Thursday, April 11, 2024

Robert Wall on Reading Hebrews

I have just discovered this book which is newly published:

Robert W. Wall. Reading Hebrews (Second Series):A Literary and Theological Commentary. Smyth & Helwys.

Book Description

The New Testament’s letter “To the Hebrews” presents one of Scripture’s most influential interpretations of Jesus as God’s Son and exalted Messiah, who is both the essential revelation of a covenant-keeping God and the faithful agent of God’s eternal salvation. Yet Hebrews is routinely neglected in its study and proclamation in part because of its exclusion from either of the two canonical collections of apostolic letters, Pauline and Catholic. But context matters. This commentary argues that the context that matters most for a close reading and careful practice of Hebrews as Scripture is the one that surrounds the letter within the final edition of the New Testament canon. Rather than a rival of Paul’s crucified Christ or someone other than the exemplary Jesus of the Catholic Epistles, the priestly Christ Jesus of Hebrews, both divine and yet “made like his human sisters and brothers in every respect” (2:17), is received as their canonical complement to provide a more complete inspired interpretation of the church’s Lord and Savior than is possible by one or another biblical witness.

Friday, April 5, 2024

Bible Study Method and the Key to Hebrews

Here is a new podcast with Andy Miller and Rick Boyd on the topic of "Bible Study Method and the Key to Hebrews."

Tuesday, March 19, 2024

Robert J. Cara Commentary on Hebrews

Newly published:

Robert J. Cara. Hebrews: A Mentor Commentary. Christian Focus Publications, 2024.


"New Testament professor Robert J. Cara’s addition to the Mentor Commentary series highlights the timely message of Hebrews to persevere in Christ.

Bringing a particularly Reformed viewpoint, Robert J. Cara underscores the presentation of Jesus as the Son and high priest. In a letter written to encourage and exhort the believers, Cara uncovers how the superior person and superior work of Jesus is broadcast loud and clear to draw back hearts tempted to drift from this glorious reality.

Cara’s love for studying God’s word shines through this comprehensive and clarifying commentary. He connects God’s word to God’s world and brings each section to a close by culminating with a personal reflection that encourages us to delight in and absorb the glorious truth on display.

An essential guide to understanding, enjoying and applying Hebrews; rediscover the supremacy of Christ and respond with rekindled affection."

Saturday, February 17, 2024

Loader Reviews Urga, Intercession of Jesus in Hebrews

William R. G. Loader reviews Abeneazer G. Urga, Intercession of Jesus in Hebrews: The Background and Nature of Jesus’ Heavenly Intercession in the Epistle to the Hebrews in RBL.


New Irish Theological Quarterly Article

Moore, Nicholas J. “Supersessionism and the Cult Attitude of Stephen and Hebrews.” Irish Theological Quarterly (2024): 1–18.

"In the face of continued debates about Christian supersessionism with regard to Judaism, this article revisits two texts which have been thought to display the harshest anti-temple attitudes in the New Testament: Stephen’s speech in Acts 7, and the Letter to the Hebrews. Many scholars believe these two texts are connected, and a perceived anti-cultic attitude forms one of the key alleged similarities between the two. The article first examines shared lexical and conceptual points between the two texts, affirming their proximity. It then examines each text’s cult attitude in turn. Stephen portrays the temple as divinely given yet always subordinate to God’s heavenly presence. Hebrews frames deficiencies in the Levitical cultus as divinely intended in light of the heavenly tabernacle. These texts therefore do not condemn but instead relativize Israel’s earthly sanctuary/ies, in keeping with themes in Israel’s Scriptures, and thus should not be regarded as supsersessionist."

New NTS Article

Cole, M. I. “‘Somewhere Someone Testified’: TheHermeneutical Function of Indefinite Citation Formulae in the Epistle to theHebrews.” New Testament Studies 70.1 (2024): 99–110.

"The author to the Hebrews makes the seemingly strange choice to introduce two quotations from the LXX with indefinite markers (Heb 2.6; 4.4). While some commentators do not consider these introductions, others have argued that they function either rhetorically to engage the audience or theologically to highlight the divine speaker. This article argues that a hermeneutical function better explains the author's choices: the author uses the indefiniteness to guide his audience in how to interpret each quoted passage. The author uses the indefinite marker of place (που) to remove both Gen 2.2 and Ps 8.5–7 LXX from their salvation-historical context; this results in the rest of God (Heb 3–4) and the role of humanity within creation (Heb 2) applying equally to the present and the coming ages. He pairs this with the indefinite marker of person (τις) in his introduction to Ps 8 to indicate that the audience should not interpret it prosopologically as the speech of the Son to the Father; rather the Psalm testifies to the role of humanity within the present and the coming worlds, a role which the Son incarnate fulfils. This hermeneutical explanation aligns with other instances of indefinite citation markers in Second Temple Judaism, most notably in Philo. This argument, therefore, both adds depth to the characterisation of the author as a careful reader of Scripture and brings out the intended meaning and function of Ps 8 and Gen 2 in the discourse of Hebrews more clearly."

Wednesday, February 7, 2024

Two New Novum Testamentum Articles

Jihye Lee. "Jesus’s Solidarity with Human Mortality and Perfection of Sonship in the Epistle to the Hebrews." Novum Testamentum 66.1 (2024): 95–111.

In relation to the discussion on the concept of perfection in Hebrews, the author’s emphasis on Jesus’s solidarity with human mortality has been considered as simple reference to the precondition of his Christological role and his sympathetic character, which shares human weaknesses. However, the substantial connection between the discussions on sonship in Heb 12 and on the Son in Heb 1–2 suggests a fresh reading of the text’s emphasis on Jesus’s mortality along with his role as ἀρχηγός of other sons. The author of Hebrews presents the notion that human mortality is a divinely designed opportunity for the sons of God to acquire the discipline necessary to be prepared to become the heirs of the eternal inheritance. The one who totally entrusts his own life to the Father is the genuinely obedient son, and this true obedience is cultivated when the sons choose obedience on the occasion of the test, i.e., “fear of death,” which is unaffectedly derived from the status of mortality.

Matthew C. Easter. "'Profane Like Esau': Sexual Immorality, Bitterness, and Community Abandonment in Hebrews 12:14–17." Novum Testamentum 66.1 (2024): 112–25.
The author of Hebrews accuses Esau of sexual immorality in Heb 12:16. This essay argues Esau’s sexual immorality is his marriage to foreign women, which sowed seeds of discord in the family and led ultimately to his unredeemable exclusion from the community. Esau’s exogamous marriage, as such, is not the concern in Hebrews, but rather how his mixed marriage introduced bitterness into the family and led ultimately to him abandoning the group. Like the wilderness generation in Num 13–14, Esau lost his inheritance by failing to persevere with the community. Tested against recent studies of conversion and deconversion, we see how Esau becomes a paradigmatic community-abandoning apostate and a warning against similar abandonment. 

Saturday, January 20, 2024

New Resources Added

I have added a link to the following resource under Theses & Dissertation:

Tomesch, Harald. "Genre and Outline: The Key to the Literary Structure of Hebrews." Th.D. diss., Concordia Seminary, 1996. 

I have added a link to the following resource under Books (Complete):

Bligh, John. Chiastic Analysis of the Epistle to the Hebrews. 1966.

Sunday, January 7, 2024

Cortez Reviews Lee

A link to the following review with RBL has been added to the Book Reviews page:

Lee, Jihye. A Jewish Apocalyptic Framework of Eschatology in the Epistle to the Hebrews: Protology and Eschatology as Background. Library of New Testament Studies 662. Review by Félix H. Cortez.


Wednesday, January 3, 2024

The Obedience of Sonship

I just discovered this new book:

Timothy J. Bertolet. The Obedience of Sonship: Adamic Obedience and the Heavenly Ascension in Hebrews. Fontes Press.

"The ascension of Jesus in the book of Hebrews remains an understudied theme in the scholarly literature on Hebrews. This study explores the relationship between the Sonship of Christ and his ascension in the book of Hebrews. Wading into recent debates by scholars over the nature Hebrews’ Christology, this study argues that Hebrews 1 and 2 show the Son is both divine and human. As divine, the Son radiates the glory of God, and that glory is put on display in the ascension. Equally, as the incarnate human, the Son fulfills the telos of humanity in his ascension where he is “crowned with glory and honor” and becomes the first human to participate in the age to come, having effected this transition of the ages. He ascends as the glorified eschatological man as a forerunner for the “sons of glory.” This aspect of Hebrews’ presentation of the Son can rightly be called a “Second-Adam Christology.” The Son fulfills the human vocation through his cries with loud tears in an exercise of Adamic-Davidic obedience and faithfulness. The Son’s trust in the Father through his suffering qualifies him to receive the eschatological glory of Adam and ascend up to the divine throne. Thus, for Hebrews, the Son’s ascension both confirms the Son’s fulfillment of humanity’s destiny and reveals the Son’s divine identity."