Thursday, December 14, 2023

Cortez Reviews So Great a Salvation

Félix Cortez reviews So Great A Salvation: A Dialogue on the Atonement in Hebrews, edited by Jon C. Laansma, George H. Guthrie, and Cynthia Long Westfall, in Review of Biblical Literature.

Thursday, November 23, 2023

Studies on the Letter to the Hebrews

Although I did not see it at SBL, apparently this book is now out:

Wolfgang Kraus. Studium zum Hebräerbrief. Biblische Zeitschrift - Supplements 6. Leiden: Brill, 2023.

Translation of the description:
"This volume deals with studies on various theological and literary questions of the letter to the Hebrews, including intention and objective, addressees, ecclesiology, covenant concept, Jesus as a “mediator”, meaning of Jesus' death, speech about God, Christology, Hebrews 13, reception of scripture, Church and Israel. The Epistle to the Hebrews enjoys lively interest in recent research. The author of it is increasingly seen as the third great theologian of the New Testament, alongside Paul and John. Many detailed questions are still unresolved. The studies were created over the last 15 years as preparatory work for a commentary on Hebrews. They address important questions in the interpretation of Hebrews and attempt to advance research one step further."

Wednesday, November 22, 2023

Divine Action in Hebrews

New book, co-edited by my friend Gary Cockerill, and recently published:

Cockerill, Gareth Lee, Craig Bartholomew, and Benjamin T. Quinn, eds. Divine Action in Hebrews and the Ongoing Priesthood of Jesus. Zondervan Academic, 2023.


"Recent years have seen renewed interest in divine action, but much of the literature tends to focus on the science-theology discussion. Resulting from multi-year work of the Scripture and Doctrine Seminar, part of KLC's Scripture Collective, this book attends to the portrayal of divine action in one major biblical text, namely Hebrews. In the New Testament, Hebrews is on par with Romans in terms of importance but has too often been overlooked. Contributors to this volume explore the many different ways in which divine action is foregrounded and portrayed in Hebrews. As its name indicates, Hebrews overflows with Old Testament intertextuality, which also makes it a fertile ground for analysis of divine action stretching back into the Old Testament and opening out into different parts of the NT. The essays in this volume:

  • rigorously work the interface of theology and exegesis, all related to Hebrews;
  • offer an overview of the current state of discussion of divine action and the importance of exploring divine action in specific biblical texts, with special reference to William Abraham's recent 4 volume work with OUP;
  • provide an overview of the reception history of Hebrews in theologies of divine action;
  • explore how this has this played out in historical theology and what a retrieval of Hebrews for a theology of divine action might mean today;
  • explore the relationship between the doctrine of God and divine action in Hebrews, including an engagement with classical theism;
  • provocatively explore divine action in the OT, creation, and eschatology in Hebrews;
  • explore the major theme in Hebrews of divine action through the ongoing priesthood of Jesus as portrayed in Hebrews;
  • relate this all to preaching Hebrews today and to spiritual formation.

The book's conclusion reflects on the primary action of God speaking in Hebrews."

New Pillar Commentary on Hebrews

Eerdmans has rolled out the replacement volume for Hebrews in the Pillar New Testament Commentary series. I met Sigurd at SBL this year. He is from Norway.

Sigurd Grindheim. The Letter to the Hebrews. Pillar New Testament Commentary. Grand Rapids: Eerdmans, 2023.

"What does the Letter to the Hebrews have to say to Christians today?

A compelling exhortation to hold true to the faith in the face of adversity. A sermon rife with iconic imagery and Old Testament allusions. A signal work of theology in the New Testament.

Above all, the Letter to the Hebrews proclaims the high priesthood of Jesus Christ. But the book’s textual complexity and long history of interpretation can be overwhelming. In this new Pillar commentary, Sigurd Grindheim illuminates the Letter to the Hebrews, paying careful attention to linguistic features and historical context—all while centering its relevance to modern readers.

Grindheim clearly and comprehensively addresses major issues about the text, including authorship, date, canonicity, formal qualities, and major themes. Following his thorough introduction, he explains each line of the text and its significance for believers today. Grindheim’s commentary offers pastors, students, and scholars the clarity and fresh insights they want in their scriptural study."

Wednesday, November 1, 2023

Articles and Essays Page Taken Down

Blogger has taken down my Articles and Essays page making it unavailable for viewing. Someone flagged it to Blogger for some reason, but by doing so that person made the content unavailable for viewing. The page consists merely of links to other pages. If you have an issue with anything on this blog, please bring it to my attention first. I don't know if I will be able to fix the issue Blogger is pointing out because the email was not very specific. It has to do with Malware but I have hundreds of links on the page, so I do not know if I can identify the problem and recover the page.

Update: Blogger did restore the page, but I am requesting that if you find a bad link on this page or some other problem, please let me know.

Tuesday, October 24, 2023

Thursday, October 5, 2023

Two New Novum Testamentum Articles on Hebrews

Two new Novum Testamentum articles on Hebrews have appeared:
Seleznev, Mikhail. “ Νόμος/νόμοι in the Septuagint and the Letter to the Hebrews.” Novum Testamentum 65.4 (2023): 498–516. 
"This article explores the usage of plural νόμοι versus singular νόμος throughout the whole corpus of the Greek Bible. Obviously, the singular is predominant. If we put aside later variants and textual traditions, the rare passages where the plural νόμοι is used (in Proverbs, Jeremiah, Esther, and 2 Maccabees) mutually elucidate each other: the plural occurs where the translators wanted to stress that the law(s) in question should be distinguished from the Torah. With respect to Jer 31:31–34 (LXX 38:31–34) and the quotations from it in Hebrews, the article demonstrates that the plural νόμοι in the LXX cannot be explained by the Vorlage, as many modern researchers suggest, but was a conscious device used by the LXX translator. The aim of the translator, followed by the author of Hebrews, was to stress the distinction between the Law of Moses and the Laws of the New Covenant."

Grindheim, Sigurd. “Direct Dependence on Philo in the Epistle to the Hebrews.” Novum Testamentum 65.4 (2023): 517–43. 
"The near consensus opinion that the author of Hebrews was not directly influenced by Philo needs to be reevaluated. Even though there are no obvious cases of borrowing, the cumulative weight of the evidence indicates a more linear relationship than what may be accounted for by situating them both within Hellenistic Judaism. A number of parallels are sufficiently detailed to suggest direct dependence. These parallels are of a formal character, such as the metaphor of the dagger and the particular use of the terms ὑπόστασις, ἀρχηγός, τελειόω, ἄθλησις, τεχνίτης, and δημιουργός, as well of a material nature, concerning the development of key ideas, such as the eternal nature of the Son, his Melchizedekian high-priesthood, and the perception of the heavenly sanctuary."

Sunday, October 1, 2023

Explanatory Notes on Hebrews

My friend Ken Schenck has published his latest book on Hebrews with Wipf & Stock:
"In 1755, John Wesley was forced to rest for a year because of illness. In that year, he wrote his Explanatory Notes upon the New Testament. These were meant to provide brief commentary on the text for his lay preachers and others to use. These Explanatory Notes on the Sermon of Hebrews are also meant to provide brief interpretations of the text of Hebrews without extensive engagement with scholarship. The goal is for the reader to gain a good overview of Hebrews' train of thought, its overall purpose, as well as some engagement with contemporary application for a Christian. In the case of Hebrews, a good deal is unknown. If we knew the details, the sermon's argument would come clearly into view. For this reason, these notes engage in a little more speculation than a normal commentary might."

Wednesday, September 20, 2023

Monday, September 18, 2023

Garrard on The Epistle to the Hebrews

Wipf & Stock has announced the publication of this book:

David J. Garrard. The Epistle to the Hebrews.

It is not clear to me whether this book is a commentary or a monograph on Hebrews:

"The author to the Hebrews tells us that in the past God spoke through the prophets but now he has spoken through the Son: Jesus. The message transmitted is now complete and clear. The entire letter is concerned with the superiority of this new covenant of the Son. It is better in every way when compared with Sinai's rules and regulations as it is now no longer based on shadows of the heavenly reality but the reality itself. There can be no going back to the former, since all is better--including the promises, the priesthood, and the relationship with the Father through the Son. He shares the heavenly throne with the Father and is our unique intercessor. His new covenant means that there is no need for any other mediator, and the Holy Spirit's power enables a complete forgiveness of sin for all who persevere and give themselves to following the purposes of God with passionate faith. However, experiences of the past do not guarantee the future, and there is a race to be run, which means that passion and purpose are required on an ongoing basis."

Monday, September 11, 2023

The World Spoken Through the Son

New article out:

Pierce, Madison N. “The World Spoken Through the Son: Divine Speech and Creation in the Epistle to the Hebrews.” Journal for the Study of the New Testament (2023): 1–22.

"The 'Word of God' plays an important role in Hebrews. The author of Hebrews uses spoken quotations to recontextualize Scripture for the contemporary age (e.g., Heb. 2.12–13) and appeals to divine speech acts that alter the course of history (e.g., Heb. 6.14; 8.5). One such speech act is his creation of the world by the word of God, which the author claims we understand “by faith” (Heb. 11.3). But what claim is the author making with respect to creation? This article will argue that the identification of the “Word of God” in Hebrews as the Son in Hebrews 11.3 is a viable reading and then show that this reading affects other passages in Hebrews. To accomplish this, I will (1) provide an overview of some relevant interpretive issues with Hebrews 11.3; (2) discuss how intermediaries (e.g., Word; Wisdom) related to creation in early Jewish literature; (3) demonstrate how the presentation of creation in Hebrews relates to those concepts in early Jewish literature; (4) provide a reading of Heb. 11.3 in light of that synthesis; and (5) offer some suggestions regarding how other passages in Hebrews might be read to highlight Christ as the Word."

Thursday, August 31, 2023

Hebrews Highlights - August 2023

Timothy Tennent discusses the importance of the figure of Melchizedek in Genesis 14:17–20 and Hebrews 7:1–17.

Tuesday, July 4, 2023

Reconsidering the Context of Hebrews 13:7–14

Martin, Michael W., and Jason A. Whitlark. “Strengthened by Grace and Not by Foods: Reconsidering the Literary, Theological, and Social Context of Hebrews 13:7–14.” Novum Testamentum 65 (2023): 350–80.

"This study interprets the numerous veiled references of Hebrews 13:7–14 against the general problem addressed in the body of the speech, namely, the temptation to apostasy posed by the idolatrous, imperial culture. Specifically, the authors of this study argue that Heb 13:9 warns against idolatry and allegiance to pagan, imperial power broadly, and that the whole of 13:7–14 is a summons to embrace suffering by rejecting such identification in view of God’s promised future. Βρώματα, the authors argue, is shorthand for foods associated with pagan tables and imperial largesse. βεβαιοῦσθαι τὴν καρδίαν is an expression commonly used to depict literal nourishment, and in contexts where hunger was a real threat. Due to the perennial problems of food scarcity and chronic hunger, and to the critical role that foods derived from pagan and imperial sources played in alleviating these problems, the recipients of Hebrews likely were tempted to eat of these foods."

Friday, June 30, 2023

Death and Sacrifice of Jesus in the Letter to the Hebrews

Christian Lustig has informed me that his dissertation on Hebrews has now been published:
Lustig, Christian. Tod und Opfer Jesu im Hebräerbrief. Wissenschaftlich Untersuchungen zum Neuen Testament 2/589. Tübingen: Mohr Siebeck, 2023.
Translation of the blurb:
"One of the central questions in the exegesis of the letters to the Hebrews is the meaning of Jesus' death. On the one hand the author attributes decisive soteriological effectiveness to Jesus' death. On the other hand he emphasizes Christ's immortality. For the author, both death and immortality are prerequisites for the entry into the effect of the new covenant. Christian Lustig shows that the background and core of his interpretation of death is a Last Supper tradition of Markan-Matthaean provenance. Christ sacrifices body and blood. His spirit, on the other hand, is eternal according to Hebrews 9:14. Thus he remains the agent of this sacrificial offering even after death. Through them he accomplishes the purification, consecration, and inauguration of the heavenly tent as well as of believers. The cultic service of the heavenly high priest takes place on earth on the cross and at the same time in the pneumatic sphere at God's own sanctuary."
Congratulations to Christian on the publication of his book!