der frühen Kirche hat. Der Autor des Hebräerbriefes scheint die Vertrautheit der Adressaten mit dem Titel vorauszusetzen, wobei bestimmte Eigenheiten des Textes auf eine Verbindung zu einem gottesdienstlichen Kontext verweisen. Diese These wird durch eine Untersuchung des Gebrauches dieser Konzeption bei den so genannten Apostolischen Vätern untermauert."

My rough translation:

"The fact that Hebrews is the only New Testament writing, in which  Jesus is spoken of as high priest, has misled interpreters to believe that this christological idea goes back to the anonymous author of the letter. Both internal and external textual evidence, however, suggests that the high priest title has its origins in the worship of the early church. The author of Hebrews seems to presuppose the addressees' familiarity with the title, wherein certain characteristics of the text refer to a connection to a worship context. This thesis is supported by a study of the use of this idea in the so-called Apostolic Fathers."

HT: Bobby Jamieson

Beavis on Hebrews and Wisdom

Larry Hurtado comments upon Mary Ann Beavis's article, "Hebrews and Wisdom" in the Festschrift, Mark, Manuscripts, and Monotheism: Essays in Honor of Larry W. Hurtado, eds. Chris Keith & Dieter T. Roth (London:  Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2015), 201-18.

Thursday, February 12, 2015

New Commentary by Vanhoye

The latest academic catalog of Paulist Press is announcing a new commentary by Albert Vanhoye, one of the leading Hebrews' scholars. I cannot find it on Paulist Press' website, but Amazon is announcing that it will be coming out on July 28 of this year.

I am wondering how this commentary will differ from his commentary with Convivium Press, which came out in 2011 (See my review).

Friday, February 6, 2015

Hebrews at the Midwest Regional SBL

There will be several papers on Hebrews given at the Midwest Regional Society of Biblical Literature this coming weekend:

Saturday, February 7

Chair: Mike Kibbe, Wheaton College

Jared Calaway, Illinois College
Jesus as Creator, Sustainer, and Destroyer in Hebrews

Carl Mosser, University of Notre Dame
Humanity Crowned with Glory and Honor: Hebrews 2, Psalm 8, and the Patristic Doctrine of Deification

Sunday, February 8

Chair: Amy L. B. Peeler, Wheaton College

Erhard H. Gallos, Andrews University
What “Rest” Remains? A Close Reading of Hebrews 4

Justin Duff, Grand Rapids Theological Seminary
Covenant Death and Cleansing Blood in Hebrews 9:15-20

Sze Suze Lau, Polytechnic Univ. of Hong Kong/Anglican Minghua College
Hurst’s Remix: Mosaic and Platonic Conception of Priesthood in Hebrews 8

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Do the Angels Worship Christ in Hebrews 1:6?

Larry Hurtado summarizes and comments upon a recent essay written by David M. Allen: “Who, What, and Why? The Worship of the Firstborn in Hebrews 1:6,” in Mark, Manuscripts, and Monotheism: Essays in Honor of Larry W. Hurtado, eds. Chris Keith and Dieter T. Roth (London: Bloomsbury T&T Clark, 2014), 159-75.

Monday, February 2, 2015

Interview with Schreiner about His Forthcoming Book

Broadman & Holman Academic Blog has a brief interview with Thomas Schreiner about his upcoming commentary on Hebrews.

Saturday, January 31, 2015

Hebrews Highlights January 2015

Ken Schenck argues for the Gentile audience of Hebrews. He further argues that Rome is the most likely destination for the book.

Matthew Montonini discusses Tom Schreiner on Hebrews.

Andrew Perriman comments on The glory of the builder of the house in Hebrews 3:3–4.

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