Thursday, February 24, 2011

New Book by Albert Vanhoye

This week I received a book by Cardinal Albert Vanhoye, Old Testament Priests and the New Priest: According to the New Testament.  It is an English translation of a work that originally appeared in French in 1980.  The book has three movements.  Part one focuses on the Old Testament priests.  Part two discusses the new priest, Jesus Christ.  Part three then talks about a priestly people.

I noticed on Amazon that a new book by Vanhoye has just come out:  A Different Priest: The Epistle to the Hebrews.

"The first part, which only examines one theme, the Name of Christ, offers a general and contemporary Christology. The next two parts offer a priestly Christology, firstly more general and then more specific. Finally, the last two parts show the result of this for the Christian life, lived out in faith, hope and charity. The author of this work has worked for many years on the Epistle to the Hebrews, and, notably, has taught it at the Biblical Institute and published a great number of specialist articles and books on it, and now brings one of the most contemporary authoritative commentaries to a wider audience, contributing with the understanding of the unique Priesthood of Jesus Christ for the first Christian communities. In this work, a detailed analysis of the text known as the Epistle to the Hebrews enables us to conclude without a shadow of a doubt that this is the full text of a splendid Christian preaching, which constantly conforms to the rules of Semitic rhetoric, including various genres of parallelism, synonymis, antithesis and complementarity, and obeying a concentrically symmetrical schema."

Vanhoye is one of the most prolific authors on Hebrews.  He is best known for a landmark work on the structure of Hebrews, a work that is still influential today.  His works have appeared in several different languages.


  1. I have come across your blog and read some of the post with a great interest. Thank you! I have a question. Recently I have been reading some of Margaret Barjer's books. She pays a great deal of attention to the passages on the Great Hing Priest from the Hebrews. What is you opinion about this authour and her main points? I did not find her in your bibliography... Would be very interested to hear your thoughts.

  2. Hi Tapac,
    do you mean Margaret Barker? To my knowledge she has not written anything directly on Hebrews, although she may draw on Hebrews in some of her works. I know that she has a great deal of interest in the Temple and liturgy. What little of her I have read was interesting, but I am afraid I have not read enough of her to give a fair evaluation. Neither am I aware of how her scholarship is regarded in the biblical studies guild, as her name does not come up frequently. I did come across her personal web page:

    Do you know of any specific works in which she addresses the book of Hebrews?

    I will say that my bibliography is not exhaustive but only includes links to articles that are available on the internet and are not hidden behind subscription-based web sites. Barker has some articles available on her personal web page, but none of them seem to be on Hebrews directly.