Tuesday, April 6, 2021

New Hebrews Article in JBL

Joseph, Simon J. “‘In the Days of His Flesh, He Offered Up Prayers’: Reimagining the Sacrifice(s) of Jesus in the Letter to the Hebrews.” Journal of Biblical Literature 140.1 (2021): 207–27. 

"The Letter to the Hebrews is generally regarded as the most sacrificial text in the New Testament. This article argues that Hebrews, read within the wider context of sacrificial discourse in the ancient Mediterranean world, not only represents a textual moment in the rhetorical dissociation of the early Jesus movement from the sacrificial cult in Jerusalem but also reflects the rhetorical obfuscation of Jesus’s sacrificial self-offering as it was being replaced by an emphasis on the interpretation of Jesus’s death as sacrifice, with the result being the inevitable sacrifice of the former for the latter in early Christian discourse."

Wednesday, March 31, 2021

Monday, March 15, 2021

New Dissertation on the Theme of Promise in Hebrews

Stevens, Daniel Joseph. “A Promise Remains: A Study of Promise in the Epistle to the Hebrews.” Ph.D. diss., King’s College, 2019. 

"Despite receiving little direct attention, the theme of promise often features in scholars’ discussions of the central themes of the Epistle to the Hebrews, with some even asserting that promise is the foundational motif of the entire work. However, the way in which the author of Hebrews portrays divine promises and uses them to contribute to the structure of his theology has not yet been satisfactorily described. What the author means by promise, how promise relates to other types of divine commitments, and the content and timing of the promise’s fulfilment all need clarification and more precise attention. Through an exegesis of the relevant passages of Hebrews, this thesis provides a new reading of promise in Hebrews. After an exegesis of the epistle, I then describe Hebrews’ overall theology of promise. I argue that, unlike in previous analyses, rest is not the primary content of promise, nor is it the primary lens through which the other instances of promise language should be understood. On the contrary, I argue that the promise is most closely associated with the benefits promised to Abraham, and then mediated through the various subsequent covenants. Further, while previous studies have left it unclear how the divine promise relates to both the Old and New Covenants, I argue that Hebrews develops a view of salvation history in which covenants are founded upon promises and then bring those promises to fruition. This is true of both the Old and New Covenants, though in different ways. I then demonstrate the ways in which this understanding of promise sheds light on the author’s hermeneutic and on his method of achieving his hortatory purposes for the epistle. Finally, I conclude by re-asserting the consistency of the author’s thought regarding promise and by addressing questions raised by earlier studies of this theme."

New Dissertation on the Pneumatology of Hebrews

I have added the following dissertation to the Theses & Dissertations page:

Hodson, Alan. “The Pneumatology of the Letter to the Hebrews: Confused, Careless, Cavalier, or Carefully Crafted?” Ph.D. diss., University of Chester, 2019. 

"It is the majority position that Hebrews has little to add to NT pneumatology (see §1.1). However, that is far from the case. Indeed, on all seven occasions that the author of Hebrews refers to the Spirit, he does so using language and concepts that are unique in the NT. The Spirit both speaks (λέγω) words of Scripture (3:7) and testifies (μαρτυρέω) from Scripture (10:15) using words elsewhere described as God’s words to the congregation. Elsewhere in the NT, when the Spirit ‘speaks’ he does so through human agents (see §§4.3-4.4). However, in Hebrews he speaks directly to the hearers without the need for an intermediary (see §4.5). Furthermore, the Spirit interprets (δηλόω) Scripture (9:8) and this is the only place in the NT where the Spirit is said to function as hermeneut (see §§4.5.3, 8.3.1). The phrase ‘Spirit of grace’ (10:29) is also a NT hapax and ‘Eternal Spirit’ (9:14) is a Biblical hapax. In addition, the concept of believers becoming μέτοχοι of the Spirit (6:4) and the description of God validating the gospel message by ‘distributing’ (μερισμός) the Holy Spirit to followers of Christ (2:4) are also unique to Hebrews. After undertaking a close examination of all seven divine-πνεῦμα texts in Hebrews this thesis concludes that Hebrews has a significant, developed and unique pneumatology (§8.1). The author portrays the Spirit as personal, eternal and divine (§§8.2.2-8.2.4). He is actively involved in the atonement and the New Covenant (§8.3.3), showing the need for such a covenant (§8.3.1) and providing a partnership with each member of the New Covenant Community such that the Spirit enables that which the Covenant requires (§8.3.3). The Holy Spirit plays a crucial role in Hebrews. Both author and congregation experienced him as God, co-equal with the Father and the Son. In fact, Hebrews’ underlying pneumatology displays what might be called ‘Trinitarian coinherence’ (§§8.2.1, 8.4)."

Philip Church Articles

The newest article by Philip Church:

Church, Philip. “The Punctuation of Hebrews 10:2 and Its Significance for the Date of Hebrews.” Tyndale Bulletin 71 (2020): 281–92.

Also, I have added the following articles to our Articles and Essays page:

Church, Philip. “Hebrews 1:10–12 and the Renewal of the Cosmos.” Tyndale Bulletin 67.2 (2016): 269–86.

Church, Philip. “The Temple in the Apocalypse of Weeks and in Hebrews.” Tyndale Bulletin 64.1 (2013): 109–28.

Thanks to Philip for the heads up on these articles.

Monday, March 8, 2021

New Article on the Use of Psalm 40 in Hebrews 10

Ribbens, Benjamin J. “The Sacrifice of God Desired: Psalm 40.6–8 in Hebrews 10.” New Testament Studies 67.2 (2021): 284–304.
"Scholars often argue that Hebrews uses Psalm 40 in Heb 10.5–10 to emphasise obedience, either stressing Christ's lived obedience on earth or suggesting that obedience replaces sacrifice. However, Hebrews does not use Psalm 40 to highlight obedience but to identify another sacrificial offering. Christ's offering is the cultic offering that pleases God and achieves God's salvific will. While God did not take pleasure in Levitical sacrifices, he did command them and promise that they would achieve certain effects. The first covenant sacrifices achieved atonement and forgiveness because they were shadows that anticipated and participated in Christ's offering."

Wednesday, February 10, 2021

New Article on Hebrews 2:12

Dyer, Bryan R. “‘In the Midst of the Assembly I Will Praise You’: Hebrews 2:12 and Its Contribution to the Argument of the Epistle.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament (2021).
"This article studies Ps. 21.23 LXX in Heb. 2.12 and zeroes in on the fascinating image that it presents: Jesus worshipping within the Christian community. This image is sometimes lost as it appears in the second half of a quotation in which the first part seems to make the more significant point (Jesus’ solidarity with his siblings). Yet this striking image of Jesus praising God makes an important theological and sociological contribution to the epistle’s argument. As this article will argue, this image contributes to a larger attempt by the author to solidify commitment to the community and ground the group’s identity in Jesus."


Friday, February 5, 2021

Pierce Reviews Son, Sacrifice, and Great Shepherd Volume

Madison Pierce reviews Son, Sacrifice, and Great Shepherd, the collection of essays on Hebrews edited by David Moffitt and Eric Mason.

Saturday, January 30, 2021

RIP Bruce Demarest (1935–2021)

Denver Seminary is reporting that Bruce Demarest passed away on January 27. Demarest was the author of History of Interpretation of Hebrews 7,1–10 from the Reformation to the Present.

Thursday, January 28, 2021

Newly Published: Kerux Commentary on Hebrews

Kregel has just released this commentary by Herbert Bateman, a seasoned Hebrews' scholar, in the Kerux Commentaries series:

Thursday, January 21, 2021

Long Review of Peterson's Commentary on Hebrews

Phillip Long reviews the newest Hebrews commentary:

David G. Peterson. Hebrews. Tyndale New Testament Commentary. 

Schreiner Commentary on Hebrews

Lexham Press sent me Thomas Screiner's commentary on Hebrews in their new Evangelical Biblical Theology Commentary. As I sat down to look over the commentary I realized that this commentary is exactly identical to his commentary in the Biblical Theology for Christian Proclamation series. It has been repackaged by a different publisher with a different cover in a different series.

This book,


is exactly identical in contents to this book:



I reviewed Schreiner's commentary previously here. Thanks to Lexham Press for a copy of the book.

Tuesday, January 19, 2021

New Book: The Epistle to the Hebrews with regard to the Gospels

I just learned about the publication of this book:

Martin Pochon. L'épître aux Hébreux au regard des Evangiles. Les éditions du Cerf, 2020.

Translated from the website:

"A New Testament book about which all aspects, author, genre, dating, addressees, reasons for canonicity, and even the exact theme, are the subject of intense scholarly disputes? This is the case with the Epistle to the Hebrews, sometimes attributed to Saint Paul, which deals with the two Covenants, hope in persecutions, Jesus mediator and which, for the first time in Christian literature, uses the Old Testament figure of Melchizedek, priest of God Most High, to establish the priestly identity of Christ. A letter that does not seem like one, rather a lecture, and which can attest as much to tradition as to the most daring innovation in thinking about the meaning of Christ's sacrifice. But what is the meaning of this sacrifice? This is the question that Martin Pochon resolves here, thanks to meticulous and documented work. Examining the text, its construction, its assertions, its vocabulary, its figures of speech, but also penetrating into its deep significance, he shows how the Epistle to the Hebrews is indeed a pivotal text in the understanding of the death of Christ. It is because it offers a singular interpretation of the forgiveness of sins, singular if we relate it to the proposition of the Gospels, while integrating the Christology of primitive communities. A fascinating investigation. A major elucidation. A study destined to become a classic."

Wednesday, January 13, 2021

New Book on Creation in Hebrews

Mohr Siebeck has recently published this new monograph:

Angela Costley. Creation and Christ: An Exploration of the Topic of Creation in the Epistle to the Hebrews.

"The Epistle to the Hebrews is usually associated with its theology of Christ the High Priest. However, the term "high priest" is not so common in the first four chapters of Hebrews, occurring only four times with a further reference to sacrifice in 1:3. Rather than emphasising the priestly or sacrificial activity of Christ, these opening sections contain a number of references to creation: 1:2-3,10-12, 2:5-9, 10; 3:1-6; 4:3-4 and 4:9-10. In this volume, Angela Costley uses discourse analysis to explore the importance of the topic of creation to the discourse of the Epistle to the Hebrews, uncovering a close link between creation and salvation. She highlights the interaction of the topic of creation with the topic of salvation in the discourse to uncover a depiction of Christ as the creator who descends to take on human flesh, God who becomes human, in order to lead humanity heavenward."

New Tyndale Commentary on Hebrews

InterVarsity Press has just published a new Tyndale New Testament Commentary on Hebrews by David G. Peterson. This effectively is the replacement volume for the commentary written by Donald Guthrie in 1983. Peterson is also the author of Hebrews and Perfection: An Examination of the Concept of Perfection in the Epistle to the Hebrews, published with Cambridge University Press in 1982. Peterson has a personal website.
David G. Peterson. Hebrews: An Introduction and Commentary. Tyndale New Testament Commentaries.
Description from the website:
"The letter to the Hebrews provides an amazing combination of warnings and assurances to encourage Christians to persevere in faith, hope, and love. The basis for this is a profound reflection on the person and work of Christ, viewed as the fulfilment of Old Testament Scripture. In this Tyndale commentary, David G. Peterson shows how the author expounds the implications of the gospel with pastoral insight and sensitivity, producing a "word of exhortation" that reaches across the centuries to speak to our lives today.

The Tyndale Commentaries are designed to help the reader of the Bible understand what the text says and what it means. The Introduction to each book gives a concise but thorough treatment of its authorship, date, original setting, and purpose. Following a structural Analysis, the Commentary takes the book section by section, drawing out its main themes, and also comments on individual verses and problems of interpretation. Additional Notes provide fuller discussion of particular difficulties.

In the new New Testament volumes, the commentary on each section of the text is structured under three headings: Context, Comment, and Theology. The goal is to explain the true meaning of the Bible and make its message plain."

Tuesday, December 8, 2020

Announcement of a New Book: Within the Veil

Fontes Press is announcing the forthcoming publication of the following book:

Félix H. Cortez. Within the Veil: The Ascension of the Son in the Letter to the Hebrews.


"Most scholars understand that the Day of Atonement ritual of Leviticus 16 provides the main template for understanding Jesus’s death and exaltation in the argument of Hebrews. This study suggests that the perspective of Hebrews is much wider than that, conceiving of the ascension as the inauguration of Jesus’ office as “Son” at the “right hand of God.” The title “Son” is the fulfillment of the promises made to David (2 Sam 7:12–15), which are claimed for Jesus explicitly in Heb 1:5 and 13. This connection to the Davidic covenantal traditions brings closer the theology of Hebrews and the theology of other New Testament documents, which opens new vistas for understanding early Christianity." 

Publication will be available in January 2021

Sunday, December 6, 2020

Robert Jewett 1933–2020

Yeo Khiok-khng, Harry R. Kendall Professor of New Testament at Garrett-Evangelical Theological Seminary, is reporting that New Testament scholar Robert Jewett passed away on December 4, 2020. Jewett is probably best known for his magisterial commentary on Romans in the Hermeneia series. But Jewett also wrote a more popular-level commentary on Hebrews: Letter to Pilgrims: A Commentary on the Epistle to the Hebrews. According to Bestcommentaries.com he was also slated to do the Hebrews volume in the New Cambridge Bible Commentary series. May he rest in peace.

Tuesday, November 24, 2020

New Book on Hebrews Coming Out This Month

 Here is the newest book to come out on Hebrews:

Andreas-Christian Heidel. Das glaubende Gottesvolk: Der Hebräerbrief in israeltheologischer Perspektive [The Believing People of God. The Letter to the Hebrews in the Perspective of Jewish Theology.]. Wissenschaftliche Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2. Reihe 540. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck: 2020. XIII + 328 pages.

"The Epistle to the Hebrews is often accused in academic and church statements of having a negative relationship to Judaism or of having promoted an anti-Jewish attitude throughout history. Yet contrary to this frequent criticism, neither Old Testament tradition nor the role of Israel is marginalised in Hebrews. In his exegetical study, Andreas-Christian Heidel shows that by rereading the letter’s overall theological testimony based on Heb. 11:39–40, an ecclesiological plan of the salvation of God can be expressed in analogy to Rom. 9–11. The aim of this plan is the eschatological unification of the one believing people of God, running through all ages, places and human identities as an invisible community. This unity is not jeopardised by the meaning and the confession of Jesus as Christ, but is in fact guaranteed by it."
HT: Cliff Kvidahl