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Hebrews1;- Jesus, the greater revelation

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posted on Jan, 6 2017 @ 05:07 PM
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The epistle to the Hebrews was written to Jewish Christians, perhaps to a specific Jewish church.
The writer’s purpose in the first chapter is to demonstrate that their God is making available, through Christ, a much greater and more decisive revelation than anything they have received from him previously.
In fact, over the course of the letter, he will want to argue that Christ has brought “completeness” into their lives..

God has always been speaking to them, but in the older times he spoke “in many and various ways” though the agency of the prophets, each time presenting some portion of what he was offering.
Whereas “in these last days” he speaks uniquely through a Son.
Through the agency of the same Son, God made the totality of the universe (“the ages”).
That Son is now, naturally, the “heir of all things”, rightfully holding authority over them (vv1-2).

The whole glory of God shines out through the Son. (“Reflection”, found in some translations, is not quite the right word.)
He is also the CHARAKTER of the nature of God, the image which presents to us an understanding of what God is like.
That is how his revelation of God can be more complete than any previous (or later) revelation.

That Son has always carried (or “carried along”) the created world by the expression of his will.
But now something new has happened.
He has brought about a “purging of sins”, a freedom from the condition of Sin.
After which, he took his place on the seat of authority, next to the Most High.
So we’ve been shown a continuous history of the activity of one Person, from participation in the creation of the world to sitting in heaven.
And this activity includes what Jesus did on the cross (the “purging of sins”), which identifies the Son with Jesus himself (v3).

The purging of sin is the greatest event that was possible after the creation itself.
In doing this, the Son has made himself a “name”, a reason for reputation in the world, greater than any angels could achieve.
Therefore he has been made superior to the angels.
That is to say, he has been made superior to them even in the person of Jesus.
As the Son, and as the agent of creation, he was always superior to them, as the writer now demonstrates by reference to passages in the Old Testament.

He quotes “Thou art my Son; today I have begotten thee” (v5).
This comes from Psalm 2, which celebrates the triumph of the Lord over the mass of his enemies.
Of course the New Testament presents the whole complex of sin-and-death, controlling the human race since the beginning of Genesis, as the ultimate enemy.
He also quotes “I will be to him a father, and he shall be to me a son”, which was originally spoken in the context of establishing the house of David and their kingdom.

He quotes “Let all God’s angels worship him” (v6), which seems to come from a Septuagint version of Deuteronomy ch32 v43.
That verse includes the observation that he takes vengeance on his adversaries (for our purposes, again, that complex of sin-and-death), and that he “makes expiation for the land of his people”.

He quotes the promise that the Son has a throne which “is for ever and ever” (v8), in contrast with the precarious existence of the angels.
He also applies to the Son the words which Psalm 102 speaks of the Lord, beginning “Thou didst found the earth from the beginning” (vv10-12).
On that basis, the Psalmist is appealing to the Lord for salvation, and the restoration of Zion.
For this letter, the passage confirms the Son’s rule over the created world.
Finally, he quotes “Sit at my right hand, until I make thy enemies a stool for thy feet” (v13).
This, again, contrasts the Son’s dignity and authority with the servile activity of the lesser agents, the angels, as he waits for the consequences of the purgation of sin to be worked through.

It is necessary to bring out the contrast between the Son and the angels, in order to make the point that the Son brings a greater revelation.
That is, greater than the Law of Moses, which was a revelation brought by angels (according to the common understanding of the time).
Stephen refers to this belief when he makes the charge “You received the Law as delivered by angels, and did not keep it” (Acts ch8 v53).
Paul also alludes to it, when he is explaining (Galatians ch3 vv19-20) why the Law cannot stand against the covenant of promise. The implication is that what was received indirectly, through angels, is inferior to what comes more directly from God himself.
The same point is meant here.
The revelation brought by the Son is the fact that sins have been purged, which overrides the lesser revelation of the condemnatory Law.

For this reason, we must focus our attention on the revelation brought by the Son, for fear of “drifting away from it”.
The implied image is of boats being carried along by the waters, while the occupants try to catch hold of a safe anchoring-point (ch2 v1).
Their danger comes from the Law, from the Law’s function of identifying transgression in the sight of God.
Thus the relentless current of the Law carries them towards judgement.
“How shall we escape if we neglect such a great salvation?”
That question reveals the writer’s motive in composing this letter.
He’s worried that his readers might lose their grip on their anchoring-post, the salvation which Christ has brought.

This new revelation of salvation is most certain (vv3-4).
It was spoken by the Lord himself, meaning Jesus.
Those who first heard him were witnesses to what he said.
It was also confirmed by the “signs and wonders”, and by the gifts of the Holy Spirit, all coming direct from God.
Therefore the first readers of this letter, who may be tempted to cling to the older and more familiar revelations, have every reason to place their trust in this much greater revelation which the Son provides.




posted on Jan, 6 2017 @ 05:11 PM
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N.B. The words of the opening post are my own, but the commentary of B.F. Westcott has been my invaluable guide to the sense of the original text.



posted on Jan, 6 2017 @ 07:02 PM
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Hebrews always made me see Jesus as the visible form of God. Nice post. Its been a good while since I have read that book. Currently going through Ezra.



posted on Jan, 6 2017 @ 07:05 PM
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a reply to: In4ormant
Thank you. You may be glad to know, then, that this is the first of a series which will go all the way through Hebrews.



posted on Jan, 6 2017 @ 07:08 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

Look forward to it



posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 03:30 PM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

The second to t he last verse he tells,

Hebrews 1:13 But to which of the angels said he at any time, Sit on my right hand, until I make thine enemies thy footstool?
this is a pivotal verse and in the next few chapters the writer goes to great lengths to show how this making thine enemies thy foot stool has not happened at that time nor yet. We in Christ are all waiting.

The writer is telling the Hebrew church upon which those appointed to the circumcision that the kingdom was not going to come immediate as they had been expecting it too. after chapter four the writer goes into great lengths to then instruct them how to continue in their faith and live and die waiting in faith for the promise that is theirs to come. Not to fall away but to continue as their forefather had done.

The book of Hebrews was written to those Hebrew Christians who had sold everything in hopes of Jesus soon return that they were to patiently wait and live and continue in Christ even if they don't see it in their life time.

Encouraging to all of us who live a life for Christ not seeing the end or the kingdom come but to see him as we stand before him in death of our bodies but our souls safe in him who stands within the veil for us.


edit on 9-1-2017 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 9 2017 @ 03:41 PM
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a reply to: ChesterJohn
Yes; to be exact, "sit at my right hand" was fulfilled from the moment of the ascension, as we learn at the beginning of the chapter. But "thine enemies thy footstool" waits for the final revelation, when "every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord" (Philippians ch2 vv10-11).



posted on Jan, 10 2017 @ 07:23 PM
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Hebrews is an anonymous epistle that was never accepted by the Nazarenes or Ebionites, who did have a view of Melchizedek as an angel and Hebrews just tries to connect Christ with the same Divine priesthood.


However they did not use the epistle of the Hebrews, nor did Marcione as it was originally passed off as Pauline then guessed Barnabas or Appollos.

Barnabas is in the oldest New Testament as is Clement, another possible author as he wrote anonymously.

I doubt Clement wrote it though but you never know, although I don't see it.

There is nothing of any substance or relevance to life in it and it is disected and ridiculed by Jewish exegetes for being a ridiculous attempt at a Midrash on Jesus that adds nothing.

But Christianity loves it.
edit on 10-1-2017 by TerriblePhoenix because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 11 2017 @ 01:17 AM
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edit on 11-1-2017 by DISRAELI because: (no reason given)



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 01:37 AM
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originally posted by: TerriblePhoenix

Hebrews is an anonymous epistle that was never accepted by the Nazarenes or Ebionites, who did have a view of Melchizedek as an angel and Hebrews just tries to connect Christ with the same Divine priesthood.


However they did not use the epistle of the Hebrews, nor did Marcione as it was originally passed off as Pauline then guessed Barnabas or Appollos.

Barnabas is in the oldest New Testament as is Clement, another possible author as he wrote anonymously.

I doubt Clement wrote it though but you never know, although I don't see it.

There is nothing of any substance or relevance to life in it and it is disected and ridiculed by Jewish exegetes for being a ridiculous attempt at a Midrash on Jesus that adds nothing.

But Christianity loves it.
So, do you feel it's not profitable for sound doctrine or are you leaving that thought to others?



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 08:00 AM
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a reply to: TerriblePhoenix

Well there are indication that lead scholars to believe that it was written by Saul/Paul. 1) being in bonds which Saul/Paul was. and 2) he mentions Timotheus (sp?) who was also known as Timothy.

Disrraeli, has shown that the purpose of the letter is to encourage the Jewish followers of Christ, to endure and continue in faith because the kingdom was not going to be coming forthwith as they had thought and hoped because Chrsit sat down at the right hand of God until his enemies were made his footstool. Peter also gives an exhortation and an indication of the same.

Failure to see to whom this letter is written and its purpose will lead one not to see the context and thereby create a false doctrine. Your Ebonite and Nazarene friends were of that sort, failing to rightly divide the word of truth a instructed by inspiration of God through Saul/Paul a Hebrew of Hebrews.

At every corner you show your distain for the word of God but elevate the doctrine of man.



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 08:11 AM
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a reply to: ChesterJohn
Modern scholars tend not to think that this epistle was written by Paul. Amongst other things, there are differences in style.
I think this is beneficial, because it helps to demolish the false idea that Paul was single-handedly responsible for the doctrines of the New Testament. It shows that these were really the teachings of the early church as a whole.



posted on Jan, 12 2017 @ 08:33 AM
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a reply to: DISRAELI

It shows that he was familiar with the kingdom gospel he was saved under which required baptism which is what was done by the disciple Ananias (sp?).

He would have left it unsigned seeing it would compromise his position which was to the uncircumcised and not the circumcision, I believe they knew who it was that wrote it, there are scriptures indications in Hebrews supporting it, and a longer line of tradition and scholarship supports that is Paul too.

But like most I will have to give room for other views, seeing it is unsigned.

And yes Peter also supports these same doctrines not just Pau so they were indeed teachings of the early church not invented by Paul but merely expanded on by him. Both show that they were familiar with Christ not return as soon s they thought ad they had to change direction with expansion of the teachings for the church and so forth.

The main difference is that this is a letter to Jews not gentiles a very important point because the kingdom they were expecting was not coming as they thought.


edit on 12-1-2017 by ChesterJohn because: (no reason given)



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