Thursday, August 19, 2010

Central Themes in Hebrews

I've recently been reading through the Greek text of Hebrews (which I honestly find a struggle since there are so many words not used elsewhere in the NT). I've noticed two main areas that I think give the real gist of what the book is about. First, Heb. 2.1-4 functions a bit like a propositio or central contention and it pertains to the danger of ignoring "such a great salvation". Second, there is passing remark in Heb. 12.15, "See to it that no one misses the grace of God that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many". In light of that, I think the author recognizes that the church he writes to is an ecclesia mixta, that is to say that it includes peoples who have varied levels of adherence and association with the Christian faith. The author exhorts his audience to have a community that is aware of the warnings of neglecting the salvation that is offered, but there is also an exhortation to make sure that the grace of God will have a magnetic effect upon fence sitters and have a pruning effect upon everyone.


pennoyer said...
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pennoyer said...

I guess I see something a little different going on here in Hebrews. It seems to be addressed to a group of congregations that are seriously considering deemphasizing or indeed eliminating altogether their Christian distinctives, and reverting instead to the Judaism of their past or of their surrounding culture. In this extraordinary situation the author of Hebrews is relentless: alternately emphasizing the glory and superiority of Jesus Christ, and warning that any such decision would be disastrous for those involved. What do you think? - Ray