Thursday, September 8, 2022

Listening to Hebrews in the 21st Century

My friend, Gary Cockerill, has a new book out on Hebrews. I am pleased to announce the publication of this book.

Yesterday, Today, and Forever: Listening to Hebrews in the Twenty-First Century.

"Yesterday, Today, and Forever is not a theology of the Letter to the Hebrews, nor is it simply another commentary on the text. Nevertheless, if you take time to work through this reading guide, you will gain a rich, holistic understanding of Hebrews' theology, and you will be able to come back to this volume again and again as a resource for personal growth, teaching, and preaching. This book was written out of the author's desire to share the fruit of more than thirty-five years of study and meditation on this often neglected but rich New Testament book, to help readers see its vision of the all-sufficient Christ and to gain a holistic grasp of the way the author of Hebrews has arranged the material of this book to encourage us in a life of faithfulness--a message of importance for the world in which we live. The book of Hebrews has been divided into seven weeks of daily readings (forty-nine days), so you will have time for Hebrews to permeate your heart and mind. If you patiently follow this schedule, you will be rewarded with an understanding of Hebrews unavailable to those who want a quick fix." 


“Cockerill . . . presents the fruit of his work in a book that is accessible to every student of the Bible. What we find here are the reflections of a scholar who has marinated in Hebrews for years. The structure of the letter, the meaning of the text, its theological significance, and the pastoral application are unpacked clearly and profoundly. Pastors, students, and all who want to understand Hebrews will want to read this book.”
—Thomas R. Schreiner, The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary

“Cockerill brings to fresh life the often-neglected book of Hebrews. Cockerill guides the reader through a magnificent seven-week journey through the glorious heights and peaks of this cherished landscape of biblical revelation. In the process, he reveals to us anew how Christ fulfills all of the great themes of the Old Testament, such as law, sacrifice, and priesthood. I encourage Christians to engage in this amazing journey and recapture anew the glorious identity of Jesus Christ for all time.”
—Timothy C. Tennent, Asbury Theological Seminary

“Yesterday, Today, and Forever is such a treasure! Cockerill’s many years of in-depth study and eager willingness to be mentored by the ‘pastor’ of Hebrews richly infuses this present volume. . . . Cockerill’s own pastoral heart makes this seven-week study winsome, compelling, and accessible. This book opens the door to one of the most powerful, beautiful, and persuasive sermons ever written! Those who enter this door will be richly blessed.”
—Dana M. Harris, Trinity Evangelical Divinity School

“The grandeur and beauty of the book of Hebrews are only matched by its avoidance and near ignorance in the church. . . . In Yesterday, Today, and Forever, Cockerill puts his lifetime of studying and living Hebrews on the table in front of us and in a plate served just to us. This beautiful, timely book is what the church needs!”
—Scot McKnight, Northern Seminary

“For some, the book of Hebrews is ‘too difficult’. But unless they engage with it, they are likely to remain spiritual infants. In this superb sevenweek guide, a leading Hebrews scholar takes us step by step through the book. Through its pastoral teaching, we can be shaped and formed into adult Christians. Highly recommended!”
—Thomas A. Noble, Nazarene Theological Seminary

“In this reading guide, Cockerill has masterfully and passionately showcased the crown jewels discovered during his lifetime of exploration in the book of Hebrews. These rich meditations . . . provide a clear and concise guide for a life-changing seven-week journey. Listen afresh to the inspired sermon/letter of ‘the pastor.’ This is a journey not to be missed, and never to be forgotten!”
—Richard M. Davidson, Andrews University

“In a day when Hebrews is often overlooked, Yesterday, Today, and Forever is very much needed. Not only is it grounded in Gareth Cockerill’s lifetime of scholarship, it’s also an accessible guide for the faith and practice of the broader church. Readers will find their knowledge and experience of God in Christ strengthened and deepened.”
—Matt O’Reilly, Wesley Biblical Seminary

“Yesterday, Today and Forever takes Dr. Cockerill’s mind as a Hebrews scholar and combines it beautifully with his pastor’s heart to give a study that is as spiritually formative as it is intellectually. . . . Whether used in personal devotions, textbook for a class, or study in the local church, the Holy Spirit will use it to form believers into greater likeness to God through our ‘all-sufficient High Priest who remains forever.’”
—Christopher T. Bounds, Indiana Wesleyan University

Wednesday, August 31, 2022

Thursday, August 25, 2022

Witherington on the Sermon to the Hebrews

Kevin Burr interviews Ben Witherington about the Sermon to the Hebrews in his Faith in the Folds podcast.

Saturday, August 13, 2022

Pentecostal Commentary on Hebrews

Brill has published a new commentary on Hebrews in the Pentecostal Commentary Series:

R. Hollis Gause. Hebrews

"This commentary, written from a distinctively Pentecostal perspective, is primarily for pastors, lay persons and Bible students. It is based upon the best scholarship, written in popular language, and communicates the meaning of the text with minimal technical distractions. The authors offer a running exposition on the text and extended comments on matters of special signicance for Pentecostals. They acknowledge and interact with alternative interpretations of individual passages. This commentary also provides periodic opportunities for reflection upon and personal response to the biblical text."

Cover Hebrews

Sunday, July 31, 2022

Hebrews Highlights - July 2022

Ken Schenck has completed his Explanatory Notes on Hebrews 11:23–40, Hebrews 12:1–11, and Hebrews 12:12–29. Ken says he is going to self-publish his notes soon.

Tuesday, July 12, 2022

Learning from Hebrews and Biblical Studies

Bridging Theology has released its newest podcast discussing with Madison Pierce on the topic of "Learning from the Epistle to the Hebrews and Biblical Studies."

Thursday, July 7, 2022

Unpuzzling Hebrews

I want to thank Thomas Sims for sending me a copy of his new book:

Thomas Sims. Unpuzzling Hebrews: A New Translation and Commentary

The book is written at a popular level but does show evidence of research. I checked the bibliography and it contains mostly scholarly articles and books. Endnotes are located at the end of each chapter. The book has an attractive cover and is laid out well. Here is a description of the book from the Amazon website:

"The world has changed. The cost to follow Jesus is going up. Are you prepared to pay?

The Letter to the Hebrews is among the most beloved books of the Bible, but it also among the most mysterious. Who wrote it? When was it written? And most of all, why was it written? We can’t solve these puzzles, but perhaps we can unpuzzle them?

Join Thomas Sims on a journey to unpuzzle Hebrews as we travel verse-by-verse through a new translation of the letter to discover that the original audience faced circumstances remarkably parallel to what we face today.

What You’ll Discover:

  • The original “Hebrews” dramatically presented in a flowing narrative.
  • A challenge for all Christians to pursue Jesus no matter what the cost.
  • A new perspective built on cutting-edge biblical scholarship, but presented for lay Christians to read and enjoy.
  • A new approach to the authorship which overflows into the whole of Hebrews.

Pick up your copy today. You will be challenged, inspired, and reinvigorated to pay any price to follow Jesus."

A Biblical Theology of Christ as Priest and Mediator

I didn't want to mention this book until I got a look at it. T. Desmond Alexander has written "a biblical theology of Christ as priest and mediator." As one might expect, Hebrews plays a large part in the author's argument. So, I am including it here on this blog.

T. Desmond Alexander. Face to Face with God: A Biblical Theology of Christ as Priest and Mediator

"How can sinful humans approach a holy God? In the book of Hebrews, Jesus Christ is celebrated as the great high priest who represents his people before the Father. Jesus' roles as priest and mediator are central to his identity and bring to completion themes woven throughout Scripture.

In this fifth ESBT volume, T. Desmond Alexander considers the often-neglected themes of priesthood and mediation and how Christ fulfills these roles. He explores how these concepts illuminate what Christ has already accomplished for us through his self-sacrifice, as well as what he is presently achieving on our behalf, seated at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. Through this study we gain a richer understanding of concepts such as holiness, sacrifice, covenant, reconciliation, and God's dwelling place."


Thursday, June 30, 2022

Hebrews Highlights - May & June 2022

Jared Compton explains How to Hear the Warnings in Hebrews in answering the question: Can a Christian Fall Away?

David Capes has a conversation with Amy Peeler about Hebrews 3:1–6.

Phillip Long summarizes Mark Keown's chapter on Hebrews in his new introduction, Discovering the New Testament, volume 3.

Monday, June 27, 2022

Martin Luther's Commentary on Hebrews in Catalan

I've been informed by Jordi Cervera that Martin Luther's commentary on Hebrews is now available in the Catalan language:



Here is a rough translation of the blurb:

"Martin Luther's Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews was a compilation of a course held at the University of Wittenberg from the spring of 1517 to the spring of 1518. Simultaneously, in the fall of 1517 Luther made public the 95 theses on indulgences, the date marked as the beginning of the Protestant Reformation. The Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews expresses the temperament of the young teacher of medieval education and modern spirit. The lessons exude what will be the mainstay of Reformation theology: the distinction between law and gospel, justification by faith, the distinction between justification and sanctification, and the appreciation of mediations. The Commentary on the Letter to the Hebrews becomes the first Catalan translation of a biblical commentary on Luther, the interdisciplinary fruit of a Catholic theologian and biblical scholar. After the celebration of the fifth centenary of the Reformation (2017), the work becomes an ecumenical embrace of fraternal communion with the Catalan-speaking Protestant tradition, with whom we share the common heritage of this changing Christian of the time. Josep Castanyé (Sora, Osona 1941) is chaplain of the diocese of Vic, doctor in systematic theology and professor of this subject at the Faculty of Theology of Catalonia; he is currently Professor Emeritus. In addition to numerous specialized articles he is the author of History of German Protestant Theology (2013) and Martin Luther, Monk and Reformer (2017). Jordi Cervera i Valls (1961), a graduate in Business Sciences, embraced the life of a Capuchin friar. He is a professor of Bible at the Faculty of Theology of Catalonia and his specialization is the letter to the Hebrews. He combines teaching, research, and publications with explorations of biblical geography."

Thursday, June 9, 2022

Two New Articles in JSNT

Maston, Jason. “The Son and Scripture in Hebrews 1–2.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 44.4 (2022): 496–515.

"This article addresses the connection between the Christological claims in Heb. 1.2b-4 and the scriptures cited in 1.5-13. The claims are closely matched by the following scriptures in each instance except one, namely, the assertion about the Son’s death in 1.3c. Given the importance of the Son’s death for the author’s Christology (and soteriology), the lack of correspondence is striking. To account for this apparent oversight, I suggest that the citation of LXX Ps. 8.5-7 in Heb. 2.6-8 takes up this claim. Through the catena and LXX Ps 8.5-7, the author supports his Christological claims and establishes that God’s speaking through the Son is consistent with his activity among the prophets."

Malik, Peter. “Rid Us (Not) of the Temptation: A Note on theText of Hebrews 11:37.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament 44.4 (2022): 580–89.

"Prior to the publication of P46 (P.Beatty II; LDAB 3011), at Heb. 11.37 the earlier critical editions printed one of the longer readings, though from Erasmus onwards the passage was subject to a considerable number of conjectural emendations. With P46, the evidence for the reading ἐπρίσθησαν gained significant early manuscript support, thus impacting subsequent editorial practice and textual analysis. This study offers a reinvestigation of this textual problem and brings a new proposal based on a fresh evaluation of external and internal criteria."

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