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.