Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Two New Books on Hebrews on the Horizon

I have discovered that two new books on Hebrews are on the horizon:

Matthew C. Easter. Faith and the Faithfulness of Jesus in Hebrews. Society for New Testament Monograph Series. Cambridge University Press. Expected: August 31, 2014

"This volume is the first to investigate manifestations of faith in the book of Hebrews across four dimensions: ethical, eschatological, Christological, and ecclesiological. Matthew C. Easter illustrates that two contrasting narrative identities emerge in Hebrews: the author of the epistle proclaims that "we are not of timidity unto destruction, but of faith unto the preservation of the soul" (Hebrews 10:39). Easter classifies the former as the default human story, which lacks faith and results inevitably in death. The latter represents the story of faith, in which one endures suffering to the point of death and thereby achieves eschatological life. The epitome of faithfulness, Jesus confirms the truth of this conclusion and perfects faith through his resurrection. Humans participate in the story of faith by enduring suffering with the traveling people of God and, in doing so, look forward to being raised with Jesus."

Jonathan I. Griffiths. Hebrews and Divine Speech. The Library of New Testament Studies. Bloomsbury T & T Clark. Expected: October 9, 2014.

"The theme of divine speech appears at the opening of the Hebrews (1.1-2) and recurs throughout the book, often in contexts suggesting connections to other areas of scholarly interest (christology, soteriology, cosmology, and the writer’s understanding of the nature of his discourse). This study begins with a consideration of the genre and structure of Hebrews (offering a new structural outline), concluding that Hebrews constitutes the earliest extant complete Christian sermon and consists of a series of Scriptural expositions. The investigation then turns to consider Hebrews’ theology of divine speech through an exegetical analysis of eight key passages. Throughout it examines the widely held (but largely untested) assumption that logos and rhema function as key terms in the author’s presentation of divine speech.

Analysis of the exegetical data shows that Hebrews presents God’s word, which finds full expression in the incarnate Christ, as the central means by which salvation is made available and the place of divine rest is accessed. The study finds that the terms logos and rhema are used with a high degree of consistency to signify forms of divine speech, logos usually signifying verbal revelation (and three times specifically identifying the author’s own discourse) and rhema typically signifying non-verbal revelation in the cosmos. The investigation leads to the ultimate conclusion that the author believes that, through his discourse, he himself communicates that divine word and effects an encounter between his hearers and the God who speaks."

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