Subject/Purpose Statements for Hebrews

Hebrews is a challenging book for any preacher. To make it easier for some of my brethren, I am sharing some of the work I did a few years ago on this epistle. I hope that this is helpful either for your personal study or your teaching/preaching.

Here are subject/purpose statements for the book of Hebrews as a whole and for each of the major sections. I divided the book into three sections according to the emphasis placed upon the role of Jesus Christ.

Subject / Purpose Statement of Hebrews as a Whole:

Jesus’ superior revelation and ministry reveals Gods purposes to and accomplishes redemption for his people, who must not neglect the redemption or reject the revelation offered through him, but must remain faithful and obedient through trials, suffering and discipline, just as their spiritual fathers did, so that they may receive the promises of God by faith before the coming Day of Judgment.

I. Jesus is the holy Prophet of Prophets who reveals the truth of God in his glorious person (1:1-4:13).

Subject / Purpose Statement: Jesus is the Holy Prophet of Prophets who reveals to his people the truth of God in the glory of His person whose word of revelation far exceeds any previous revelation, thus Jesus is exalted above previous prophets, above angels, and even above Moses, the mediator of the old covenant, so that his people reject his gracious salvation and harden their hearts against his word at their own peril.

II. Jesus is the Great Priest of Priests (Great High Priest) Who gives himself to accomplish our redemption (4:14-10:31).

Subject / Purpose Statement: Jesus is the Great High Priest who stood in place of his people, accomplishing their redemption, and who intercedes for them even now, having purchased the blessings of God for them by his obedient suffering and faithful ministry so that they must live as those who have received the blessings of a better covenant and display their faith in their confession and in their considerate care of fellow believers so that they do not live in fear of the judgment of God.

III. Jesus is the Sovereign Lord who strengthens those who trust him to endure trials (10:32-13:25).

Subject / Purpose Statement: Jesus is the Sovereign Lord over His people whose trust in Him strengthens them to endure the trials of and the discipline of their Father who will prepare them to do His will, which they must do, not rejecting his Word, or run the risk of being shaken in the final judgment and being consumed by the coming judgment of God.

About Michael R. Jones

Pastor and PhD candidate writing on Paul's theology of suffering.
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2 Responses to Subject/Purpose Statements for Hebrews

  1. Terry Lange says:

    Who do you think wrote Hebrews?

  2. I have long been firmly in the Apollos camp even though there is no more evidence to support that than to support any other position.I thought about that again last year I went to the University of Michigan manuscript library and saw P46, which, as you know (but other readers may not), is the oldest papyrus manuscript containing the Pauline epistles. I knew that it listed Hebrews among Paul’s wriings, but was surprised to find that Hebrews not only was placed with Paul’s epistles, but was right after Romans and right before 1 Corinthians, right where it should be if it is unquestionably Paul’s writing.Knowing Hebrews is there in that place, and seeeing it with one’s own eyes are two different things. Given the early date (Aland says 200 C.E., some say earlier) Pauline authorship is something to consider, but I don’t think that is sufficient evidence to accept Pauline authorship unquestionably, though it should give one pause. It also should force one to examine the other evidence in light of the Pauline authorship theory.I wonder, though, why did the writer apparently rely so heavily on the LXX? What bearing, if any, should that have on the question?

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