Thursday, March 31, 2022

An Encounter with God

New Article:

Seal, David. “An Encounter with God: Hearing the Divine in Hebrews 3:7–11.” Journal of Reformed Theology 15 (2021): 70–85.

 "Scholars acknowledge that most ancient people experienced the written text of Hebrews by hearing it read out loud. Several studies also recognize the book’s emphasis on divine speech. However, research has not examined how the occurrences of divine speech in Hebrews would have been spoken by the person reading the text once it arrived at its intended destination or how the speech would have been perceived by the communities that heard it recited. The oral cultural context from which Hebrews originated decisively shaped the form and delivery of the written divine speech and must be considered in any analysis. In this study I will address this gap by examining how the divine word from Psalm 95 cited in Hebrews 3:7–11 might have been vocalized in its original context and examine the kinds of rhetorical appeals the author made to the audience."

Review of Schreiner's Commentary on Hebrews

Chuck Ivey reviews Thomas R. Schreiner's Hebrews commentary in the Evangelical Biblical Theology commentary series.

Thursday, March 3, 2022

Cyril of Alexandria's Commentaries

Just published:

Cyril of Alexandria. Commentaries on Romans, 1–2 Corinthians, and Hebrews. Joel C. Elowsky, ed. David R. Maxwell, trans. Ancient Christian Texts. Downer’s Grove, IL: InterVarsity, 2022.

"Cyril of Alexandria (c. 378–444) was one of the most significant figures in the early church: bishop of the church, defender of orthodoxy, proponent of Alexandrian theology. Indeed, he is probably best known as the supporter of the term Theotokos (God-bearer) with regard to Mary in opposition to Nestorius during the early Christological controversies.

But Cyril viewed himself, first and foremost, as an interpreter of Scripture. In this volume in IVP Academic's Ancient Christian Texts series, Joel Elowsky and David Maxwell offer—for the first time in English—a translation of the surviving Greek and Syriac fragments of Cyril's commentaries on four New Testament epistles: Romans, 1–2 Corinthians, and Hebrews.

Abounding with Cyril's insights regarding these canonical texts and biblical themes such as the triune nature of God, Christ's sacrificial death, and justification, these commentaries are essential tools for understanding Cyril's reading of Holy Scripture.

Ancient Christian Texts is a series of new translations, most of which are here presented in English for the first time. The series provides contemporary readers with the resources they need to study for themselves the key writings of the early church. The texts represented in the series are full-length commentaries or sermon series based on biblical books or extended scriptural passages."

Hebrews' Cosmogonic Presuppositions

New book:

Yauri, Benjamin Rojas. Hebrews’ Cosmogonic Presuppositions: Its First-Century Philosophical Context. Eugene, OR: Wipf & Stock, 2022.

"This book answers the following question: what was the mindset about the creation of Hebrews' author? This book shows a summary of Hebrews' assertions on the origin of everything, i.e., on cosmogony. This book introduces a new methodology which allows the discovery of a document's position on topics other than its main topic, i.e., a methodology that could be termed a "text-linguistic exclusion" and which consists of four steps: 1) identification, 2) exclusion, 3) simplification, and 4) organization. Finally, this book shows that the relationship between Hebrews and its first-century philosophy is not antagonistic or confrontational, since Hebrews seems not to try to correct these other cosmogonies but only presents its particular and coherent point of view."

Wednesday, February 16, 2022

Christology, Soteriology, and Ethics in John and Hebrews

New book just out:

Loader, William R. G. Christology, Soteriology, and Ethics in John and Hebrews: Collected Essays. WUNT 478. Mohr Siebeck.

"This volume brings together essays on John and Hebrews by William R. G. Loader. Beside his monographs on John and Hebrews are numerous contributions to journals, conference volumes, and Festschriften, of which a representative selection is gathered here into a single volume. They discuss how these writings portray Jesus and his significance and deal with continuity and discontinuity with Israel's tradition, as well as address the ethical issues which these texts raise and also evoke."



Friday, February 4, 2022

Monday, January 31, 2022

Hebrews Highlights January 2022

Ken Schenck offers his Explanatory Notes on Hebrews 1:5–14, and on Hebrews 11:8–22.

Latest Hebrews Article in Tyndale Bulletin

Moore, Nicholas J. “‘The True Tabernacle’ of Hebrews 8:2: Future Dwelling with People or Heavenly Dwelling Place?Tyndale Bulletin 72 (2021): 49–71.

"Many scholars hold that the Letter to the Hebrews portrays heaven as God’s true tabernacle, the original from which the Mosaic tabernacle was derived. Recently Philip Church, building on work by Lincoln Hurst, has argued that the heavenly tabernacle instead represents God’s eschatological dwelling with his people, and that the Mosaic tabernacle (and the temple that followed it) was a prior sketch and foreshadowing of this yet-future reality. They advance a number of important arguments which have not been systematically addressed by those who read the true tabernacle as primarily heavenly in a spatial and ‘vertical’ sense. This article examines and rebuts the arguments of Hurst and Church. First, the case for the ‘eschatological dwelling’ position is outlined; then I make two wider points regarding the cosmological presuppositions that underlie this view; next, the meaning of the key terminology in Hebrews 8–9, especially ὑπόδειγμα, is examined; finally, Hebrews’ perspective on the heavenly tabernacle is articulated with an eye to both cosmology and eschatology. Only by integrating spatial and temporal categories can a satisfactory account of God’s heavenly dwelling be offered."

Nick has made the article available via

Friday, January 21, 2022

Two New Articles on Hebrews in JSNT

Two new articles have appeared in the latest issue of Journal for the Study of the New Testament:
Cooper, Mark. “To Quote or Not to Quote? Categorizing Quotations in the Epistle to the Hebrews.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 44.3 (2022): 452–68.
An overview of the appendices in NA28 and UBS5 reveals that the editors agreed regarding the number of quotations in Hebrews on 37 occasions. They disagreed, however, as to whether an intertext was a quotation or an allusion on nine occasions. The compilers of these lists did not provide a basis for their conclusions, and inability to agree on the number of intertexts could be due to multiple reasons. The purpose of this study, therefore, was to develop a set of criteria by which to identify quotations in Hebrews. Auctor’s quotations were determined to possess four characteristics: (1) introductory formula, (2) a recognizable source, (3) verbal correspondence with the hypotext and (4) syntactical tension. These four characteristics were then utilized to assess the nine disputed intertexts between NA28 and UBS5. By assessing the nine intertexts for the presence of the criteria, four out of the nine were determined to be quotations, whereas five were deemed to be allusions.
McKay, J. Michael, Jr. “‘If They Will Enter My Rest’: The Impact of the Greek Translation Technique of Psalm 95 for the Argument of Hebrews 3 and 4.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 44.3 (2022): 390–410.
Hebrews 4.3-5 introduces tension where the author cites Ps. 95.11b, ‘they will never enter into my rest’, then describes the available rest, and then quotes Ps. 95.11b again. The author appears to undercut the promise of rest by citing the prohibitive oath. This article argues that the tension in Heb. 4.3-5 can be dissolved by translating Ps. 95.11b not as an emphatic negative oath (‘they will never enter into my rest’) but as an open-ended conditional statement (‘if they will enter into my rest’). This is argued in the following way: first, the issue of an assumed Hebraism is explained. Second, three problems with the Hebraism solution are presented. Third, the Interlinear Paradigm of the New English Translation of the Septuagint (NETS) is introduced resulting in two further criticisms of the Hebraism translation. Last, the author’s argument in Heb. 4.3-5 is read with the meaning of the open-ended conditional.
HT: Charles Savelle