Sunday, March 13, 2011

Interpretive Cruxes in Hebrews


Hebrews is a notoriously difficult book to interpret.  Difficulties abound surrounding the circumstances of the book.  The identification of the author and recipients and their situation remains a mystery.  The date and provenance of the book remain unknown.  The integrity of the book has been called into question: Is chapter 13 original to the book or was it added later?  In addition to these problems, the book is replete with exegetical difficulties.  The following is a list of interpretive cruxes in the book of Hebrews.

Interpretive Cruxes in Hebrews

Hebrews is a notoriously difficult book to interpret.  Difficulties abound surrounding the circumstances of the book.  The identification of the author and recipients and their situation remains a mystery.  The date and provenance of the book remain unknown.  The integrity of the book has been called into question: Is chapter 13 original to the book or was it added later?  In addition to these problems, the book is replete with exegetical difficulties.  The following is a list of interpretive cruxes in the book of Hebrews.

1)  1:3 – Should ἀπαύγασμα be taken in the active or passive sense?

2)  1:4 – What is the greater “name” Jesus inherits?

3)  1:5 – What does σήμερον refer to?

4)  1:6 – What is the meaning of: ὅταν δὲ πάλιν εἰσαγάγῃ τὸν πρωτότοκον εἰς τὴν οἰκουμένην?

5)  1:8-9 – Is θεός to be taken as a vocative or nominative?

6)  1:9 – What does the “anointing” refer to?  Who are the μετόχους?

7)  2:5-9 – Is Psalm 8 to be taken christologically or anthropologically?

8)  2:9 – Should the reading be χάριτι θεοῦ or χωρὶς θεοῦ /?

9)  2:11 – What does ἐξ ἑνὸς refer to?

10)  2:16 – What is the meaning of ἐπιλαμβάνεται? What is the subject of the verb?

11)  2:17 – Does ἱλάσκεσθαι mean “propitiate” or “expiate”?

12)  3:2 – What is the meaning of τῷ ποιήσαντι αὐτὸν?

13)  3:3 – Who is κατασκευάσας?

14)  3:5 – What does εἰς μαρτύριον τῶν λαληθησομένων refer to?

15)  3:14 – What is the meaning of μέτοχοι τοῦ Χριστοῦ /?

16)  4:10 – Who is εἰσελθὼν εἰς τὴν κατάπαυσιν αὐτοῦ /?

17)  4:15 – What is the meaning of: πεπειρασμένον δὲ κατὰ πάντα καθὁμοιότητα χωρὶς ἁμαρτίας a`marti,aj?

18)  5:7 – What did Jesus pray for?  How was his prayer heard?  What does εἰσακουσθεὶς ἀπὸ τῆς εὐλαβείας mean?

19)  6:1 – What does τὸν τῆς ἀρχῆς τοῦ Χριστοῦ λόγον refer to?

20)  6:4-6 – Does this passage indicate that one can lose one’s salvation?

21)  6:19 – What does the anchor refer to?

22)  7:3 – Does the author think that Melchizedek is some kind of angelic/suprahuman being?

23)  7:26 – What is the meaning of κεχωρισμένος ἀπὸ τῶν ἁμαρτωλῶν?  Does it go with what precedes or what follows?

24)  8:1 – What does κεφάλαιον mean?

25)  8:2 – Does “sanctuary” and “tent” refer to the same thing, or two different things?

26)  9:4 – Does the author misplace the location of the altar of incense?

27)  9:11 – Should the reading be τῶν γενομένων ἀγαθῶν or τῶν μελλόντων ἀγαθῶν?

28)  9:11 – What is the “tent” through which Jesus enters?

29)  9:14 – What is the meaning of: διὰ πνεύματος αἰωνίου?

30)  9:15-17 – Does διαθήκης mean “covenant,” “testament,” or both?

31)  9:23 – Do the heavenly things need cleansing?

32)  10:20 – What is the meaning of: διὰ τοῦ καταπετάσματος, τοῦτἔστιν τῆς σαρκὸς αὐτοῦ /?

33)  11:26 – What does τὸν ὀνειδισμὸν τοῦ Χριστοῦ refer to?

34)  12:2 – What does ἀντὶ τῆς προκειμένης αὐτῷ χαρᾶς refer to?

35)  12:14 – Does κύριον refer to God or Jesus?

36)  12:17 – What did Esau seek: the blessing or repentance?

37)  12:23 – To whom does ἐκκλησίᾳ πρωτοτόκων ἀπογεγραμμένων ἐν οὐρανοῖς refer?

38)  12:24 – What is the meaning of: αἵματι ῥαντισμοῦ κρεῖττον λαλοῦντι παρὰ τὸν Ἅβελ?

39)  12:25 – Who is the one who warns on earth, and warns from heaven?

40)  13:9 – What does the “foods” refer to?

41)  13:10 – What does the “altar” refer to?  Who are those who officiate in the tent?

42)  13:21 – Does the doxology refer back to Jesus or to God or to both?

43)  13:24 – Is the author writing to or from Rome (or Italy)?

44)  When does Christ become high priest?  When does he become Heir of all things?

2 comments:

  1. Dude, you really need to spend some time learning unicode.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Dude, thanks for the heads up. Problem corrected.

    ReplyDelete